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If you’re wondering where to sell things online, you can’t go wrong with YouTube. YouTube has almost two billion users each month. Yes, “billion” with a capital “B.” But many small businesses aren’t taking advantage of the power of YouTube. So, you want to get your business on YouTube. But where do you begin? What do you have to say? In this article, we will show you everything you need to know about video content as you learn how to sell on YouTube.

How To Sell On YouTube: The Ultimate 4-Part Guide to Video Content

How To Sell On YouTube Part 1: Your YouTube Set Up

How To Sell on YouTube Part 2: Create Great Content

How To Sell on YouTube Part 3: Amplify Your Content with Free Tools

How to Sell On YouTube Part 4: Go Viral with Your YouTube Store

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How To Sell On YouTube Part 1: Your YouTube Set Up

There are three things you’ll need to get organized before you start creating video content to sell on YouTube.

Video Set Up

If you want to start filming YouTube videos, you’re going to need something to shoot with. You have a smartphone, right? Good. That’s all you need! However, there are many options if you want to get serious. First, buy a tripod for steady shots. Think about a more advanced camera for close-up shots that highlight your product or more complex video productions.

A good microphone is helpful for clear sound, and a lighting kit can make a big difference for how professional your video looks. As you get ready to start shooting, think about your background. Do you want to shoot outside or indoors? If you’re recording video outdoors, look for trash cans and other stuff in your environment that could be distracting in your video. If you plan to shoot indoors, invest in a backdrop that supports your products and brand voice.

Build Your YouTube Store or Landing Page

How much money can you make on YouTube? You’ll be more successful if you use an Ecommerce platform to create a professional Ecommerce business and sell your products online. Using the streamlined tools of the Selz store builder, upload your products with images, add product descriptions, set your prices, and then add products to your new store.

Then go to your YouTube channel and use their customization features to make sure that your YouTube branding aligns with your new online store.

Create Your Media Calendar

You will have a more engaged audience if you post regularly and frequently. Get a big calendar and write out week by week what your videos will cover. Then, plan a loose outline of the content at least three weeks out so when it’s time to post you don’t have to freak out.

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How To Sell on YouTube Part 2: Create Great Content

Now that you have the basics of how to sell on YouTube it’s time to talk about what video content will work best for your Ecommerce business. The best selling content on YouTube doesn’t feel like a sales pitch at all, the best video content is useful and interesting to your audience. Your most important job when creating content to sell on YouTube is to educate and tell a story about your products and your process for your viewers. There are a few different ways you can approach this:

How To Sell on YouTube –  The Q & A Video

Question and answer videos are the best place for you to start with video content. Customers want to know who you are and what you’re all about. Shout out on your social channels before you start shooting so that your fans can send you their questions.

Q & A videos give your viewers real information they want to know. This kind of video content shows that you’re really listening to your customers. Not all the questions will be easy! Address even the tough or uncomfortable questions and you’ll build some serious respect in your community.

How to Sell on YouTube – The Unboxing Video

Unboxing videos are like watching a kid open a present on Christmas morning and seeing their excited reaction. You can’t look away! Your video content will focus on opening up a cool box with secret contents inside. Your video will go over each item in the box and what it’s all about for the viewer. Think BirchBox for makeup and BarkBox for dogs.

The key behind unboxing video success is that people really love getting a closer look at the product they’re potentially purchasing. YouTube viewers like to see genuine reactions from customers and employees alike. Think of the unboxing video as an unveiling video. Whatever angle you choose to take with this format, the goal is to show the customers how exciting your Ecommerce business is.

If you want to do an unboxing of your own product, enlist someone you know to unbox your product. Better yet, send your product to a well-known YouTuber for unboxing.

How To Sell on YouTube – The Vlog

If you’re thinking, “What is a vlog?” you’re not alone! We were all wondering the same thing at one point. Put simply, it’s a video blog, an unscripted, day in the life sort of video.

Your vlog can be a catch-all for when you have a lot of different ideas, or for when you don’t have any! Because it’s off the cuff, it’s always believable and might even be funny. Vlogs are some of the easiest videos to edit because they’re so real. Don’t stress about editing out a blooper, leave it! Your fans will appreciate seeing that it’s not always perfect behind the scenes.

Ask your employees to shoot 15-second videos of their day and make a compilation. Ask one of your biggest customers to give a behind the scenes look at how they use your product. Do a full day with your CEO or founder. These videos are another great way to show your audience the humanity behind your brand. Show your audience what it took to become successful and how you maintain that success. Use the vlog video format to connect to the people you are selling to on a deeper level and to show your industry expertise.

