Using YouTube for E-commerce Marketing

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It’s nearly that time of the year again – the holiday season! Retail business owners are rubbing their hands together because they know that sales are going to go through the roof – people just love buying thoughtful presents for their loved ones.

Online retailors should also start preparing for the holiday season. Despite the fact that online sales make up for only 10% of total sales between Black Friday and Christmas (when compared to brick and mortar stores) it’s still a fact that that segment of the market experienced double digit percentage growth in 2015. With people finding online shopping more and more convenient we can expect that number to go up this year.

One of the most under-utilized marketing channels for e-commerce is YouTube. It is dubbed the world’s second-largest search engine, coming second only to its parent company – Google. Smart marketers are well-aware of the fact that that type of exposure and reach shouldn’t be left untapped.

Here are a couple of YouTube stats that will turn your head:

  • YouTube has over 1 billion users
  • Over 4 billion YouTube videos are watched in a day
  • 300 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every hour
  • 323 days of YouTube video are viewed on Facebook every minute

The numbers speak for themselves. If you want to up your game this coming holiday season here are a couple of examples of how you could leverage YouTube to see those products simply flying away from your virtual shelves!

Tell a Story

The difficulty with YouTube video marketing is grabbing and holding the viewer’s attention. It’s a tough sell if your video features purely images and shots of your products and lists the reasons why they should buy. High-end e-commerce players can side-step this problem by creating unique video content in form of a short movie. This means the whole shebang – a plot line, an actor, a good director, and a gripping story. The purpose here is not to sell straight away. The purpose is to draw the audience in through storytelling and to differentiate your brand.

The great example of this is JewelMint campaign featuring Kate Bosworth. They shot a series of short videos that were promoted through Facebook and other social media platforms. Each video follows Kate’s exploits and JewelMint products are shown in great detail. It’s a perfect way to showcase your products without looking too pushy.

Demonstrate Product Use

If you want to sell more you better invest in customers support. There is no better way to extend a helping hand to your customers then recording a ‘How-to’ video that that demonstrates product use. It’s applicable across industries but we mostly see it from e-commerce sites that specialize in selling clothing and accessories. You can show different outfit combinations, tips on how to match and combine colors, ideas on how to wear certain pieces unconventionally, and more. Since a lot of people are doing online research before shopping these days, these videos can also serve to attract potential new buyers to your site. Customers want to feel secure in the knowledge that a company is looking out for them and will be able to provide them with both a great shopping experience and top-notch customer service. Beat them to the finish line – answer their questions before they even know that they want to ask them!

If you think you’d be hard-pressed to shoot a ‘How-to’ video for your particular line of products. Take a look at how Argos does it. They took an everyday household product, a refrigerator, and made a short video that is helpful to their buyers and assures every else that Argos offers premium support. 

Be funny!

Business doesn’t have to be all serious – especially not when you’re using YouTube as your marketing channel. Spoofs and comedies work great if you can tie them in with your product and have a higher chance of going viral than ‘How-to’ videos and promotional pieces. Orabrush is a company that produces toothbrushes specifically designed to battle bad breath. Their YouTube channel used to feature a weekly video about a tongue called Morgan and his hilarious exploits. The channel managed to rake up 180,000 subscribers and over 40 million unique views.

Partner up with a YouTube Influencer

YouTube has made instant stars of a lot of people over the years. Individuals took to creating their own videos, making tutorials, shooting funny pieces, and offering advice on a number of different topics. Some of them managed to grow their subscriber base considerably, making it lucrative for companies to offer them deals in exchange for using their products in their videos. If you can find an influencer in your niche, contact them and offer free samples in exchange for a review or a demonstration in one of their videos.

Maybelline, an international make-up company, partnered up with Chloe Morello, a YouTube celebrity with nearly 2 million followers. I’m guessing she doesn’t come cheap considering her huge fan base but Maybelline benefits from the deal by having access to millions of people through just one person!

Two Strategies Big Boys Should Concentrate On

Each and every one of these strategies was successfully used by different brands over the course of the last couple of years. However, if you are operating a large e-commerce business then you need to focus your efforts on one or two of them.

In my opinion, those two should be:

Partnering up with an influencer – basically, you need wide exposure and the best way to get it is partnering up with YouTube influencers who have a large following. Like this, you’re not leaving things to chance and you have a guaranteed audience even if you don’t break your back marketing your content.

Using TrueView and YouTube shopping ads – sometimes your YouTube campaigns need a bit of a push. YouTube makes money by showing your video and textual ads alongside video content that is contextually relevant. TrueView for shopping ads can be targeted to your own videos – you no longer have to swamp your helpful content with calls to action, simply set up a campaign in AdWords and pull relevant products from your Google Merchant center.

Give these strategies a try and don’t be shy to report back with the results! If you have any suggestions – I’m all ears! Drop down by the comments section and give me a shout. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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