Over the past decade, YouTube has solidified itself as one of the most integral parts of the internet. In fact, it is bigger than all other social media platforms and every other website besides Google. YouTube is even considered to be a search engine, and it is the second most-common search engine besides Google.
YouTube has 2 billion logged-in monthly users and 81 percent of 15-25-year-olds in the U.S. use the platform consistently. It is the second most preferred way to consume videos for 18-34-year-olds and it can produce significant results even with a small marketing budget.
More than 70 percent of video views come from a mobile device and consumers upload 500 hours of video every minute. That’s a lot of content. The majority of eCommerce businesses can benefit from showcasing their products, and marketers who tap into video grow revenue at a rate that is 49 percent faster than non-video users.
The bottom line? YouTube is a booming market that digital marketers should tap into if they haven’t already. We’ll outline everything you need to know about what it takes to be successful on the platform so you can feel confident knowing you will see positive results.
All of these impressive statistics show just how powerful YouTube is as a marketing platform for eCommerce brands. In 2020 alone, the US will make $5.5 billion in advertising revenue from YouTube. It’s safe to say that your eCommerce brand can benefit from marketing through the platform.
Developing a sound digital marketing strategy for YouTube can subsequently drive eCommerce sales and become an integral part of your company’s marketing approach.
Use the following guidelines to help build a successful YouTube strategy from the ground up.
Watching how other similar brands in your category harness the power of YouTube is a good starting point in finding inspiration. Keeping tabs on your competition is always going to be beneficial to your brand so it is something that you should do on a regular basis.
Once you have identified your competition on YouTube, browse through their channels to see what types of content do well and what types of content don’t have as many views.
There are many different approaches to take on YouTube; product reviews, Q&A videos, giveaways, and vlogs are all popular options. Mimicking strategies that are already proven to be successful can help save you time and money.
Your competitors’ metrics are another thing that you can track consistently. Common metrics to take note of include their number of subscribers, the number of views per video, and the number of comments, likes, and dislikes per video.
Be mindful of how often your competition is posting new, original content and use that to motivate you to create more videos.
Finally, pay attention to what your competition is not doing on YouTube as well. While no brand is going to be perfect, you can use other brands as examples of strategies to both include and avoid when creating your own content.
Now that you’ve researched the competition and you have a better idea of the type of videos you want to create, you need to analyze the resources that you have on hand. If you’re just starting your Youtube channel and you don’t have a ton of video shooting experience, use your iPhone to shoot your videos instead of investing in expensive equipment you don’t know how to use.
Once you have proven successful in creating videos for your new Youtube channel, you can consider investing in nicer video equipment to produce high-quality, unique videos for your brand.
Other resources to consider include the amount of extra time and money that you can spend on things such as video production, editing, customization, etc.
When you have laid the groundwork to create a successful YouTube channel, you are ready to begin shooting content. The content that you create for YouTube should help bring awareness to your product while simultaneously convincing your customers that your product is superior to competitors’ products.
Your audience should be entertained, too, as they want to enjoy their time engaging with your videos or they will quickly jump to the next featured video they see.
eCommerce brands can benefit from posting a variety of content types on their YouTube channel. Play around with creating different types of content and seeing what videos receive the most views and engagement.
The key to producing quality content is to understand what problems your target consumer is facing and creating content that will answer their questions for them. Divide your video production between your team and your customers to make Youtube marketing.
Product-centric videos are a great starting point for eCommerce brands. Here are some different examples of product-centric YouTube content.
Unboxing videos have skyrocketed in popularity over the past 5 years. In 2015, unboxing videos got over 1 billion views, and one of the most popular unboxing videos received 170 million views. Generation Z is especially interested in unboxing videos to help them learn more about a particular product.
These videos consist of the subject of the video opening the boxed item for the first time and providing an honest reaction. Consumers use unboxing videos as part of their research when deciding if they should purchase a product. There is a sheer entertainment factor that accompanies unboxing videos, too.
Many established YouTube personalities and brands have such successful unboxing videos because their customers trust their opinion on a product. YouTube makes it easy to purchase products featured in unboxing videos by featuring shoppable ads for the consumer.
