YouTube Ecommerce Marketing

by Jason Vaught
YouTube Ecommerce Marketing

If you’re not leveraging YouTube to market your ecommerce brand, you’re missing out on one of the most accessible forms of social media. With 43% of people raising their hand requesting more video content and YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world, prioritize YouTube ecommerce marketing for website promotion.

Want to learn how to deliver video content to your target audience in a way that lets you cross-promote the content within your online store? Then keep reading and find out exactly how to develop a YouTube marketing strategy for your ecommerce website.

What is YouTube Ecommerce Marketing?

YouTube ecommerce marketing uses the many features within YouTube (including organic and paid promotion) to build an audience and reach potential customers. Ecommerce brands use YouTube to promote the products they sell or showcase their industry expertise.

Why YouTube Matters

Google owns YouTube, and that’s important. Google has the most extensive data pool of any other tech company, and they can promote all of YouTube’s content on the world’s biggest search engine. Whereas other social media platforms are reactive, like search engines, people use YouTube videos to find answers to their questions. Marketers can access their target audience with helpful videos that garner trust and brand awareness.

Breaking news: YouTube Ecommerce is now.

YouTube is now officially an ecommerce business. While their previous relationship with Shopify will still exist, they are moving into the online shopping arena and letting brands sell their products directly on the site. Will this also be the case for Google Shopping? Only time will tell.

Why Do ecommerce brands Neglect YouTube Marketing?

The most common excuses are that there are too many platforms to manage or prioritize TikTok. However, the real reason is the brand’s assumption of having to showcase expertise in a long-form format. As if showing your face on camera wasn’t enough, now viewers will test your knowledge at every turn.

But this isn’t the case. Learning along with your viewers is one of the most successful YouTube marketing Strategies. It makes you human, a selling point across all social media platforms. Most brand owners open an ecommerce store because they are eager to learn. Who is to say that just because you start an ecommerce business means you know it all?

Why you Must be on YouTube

Like podcasts and blog articles, we can use YouTube videos across other platforms as a part of your content marketing strategy. As you will learn shortly, you can chop them up and use them for YouTube shorts.

YouTube videos also offer a level of brand control. If you are an established ecommerce store, you can expect customers to search for product reviews on YouTube. Do you want to leave it up to YouTubers, or do you want to create your series of product reviews? Both are the correct answer.

Video marketing also gives a personality to the brand. Building loyalty is complicated when a face isn’t associated with the brand.

How to Start a YouTube Channel

Nobody explains this better than Google, so here are the steps provided directly on their help page.

How To Create a personal channel

Follow these instructions to create a channel that only you can manage using your Google Account.

  1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or mobile site.

  2. Click your profile picture to create a channel.

  3. YouTube will ask you to create a channel.

  4. Check the details (with your Google Account name and photo) and confirm to finish your channel.

How To Create a channel For an Ecommerce business

Follow these instructions to create a channel that can have more than one manager or owner.

You can connect your channel to a Brand Account if you want to use a different name on YouTube than your Google Account. Learn more about Brand Accounts.

  1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or mobile site.

  2. Go to your channel list.

  3. Choose to create a new channel or use an existing Brand Account:

  4. Fill out the details to name your new channel. Then, click create. Now, you have a unique Brand Account.

  5. To add a channel manager, follow the instructions to change channel owners and managers.

Getting Started With YouTube Advertising

Suppose you are not quite ready to immerse yourself in organic YouTube marketing, or you want to double down on your efforts. In that case, YouTube has plenty of video advertising options for ecommerce brands. 

Here are the options you have with YouTube ads. 

Overlay Ads

With an old-school ad-sense look, overlay ads are a lower-cost option. There is a limitation for overlay ads as they can only place overlay image text ads on a computer. Even with this limitation, they come at a budget-friendly cost and might be the right fit for your brand.

Bumper Ads

The name Bumper ads come from the idea of a brief bump in the video with brand promotion. These ads are up to 6-seconds in length and can play prior to, during, or at the conclusion of a video. There is no option to skip these ads.

In-Feed Ads

Formally known as discovery ads, In-feed video ads place your brand, product, or service alongside YouTube content that is likely to be viewed by your target audience. In-feed video ads appear in YouTube search results, YouTube watch next, and the YouTube app Home feed.

In-stream Ads


You have two options when it comes to In-Stream ads:

Non Skippable Ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads can play at the start, during, or at the conclusion of the video. There is no way to skip these ads which is why they come with a premium price. Non-skippable in-stream ads can be up to 15-seconds in length.

Skippable Ads

Like their counterpart, skippable in-stream ads play at the start, during, or at the conclusion of the video. Once 5-seconds of the ad has been played the viewer can skip and return to their video.

Outstream Ads

A unique aspect of outstream ads is they begin with the sound off. Viewers must tap the ad to unmute the video. Like a Page Boost Facebook ad, brands use outstream ads to increase the reach of their own video or channel. 

Where does the ad format appear?

Outstream ads are mobile-only ads and only appear on websites and apps running on Google video partners. Outstream ads aren’t available on YouTube.

Outstream ads can run across a variety of different mobile placements. For mobile web placements, outstream ads appear in banners. In mobile apps, outstream ads appear in banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, and in both portrait and Fullscreen modes.

Masthead Ads

A Masthead Ad is YouTube’s idea of a front-and-center promotion. With a Masthead ad, you can showcase your brand or product in a native video-based ad format. The ad will appear in the YouTube Home feed across all devices. 

