For anyone who operates an online store, knowing all of the ways in which you can market your products and connect with your customers is important. Using videos for eCommerce is one way to increase the informative value of your product pages and make your website more engaging for your visitors.
YouTube is currently one of the easiest and most effective ways of providing video content on your website. Rather than uploading a video directly, which would chew up bandwidth and provide limited functionality for your users, you can simply embed any YouTube video of your choosing onto your store using a simple share link.
This is a powerful marketing tool for several reasons, not least of which is because YouTube is so familiar to everyone. That familiarity can help create a connection between your brand and your users, while providing them with important information regarding your products, including how-tos or product assembly instructions.
To get the most out of your YouTube videos, there are a few points to consider that we will be covering below. This includes going over the benefits of YouTube as a platform in general, ways in which your eCommerce store can best connect with its users, and various tips for creating impactful video content that you can embed onto your website.
The Benefits of YouTube For eCommerce Digital Marketing
YouTube is one part social media platform, one part search engine, that can be used for a variety of effective marketing purposes. Here are just some of the reasons why you should be using YouTube for your business:
- YouTube has over 2 billion users.
- Videos are the preferred marketing channel, according to users.
- Once you upload a YouTube video you can share it anywhere on the Web.
- 85% of those who use the Internet watch videos.
- Videos make it easy to create relatable and fun content.
- YouTube conveys authority and can give your store credibility.
- Embedded videos improve SEO through increasing time spent on-page as well as with conversions.
- YouTube can act as an auxiliary sales channel for your brand.
- YouTube is the second most popular website on the planet.
If those points weren’t enough to convince you to hop onto YouTube and begin creating videos for your eCommerce business, it should be noted that all of the data regarding the use of videos and the popularity of YouTube as a marketing platform are likely to increase in the coming years, not decrease. This means that more of your users will be expecting video content, and in some cases it may even become a necessity in terms of providing value and authority.
This is a good thing, as YouTube videos can help educate your users about your products, provide them with helpful instructional videos or even anecdotes about your brand’s evolution or your day-to-day life as a store owner. Yes, your users want to hear this kind of information and almost expect it to a certain degree.
In terms of sharing YouTube content specifically for your eCommerce website, it couldn’t be easier, which is another clear benefit of the platform. Over the last few years, YouTube has made significant strides to streamline the platform and make it as simple as possible to generate great-looking content with minimal hassle.
How an eCommerce Website Can Connect With Users
Connecting with your users should be one of your top priorities as an online store owner, and videos are one way to achieve this. One of the key factors in brand appeal is how well a user feels like a brand or business “understands” them, and how willing they are to communicate with them on social media platforms.
YouTube videos for eCommerce are an easy way to create an immediate connection with users that are searching for reasons to purchase your product or trust in your services. Sometimes all it takes is putting a human face on a product for everything to “click” with the user and open the door to making a purchase.
As you create your online store and perfect it over the years, you want to be aware of how you can better connect with your users through various engagement channels. Social media is the preferred way of making this connection, but that doesn’t mean your actual store has to be sterile and devoid of interaction. Here are some useful and easy ways to connect with your users using your eCommerce website:
- Allow comments on your blog and respond to them sincerely.
- Create Q & A videos a couple of times per year that allow your users to ask you questions and be heard.
- Make sure you have an instant messaging or chat channel open for your website at all times during business hours.
- Create social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that ask questions rather than simply making statements. Link out to answers on your website.
- Run contests. These are proven to increase engagement.
- Display reviews prominently and encourage them with calls to action.
- Make your users feel like they are part of a community using videos that talk to them on the same level rather than with a corporate tone. Place these on the About page, or anywhere else you think your users would want to hear from you.
There are dozens of ways to connect with your users using blogging, social media, videos, and other tactics. As far as value is concerned, videos will probably get the most engagement and attention from your users, because it’s simply what gets clicks right now. Users want that immersive media experience, so it makes sense to use YouTube to provide it for them.
Video Content Improves User Experience
YouTube videos in particular provide an incredible resource for any eCommerce business that wants to bring value to its customers. The key to this value is in the user experience it provides, which is integral not only to your website’s SEO but also in improving your conversion rates.
User experience is what drives any great eCommerce experience. When a user lands on your site, you want to make sure you are meeting their needs as efficiently and as completely as possible. Video content is perfect in this regard, because it encourages interaction, engages the user, informs them, and prompts them to take action in a way that simple images or on-page copy can’t.
If you want to improve the overall user experience of your website, including YouTube videos in strategic locations is one of the best ways to go about it. You can use these videos to help your customers learn to use your products, or teach them about the unique benefits of your products in a “show and tell” fashion rather than forcing them to read through a lengthy blog.
