How to Automatically Create and Post YouTube Shorts using Zapier

6 March 2023 | 7 min read
Laura van Sinderen

Learn how to set up an automated no-code workflow to generate videos from text and media and upload them to YouTube using Zapier and Creatomate.

YouTube Shorts are very popular for engaging your audience, just as Instagram Reels and TikTok videos are. You can use these funny and captivating videos for a variety of topics, such as motivation, education, quotes, etc. However, manually creating and posting each short takes forever. The good news is that this can all be done automatically.

Creatomate is a video automation solution for automating and scaling video production using no-code tools and API. With just a reusable template and a few inputs, you can generate unlimited videos. In this tutorial, we'll set up an automated YouTube Shorts creation and posting workflow using Zapier and Creatomate.

Let's auto-generate videos like this. However, be sure to check out the template editor as well, which lets you make your own video designs.

The story video we're going to generate with Zapier.
Unmute the audio to hear the background music.

Tip: Want to automate your shorts, but don't want a fully automated workflow? Check out this bulk video creation tutorial and learn how to create short-form video content weeks or months in advance.


These are the tools we'll use:

  • Creatomate: to automatically generate the videos. Sign up for free.
  • Zapier: to set up the automated workflow.
  • A trigger app, like Airtable: to provide input text and media for the shorts.
  • YouTube: to post the shorts to your channel.

Note: I'm going to use Airtable for this tutorial. But you can use any app that works for you.

How to create YouTube Shorts with Zapier?

The first thing we'll do is create a video template in Creatomate. This design will serve as the foundation for our videos. Next, we'll set up an automated workflow in Zapier that runs for new records in Airtable, generates a video using Creatomate and uploads it to YouTube. Our Zap will look something like this:

1. Create a video template

Log in to your account, navigate to the Templates page and click + New. You can choose a template from the gallery or design your own. For this tutorial, let's go with the Storytelling Video template from the Social Media category. We'll go with the 9:16 Vertical size and click Create Template:

Double-click to watch full screen.

Let's take a look at the left-side panel. Here we can find the elements that make up the template. It's important to know that elements can be dynamic, as indicated by the pen icon. In our template, the Text, Background, and Music elements are all dynamic. This means that we can replace them with other text, images, and clips through the automated workflow we're about to set up:

Feel free to customize the template however you want. To keep things simple, I'll use the template as-is. Once we've got a template, let's make a Zap to generate shorts automatically.

2. Add trigger: New Record in Airtable

As an example, here is a table that I've created to use Airtable as a trigger. It has columns for Text, Background images, a music file, a title and a description. We'll use this table to automatically create videos and post them to YouTube in the next steps:

Note: You can use any trigger app you want.

Log in to your Zapier account and click + Create Zap. Search for the Airtable app and select the New Record event. Continue by choosing your Airtable account or signing in first. Then, click Continue.

On the Set up trigger screen, select the Base and Table. Then, click Continue:

Click Test trigger on the last screen to make sure Zapier is able to find a record in Airtable. When the test was successful, click Continue.

3. Add action: Create Single Render in Creatomate

Search for the Creatomate app and select the Create Single Render event. Continue by selecting your Creatomate account or signing in with your project's API key first. Then, click Continue.

On the Set up action page, we'll select our Storytelling Video template in the Template field first:

Then, the dynamic elements from our template appear under Modifications. We can now map the data from the previous step to our template as follows:

  • Set Music to Airtable -> Music Url
  • Set Background-1 to Airtable -> Background 1 Url
  • Set Text-1 to Airtable -> Text 1
  • Map the other background and text modifications too.

When done, click Continue:

Click Test step on the last screen to make sure Creatomate can generate a video. We can watch the video by visiting the URL. However, it might take some time to render it. You can move on to the next step whenever the test succeeds.

4. Add action: Upload Video in YouTube

Click + to add the YouTube app and select the Upload Video event. Continue by selecting your account or signing in first. Then, click Continue.

On the set up action page, map the required fields like this:

  • Set Title to Airtable -> Title
  • Set Description to Airtable -> Description
  • Set Video to Creatomate -> Url

The optional fields can be set up however you want. Click Continue when you're done.

On the last page, click Test step to make sure Zapier passes the right data. As this is just a test, no video will be uploaded to your YouTube channel.

Once your workflow is complete, click Publish Zap to activate it.

Wrapping up

That's all it takes to automatically create and post Shorts on YouTube. It's just a matter of entering your data into an Airtable table. Alternatively, you might want to adjust this workflow based on your specific needs.

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