A Guide To YouTube Marketing for Ecommerce Stores

Published On: 04 May 2023


Master the art of YouTube marketing for ecommerce success. Learn strategies, tips, and tricks to boost your brand and drive sales on the platform.

The truth is, there is no better time to promote your Ecommerce business with YouTube marketing than now.

Why "now" though?

To start with, YouTube is the second most visited site on the internet. What's more, data shows that consumers are increasingly using YouTube for product research, education, and entertainment.

Lastly, when people spend up to six hours a day watching videos, the writing on the wall is clear.

Marketing on YouTube can help your Ecommerce brand increase awareness, get discovered by new customers, boost SEO, and drive converting traffic to your website.

Whether you're looking to get started or seeking ways to up the numbers of your video marketing strategy, this YouTube marketing guide will help you level the playing field. Draw inspiration from successful brand channels and learn YouTube Ecommerce marketing best practices.

Why create and optimize YouTube videos for Ecommerce?

While there are many benefits of YouTube marketing: reaching a wider audience, improved search visibility, increased brand awareness, driving sales and traffic to your website, and generating leads, YouTube marketing is a competitive space.

Simply creating and posting videos is not sufficient, your Ecommerce brand needs to take a strategic approach to planning, producing, and promoting content on the platform to see sustainable success.

Let's get started.

Proven YouTube social media marketing best practices

For ease of understanding, we're breaking down the tips into three stages: Video planning and creation, production, and distribution.

Planning and creation stage:

Creating a YouTube content strategy for your Ecommerce store

1) Define your YouTube channel goals

The pillar of a successful YouTube marketing strategy is to set a goal you're gunning to achieve with your channel.

Some questions worth asking at this stage are:

  • What do we want from the YouTube channel?
  • What would success look like?
  • What are the common challenges my audience faces and can our videos make their buying decisions easier?
  • Do the videos cover all the stages of the buying journey: awareness, interest, desire, and action?

At the same time, make sure to brand your YouTube channel for business by customizing the following elements as a part of your Ecommerce marketing strategy:

  • Profile picture
  • Banner image
  • Channel description
  • Social links
  • Channel trailer
  • Custom URL

Here's how Training Mask: an Ecommerce brand selling training masks for athletes optimizes its YouTube channel for maximum visibility and conversions.

Training Mask Youtube Strategy

2) Figure out what your audience wants

Every successful Ecommerce marketing strategy on YouTube is centered around aligning the content with what your audience wants. Start by knowing your audience and what type of content they expect to see from your brand.

If you're starting a YouTube channel, take stock of competitors in your industry. Which of their videos get the most views and engagement? This gives a fair idea of the topics your audience searches for and the style of videos they prefer.

YouTube marketing idea:You know the frequently asked questions around your brand or product. Make videos answering them and post them on YouTube along with embedding them on your website.

If you've already uploaded some videos, go to YouTube analytics and you'll see detailed information on the audience demographics, location, and more. You can see how your content stacks up against the other videos you've produced.

3) Keyword research

YouTube keywords are an integral part of your YouTube Ecommerce marketing strategy as they tell you what users are searching for to find the videos they want to watch.

You can use YouTube keywords in your video descriptions, thumbnails, and video titles to increase your chances of ranking for those keywords on YouTube.

The simplest and quickest way to find popular searches related to your queries is by using YouTube's autocomplete function. Start by typing the topic you wish to make a video about and the autocomplete feature gives you multiple options of your keyword, that serve as great video ideas.

SEMrush, Ahrefs, and vidIQ are some other YouTube keyword tools that give you more detailed information such as search volume, clicks, CPC, and more. These YouTube marketing tool are great for Ecommerce companies that have already implemented video marketing and are now focusing on optimization to increase the retention rate and create a better user experience for viewers.

Production stage:

Creating great videos that reach more viewers, gain more subscribers and ultimately increase sales

The answer to the question: what makes this stage the most important part of your YouTube video marketing strategy lies in a particular statistic.

As per Ad Age, about 20% of people will leave after the first 10 seconds of your YouTube video. With everyone including your competitors vying for the audience's attention, it becomes even more important to create a compelling video.

Start with an attention-grabbing introduction capable of evoking a strong emotion: be it humor, nostalgia, inspiration, or anything else. Strive for a ~5 second opener that's punchy and straight to the point.

What's more, add background music that not only sets the mood for the viewing session but also builds an emotional connection. Check if you're legally allowed to use the music in your video.

A case in point is the January Collection launch video by the athletic wear brand Fabethelics. What makes it the best YouTube video for Ecommerce marketing is that the music is on-point: fast beats that support the narrative.

Also, be clearly audible. Ultimately, your audience should understand the messaging. While the background music is ideal for pictorial illustrations, if your Ecommerce product video needs an oral presentation, ensure that your voice is heard above the background music.

Bonus YouTube marketing idea: Don't forget to add a CTA. Experiment with adding clickable annotations in the first few seconds of the video versus placing them toward the end.