In some cases, videos are better suited for explaining certain topics or showing off the features of certain products simply due to the abstract nature of the issue or the complexity of the steps. What may appear simplistic when viewed in a video could come across as needlessly complex in a blog article.
YouTube videos are actually the perfect digital marketing tools you can use to augment a blog article to make it that much more effective. By placing one of your own explainer or how-to videos in the middle of a blog article, you satisfy the needs of both demographics, as some of your users will prefer one option over the other.
Google notices these kinds of user experience improvements and your ranking will increase accordingly. Google wants signals that your webpage is satisfying the needs of its users, and if your how-to or product overview videos get users to stay on your page longer or if they are encouraged to make a purchase, this will prove to Google that your site content is high in quality.
Videos help improve the user experience of your website from a humanizing standpoint as well. The most well-written and engaging text and images can only go so far when it comes to putting a human face on your brand. Sometimes you need the extra push that video content offers in order to bridge the gap and get users invested in you as a business or brand.
Making this connection with your users is essential, because of the competitiveness of the online marketplace and how many businesses are vying for the attention of your customers. You have to ask yourself, what is setting your business apart and how are you making that genuine connection with the users that visit your website? Is the content you are providing coming off as cold or inviting?
With video, you can easily show users who you are as a business owner or what you stand for as a company through the use of music and visuals that can help create a certain mood or tone. The information you provide, the way you speak, and even the passion you show toward your products come together in a seamless presentation that will stick in the minds of your users and put a “face to the name.”
Never underestimate the user experience factor in eCommerce, and how you can utilize a platform such as YouTube to create content that resonates with your audience and helps get them more invested in your brand and products.
YouTube Tips For eCommerce Businesses
At this point, you clearly understand the value that YouTube videos can bring to your online store, and why it is essential to work it into your eCommerce digital marketing efforts. Even if you don’t have prior experience making YouTube videos, it’s easy to jump in and get started right away with some of the tips we will outline below.
Optimize Your YouTube Account
The first point you want to take care of is making sure your YouTube account looks the part. Upload a high quality logo and banner in the appropriate locations on your account, fill out the “About” section with the right details, and also include links to your website and other social accounts.
Don’t use a “personal” YouTube account for your videos for eCommerce. If you have up until this point, simply create a business account and re-upload the videos you have been using up until this point to the new account. Not only does this help with branding and giving your business that professional look, it will make things easier down the line if you ever have the chance to monetize your YouTube account.
Catchy Titles and Attractive Thumbnails
Once you start uploading videos, you want to make sure each one of them has a great title and an eye-catching thumbnail image. While you can certainly forgo both and still get great mileage out of creating YouTube videos and sticking them on your eCommerce website, if you want to take full advantage of YouTube as a digital marketing platform, you are going to want to pay close attention to this area.
YouTube functions as a search engine. In fact, it is often referred to specifically as such and should be treated accordingly. This means that you should be crafting titles that are both readable and that contain the appropriate keyword or phrase you are intending on highlighting or ranking for. This can be a product title of course, but can just as well be an industry-related keyword you would be targeting in a SEO campaign.
Titles are one of the most important parts of the YouTube algorithm and play a large role in how YouTube ranks videos and why users click on them to begin with. Never settle for basic or bland titles, but instead seek to be informative and witty as much as possible.
The same can be said for thumbnail images. YouTube is a very visually-driven media, and if you notice while using the platform, you are always getting recommendations for other videos to watch, that are featured in the sidebar and in other locations on the website. You will even get recommendations for other videos that appear when you are finished with the current video you are watching. It is the thumbnail of your video that will appear when these recommendations are made, and depending on the video module, the thumbnail is also what gets displayed when you embed your video on your website.
While your YouTube thumbnails don’t have to be works of art by any stretch of the imagination, they should draw the eye and describe the contents of the video in some way. You can use your imagination here, but the general idea is to make a colorful, high-resolution, and descriptive image that a user would actually click on. This is how you generate the most engagement on the platform.
Create Videos That Are Optimal Length
YouTube pays attention to how many of your viewers sit through to watch your entire video. The further they get through a video consistently, the more YouTube recognizes that this is quality content that should gain more impressions. If users quickly click off of your videos after watching only a few minutes of them, this could be a sign that the content is dull or doesn’t meet the users’ needs and expectations.
In that regard, you want to create videos that are not too long and not too short. You want to cover all of the details of the topic but not artificially draw out the subject just to give the appearance of a longer video. This is a tactic that is often seen on YouTube, and while it works in some niches, it doesn’t fly in eCommerce. If your “how-to” video comes out to be only a few minutes, don’t fluff it up with six minutes of filler describing your day and your plans for the weekend. If a user finds your video on your website and if they are looking for a quick explanation of a particular product that you offer, they don’t want to sit through your monologue before getting to the meat of the video. There is a time and place for those sorts of videos, and it isn’t here.
