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Why Create and Optimize YouTube Videos for eCommerce?

Are you using YouTube ads for eCommerce? As the leading video platform, it’s an ideal way for eCommerce brands to demonstrate their products, educate potential customers, and create entertaining content — both with paid ads and organic content. Keep reading to learn why and how you can put both to work to help grow your business.

Why eCommerce Brands Should Leverage YouTube

YouTube is a perfect fit for nearly every eCommerce brand. Videos are an excellent medium for showing your product in action, explaining why it solves pain points, and ultimately compliments your other marketing efforts.

You can put YouTube to work in two overall ways: paid ad campaigns (via Google Ads) and organic content.

Paid YouTube ads are one of the more common methods to leverage the platform, but you can also create a channel and publish content like any other user. Doing both can help you maximize the results of your YouTube marketing efforts.

YouTube Videos vs. YouTube Video Ads for eCommerce

Paid ad campaigns aren’t the only way to advertise on YouTube. It’s often easier for eCommerce sites to take an advertiser's perspective to the platform, as it’s easier to run ads and have clear-cut results, such as increasing your conversion rate or ARPU.

However, creating a YouTube channel as part of your marketing efforts doesn’t produce direct results. As such, it’s entirely too common to see eCommerce sites focus on ads and ignore creating organic content — but it’s well worth doing both.

Below, you can see how Varos displays your CPC right next to your competitors for Google Ads. You’ll be able to fine-tune your campaigns to maximize results by understanding how much your peers are spending.

Types of YouTube Video Ads to Explore

Your YouTube conversion rate for paid ads depends on campaign type, ad creatives, and audience targeting. It’s worth exploring different campaign types for your paid YouTube efforts to see which type of campaign is most effective with your audience.

The different campaign types to consider for your paid YouTube ads are:

  • Skippable in-stream ads: Viewers can skip ads, so you’re only charged for those who do not skip your ad.
  • In-feed ads: Ads with this campaign type are displayed to users during the discovery and searching phase. These types of ads generally target engaged users.
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads: Viewers cannot skip these ads, so you’ll have their full attention, but ads should be shorter and concise.
  • Bumper ads: These ads also cannot be skipped and are supposed to be quick, with Google suggesting they complement other ads in your overall campaign.
  • Outstream ads: Outsream ads occur outside of Google’s platforms, instead appearing on third-party sites participating in the AdSense program.
  • Masthead ads: You may have seen these ads at the top of your Google homepage or app home screen. These types of ads are ideal for awareness campaigns.

You can have incredible results for eCommerce video ads with the right creatives and campaign configurations. Google provides detailed information about each campaign type to help you maximize your results.

How to Start Creating Organic YouTube Videos for eCommerce

Organic videos are usually the most overlooked opportunity for eCommerce sites. Paid ads are excellent and should still be done, but you can also create content for your YouTube channel just like any other creator.

Additionally, even though it won’t be your main focus, reaching YouTube’s monetization threshold can create another source of revenue via AdSense (although you may risk competitors' ads being shown on your videos).

Let’s go over how you can get started, video ideas to experiment with, and touch on if YouTube Shorts is worth your time.

Evaluate Competitors on YouTube

Start off by looking at your competitors, both the ones you already know about and others you may discover while doing research.

A competitor is any channel selling similar products. You don’t need to consider other channels within your niche that are simply talking about similar products as competitors — they might actually be future partners.

Once you’ve identified key competitors, run through the following steps:

  1. Scroll through all available videos and get a rough idea of average length, view count, and general topics. Take notes as you go.
  2. Sort by “Popular” and look at the most viewed videos on their channels. What topics are they covering, and what type of video are they?
  3. How are they monetizing traffic? Do they have specific links in the description and a direct CTA? Or are they going for a more subtle approach?

Repeat this process for the major competitors you’ve identified. You don’t need to take too long for smaller channels but dive deep into the main creators in your industry.

Understand Your Team and Budget

In the context of video content, what skills do you have already available? Do you have a video editor, on-screen talent, or someone to do voice-overs?

Additionally, what equipment do you have? What will you need to buy? Fortunately, leading smartphones can get you started, but recording audio will likely require buying some lapel mics or other audio equipment.

Don’t buy anything or make any staffing changes just yet, but keep in mind what’s available as compared to what you need as you proceed.

