Retail Resources

YouTube Marketing Tips for Retailers

Feb 20, 2015 — Ivan Serrano
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Online video is an incredibly important tool to drive brand awareness and has transformed the way consumers interact with retailers. Today, consumers don't want brands to bombard them with commercials or other promotional videos. They are looking to extract some kind of value from the content whether it's information or entertainment.

Today's consumers don't want brands to bombard them with commercials.

If you plan on utilizing YouTube, you first need to develop a content strategy -- not an advertising strategy -- that focuses on what videos matter to your community. Of course, with 100 hours of video uploaded every minute on YouTube, great videos aren't necessarily enough to get you in front of a huge audience. But there are some things you can do to stand out from the crowd.

Make Shopping Easy

Regardless of how good your video is, if you don't provide a way for an easy way for the audience to purchase your products, it won't do you much good. Luckily, there are several options that allow your audience to go from YouTube to your store in just a couple clicks.

Get your audience from YouTube to your store in just a couple clicks.

  • Video description – It might seem obvious but you'd be surprised how many retailers forget to add even this simple call-to-action in their video description. Adding a quick shop the look/view collection/buy now hyperlink is a very quick and easy way to guide your audience to your store. And if your video itself is compelling, then they are more likely to convert.
  • In-video links – Did you know that YouTube allows you to add external sites directly in your video? Although it's still a little intrusive, if you time it properly it should flow naturally in the context of your video. This feature allows you to take advantage of the impulsive buying habit of many online consumers.

Work with YouTube Influencers

There are dozens of "vloggers" on YouTube that have over a million subscribers. For example, Michelle Phan (pictured above), famous makeup/beauty vlogger, has over 7 million subscribers who are highly engaged. Many large makeup brands have partnered with her, such as L'Oreal, with excellent results. If possible, you should try to identify several influencers who would be interested in your product and see what you can do to ensure a solid partnership. Create collaborative videos hosted on their YouTube channel to get the best reach.

Collaborate with YouTube influencers to maximize reach.

More important than visibility, though, is the social proof these collaborations provide. The vlogger's audience already has a solid relationship with them and will likely believe and trust their recommendations over your own branded videos. Remember, 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over other forms of advertising. Consumers look at these influencers as not only a peer, but a trusted resource.

Create Tutorials and How-tos

Today's consumers want to know what kind of value brands can offer them. Creating useful or interesting content that is targeted toward a particular demographic is incredibly effective in increasing sales. After all, 61% of consumers feel better about brands that deliver quality content, thus making them more willing to make a purchase. A fun and straightforward tutorial or how-to can show off your product in action while also giving consumers useful information. For example, Victoria's Secret has numerous "how to" videos that show off the workout regimen of their models all the while weaving in their products and brand.

Push User Generated Content

You don't always have to create original content for your channel. In fact, it's recommended that you get your audience involved by encouraging user generated content. One of the easiest ways to do this is by hosting a contest or giveaway for the best video. You could ask your audience to show off your product in action or you can simply ask them why they use your product. Not only will you get be able to use this content in the future, these videos act as testimonials for your product. The more people create videos, the more you build brand awareness and trust.

Contests or giveaways are ways to involve your audience in t creating their own videos.

As well, make sure to keep your eyes open when users tag or mention your company. One of OfficeMax’s most popular videos was inspired by a father-son project to create the largest rubber band ball.

Cross Promote

While many social media sites have introduced their own video services like Vine and Facebook Video, many still link to YouTube videos in their updates. With 74% of online adults using social networking site, it would be unwise to ignore it. Luckily, it's incredibly easy to share your videos on these sites. You can and should also embed the videos you have created on your own website to show off your product in action.

Don't hard sell via YouTube. Focus on your brand message.

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Build Your Brand with YouTube

Your videos should focus on your brand's message and image rather than pushing a hard-sell for your product. The more value you provide your audience, the more likely they will be to actually click on the links and make a purchase. While there is room for "commercials," the most successful companies know how to highlight the features of their product and create that "wow" factor in videos.

Take GoPro (see above photo) for example, rather than simply explaining that it is lightweight and great for action oriented videos, they showcase daring adventures of ice climbing, sky jumping and more.


YouTube_Marketing_Image_2.jpgAbout the Author:

Ivan Serrano is a social media, business and finance journalist living in the Bay Area of California. When he's not inking another bestseller (not really, but one can hope), he's likely practicing his photography or watching his favorite sports teams with his friends.

Topics: Retail Operations, Marketing & Brand

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