Youtube is the second most visited website behind Google.
There’s a good chance that you’ve wasted hours of your time watching dog videos and memes.
Youtube combines the exciting and entertaining features of social media with the massive search traffic and content ranking from Google — Making it a pretty unique platform on its own.
The question is: how can you leverage Youtube as a content marketing channel for your online store?
Well, there are plenty of Youtube marketing strategies and tactics that are repeatable and that you can follow to get started today. Some of them involve optimizing videos for search engines, investing in ads, and dealing with influencers.
So if you’re here to know about how Youtube marketing works, keep reading.
What is Youtube Marketing?
Youtube marketing involves uploading video content on Youtube to promote your business to a target audience — typically, video content that educates, provides value, and encourages potential customers to buy your products.
A lot of ecommerce businesses invest in growing a youtube channel because of the significant traffic potential you can leverage from it.
On Youtube, you achieve results with content that’s valuable and entertaining, keeping the viewer on the platform. Because in the end, it’s all about building an engaged audience that celebrates and defends your brand.
Why Should an Ecommerce Invest in Youtube Marketing?
First off, Youtube is big. When you’re not uploading videos on YT, you’re missing out on a significant part of the cake.
And considering how huge the platform is, there’s no doubt that you can find your target market on Youtube.
You see, reasons to grow a Youtube channel are many:
- According to Cisco, it’s estimated that 82% of global traffic will come from video streaming.
- It’s easier to rank on Youtube than Google as long as you follow the basics (depends on your niche).
- 68% of Youtube users watch videos to make a buying decision, which is great news for ecommerce businesses.
- The amount of small businesses investing in advertising has doubled over the last two years.
- Building a Youtube channel gives you an additional source of traffic that can quickly scale your business.
So if you have the time and budget to create minimum viable videos, it is a good idea to expand your online store beyond Instagram and blogs.
How to Get Started on Youtube as an Ecommerce
Starting a Youtube channel can be intimidating. No one will watch your videos, and you’ll see no results in the first months.
But if you follow these three steps and stay consistent, you’ll eventually see success despite all the failures you’ll experience in the beginning.
Step 1. Have a Content Marketing Strategy in Place
You see, the fastest way to fail at Youtube marketing is by creating random videos for the sake of publishing.
You must have goals, an objective, and a strategy in place before you start brainstorming ideas.
So first, you must answer some key questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What does your target audience need to know in order to buy your products?
- How can you position your products as a solution to your audience’s problems?
- What’s the next action your audience should take after watching your videos?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just take a look at how your competitors approach it. Are they nailing it? Are they failing? What could you do better?
Create a document that answers all the questions and start brainstorming ideas.
Step 2. Create a Channel and Upload Your Ecommerce Videos
Once you’ve laid out your path, start taking action.
Create a brand channel, complete your profile, and start creating content. These are the types of content you want to start with:
- How-to content that demonstrates what you can do with your products.
- Product reviews, where you compare your products with similar alternatives in the market.
- Tutorials on how to choose the right product for a specific goal.
- FAQs answering the most common questions you get asked in your store.
- New product announcements, showing the product’s features and benefits.
Take RevZilla’s channel as an example. They constantly upload videos on how to buy your first bike, gear guides, and everything related to motorcycles.
And yes, they sell bikes, bike parts, gears, among other supplements, which makes total sense because they want to teach their audience how to become their best customer.
Step 3. Promote Your Videos In and Outside Youtube
One thing you must do right after publishing a new video is promoting it.
The reason is simple. You can’t expect people to come to you — especially at the beginning.
In order to grow your audience as quickly as possible. Here are few steps you should follow:
- Share your video with your social audience. Avoid copying the title in the post, and instead, come up with a catchy idea that incentivizes people to watch your video.
- Embed your video in a blog post that covers the same topic. If you don’t have one, then repurpose your video into a blog post, and do it.
- Send an email to your list. Write a compelling message that gives your audience a reason to watch it.
- Go to online communities where your target audience gathers (such as Reddit or Quora). Participate in discussions and answer questions. Only include a link to your video when extremely relevant.
