TheSoul Publishing is a digital media studio specializing in creating highly shareable, positive content that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages across the world. Known as the creators of the highly popular 5 Minute Crafts and Bright Side brands, the studio set out to build on its already existing momentum, firmly establish itself as a powerhouse of positivity, and become the “go to” source for fun, engaging, and positive content. One way they chose to do this was through the new offering of YouTube Shorts.
TheSoul Publishing gained from its experience on other platforms like TikTok to get up-to-date viewerships and engagement data on what the audience was looking for in short video content. This information was then used to test out new trends and different approaches with YouTube Shorts in a much more efficient way. As a result, TheSoul Publishing was able to quickly iterate and find major success in this new format. The team’s goals were as follows:
Provide this viewing experience to its existing audience, to further increase discovery of existing channels via this new, highly sought after format on the YouTube platform.
Launch brand-new IPs using even faster iteration, publication and performance analysis of content to find winning formats.
Test advertisers' appetite to fully utilize this format to reach new customers via branded content.
YouTube is a constantly evolving platform, and in 2021 a big focus was the launch and growth of “YouTube Shorts,” YouTube’s short-form video offering. TheSoul Publishing fully embraced this new format, building on its hugely popular existing channels to create some of the most viewed Shorts in the world.
TheSoul Publishing’s presence on multiple social platforms offering short-form content - including Douyin, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok - meant short-form video wasn’t a new format for the studio. Thanks to its global footprint, TheSoul Publishing began experimenting with Shorts right when the feature was launched in November 2020 in India, on the Hindi version of our 5-Minute Crafts channel.
TheSoul Publishing ran into a few challenges along the way. To start, Shorts was a new offering for YouTube, and all new offerings come with a learning curve. Fortunately TheSoul Publishing’s experience on YouTube and on short content on other platforms allowed it to quickly adapt to this new product.
Another challenge that TheSoul Publishing faced was creating short-term and mid-term KPIs. Shorts performance can be hard to predict and volatile. To overcome this, TheSoul Publishing reviewed performance data and made sure insights across the company were effectively shared to inform new productions.
TheSoul Publishing also looked to launch dedicated channels for YouTube Shorts, understanding that what works on TikTok, Instagram or Pinterest will not be the same as what works on YouTube. This required additional investment and close team coordination to fully embrace this new innovative format.
TheSoul Publishing amassed a total of nine billion views across it’s Shorts format, with three videos in particular racking up a combined 800 million views:
5-Minute Crafts Family (‘DIY Foot Soap’ Short), 489 million views - the second most-viewed Short ever published on YouTube at time of writing.
5-Minute Crafts Family (‘Dress Code’ Short), 304 million views.
5-Minute Crafts Recycle (‘Squishy Phone Case’ Short), 148 million views.
In addition, three of TheSoul Publishing’s Shorts dedicated channels appeared within YouTube’s top 100 most viewed channels globally.
Shorts have contributed to an increase of the subscriber base on a number of TheSoul Publishing’s channels of more than 20%, and also enabled the creation of new content formats, further driving brand awareness and unlocking brand deals. In October, TheSoul Publishing had its first YouTube Shorts collaboration on Bright Side, as part of a campaign to promote environmental sustainability with the new generation of creators.