Over the last two decades, YouTube has grown from a simple video repository to a global online platform and visual search engine. Launched in 2005, YouTube now boasts over 2.5 billion users and billions of dollars in advertising revenue. With their latest product update, YouTube shorts, the platform is also positioned to give short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels a run for their money.

Our point? Several creators and brands are already taking advantage of YouTube's broad reach and features; your ecommerce business should be too!

This guide will cover the benefits of using YouTube for your brand, best practices, and metrics for tracking the success of your YouTube promotions.

What is YouTube ecommerce?

YouTube ecommerce is the use of YouTube videos to market and sell products online. These marketing and sales strategies include product reviews, unboxing videos, behind-the-scenes footage, or other creative content related to your ecommerce store's offerings.

YouTube is an excellent platform for reaching a wide audience and showcasing your products in an engaging and entertaining manner. By leveraging the platform's robust search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities, you can easily target potential customers searching for keywords related to your store's offerings.

Additionally, YouTube videos allow viewers to familiarize themselves quickly with a product before making an informed purchase decision. This awareness can significantly increase the likelihood of customers buying from your online store and result in higher conversion rates.

Why you should leverage YouTube for your ecommerce brand

Video content is typically more effective than written content because it can combine various formats like motion, audio--and text! As the popular saying also goes, "one picture is worth more than a thousand words," talk more of a video.

Some of the key benefits of leveraging YouTube for ecommerce branding include:

Increased brand awareness and visibility

YouTube videos have been proven to increase brand awareness cost-effectively. Opening a YouTube account and uploading videos is free, for instance. By combining YouTube SEO best practices like keyword research and transcription with a creative content marketing strategy, you can quickly improve your store's visibility across the platform and build long-lasting relationships with viewers.

Improved customer engagement

YouTube videos allow you to engage with customers more effectively and personally. Through product how-to videos, lifestyle content, or commercials, customers are more likely to remember your brand when they've seen your products featured in an engaging video.

Higher conversion rates

You can increase conversion rates by using YouTube videos to showcase your products. The videos will allow potential customers to familiarize themselves with your product before making an informed purchase decision, resulting in higher purchase rates and better customer experiences.

How to use YouTube for ecommerce

Now that you understand the benefits of leveraging YouTube for your ecommerce business, it's time to learn how to promote your brand and market products on YouTube. These tips will help maximize the return on your investment in the platform.

1. Understand your audience

Conduct research into who your target audience is. Gathering demographic data such as age, gender, income level, location, and more will provide insights into what types of content they may be interested in consuming on YouTube.

Beyond demographics, an online tool like Google's Find My Audience for YouTube will also help you gather information about your potential customers' interests and habits.

2. Open a YouTube channel and stay active

Set up a YouTube channel, create content, and post regularly on YouTube to encourage viewers to watch and share your content. Also, outline a YouTube strategy and schedule when you will upload new content and stick to it.

For example, an ecommerce brand selling fashion products may decide to post one video each week showcasing the latest product releases or answering frequently asked questions in the fashion industry. This way, viewers know what to expect and can look forward to engaging when the content drops.

3. Tell a story

Use your YouTube videos to tell a story about your product or brand to build an emotional connection with viewers.

Say your brand sells pet products. You can create a YouTube video that tells the story of a pet owner and how your product made life easier for them. This type of content will help viewers connect with the product on an emotional level and encourage them to buy.

4. Create how-to videos

How-to videos are one of the most popular types of YouTube content. Viewers often turn to YouTube for help with tasks or troubleshooting issues. How-to videos around your products or services can help you reach a broader audience and increase sales.

Imagine you run a cosmetics store. You can create a how-to video for applying makeup with your products. This content is beneficial and engaging, allowing viewers to learn something new while being exposed to your brand.

5. Utilize SEO

Ecommerce brands can use SEO best practices to promote their YouTube channels and content. These strategies include targeting relevant keywords, creating engaging titles and descriptions for each video, using relevant tags, optimizing thumbnails, and adding closed captions when available.

For instance, an ecommerce store selling jewelry could create videos targeting keywords such as "jewelry for women" or "fashion jewelry" to boost search engine visibility and reach. Similarly, a shop that sells crochet items like baby clothes or bags would target "crochet clothes for babies" or "crochet bags."

6. Include a call-to-action (CTA)

Ensure all your videos have a clear call-to-action, such as directing viewers to your website or product pages. CTAs will help you convert viewers into customers and increase the impact of your YouTube promotion efforts.

Plus, you can add a link to the description section of each video so users can easily find out more about your product or store.

7. Leverage influencers

Reach out to influencers in your industry who have a large following and have them create sponsored content showcasing the products. These videos could be in the form of reviews, unboxing videos, tutorials, or product hauls that feature and highlight your store's offerings to their subscribers.

Additionally, influencers are great ambassadors for a brand: their followers trust their opinion, so having a YouTube influencer endorse your business or product can be a great way to boost your brand's visibility and credibility.

Want to learn more about YouTube influencer marketing and how to leverage it for your ecommerce brand? Check out this Upwork guide: How to Leverage the Power of YouTube Influencer Marketing.

8. Run YouTube ads

YouTube ads are another great way to reach potential customers and increase brand visibility. YouTube reports that viewers are two times more likely to purchase something they saw on the app, and 70% say it "makes them more aware of new brands."

To set up YouTube advertising campaigns, you'll need to set up a Google ads account. Once you create a YouTube ad, it will appear within or between videos based on specific targeting criteria, like age, gender, or location. You can also bid on keywords related to your products to get more views and clicks from viewers that are interested in what you offer.

Some YouTube ad formats you can explore include bumper ads, masthead ads, in-stream ads, in-feed video ads, out-stream ads

9. Measure the performance of your YouTube channel and video ads

Like other digital marketing strategies, it is important to track specific YouTube metrics to measure the success of your YouTube channel and ads. Important YouTube metrics to measure include:

  • Views: How many people have watched your video?

  • Audience Retention Rate: How much of your video did viewers watch?

  • Likes and Dislikes: How many viewers found the video to be valuable?

  • Comments: What are people saying about your videos?

  • Subscribers Gained/Lost: Are more or fewer people subscribing to your channel each month?

  • Ad Plays: How many times viewers have watched your YouTube ad

  • Click Through Rate: How many people click through your videos or ads to your website or product pages?

Tracking YouTube metrics will help you better understand how viewers engage with your content, which videos perform well, and where you can improve.

Expand your shop's reach; diversify your social shopping platforms

YouTube is an incredibly powerful video platform for ecommerce brands. You can quickly increase brand awareness, engage customers, and improve conversion rates by leveraging the platform's features. Use the YouTube marketing strategies in this guide to grow your store's reach.

Once you've mastered YouTube for your ecommerce brand, or if you feel the platform is not the best fit for you, explore selling on other social networks like TikTok and Snapchat. Each platform offers unique features to help you reach your target customers and engage them with creative content. Emotive’s guide to TikTok ecommerce ia a great resource to start with.