How To Sell on YouTube – The How-To Video

Don’t give away grandma’s secret cookie recipe, but DO jump on the how-to video train. Now, if you’re in the making business, whether that’s artwork, pottery, or those delicious cookies from grandma, you can simplify the how-to so you don’t give away all your creative methods. If you’re known for your beautiful glazed bowls, take the viewer into the studio with you. Show them the type of clay you use, and talk about how you choose your colors. It definitely makes them feel like they understand your process, without giving everything away.

If you are selling digital products or coaching, don’t shy away from the how-to video! Think about your blog topics. You have probably already written a how-to blog or at least have thought about it. Your existing blog content is easy to convert into a how-to video. Whether it is a simple video of you talking through the steps or a screencast of Photoshop tutorials on your computer, the how-to video is a great template for everyone, regardless of your product.

Be thoughtful about editing your video content. People often lean on YouTube to learn rather than going to an expensive class or buying an expensive product. Be informative and share your process, but don’t give it all away.

How To Sell on YouTube –  The Product Review

Product reviews are some of the best video content there is. To start, reach out to some influencers and customers in your network. Even if your company or service is pretty obscure, don’t get discouraged!  With a little research you’re sure to find an audience of people who can give a great review for your products and niche.

Once you find the right reviewers, send them your product for free in exchange for their review. Tell them you want their honest opinion when they receive it and if they love it, you would love to have them do a product review on YouTube. If they aren’t a highly sought after influencer yet, they might just take the free product in exchange for their review. Remember, the bigger the YouTube personality, the bigger their deal will probably be. However, a bigger deal upfront comes with a bigger audience and that could mean great returns for you!

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How To Sell on YouTube Part 3: Amplify Your Content with Free Tools

Did you know YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? It’s not enough to simply have a YouTube channel for your Ecommerce business. You need to demand attention. You need to get subscribers. You need to convert those subscribers into purchasers. With that in mind, we’re here with some insights into the more discreet YouTube features that can help drive traffic to your YouTube store.

Optimize for SEO with Transcripts

When you think of YouTube, you probably aren’t thinking about writing…but hear us out. Every YouTube video automatically includes a transcript (unless you choose to hide it manually). YouTube does a voice translation and provides the entire transcription in a link below the video.

Careful though, these transcripts are never perfect. Your video transcript will probably need a bit of editing. While your fans might use the transcription to remember something specific you said, you can utilize it too. Since Google bought YouTube in 2006, updating the transcript yourself helps your video transcription rank higher in search. Say hello to the top spot!

Think about all the useful information you’re putting into your YouTube videos. Does your Ecommerce business have a blog? Hello, multi-purpose content! Simply copy and paste the transcript to a new post on your website and you’ve got a blog draft. Change it around as needed. You probably don’t want to use the video transcription word for word, but take advantage of this feature to save some valuable time!

Create Playlists for Your Content Niche

Organize your videos into playlists that focus on your audience’s niche interests, it’s a serious courtesy to viewers. Fill your YouTube page with thoughtful playlists that make your YouTube content as enjoyable as possible to your fans! Creating a playlist that flows nicely will not only attract your viewers, but keep them hooked.

Command Creativity does a great job of creating playlists and organizing all of their videos on YouTube.

You can make public or private playlists, and choose to make collaborative playlists as well. Maybe you want to set up a specific YouTube playlist for your loyal subscribers? An organized and user-friendly YouTube channel is a happy and successful YouTube channel.

Create Effective Links with Custom YouTube URLs

Create links that are easy and fun to type! For the easy use of your potential subscribers, take advantage of YouTube’s custom URL feature.

You can make your custom URL anything you want…as long as it’s available, so make your links short and creative. You want a URL that’s easily identifiable. The ideal name would be your business name, but it could also be a product you’re well-known for, or your personal name if you’re a well-known face for your brand or Ecommerce business.

You can’t change a URL or re-route it to another account once you set it up. So sleep on it. To take advantage of this feature you have to meet the eligibility requirements, including a minimum of 100 subscribers. If you aren’t there yet, let this be your motivation!

The Power of Sound

What’s better than a great video? A great video with excellent, well-timed, legal sound. Which is why YouTube has an entire audio library of royalty-free music for you to download whenever you feel like it.

Write Great Video Descriptions

Your YouTube video description is the best place to start for SEO. Your video content description should be at least 150 words. Your video description should include keywords that relate to your product and niche so that prospective buyers can easily find your content. YouTube pays more attention to your first 2-3 sentences, so edit carefully and put your most important keywords at the beginning.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Selling Videos with YouTube

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How to Sell On YouTube Part 4: Go Viral with Your YouTube Store

Want to know how to go viral? Remember when Kim Kardashian broke the internet? Of course you do. You didn’t have to be a fan of the Kardashians to see the images. There were memes, there were tweets, there were copycats.

