Social Media

Ecommerce Know-How: Consider YouTube Promoted Video

YouTube Promoted Video lets ecommerce merchants combine the power of television commercials with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.

Internet video is one of the fastest growing media forms in the world. From June to August 2009, American Internet video consumption grew from 19.4 billion to 25.4 billion views—a 30 percent increase in just 90 days. YouTube alone had nearly 10 billion video views in August 2009, according to comScore data. All of that video consumption implies that video ads—commonly known as commercials—and web video are great ways to communicate with American consumers.

Unfortunately, commercials have traditionally been an expensive form of advertising. So much so that many ecommerce businesses have avoided them. And ecommerce web video has often only included product introductions.

In this edition of “Ecommerce Know-How,” I will (1) briefly introduce you to YouTube Promoted Video. and (2) suggest three kinds of video-commercial campaigns you can try.

YouTube Promoted Video

Since YouTube is a Google company, it should not be a surprise that the YouTube Promoted Video service has a strong family resemblance to Google’s famous and profitable AdSense network. The YouTube service allows marketers to upload videos (a commercial or other web video content) and have those videos appear in a special “Promoted Video” section based on keyword context.

The YouTube Promoted Video process goes something like this:

  • Upload your video
  • Create a video headline (25 character maximum)
  • Add two lines of descriptive copy (35 characters per line)
  • Select your keywords—pick no more than ten for best results
  • Create a budget
  • Measure your success
  • Make changes and optimize just like other PPC marketing

YouTube will bill your credit card periodically after users click your ad and view your video. (Just as you would expect in any PPC ad network.)

Given that 161 million Americans watched online videos in August 2009, your YouTube Promoted Video ad has the potential to reach the masses.

Three Promoted Video Campaigns You Can Try

Now that you know about YouTube Promoted Videos and you’ve read a little something about video production, let me suggest three campaigns that you can use to boost your site traffic, brand, and sales.

  1. The Fact-to-Benefit Bridge CommercialSometimes it is all right to just sell your products. There is nothing wrong with developing videos that describe the facts about your products and explain how those facts benefit potential customers. For example, if you sell time-saving kitchen gadgets, consider a demonstration video that shows how one of those gadgets works (the facts), demonstrating how much time its saves (the benefit).
  2. The Entertaining Web VideoThe folks at Blendtec have attracted millions of views of their “Will It Blend?” video series, which features the company’s powerful blenders devouring unlikely items like golf balls, iPhones, and Nike running shoes as well as bananas, berries, and ice cream. These videos are a good example of entertaining web videos that also help to sell a product. If you decide to create an entertaining video, be sure that it helps to relate the important facts about your products or your brand.
  3. The Educational Web VideoAdditionally, you might consider educational or teaching web videos. These web videos are very similar to the informational webinars we publish here at Practical eCommerce. They teach viewers how to complete a task that is related to the presenters business or products.For example, if you sell woodworking tools you might promote a video describing how to build an end table or how to carve a duck decoy. The video would be focused on completing the task but it would also introduce viewers to the aforementioned woodworking tools. A second example might be a company that sells stationery and pens promoting a video about learning calligraphy. It would teach viewers about the art form while showing off the products the store sells.

Summing Up

YouTube’s Promoted Video service creates many new opportunities for ecommerce marketing. And while it will certainly take more work to develop a video than to compose three lines of text for text-based ads, the format is worth exploring. I hope these three campaign ideas will get you started. If you do decide to develop a promoted video, please let us know in the comments below.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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