Announcement videos consist of a brand making an important update through a video on their channel. These types of videos are important to keep your consumers updated on your product, new versions of your product, an upcoming sale, etc.
You can generate more buzz surrounding an announcement video by teasing it with a release date or asking customers to guess what they think the announcement is.
Everybody likes to receive something for free, so why not use this to your advantage on your eCommerce YouTube channel? You can partner with influencers or well-respected public figures in your product category who embody your brand and have a strong following.
You can also create a giveaway on your own channel if you want to give the product(s) away directly. Make sure to set parameters for your upcoming giveaway to maximize on capturing the attention of your subscribers.
For example, in order to enter the giveaway, each individual must be subscribed to your YouTube channel, follow you on Instagram or tag three friends in the official giveaway post. This can help grow your following and increase engagement with your channel.
Consider YouTube a visual search engine that helps consumers understand how to best utilize a product. The platform is just as much an educational resource as it is an entertainment resource. To make the most effective types of how-to videos, you first have to understand the problems that your consumer is facing.
Is your product particularly difficult to use or understand? Or maybe there are multiple steps involved in properly assembling or setting up your items that require a how-to video to provide clarity. For example, Dyson may have a different how-to video for each version of their vacuum or explaining how to switch out the different components in the vacuum.
Remember that your goal with how-to videos is to help generate buzz and awareness about your product. Although you may not directly drive sales by making an explainer video, you can use this type of video as a tool to capture the attention of new customers.
You can create a how-to video in multiple ways. You may consider showing off your product in action and emphasize the small details that set you apart from your competition. You can also opt for a testimonial version of how your product had a positive impact on a particular individual. Ultimately, convey to your subscribers that your product is better than similar products in your category.
If you’re having a difficult time figuring out what to create how-to videos about, you can read about common blog post topics in your niche. Even searching with queries relating to your niche that start with “how to” can be helpful in discovering how your consumer thinks and help you generate relevant YouTube content.
Don’t shy away from making these types of videos, as many digital marketers note that ‘how-to’ videos often lead to sales and can generate a strong consumer response. It’s also one of the easiest ways to make an impact on YouTube, especially for brands struggling to gain their footing.
Capturing the user experience of your product can provide your watchers with an idea of what to expect with your product. For example, if you have a skincare line, you may generate eCommerce YouTube content that features the step-by-step instructions of your products and what the process of putting them on looks like.
These types of videos can help weave your products into the daily routines of your viewers and help them envision their life with your products in them.
Comparing multiple of your products within the same video, whether they are similar or completely different, helps viewers understand when and when not to use certain products. This type of content is especially helpful if you have a complicated eCommerce subject manner with many similar products.
Another product comparison angle that you may consider taking in your eCommerce marketing videos is comparing your products to similar items produced by your competition. These videos can emphasize the unique selling points that you have over your competitors.
Be careful to not harp on your competitors or their products too much, however, as doing so can backfire and make you appear worse in the eye of the consumer. This is a more outdated tactic that has significantly decreased in popularity over the past few years.
As you begin to grow your following on YouTube, you’ll notice that you are beginning to appear in tagged in videos and comments by your followers. This is an example of your followers becoming your marketers and it is something that you should use to your advantage.
For example, if you run an eCommerce store that sells winter gear, you may see hikers in Colorado tagging you in content that they produce when wearing your brand. Take advantage of this free marketing and capitalize on it by turning your brand loyalists into digestible YouTube videos.
Make sure to communicate with the individual or group who originally made the video and get their permission to share their content. You can also ask if they are willing to create further content for your brand for a cost.
Lean into the following tactics to maximize views on viewer-generated brand videos.
As previously mentioned, unboxing is a popular tactic to drum up interest in your videos. If you find a fan who is so passionate about your brand and they happen to also create positive videos about your products, don’t hesitate to harness this reach.
Have your brand champions emphasize the path that they took to ultimately choose your brand or product over the competition. You can think of unboxing videos as visual brand testimonials explaining to the audience that your products are unique, different and better quality than your competition.