These ads are for big brands with big budgets who:

  • Want to buy ads in advance rather than follow an auction format. 

  • Want to drive widespread reach and awareness.

  • Launch a new product for immediate national attention. 

Getting More From Your YouTube Marketing

Your video content can live in more places than on YouTube. One of the best places for your videos to live is on a blog article published on your website. Content marketing has what’s known as “page experience,” which includes imagery such as photos and infographics, audio snippets, and videos!

More often than not, the best way to understand something is through a written and visual explanation. Adding YouTube videos to your website does not require you to host the video, nor does it require any special coding. Across all major ecommerce platforms, you can plug the link into the page through video URL insertion.

YouTube Best Practices for Ecommerce Brands

While there are outliers who break these rules and find success, sticking to these best practices will increase visibility and create a better user experience.

Schedule publishing Dates

Visitors turned subscribers will appreciate it if you keep a consistent content cadence. Like television, having a show or playlist that maintains a publishing rhythm creates a habit within your audience. The urgency of needing to tune in at a predetermined time is excellent for making sure your videos start with momentum.

From a business perspective, having consistent publishing dates ensures your team understands what to record and when. One-off videos might be helpful for breaking news and industry updates, but the time cost of being reactive is more expensive than being proactive.

Schedule Reporting Dates

YouTube analytics has one of the most robust report offerings across all social media channels. They provide insights into organic traffic and your paid advertising. If you work with an ecommerce agency, they will provide these reports to you along with insights into how you can improve.

Include captions 

The primary role of captions is to allow the hearing impaired to get the most out of your videos. However, the primary use differs. People use video captions to watch videos in places where noise is a problem. Whether waiting in line, at home with family, or at work when they shouldn’t be on YouTube, captions will earn you longer watch times.

Another benefit to captions is how they reinforce what the video says. When someone sees and hears words, they are better able to retain the information.

Thankfully, Google takes care of captions for us. With the help of AI, they can transcribe what you say directly on the screen. We have to turn the feature on, which your competitors very well may forget to do.

SEO descriptions 

Most content creators disregard YouTube SEO, and brands can leverage this to their advantage. The content and keywords in your video description play a significant role in discoverability. A good strategy is to introduce watchers to what they will learn, a video summary, internal links to other videos, and external links to resources on your site.

Create Multiple Calls to Action 

In-video links are a little more work but a lot more payoff. Watch a few YouTube videos, and you will see creators pointing to the link above. These links can take people to other videos or a product on your site. Additionally, fill your description with strategic copywriting to support your in-video call to action.

Create time stamps

Time stamps are essential for several reasons. First, they let YouTube viewers quickly get the information they need, thus improving the user experience. Second, Google uses your time stamps across their search engine when people enter queries that match or nearly match what your topic and section covers.

Let’s say you record a video about the new bicycle pump on your website. A time stamp at the “how to use” section of this bike pump will show up in Google when people search “how to use a bicycle pump.” Sometimes it will be a product-specific search; other times, it might be a consumer unsatisfied with their existing bike pump.

Text on thumbnail

YouTube has advanced its scrolling capabilities over the years. Now, people scroll this platform like they do every other one. Adding text to the thumbnail image showing up when people are scrolling provides more context. The text may sometimes be near the title of the video, or it might be something to capture someone’s attention.

Create playlists 

Having playlists helps to categorize your content. We mentioned how you could give your show a playlist name, but sometimes you want a playlist for a specific show category. An auto parts store that reviews products might create separate playlists for interior and under-the-hood reviews.

YouTube Marketing Strategies

When considering your YouTube marketing strategy, understanding the current trends and what’s working is helpful. Still, the best strategy will always be to check off the best practices boxes, create quality content, and deliver it engagingly. Here’s a look at some of what’s popular for YouTube marketing today.

Influencer marketing

YouTube is perhaps the original home of influencers. While they do not own the term influencer, the first platform to offer video created an opportunity for individuals to promote products related to their video topics. Today, YouTube ecommerce influencer marketing is alive and well. Especially for ecommerce brands that offer products where explanations take a little more time.

YouTube Shorts

To keep pace with social media players like TikTok and Instagram, Google created short video placements appropriately titled YouTube Shorts. These short-form videos capture the attention of scrollers looking for a dose of dopamine. For marketers, the short video format is working like a charm. Will it work for YouTube, and will they be able to monetize the feature? We will see.

Digital Marketing For Ecommerce Brands

Are you an Ecommerce brand looking for a digital ecommerce agency to help you scale your online marketing efforts? Our team of digital marketing experts creates custom campaigns for our ecommerce clients for services such as SEO, retargeting, and social media marketing. We can help you create and manage a YouTube marketing strategy to grow your brand on this platform.

Schedule a time to discuss your needs with our fantastic team.

Jason Vaught

About Jason Vaught

Business and entrepreneurship came early for Jason, with his candy selling business being shut down by the middle school principal, which led to his suspension. Taking a break from marketing and strategy until after his formative years, Jason began his first “real” business at 22, which he held until December 2021. Throughout this time, Jason owned various businesses in many industries, which gave him a unique lens to look through. He channeled the information gained from these various perspectives through article content writing. He quickly realized that it took more than good content to rank in Google. This is when his fire for SEO and content marketing first started. Now, Jason focuses all his efforts on SEO and content marketing, finding that he enjoys helping other companies more than his own. There is something special (and spiritual) about being a part of someone else’s success. Personally, Jason most enjoys spending time with his 5-kids and beautiful wife. He’s also passionate about golf, gardening, and reading good books.