Optimizing your video with SEO best practices

1) Compelling titles

Assuming that you have produced a high-quality video, the next step of YouTube video marketing for Ecommerce is to have a compelling title that can lead to more views and clicks.

Some tips to write more engaging YouTube video titles are:

  • Ensure that the title matches your video content while staying away from clickbait headlines.
  • Speak to the pain points of your audience to level up your chances of engagement.
  • Consider adding your target keyword in the title to tell YouTube's algorithm what your video is about. It should sound natural and without forced syntax.
  • Keep the title short, use words indicating urgency, try adding action verbs, or ask a question.

The British fashion store Very is a great example that nails YouTube marketing for Ecommerce.

Its YouTube channel has videos for every age group of the audience as well as separate gifting guides for holidays and different seasons.

The British fashion store Very
The British fashion store Very

As you can see, the tiles are simple, convey the value proposition of the video and help the audience choose Very's products.

2) Customize video thumbnails

Videos and thumbnails are the first elements the viewers see, which is why they should work together.

The video thumbnail is the image that represents your videos on YouTube, website embeds, and social media previews. When marketing on YouTube, it tells the viewer what the video is about and why they should watch it.

Taking inspiration from the UK-based Ecommerce brand Very and its thumbnails, the best practices for creating compelling custom YouTube thumbnails are:

  • Declutter - Use an image that's simple, clear, easy to understand, and has few words that are easy to scan and font that's easy to read on the mobile screen.
  • Focus on faces and emotions - Facial expressions are a preview of the emotions the video will evoke. Take some still photos while filming the video that can be used as a thumbnail.
  • Use bright and contrasting colors to make your thumbnail pop.
  • Consistent watermarks/logos - Add a logo on all your video thumbnails to make it clear that the video belongs to your brand.

Pro Ecommerce marketing strategy: If you're creating a video series on the YouTube marketing platform, create a thumbnail template that would tie all videos together visually.

3) Optimize videos for mobile viewers

Pro YouTube marketing tip 1- Avoid placing the core message in the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video.

For YouTube video campaigns, Google recommends that you should not place the core message in the top 10% and the bottom 25% of the vertical video as these areas get frequently cropped.

Pro YouTube marketing tip 1- Avoid placing the core message in the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video.

Pro YouTube marketing tip 2 -Pay attention to visual hierarchy.

To achieve the greatest impact with your YouTube video marketing strategy, the visual cues should outweigh the audio messaging.

Avoid visual overload by using brought primary colors to highlight important text and experiment with thoughtful use of text size and color.

Another way to optimize your Ecommerce video ads for mobile users is by sticking to bold text that stands out from the color and content of the video. If you feel the text won't be readable, use white text and outline with a thin black border so that it is visible against any background.

Muse is a smart headband that works as your personal meditation coach. The Ecommerce brand used YouTube social media marketing to launch brain sensing headband Muse S.

The text in the video is optimized to highlight the key features and stands out amid a dark background.

Pro YouTube marketing tip 3: Categorize videos or make playlists.

Once you start adding more videos to your YouTube channel, group them into keyword-optimized lists.

Not only does this signal to YouTube what your Ecommerce videos are about, it is also likely to encourage viewers to click the next video in the series, increasing the view count and improving your rankings.

For example, Casper started as a DTC brand for mattresses. While over the years, it has created a strong presence owing to its marketing campaigns, the brand's YouTube Ecommerce marketing tutorials are worth a mention.

The brand created different playlists such as Casper care series, Casper sleep channel, and so on. Note how the brand creates product videos that also target the keywords its target audience typically uses such as how to fluff the pillow.

Casper's YouTube Ecommerce marketing tutorials

4) Run YouTube ads to expand the visibility of your Ecommerce videos

The best part of running video ads on YouTube for your Ecommerce store is that YouTube offers compelling ad formats to engage customers in different ways.

Although your Ecommerce video ads must be hosted on YouTube, they can appear across YouTube and websites and apps that run on Google video partners.

Different ad formats for your Ecommerce marketing strategy on YouTube are:

1) Non-video ads

They're cheaper than video ads: both to create and serve. They're ideal if your Ecommerce brand has a lower budget and still wants to reap the benefits of video marketing on YouTube.

Different ad formats in YouTube - Non-video ads example

2) In-feed video ads/Discovery ads

Instead of being displayed when you play a video, these ads show up alongside YouTube organic search results. They're best when you're competing with similar content and sharing highly-relevant videos on niche topics.

Different ad formats in Youtube - video ads example

3) Skippable in-stream ads

If you have a strong video with an engaging start, these YouTube ads capture the attention of the target audience from the get-go. Since you pay only when the viewer clicks on the ad, in-stream video ads are ideal for driving traffic and conversions.

Different ad formats in Youtube - In stream ads example

4) Non-skippable in-stream video ads

When over 76% of internet users skip ads and have ad blockers, non-skippable in-stream video ads are YouTube ads that users cannot skip while watching a video. You would pay per impression at a cost per 1,000 views.