Make sure that any unboxing videos feature your product being used in action. Viewers want to see how and when to use your product through the video as they are using it as a learning tool in their purchasing decision.
For example, if your eCommerce store sells dog collars, you may have an unboxing video featuring your new, limited-edition collar design that features a passionate dog lover with his furry friend.
You know what they say about the importance of first impressions. They have a huge impact, especially on a visual platform like YouTube. Product first impression videos are a great way to capture the honest reaction of your consumers and gain important insights about what they think of the product.
Your consumers may create their own first-impression videos after purchasing something from your product line for the first time. First impression videos are also relevant around times that you are launching a new product or campaign to generate interest.
Just as your other social media profiles are an extension of your brand, your YouTube channel should be no different. The language and visuals on your YouTube channel should be representative of your brand and embody the messaging surrounding your brand.
YouTube is a huge platform, you may find that new potential customers are discovering your channel and you need videos that capture and represent your brand as a whole.
Take the time to produce high-quality, brand-centric videos such as brand history videos or an interview with your founder. These highly personalized videos are an important tactic in selling not only your product, but your brand.
In order to generate sales, you first need to sell your brand. Incorporating occasional brand-centric videos onto your channel can help properly introduce your brand story to those who are just finding your channel. For consumers on the fence about whether or not to make a purchase, brand videos can help push them over the edge and make a conversion.
In addition to creating your own videos on YouTube, you can also run paid advertising campaigns. When creating your YouTube ads, consider the video that you use, the ad format you use, and the targeting method that you use.
There are two primary types of paid ads on YouTube: search ads and instream ads.
Search ads allow for more flexibility in terms of style and creativity. These types of ads appear on the homepage of YouTube before you search for your desired video. This is a great way to capture the attention of new customers.
Instream ads are a bit more complicated to execute as you need to immediately attract the attention of your audience before they skip the ad. Once the ad plays for 5 seconds, the watcher has the option to skip the ad.
To make a successful instream ad, the best tactic is typically to conjure up curiosity to keep your viewer hooked. It’s ideal to show off your unique selling point in this short amount of time to show your consumer that your product stands out from others in the same category.
Videos are an extremely powerful marketing tool, but they are only one part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Integrating your YouTube content into other parts of your consumer touchpoints can help draw attention to your channel.
When navigated properly, YouTube can be a helpful asset to your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. You can incorporate keywords as naturally as possible into your video files or even in your video titles if you are able.
The video description can also be optimized, however, only the first 100 words show to the viewer, so it’s recommended to keep important CTAs toward the front of the copy. Don’t forget to categorize your video and to upload a custom thumbnail to appear on the search results page.
Over time, you will begin to see positive KPIs associated with your SEO results, some of which can be attributed to YouTube.
Consumers love engaging with videos on their social media feeds, so make sure to capitalize on also sharing your YouTube videos on your social media channels.
Depending on the length of the video, you may want to consider only showing a 30-second or 60-second clip to try to get your audience engaged. The chances of your audience watching a full 15-minute video on their newsfeed are slim. You can direct their attention to your YouTube channel where they can view the full version of the video.
Sharing your video content on social media is also beneficial because so many people love sharing video content with friends or family.
Finally, you can also utilize your YouTube content in your email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is a powerful way to get in touch with your audience and direct traffic to your YouTube content.
People like to shuffle through their emails relatively quickly, so including a short snippet of a longer video is also an ideal way to feature your video content. Include hyperlinks that drive traffic to both your website and to your YouTube channel.
It can seem like a daunting task to create and run a successful eCommerce YouTube channel, but doing so can produce significant results for your company. As videos become a more integral part of the content that consumers like to engage with, make sure your brand keeps up with the ever-evolving digital marketing pace.
If you’re looking for hands-on, personalized assistance with your eCommerce YouTube strategy, our experts at Catapult Revenue, one of the Top eCommerce Marketing Companies of 2020, are happy to help. Take advantage of our free, no-obligation marketing consultation to get started.
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Catapult Revenue, ensuring that all client’s revenue goals are met via Catapult’s marketing strategies.
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