The key to creating engaging YouTube videos that flow naturally is to be succinct and descriptive. Explain things plainly without rushing but without including unnatural details or extended pauses. Edit out excessive word salad and stumbling, and make sure you cover all of the important points so that the video will actually satisfy the needs of your audience without leaving them hanging.
Split Complex Topics into Parts
For longer topics that need a bit more explanation or have a lot of complex steps that you don’t want to cram into one movie-length video, consider making a series.
This is a common technique used on YouTube and is popular for eCommerce process articles and how-to videos. You can make a five-part series on the uses for a certain line of your products, for instance, that may come across as too wordy or complicated to jam into one video.
Make The Most Out of YouTube Studio’s Features
YouTube has evolved substantially over the past few years and now has a range of powerful features to help you make sure your videos come out just how you want them to. While it would take quite a bit of time to go through each and every feature here, there are a few you want to be aware of.
First of all, if your video sounds a little bland because of no ambient noise, or if you think it could use a bit of enhancement in general, YouTube has hundreds of royalty-free music tracks that you can add in the background of your videos to help add a dash of professionalism and depth. While they don’t work for every genre or type of YouTube video, they work great in eCommerce for simple product reviews and explainer videos.
Another great feature that you will want to take advantage of are the editing tools. If you are not savvy with video editing or don’t even have the appropriate software on your computer to make video edits, not to worry. YouTube makes simple video editing rather streamlined and straightforward with their in-house editing functionality that lets you trim the ends of your files or cut out parts that sound awkward.
YouTube also allows you to add clickable areas to the end of your videos that automatically send viewers to other videos on your channel or can also act as a subscribe button that will help grow your following. These features are worth looking into because they help keep your viewers on your channel and engaged with your content rather than clicking away once the video has finished.
Where to Place Your Videos For Best Results
Depending on which eCommerce platform you are working in, you can easily embed YouTube videos in places where users are most likely to expect them, such as on blogs and on product pages.
You don’t want to go overboard and stuff your website with videos, because this could interfere with website loading speeds and appear cluttered. What you do want to do however is use videos wherever possible to increase user experience and help sell your products.
For instance, if you believe a video should accompany some of your products in order to provide visual information that would be difficult to describe through words alone, go for it. Place the video in the description area of the product page, or wherever your platform allows that looks the best, and be sure to link to blogs that provide supplemental information as well.
Blog articles are the other prime location you want to consider placing your YouTube videos for the best possible effect. Videos are great at fleshing out a blog and making the subject more digestible, especially if there is a “how-to” section or recipe that needs to be followed. Most platforms allow you to easily place a YouTube URL in the middle of a blog to easily embed the player.
Remember, it’s your thumbnail on YouTube that will likely appear in these spots until the video starts playing, so be mindful of the images you select to represent the face of your videos. If you don’t select a thumbnail, YouTube will take a random frame of your video to act in place of one, and these aren’t always the most flattering selections.
Turn Off Autoplay for Better User Experience
If you see an option to toggle off autoplay for videos on your website, make sure you turn the feature off. In most cases, users hate to have media automatically play when they land on a page. This is not something that can be controlled on YouTube and is determined by your eCommerce platform, so it is something you should be aware of.
How to Repurpose Your Videos for eCommerce
Once you have a few videos uploaded to your YouTube account and embedded in your online store, their use as digital marketing tools doesn’t stop there. It’s important to recognize how effective videos for eCommerce can be and use them wherever possible.
YouTube videos can easily be shared on other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, where they can be used to inform your audience and drive traffic to your YouTube account or website. You can encourage your followers to share these videos around for added engagement as well.
Another excellent use of YouTube videos is in email marketing. While videos aren’t always the obvious choice to use when crafting an email for your list, they can be quite effective when used sparingly in the right industry. Recipes using your products would work particularly well in this way.
It’s important to keep in mind that each video you create for your brand is a digital asset that can be used in a wide variety of ways to promote your brand and drive traffic to your products. Just about anywhere online where you communicate with your audience, you can utilize video content in this way.
Accelerate Your eCommerce Digital Marketing
YouTube is only one channel of many when it comes to digital marketing for eCommerce. There are many angles you can take to improve the user experience of your website, draw in more traffic, and meet the needs of your customers. If you are interested in completely enhancing your digital marketing efforts, give our team a call at 888-982-8269 and we will help you put together a marketing strategy that fits your business and helps you make waves in your industry.
If you are interested in learning more about social media marketing and how these platforms can be used to grow your online store, be sure to give our case study on Pinterest a look, as well as our guide to Facebook marketing strategies. We are constantly providing valuable information for eCommerce stores on how they can improve their brand presence online, so be sure you bookmark our blog!
- Matt Lovett
- September 2, 2020