Different ad formats in Youtube - Non skippable video ads example

5) Bumper ads

Think of bumper ads similar to non-skippable ads, just in a shorter format. Interestingly, when Google analyzed 300 bumper ads, it found 90% created a significant lift in brand recall.

Don't shy away from leveraging the powerful targeting capabilities and wide-ranging ad formats to drive awareness, connect with new costumes, and drive traffic to your Ecommerce site.

Different ad formats in Youtube - Bumper ads example

5) Collaborate with influencers

Working with influencers on YouTube not just helps create content that promotes your products more naturally but also one of the best ways to reach younger audiences (aka the digital natives).

YouTube influencer marketing ideas worth trying:

To make your YouTube marketing campaign more valuable and more persuasive, consider trying some of the following influencer marketing ideas.

1) Unboxing videos

An unboxing video is a brand's shipment being opened on-screen. The perfect example of an unboxing video is by YouTuber CurvyHipsAndTintedLips.

In the description, she includes a note that the brand sent her the subscription box for free. On the other hand, if it's a paid promotion, ensure the influencer mentions it clearly as per YouTube marketing guidelines.

2) Product reviews and tutorials

A more authentic influencer marketing strategy is to ask influencers to review your products on video. It serves dual purposes: firstly a trusted influencer introduces your brand and secondly, they show how to use your products.

In this video, influencer KathleenLights reviews products from Benefit Cosmetics while giving a tutorial on how to use the brand's eyeshadow palette.

3) Giveaways and contests

Consider partnering with an influencer for a product giveaway when launching a new product.

To get the best results, ensure that the influencer has an engaged audience, is relevant to your niche, and aligns with your brand's messaging, and analyze the results to understand the impact in terms of ROI.

6) Make YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts is the platform's attempt at short-form video content, similar to ephemeral videos on other social media platforms like Instagram Reels and Stories, Snapchat Spotlight, and TikTok. Shorts are vertical videos created using a smartphone and uploaded directly to YouTube via the YouTube app.

Creators and brands can use YouTube's inbuilt tools to capture, edit, and add music from major labels along with adding animated text and controlling the speed of the footage.

Viewers can subscribe, like, dislike, share, and comment on your channel while watching the video. What separates it from its counterparts like Stories and Snapchat is that the Shorts remain on YouTube and do not disappear.

A quick tip while setting up YouTube Shorts: either create an entirely separate channel for your Shorts or place the Shorts widget in your main menu.

YouTube influencer Tati has added Shorts to her main channel homepage, giving viewers and subscribers the option of hopping from Shorts to other videos and vice versa.

YouTube influencer Tati

What stands out in Tati's "My Dream Palette" makeup review Shorts is:

  • Getting straight to the point - She grabs the viewer's attention right off the bat.
  • Snappy - It is not a continuous sequence, rather different cuts to keep the viewers engaged.
  • Easily digestible - She doesn't shorten long videos, instead covers a brand review in the short video.

As an Ecommerce brand that has already embraced YouTube video marketing, use Shorts to gauge the appetite of potential leads and customers.

Pro YouTube marketing for Ecommerce tip: For an upcoming product release, you could post a 30-second Short along with a CTA to the landing page where viewers can sign up for early access.

7) Measuring the impact of your Ecommerce YouTube marketing strategy

Those days when great videos used to happen by accident are long gone by. Today, brands need to be strategic with YouTube content. YouTube analytics pinpoint exactly what's working and what's not.

An important part of the Ecommerce YouTube marketing guide is to understand the metrics worth tracking and how to analyze them for sustained success.

Overview - This tab shows the watch time, estimated revenue, and subscribers if you're a part of the YouTube Partner Program.

Real-time gives a performance report for the last 48 hours. Especially when you've just launched a new video, you can see how it is performing or impacting the overall channel performance.

Measuring the impact of your Ecommerce YouTube marketing strategy

Your top content in this period - It shows you exactly what is working and what's not. Furthermore, if you adjust the date range over the channel's lifetime, you can see your all-time best-performing videos.

Measuring the impact of your Ecommerce YouTube marketing strategy


  • View metrics such as impressions, impression click-through rates, views, and average view duration.

Based on the content performance, you can adjust your content strategy.

YouTube analytics

Audience - You'll see returning or new visitors, total members, subscribers, and their demographic, age, and gender information.

YouTube analytics

If these metrics are not growing, it is time to adjust your YouTube marketing strategy.

Scaling your Ecommerce business with YouTube marketing

On one hand, consumers are using videos to discover new brands and understand new products before purchasing them.

On the other hand, this has led to increased competition among brands to create a YouTube Ecommerce marketing strategy that caters to new and existing customers and leads to sales.

The way to an ROI-yielding Ecommerce business's YouTube strategy lies in: focusing on all three stages of the video marketing strategy: pre-production, creating high-quality videos, and optimizing them for the best result.

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