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Fri May 4 2012 19:24:17

YouTube Videos that Drive Sales

By: Julia Wilkinson

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YouTube has been nothing short of a revolution for many people..not just for entertainment, but also online learning, how-to, and, of most interest to online sellers, subtle marketing.

Note that the marketing has to be "subtle." As covered in this Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update article about how sellers can use YouTube to spur sales, the way to bring in buyers is not so much to create out-and-out video "ads," but quality, helpful content that is related to your product or product industry in general.

I was amazed at all the creative ways Etsy sellers in particular had figured out how to weave YouTube videos into the fabric of their online presence. There are in essence three genres of videos they use: "Tutorials/How-to," "How It Works," and "Process/Storytelling."

I think the how-to/tutorial is one of the most easy and effective ways to create an effective YouTube presence. I'd be interested in getting your thoughts on that, however. An example of an effective "How-to" videos is John Golden's "Resin Jewelry Tutorial," boasting over 367,000 views!

[Above, "Resin Jewelry Tutorial with John W. Golden Part 1," a how-to video for using epoxy resin, silver-plated rings and pewter pendant trays to create jewelry from reproductions of your artwork. (Part 1 of 3).]

Suzanne Wells, "The eBay Coach," has also done many how-to videos about selling on eBay, including one with one of her highest view counts over 15,000, a simple clip about "eBay Shipping - Flat Rate Mailers." She says she likes to use online screen capture software for many of her videos - it's not always about being on camera. (Especially if you're camera-shy!) And online seller and Internet Marketer Jim Cockrum has said he likes to work with Camtasia Studio. (Camtasia Studio is a popular program for creating videos using screen captures, but at $299, it's not cheap.)

And I have also benefited from many YouTube how-to videos that are not directly online selling related. For example, one of the things I sell from my Etsy shop are custom-made necklaces and other jewelry where I sew vintage buttons and other items onto necklaces and other jewelry. I have learned a lot from various sewing and craft how-to videos, including a simple one about how to tie off a hand-sewn knot.

And one font of how-to and educational videos is  "Khan Academy," http://www.khanacademy.org/, where you (or your kids) can brush up on everything from "arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice." They are "on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace."

Some "Commercials" Do Work

However there was one Etsy user video I did not include in the EcommerceBytes article due to space constraints...it's categorized as a "cute commercial" by an Etsy staffer.

In "Dirty Deeds Soaps Lumberjack Commercial" (see pic at top left of blog post), a mock 12-step support style "lumberjack meeting" convenes (complete with a "Coping with Chainshaws" pamphlet), and one lumberjack steps off to whip off his fake beard and confesses, "I like to shave." It closes with the soap's motto, "With Dirty Deeds Soaps, you can get a shave even a lumberjack can be proud of."

This video which is more of a straight "ad" works because it's funny and entertaining.

So there are many ways you can increase your brand awareness and ultimately drive sales to your products, but you need to be sure you're doing it in a way that provides value, and makes your videos fun, interesting, or informative to watch.

What are your thoughts on YouTube videos including them as part of your overall selling strategy? Have certain videos worked for you, or not, and why? And what screen capture software do you use?  




Comments (4) | Permalink

Readers Comments

YouTube Videos that Drive Sales   YouTube Videos that Drive Sales

by: Charlie W. This user has validated their user name.
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Sat May 5 20:17:57 2012

Instead of video, I've added audio to my Ebay listings. In my case, the audio isn't intended to make the sale. Instead, it helps to explain what they need to do *after* the sale to personalize their item.

See eBay item number 290707263805 as an example. My narrator is a synthesized voice. It sounds a little robotic in places, but for the most part, it's one of the most natural-sounding TTS voices I've heard. It's friendly enough and it gets the job done.

It's not an auto-play audio (that's so annoying) so a Buyer will only hear the extra instructional message if they choose to click the 'play' button. I can tell you that after adding the audio to my pages, I've had *fewer* questions and *fewer* problems and *fewer* delays when it comes to Buyers submitting their personalization details.

YouTube Videos that Drive Sales   YouTube Videos that Drive Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
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Sun May 6 12:47:54 2012

Charlies, that's interesting about audio. So it keeps your buyers q's etc down..have you found it drives sales or have you not been able to tell? Thanks for commenting! - Julia

YouTube Videos that Drive Sales   YouTube Videos that Drive Sales

by: Charlie W. This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 6 16:05:39 2012

When I added the audio, I was more concerned about the number of repetitive questions from buyers ALONG WITH the fact that I was having difficulty in getting buyers to follow-through with filling in the personalization form *after* they had completed the purchase.

I never really paid attention to whether or not it had any positive effect on sales. I just noticed a big reduction in the number of times I'd need to chase down customers to get them to tell me how to personalize their items.

So, unfortunately, I don't have any before/after comparison numbers with regard to any increase in sales. I'd assume that it would have a positive effect, however. I hope potential buyers see the audio as being unobtrusive, yet helpful.... and that it gives them the impression that I'm concerned about being able to process their order promptly and accurately.

It definitely hasn't hurt sales as far as I can tell.

YouTube Videos that Drive Sales   YouTube Videos that Drive Sales

by: G-and-A This user has validated their user name.
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Mon May 7 12:05:02 2012

Bonanza.com also has a feature where sellers can add a video to their booth page.  I think this would be a great idea, especially where sellers are making and selling their own creations.  It would be a good opportunity to show their woodworking shop, blacksmith tools, etc.



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