Social media has emerged as an engine of growth in the e-commerce age, but amongst all the social media platforms, none has quite the untapped potential that YouTube does.

This is because creating video assets gets you more bang for your effort than just about any other kind of content. For example, YouTube videos can be used:

  • To drive engagement, loyalty, and content marketing directly

  • To show off products in listings and offers

  • To provide detailed information about your company and your offerings

  • As ads on other social media platforms

  • As ads on YouTube itself

Successful small- to mid-sized business are increasingly using video content to drive traffic and sales. Based on what some of the most successful are doing, here are several kinds of videos you should be considering making about your products.

As you read, check out the videos on the right side of this post for varied examples of what successful eBay sellers in particular are doing with video.

1. The "our business" video.

These videos introduce your business and tell your audience why they should buy from you. They're emphatically not just ad pitches; social media is generally the wrong place for that.

In this kind of video, you may choose to get excited about your mission and values in the world. You may talk about why you love the business you're in, the products that you sell, and the people that buy from you. You may show a few of your products, but all by way of showing enthusiasm for your mission.

Whatever you choose to put in it, it should show something beyond your inventory and something beyond the idea that you want to earn sales.

2. The "how to" explainer video.

These videos are not primarily about the products that you sell, but about how those products get used. These are the classic social media "content marketing" videos.

Sell garden tools? Start producing videos on key gardening topics—using and pitching your tools along the way. Sell wristwatches? Start producing videos on how to use a chronograph with a tachymeter to time a race, or how to use bezel compass marks to indicate direction. And so on.

Use this content not to sell your products or your company but rather to sell your expertise about the kinds of products that you sell. It's useful to your audience, which builds loyalty amongst precisely the people that are your biggest potential market, and it establishes by implication that since you are an expert, the products that you offer are expert-approved.

3. The "show off a product" video.

These videos, which are easy to make, simply show your excitement for the best products in your niche (at least the majority of which you conveniently carry).

Start the video by introducing yourself, your store, and the product featured in the video as an excitement-worthy item in your inventory.

Show the product a great deal, from different angles, as you talk about its specifications and properties. Gush over the good points. Relay weaknesses, but don't call them that—simply outline them accurately and move on (not "it's only got one megabyte of memory, which is a forgivable downer" but rather "it comes with one megabyte of memory and an 8.4 inch screen").

Include common uses for the product (not necessarily shown, but named) and how much buyers have liked it. Wrap up with a price and a nudge to go and pick one up at your store.

4. The "review" video.

Closely related to the the product video, the review video tries harder to be objective, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses of the product objectively.

In some cases, you might pick two products that you carry that directly compete with one another—and between which shoppers might be having difficulty deciding—and help shoppers to decide.

The best review videos give shoppers an honest view of the strengths and weaknesses your products, building trust in your honesty and expertise as a seller, while continuing to drive enthusiasm about your goods and your business.

5. The "seasonal promotion" video.

As YouTube marketing videos have grown amongst sellers, the promotion video has also become a genre of interest to shoppers.

In the promotion video, sellers outline a promotion—a discount, holiday sale, bundle buy, free gift, or other shopper enticement—and they do it before the promotion actually begins.

The video outlines which products are going on sale, at what prices, when the promotion begins, and when it ends. It sells the promotion as an opportunity for shoppers to get a great deal—and as something you're really excited to offer them as a seller.

Be sure to mention any promotions that are rare and unusual. Think "this is the first time we've ever discounted products from Brand X" or "we've never offered a discount this big before; it took a lot of work, but we're thrilled to bring it to you."

These videos go over well with shoppers and, combined with clear timing information, tend to magnify the successful effects of a promotion by orders of magnitude.

Get Out There and Video

Over the last year or two, some of the most innovative and successful small and mid-sized sellers have led the way in creating this new genre of promotional video content that shoppers not only enjoy, but adopt as entertainment.

In fact, there are three keys to making all of these kinds of videos a success, beyond the content shown in them:

  • They should feature a real person and a real voice, who excels in speaking on video and is ready to represent your business through many videos to come

  • They should be entertaining and useful—things that shoppers seek out and want to watch

  • They should be made regularly and in volume, and posted to a single place—like your YouTube channel—that shoppers are encouraged to like and share

We won't say that you'll be completely left behind if you don't start a video channel somewhere—though it could certainly happen if a competitor takes these steps and you don't—but we will say that if you aren't out there branding yourself in video over the next year or two, you're likely leaving money and loyal shoppers on the table.

Want tips + tricks?
Join the Newsletter

Get started for free today!

Try it free

Join the 200,000+
using inkFrog!