7 Key Steps to Help Your E-Commerce Brand Unlock YouTube Growth

June 1, 2022
by Ashley Cummings

It’s no secret that YouTube is popular. After Netflix, it’s the second most popular streaming service in the world. But successful e-commerce brands are also noticing how enthusiastic YouTube audiences can be. Approximately 70% of users who have seen a product on YouTube have clicked through the ad and purchased the item at least once, according to SproutSocial.

The platform’s estimated 2.6 billion users makes YouTube’s viewers nearly equivalent to a fourth of the world’s population.

Even so, uploading a few YouTube videos as an e-commerce brand and hoping for the best isn’t enough to unlock growth on the platform. That’s why we reached out to successful brands to discuss best practices, recommendations, and observations for success on YouTube.

Step #1: Brainstorm Keyword Ideas To Resonate With Your Market

Krittin Kalra, founder of WriteCream, says the brand starts its process with YouTube keyword research tools like Ahrefs. Once they’ve brainstormed a list of potential keywords to tackle, they then sit down and rank them.

One of the most important elements here is transactional intent. “Transactional intent” refers to whether the keyword hints at the searcher’s plan to buy something. For example, “Best Computer Monitors 2022” is more likely to result in a purchase than “Epic Computer Monitor Fails 2022.” In the first example, it’s clear the search is part of online product research. In the latter, the user is looking for pure entertainment.

“We prefer those topics that have low competition and high transactional intent,” says Kalra. “These topics help us drill down on our niche and deliver quality content that people want to watch.”

Step #2: Help Users Make Purchase Decisions

What is someone typing “Best Computer Monitors 2022” into YouTube doing? They’re clearly looking for credible resources to help them decide which computer monitor they should buy. 

Nunzio Ross, founder and CEO of Majesty Coffee, says the consumer research stage is at the heart of the brand’s YouTube strategy.

“We regularly upload videos that help viewers and clients self-educate about our products, brands, and industry insights to empower them in making purchase decisions,” says Ross. 

Ross reports “slow but steady viewership and engagement growth” with this strategy. Recent videos, such as “Best 7 Superautomatic Espresso Machines,” have achieved thousands of views for the brand.

Step #3: Post Consistently and Note When You Hit Key YouTube Growth Milestones

These two steps alone can guide you to some degree of YouTube success. But as you post, keep an eye on your subscriber count. As you hit new milestones, you can unlock new features on YouTube that will help your growth compound over time. Take advantage of each milestone you achieve:

Keep in mind YouTube won’t necessarily alert you every time you’re ready to upgrade your account — it’s often up to you to be aware these milestones exist. 

Step #4: Avoid Selling Products Directly in Your Videos

Krittin Kalra says WriteCream’s YouTube success is partially due to its conversational approach. “We don’t say, ‘Get XYZ product at 50% discount today,’” says Kalra.

Instead, they dial into the pain points of the viewer, using their videos to address those specific problems. At most, WriteCream includes a light nudge towards the sale at the end of the video.

Why is this so effective? Users don’t go to YouTube to watch ads and commercials. YouTube’s algorithm rewards channels with high average watch times and the longer users watch your videos, the more value YouTube attributes to your video. Planting an ad in the first thirty seconds of the video, or watering down genuinely useful or educational content with promotions, is likely to cost you watch time.

Step #5: Leverage YouTube’s Advertising to Gain Traction

Steps #1-4 will help you build a foundation of quality content. But they don’t guarantee your e-commerce brand will achieve viral success. While it’s important to continue uploading regular content, as you never know which video will resonate with audiences, you can fast-forward the process by partnering with YouTube influencers.

The key is to look for relevant pairings. Kalra, for example, says WriteCream has run YouTube ads on videos of creators within their niche, which is AI-generated cold emails. “This has helped us in getting several customers,” said Kalra.

Step #6: Work With Influencers in Your Niche

Stephen Light, co-owner of Nolah Mattresses, agrees with Kalra. “[Influencers] already have an established following of interested consumers, upping our brand awareness,” says Light. “Anyone that Googles “product reviews” finds videos with real people touching, feeling, and talking about our products, helping push more interested consumers into conversions. Many of these videos receive thousands of views, and since they’re already searching in our product niche, every hit has a higher chance of conversion.”

Step #7: Don’t Forget Your Links

Once you’ve done all you can to maximize the watchability of your videos, optimize for high buying-intent keywords, and post consistently, you’re ready to include one last nudge toward your brand.

Don’t be bashful here. If you’ve already done the work to avoid your videos being flagged and downvoted as “clickbait,” potential customers will be happy to click your links. 

  • Include links in the description of your post. This is particularly useful for “product review” roundups, where customers are already searching for these links.
  • Create product landing pages, if you don’t already have them. Don’t link to “category pages.” Give customers specific next steps to minimize the friction between viewing a YouTube video and buying your product.

Your e-commerce brand may not achieve viral success on YouTube right away, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore this channel as a powerful source of potential revenue growth. Key in to queries with high buyer intent, build useful and educational content, and continue to gently nudge potential buyers in the direction of your brand. 

Get Ready for YouTube Growth

Over time, the compounding growth of YouTube’s algorithm will justify the investment. Contact the team at adQuadrant if you’d like to learn more about unlocking your brand’s potential in 2022.

About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter!

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