- In future videos, refer to your other videos during the content and link them with a card (like an internal link).
- Repurpose your videos into blog posts, Twitter threads, Instagram stories, podcasts. Expose your content on multiple channels.
As a rule, spend the first 24-48 hours promoting your new video. Eventually, the results will compound and show up in higher returns.
9 Youtube Best Practices for Ecommerce Businesses
Getting started is great, but what about doing Youtube in the right way?
The following best practices are meant to give you an idea of how you should approach Youtube marketing correctly.
1. Focus on Building an Audience
Growing a Youtube channel isn’t just about uploading videos, getting traffic, and selling your products. It’s about building an audience.
If you don’t put your audience first, then you’ll probably end up with a handful of views and subs as a result. You must focus on what your audience needs.
Having a solid strategy is a good start. But if you need some actionable advice, here’s what you can do:
- Base your strategy on your audience’s more frequent questions.
- Create videos responding to your audience’s questions (Q&As).
- Reply to the comments and answer their questions. Make your audience feel heard.
- Make a poll asking what they’d like to see.
- Host a live stream, and always read and reply to the comments.
Don’t build a list of buyers. Build a community.
2. Schedule Your Videos on a Calendar
The time you publish your content matters.
Creating a content calendar won’t only help you organize your time and set deadlines. It will let you optimize your publishing schedule for maximum reach and engagement.
First, you must find out the days and hours that tend to get more views and interactions.
To find this out, you can go to Youtube’s analytics and take a look at your audience’s data. It will show you when your viewers use Youtube, among other demographics such as gender, geographics, etc.
This number is essential because it means you can schedule your videos to get online right when they’re on the platform.
Finally, you can schedule your videos in advance from the creator studio. However, tools like SocialBakers or Hootsuite let you schedule your videos and all its social promotions from the same place — killing two birds with one stone.
3. Optimize Your Videos for Search Engines
If you want to get found on Youtube, you must aim to rank for valuable keywords.
It’s essential to have an SEO strategy in place when uploading videos, or you’ll get outranked by your competitors.
Youtube explains how its algorithm works in few sentences:
Youtube says you must focus on maximizing relevance to the topic (keywords in titles, tags, and description), engagement from your viewers (likes, comments, and share), and content quality.
For this, you should follow an SEO process:
1) Keyword research
The first step is to target valuable keywords.
Unlike Google, not many SEO tools will show you real search traffic from Youtube but estimates based on Google Keywords planner.
So your best bet is to rely on Youtube’s search suggestions, Google trends, and your brainstorming abilities.
First off, you need to brainstorm a list of topics based on your content strategy. Then build a list of possible keywords for each topic.
To select the most valuable keywords, type some relevant words in Youtube’s searcher and see which keywords are recommended. These will give you an idea of what’s people searching for.
Additionally, you can use Google trends to compare similar keywords to see which are the most popular.
2) Competitive analysis
Ranking on Youtube is still almost as competitive as Google.
Conducting a competitor’s audit will give you insights and opportunities to outrank and climb Youtube’s SERP.
After collecting a list of competitors, conduct a SWOT analysis for each of them. SWOT involves listing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in order to see what works and what doesn’t.
This process will let you come up with strategies and ideas to get a competitive edge.
3) Optimize video titles and descriptions
Next, make your video titles and descriptions as relevant to the search query as possible.
You do this by including the main keywords, adding variations, and specifying who your content is for (hence the importance of audience research).
Remember that title and the description are the first things your viewers will read, so it’s essential to optimize them for maximizing engagement.
4) Add tags
Youtube allows you to add tags to your content so the algorithm can have an idea of what your video is about.
When choosing tags, include your target keywords and everything relevant to the content. Or else, Youtube might even suspend your video if it finds out that you’re adding irrelevant tags.
5) Include subtitles and captions
The best way for the algorithm to understand your content is with subtitles.
See, algorithms can’t watch videos yet. And when you insert an SRT file into your videos, you’re giving more info to the algorithm to process and understand your content.