Types of Videos for eCommerce Brands

What should your videos be about? As an eCommerce brand, you have plenty of options to explore. 

Try different types of videos to see what resonates with your current and future customers. Some of the common options for eCommerce brands include:

  • Announcement videos: Have a new product, product line, or promo? Announcement videos can be exciting for current customers and intrigue potential customers.
  • Unboxing videos: While unboxing videos aren’t as popular as they used to be, they’re still popular for many types of products. Consider an unboxing video if it makes sense for your product and packaging.
  • User experience videos: Any type of user-generated content (UGC) gives you social proof and encourages new users to check out your company. User experiences are a specific type of UCG that help show customers what they can expect from your product and company.
  • How-to videos: Some eCommerce businesses sell products that have a specific learning curve or cater to a specific audience. Your ideal audience may already know enough to understand your product, but there are also plenty of potential customers who won’t know the basics. Create how-to videos about your product to help educate those who are newly interested in your industry.
  • List videos: People love lists, from blogs to videos, so it’s worth creating list videos focusing on your products. For example, you can make a video list of ways your product can solve pain points or a list of what you're most excited about in your industry.
  • Product videos: Every eCommerce business will likely want to make product videos. Generally, you’ll want these videos to be shorter and focus entirely on showing a demo of your product or detailing specs and details. You can also embed these videos on product pages or landing pages, so it’s well worth producing high-quality videos.
  • Comparison videos: Should your customer buy the cheaper Product A or, the more expensive Product B? Why should they choose your products over a competitor? Comparison videos can be incredible at converting visitors, but be careful not to be too intense when talking about your competitors — it can be off-putting to viewers and potentially cause other issues.
  • Behind-the-scenes videos: What’s it like to work for your company? What does your office or warehouse look like? How do your teams develop or test products? Behind-the-scenes videos can help create a stronger connection with customers by showing a more authentic side of your company.
  • Giveaway videos: This type of video can either announce a giveaway and how to participate or announce the results of a giveaway. You can also mention the giveaway in your other videos and then create a specific announcement video, or even go a step further and do a live stream.

Try out most or all of these ideas in the beginning to discover what works for you. Once you have a feel for the right types of videos, you can drill deeper into specific topics and keep making new content.

Focus on Engagement, Not Search

A common mistake for many businesses that pivot to YouTube is treating it similar to blog content by placing a lot of emphasis on search optimization. While you shouldn’t ignore keywords, engagement takes priority — and they can conflict.

Headlines, thumbnails, and the videos themselves should encourage clicks and then keep people watching. The YouTube algorithm will reward engagement by suggesting your video to other similar users, which is where most channels get the bulk of their traffic.

You still think about search with specific keywords that you use in the headline and caption. However, keyword-heavy titles often underperform compared to engaging titles.

It can be challenging to get the hang of what’s engaging, and you’ll certainly need to experiment. However, once you find the right formula for your videos, you can potentially earn millions of views of organic traffic.

Build a YouTube Content Plan

Once you have a good idea of what types of videos you want to make, start brainstorming specific topics. Create a simple spreadsheet of topic ideas, the goal of each video, and the type of video for each idea.

Next, strategically organize all of your ideas. Plan out which videos can link to each other, how one video will build up to the next, and the right order for introducing your company or products to a new audience.

Every business will have a different strategy to consider. Take the time to plan out your first five or ten videos, and then start creating them. Don’t spend so much time and energy worrying about your content plan that you don’t end up making any actual content.

Create Your YouTube Channel

Now it’s time to create your YouTube eCommerce channel. The reason this isn’t an earlier step is that now you have a better idea of your overall messaging. Now you can choose the right logo, cover photo, channel description, and links that each work together to convey your core value proposition.

You’ll likely use your company name and logo, but what about the cover photo? Highlighting what’s unique about your site or products with a high-quality image is an ideal way to go.

As for profile links: keep it simple. Don’t make the mistake of using every option and having too many links for a new visitor to click on. Link to your website and nothing else — that’s the goal of your channel. You can link to your socials or other assets from your website.

Create and Upload Your First Video

Now you’re ready to start making videos. Pick from your content plan, write a script, and schedule production. You should already have the right people and equipment in place, which in the beginning, can be a minimal team with a smartphone and still be effective.