But what does this have to do with how much money you can make on YouTube? Well…everything. Kim Kardashian is a master of viral marketing, and you can be too. These helpful tips can seriously increase your chances of breaking the internet yourself.

How to Go Viral – Make It Actionable

What is the goal of the video you’re making? This should be a question you ask yourself every time you come up with an idea. There should be something users are taking away from everything you post. If you can’t come up with a good reason, your viewers won’t be able to either.

Think about that killer apple pie recipe that’s been in the family for decades. Shareable content is usable and actionable.

Make sure that everything from your video title to your video description reflects your ultimate goal.

How to Go Viral – Make It Emotional

Tugging on the heart-strings can be a very effective marketing tool. When your subscribers are emotionally invested, they’re more likely to share with their social networks. The more they share, the more their friends share, and then BOOM. You’ve gone viral.

How to Go Viral – Make It Shareable

This tactic builds sharing directly into your video content. It’s a way to be very literal about going viral.

Think of an incentive that would speak to your subscribers. What’s in it for them if they invite a friend to like your channel or purchase something from your website? Dropbox was able to grow extremely quickly when they gave their users 16 GB of free storage for every friend to sign up.

So choose your CTA and build it directly into your next video. Start and end the video with the action item (for example, sharing with friends) and see where it takes you.

How to Go Viral – Make It INSANE

BuzzFeed is really good at this in their hundreds of daily posts. They constantly share hacks, videos, or memes that you’ve never seen before. Videos that are so ridiculous you can’t keep them to yourself.

Remember The Dress? Is it black and blue or white and gold? I was working in the BuzzFeed office the day that story broke the internet and what a time to be alive. People in offices around the world were turning to each other asking the same question. “What color do you see?”

How To Sell On YouTube – Market like Crazy

While the above tips will help you go viral, marketing is an important tool to drive relevant traffic to your Ecommerce business and YouTube store.

Read: YouTube Marketing Strategy: Everything You Need to Know

To make the most of YouTube, take advantage of these marketing strategies:

Call To Action

This can be the easiest thing to forget when you’re learning how to sell on YouTube, but it’s one of the most important. With a call to action, you’re telling your customers what to do. Do you want your fans to visit your website? Follow a link to a free trial? Sign up for your email list? Tell them! They will listen…and it will convert to cash.

Follow Influencers

Influencers will post videos about your product in exchange for free stuff, a small fee, exposure on your channel, or whatever else you can dream up. Take them up on it!

Engage with Commenters

You will receive both glowing and scathing comments on your videos. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Respond to every video comment. The good and the bad. Treat them all with respect, and address their compliments or concerns. Viewers will notice that you’re engaged. This attention goes a long way when your customer is deciding whether to buy from you or a competing brand.

Cross-Promote

If you’re on YouTube, you’re probably also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn too, right? Right? Every time you post a video, share it on your other channels, and think about how your video content applies to your unique viewers on each social channel.

Looking for more ideas for how to promote your YouTube store? Subscribe here for more social media tips.

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How to Sell on YouTube: Checklist

Selling on YouTube isn’t your only job, so this YouTube cheat sheet will be handy. Print it out and stick it on your fridge as you put what you’ve learned about how to sell on YouTube into action.

Your YouTube Set Up

  • Video Set Up
  • Build Your YouTube Store or Landing Page
  • Create Your Media Calendar

Create Great Content

  • The Q & A Video
  • The Unboxing Video
  • The Vlog
  • The How-To Video
  • The Product Review

Amplify Your Content with Free Tools

  • Optimize for SEO with Transcripts
  • Create Playlists for Your Content Niche
  • Create Effective Links with Custom YouTube URLs
  • The Power of Sound
  • Write Great Video Descriptions

Go Viral with Your YouTube Store

  • Make It Actionable
  • Make It Emotional
  • Make It Shareable
  • Make It INSANE

Market like Crazy

  • Call To Action
  • Follow Influencers
  • Engage with Commenters
  • Cross-Promote

We want to see your amazing YouTube videos soon! Don’t let us down. Get on YouTube and start selling. You got this.

This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

About the author

Erin Frye

Erin Frye

Erin Frye is a Freelance Writer from North Carolina. After college, she moved to New York City to write for BuzzFeed. The big apple was an adventure of a lifetime, but she ultimately realized she was best suited for life below the Mason-Dixon line (less rats, more biscuits). Erin now owns a house in the mountains with her partner and their English Bulldog. When she’s not writing, you can find her loudly singing Taylor Swift songs off-tune or celebrating #winewednesday.

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