As an extra effort to make your content perform better, transcribe your videos and upload the .srt file into your video.
6) Incorporate cards and end screens
Cards are the hyperlinks of Youtube. They’re the white tab shown at the top-right corner of the screen when the video refers to other content. And you can use them to send viewers to other videos or your website.
End screens are the final panel of the video that invites the viewer to subscribe or watch more videos.
It turns out, both of these are relevance and quality factors for the algorithm. Youtube encourages the usage of both of these elements to maximize engagement and time on site.
7) Custom thumbnail
Thumbnails are the images that you see as a preview of the videos before you click on them.
A great thumbnail can have a dramatic impact on the clicks and views you receive. In fact, Youtube says 90% of the best performing videos have custom thumbnails — this isn’t rare considering that people decide what to watch based on the thumbnail.
When you verify your Youtube account, you can add a custom image that incentivizes people to watch your video. The recommended resolution for this is 1280×720 pixels, so take it into account before editing your thumbnail images and make sure that it looks good on different devices.
4. Complete Your Youtube Profile
To demonstrate authority and trustworthiness to your prospects (and to the algorithm), you need to fill your Youtube profile completely.
A great profile will instantly differentiate your brand from the amateurs and put you in a great position right in the beginning.
Here are the different elements you must optimize in your profile:
- Name: This is the name your viewers will see when watching your videos. As a standard, you can just use your brand’s name. But if you want to be creative, you can give it a name more specific to the type of content you publish.
- Icon: This is your profile picture. Google recommends uploading an 800 x 800 px square or round image. Using your company logo works, but you can also add something more catchy.
- Banner: This is a 2560 x 1440 px image that shows in the back of your profile. Make it appealing to the eye and highlight your brand visuals there.
- Description: Explain the type of video content your audience will find. Be aware that Youtube’s algorithm will take a look at your video description, so try to include relevant keywords in your overview as much as possible.
- The trailer: A short-form video (30 to 60 seconds) that shows what your channel is all about. Use the trailer to encourage visitors to subscribe right away.
- Website and social links: Include links to your store and social profiles in the about section of your channel. Encourage your audience to interact with your brand on multiple platforms.
Check out Vat19’s successful youtube profile as an example:
5. Monetize Your Youtube Channel Properly
It doesn’t matter how many subscribers and views you get from your videos. If they don’t convert eventually into potential customers, you’re not monetizing properly.
With monetizing, I don’t mean getting revenue from ads. I mean getting the leads and the sales out from your audience.
Different from ranking content on Google, Youtube works as a social media platform as well. You create a profile, grow subscribers, and upload videos.
This means: you must include links smartly if you want to get people out of the platform and buy.
How? Here are some tips for getting the most out from your audience:
- When showcasing your products in your videos, include their links in the description. Mention it in the video, so people know what they have to do.
- Create content that helps people make a buying decision (product reviews, alternatives, top 10), and refer to your products when relevant.
- Create videos that upsell additional products and supplements to your current customers.
- Send people to your website in the video and include a card to make it easier for them.
- Publish case studies or real-life stories of your customers. Show their story, how your product helped them, and what people need to do to replicate success.
As a last tip, always include call-to-actions. It’s essential to tell your viewers what to do if they enjoyed your videos. Whether it is to subscribe to your channel, leave a comment, or go to your website, you must incorporate it in multiple parts of your videos and the description.
The idea isn’t necessarily to hard-sell your products (you shouldn’t). It is to position your brand as something more than a source of excellent videos — a solution provider.
You don’t want subscribers to watch your videos and say goodbye. You want them to advocate for you and know that you offer great products.
6. Create Playlists to Encourage People to Watch More Videos
If you find yourself creating content that falls into the same category, then creating a playlist is a great idea.
Playlists not only encourage viewers to watch more videos. They inevitably increase your channel’s overall watch time — making it more attractive for the algorithm as well.
But what makes a good playlist? Well, considering that your videos will play subsequently automatically, you need to come up with a progression that makes sense.
You can — for example — design tutorials from beginner to advanced levels or divide a huge video into smaller episodes. Always think about what your audience might want to see after watching your first video.
