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eBay Uploads YouTube Buyer Guides to Grab Eyeballs

eBay loaded 97 how-to guides on YouTube in a 3-day period last week as part of its Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. The videos look like other YouTube user-generated content that offer tips on buying or collecting, with each of the unnamed “video bloggers” referencing how they use eBay to find the right products.

Phase one of the eBay marketing campaign actually took place last summer when it outsourced the writing of eBay “community buying guides” to supplement Reviews & Guides published by its own sellers. In phase two that kicked off on March 19th, eBay uploaded the nearly 100 videos to YouTube branded as eBay Community Buying Guides, each linking to one of the text guides it had published on the eBay website.

With the videos, eBay is capitalizing on the fact that consumers put a lot of stock in what fellow shoppers have to say about products and retailers – just look at Amazon or Yelp reviews, for instance. While the eBay videos feature “regular” people and look like user-generated content, it appears the video bloggers were hired through the same company eBay had hired to publish text-based buyer guides that began appearing on the site in August.

A young man is seen on this eBay video on YouTube, “Pair up with the Right Socks for You,” explaining his frustration in losing socks in the laundry and offering tips on buying socks on eBay. The video, published on March 21st, links to a matching guidepublished on eBay on August 20, 2013 called “How to Buy Hosiery and Socks.”

Other buying guides include Choosing the Best Belly Button Rings, Finding the Right Buttons for Your Creation, and Tips to Find the Right Men’s Shirt Fit.

Google has been shown to give preference to YouTube videos in search results, and many Internet marketers advocate YouTube as an important SEO technique.

Interestingly, not everyone was impressed with the content of the text buyer guides eBay commissioned last summer, as noted on the EcommerceBytes Blog. Sellers of vintage clothing called the new guides a “mixed bag,” with one seller on the eBay boards suggested eBay get people onto the vintage clothing guide team who have actually bought and sold vintage clothing. An eBay representative responding to feedback said eBay was making changes to the guides based on the input.

The video buyer guides can be seen on eBay’s YouTube channel, and the text buying guides are found on eBay’s website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.