Take the time to properly edit your video to make it engaging. Cut out any dead space or fluff; make it concise and to the point.

Once you’re ready to upload, craft a thumbnail and headline that work together to generate intrigue. The goal is to have people click on your video and then be engaged, and those two elements are crucial.

What About YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is the platform’s separate area with a focus on short-form videos, similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Is it worth your time to make shorts for your eCommerce site?

Unless you’re already accustomed to making short-form videos for other sites, it’s worth focusing on standard YouTube videos for a while. You can then explore YouTube Shorts in the future once you have enough content for new visitors to explore after they discover you on Shorts.

Partner With Varos to Maximize Results with Peer Benchmarking

Both organic YouTube videos and paid ads can work together to create a robust presence on the platform that attracts your target audience and makes you an industry leader in the process. 

Creating videos doesn’t often have a direct expense-to-profit relationship since each video builds upon the next, and videos will be published until you remove them. However, paid YouTube Ads require keeping a close eye on costs and results to have results that drive scalable growth. 

Varos offers a unique platform that compares your results to your peers with real-time benchmarking. Below, you can see how our platform always lets you know if you’re leading the charge of falling behind.

Are you ready to unlock more data to drive your marketing decisions, including paid ad campaigns and organic YouTube content? Sign up with Varos today to gain access to real-time competitor benchmarking to make sure you’re always leading the pack.

About the Author

Yarden Shaked

Co-founder & CEO at Varos

LinkedIn

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Chase Dimond | Email Marketing Nerd 📧
@ecomchasedimond

Bottom line: I’m recommending Varos to you all because it’s FREE (for now) and it’s already added a ton of value for myself and my clients.Check it out 👇

Social Savannah
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I would definitely recommend checking out Varos. With Varos you can easily see how your peers are performing, for free. You get insights into not only TikTok Ads benchmarks, but also similar data for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and more. #VarosAmbassador

jason wong
@eggrolI

Varos allows thousands merchants to upload anonymize marketing data across meta and google and aggregating it to show what the average is across different categories and ad spend

Cody Plofker
@codyplof

With varos.com, I can see exactly how our performance across channels stacks up against our competitors in our space.

Barry Hott ☄️
@binghott

Compare your ad performance to benchmarks of companies just like yours, anonymously.
I would've killed for this tool years ago and now it's here and oh it's free. Amazing.

Ron Shah
@obviceo

I've been seeing some content about @Varos_com so we decided to check it out.

One underrated feature of theirs is the Shopify Benchmarking, which is FREE btw.

Literally impossible to access this data anywhere else. Check out what we're seeing at @my_obvi 👇

William Harris
@wmharris101

I'm loving what @Varos_com is doing with providing much more relevant benchmarks for #ecommerce... especially since it shows that we are absolutely DOMINATING @Elumynt on #facebookads!

This is in the Baby and Children vertical.#fbads #ppcchat #retail #dtc

Chase Dimond | Email Marketing Nerd 📧
@ecomchasedimond

Bottom line: I’m recommending Varos to you all because it’s FREE (for now) and it’s already added a ton of value for myself and my clients.Check it out 👇

Social Savannah
@social_savannah

I would definitely recommend checking out Varos. With Varos you can easily see how your peers are performing, for free. You get insights into not only TikTok Ads benchmarks, but also similar data for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and more. #VarosAmbassador

jason wong
@eggrolI

Varos allows thousands merchants to upload anonymize marketing data across meta and google and aggregating it to show what the average is across different categories and ad spend

Cody Plofker
@codyplof

With varos.com, I can see exactly how our performance across channels stacks up against our competitors in our space.

Barry Hott ☄️
@binghott

Compare your ad performance to benchmarks of companies just like yours, anonymously.
I would've killed for this tool years ago and now it's here and oh it's free. Amazing.

Ron Shah
@obviceo

I've been seeing some content about @Varos_com so we decided to check it out.

One underrated feature of theirs is the Shopify Benchmarking, which is FREE btw.

Literally impossible to access this data anywhere else. Check out what we're seeing at @my_obvi 👇

William Harris
@wmharris101

I'm loving what @Varos_com is doing with providing much more relevant benchmarks for #ecommerce... especially since it shows that we are absolutely DOMINATING @Elumynt on #facebookads!

This is in the Baby and Children vertical.#fbads #ppcchat #retail #dtc