Here’s a simple example of how BodyBuilding.com compiles a bunch of videos related to home workouts:
This playlist comes from a successful fitness ecommerce that’s already nailing it on Youtube — so you surely can come up with a more creative playlist.
7. Collaborate with Other Channels or Influencers
Considering that 49% of online buyers are more likely to trust recommendations from influencers, influencer marketing is more than a trend now. It’s a legit strategy to expand your brand awareness.
On Youtube, ecommerce businesses can leverage influencer marketing in multiple ways. For example:
- Let the influencer sponsor your product in a way that blends with the rest of the video. Provide a unique discount code so you can measure how well these campaigns went.
- Collaborate with influencers and create a special video together. This will put your brand in front of the influencer’s audience more naturally.
- Gift your products to the influencer, let them experience the benefits, and then ask for their opinion. If it’s very positive, create a testimonial video or case study you can use for your marketing.
When collecting influencers to reach out to, don’t forget that they must meet three requirements:
- Be relevant to your niche. For example, if you sell PC parts, a gaming influencer would fit because they target the same audience as you.
- Have a big enough audience to make it worth the investment.
- Have a truly engaged audience. If the influencer fails to be an influencer, then the last two requirements are worth nothing.
So take this into account when looking for influencers, and you’ll hardly regret it.
8. Consider Investing in Youtube Ads
Investing in Youtube ads is a good idea — especially for ecommerce businesses.
The reason: there’s lower competition.
And different from Facebook ads, advertising on Youtube is cheaper, easier to scale, and there’s no risk of getting your account suspended from randomness.
Creating video ads doesn’t have to be as challenging as you think. Just as with other ad platforms, you should iterate ideas until you find something that hits.
But to iterate fast, you must create minimum-viable videos. Here’s the bare minimum you need:
- Any kind of footage of your product or brand. Don’t invest too much in this (yet).
- A well-written video script.
- A quality voiceover artist to narrate the script.
- A video editor to put everything together.
The power is in the script copy. So if you don’t know how to write copy, hire someone to write it for you.
Test ideas until you see that one of your videos is performing much more than the rest. And then, invest in high-quality video production for it — the results will speak for themselves.
9. Analyze Your Data
A huge part of getting started is to experiment, fail, and see what works.
And after you’ve put decent efforts on Youtube to grow your channel and reach your goals, it’s time to take a look at your channel’s analytics.
Now, which metrics are more critical for you depends on your goals. But in general, you always want to see increases in views, subscribers, and website traffic.
So head to Youtube Analytics to monitor your channel’s growth, your video’s performance, and your audience data. Here are some metrics you should pay attention to:
- Watch time. The total amount of minutes your audience has spent watching your videos. You can see what videos are getting more attention and replicate that success with future content. Remember that watch time is a ranking factor, so try to aim as high as possible.
- Traffic sources. You can monitor where your viewers are coming from and understand what promotions are driving the most results.
- Demographics. In the audience tab of your analytics page, you’ll be able to watch the age and gender of your viewers. The demographics will help you understand what kind of people are watching your videos regularly and tailor your content to resonate with them.
- Geographics. Are there viewers from other countries consuming your content? If so, see if they come from countries with a specific language and include subtitles in your videos for them!
- Engagement report. See what videos are getting the most interactions and driving more results to you. You can also see what cards, playlists, and end screens are performing.
In the end, remember that your most important KPIs come from your marketing goals. How much ROI do you need? How many sales per month do you need to achieve? How much traffic do you need to get from Youtube to reach your sales goals?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all way for measuring success. Yet, you can still learn about how to create goals for your business.
Create Your Youtube Channel Today
The best time to create a Youtube channel was when you opened your store. The second best time is now.
Few ecommerce owners are investing in Youtube. So if you put everything you read here into practice, you’ll start with the right foot.
And if you stay consistent, you’ll learn that no matter how hard it gets in the beginning, you’ll never regret adding an extra source of traffic to your website.
So go and create a Youtube account for your business.
And if you don’t have any business yet, don’t you worry, start here.