YouTube was originally designed to be user-generated-content-driven. But since it has become the second largest search engine (2008) on the planet, marketers, advertisers and broadcasters have flocked to it. Have the E-tailers followed suit or are they lagging behind? The potential for E-tailers to get their name out in the general consciousness has never been better served by a website than YouTube. Ever since they lifted their ban on commercial and marketing videos, the site's content has, while still maintaining a very user-driven amount of content, been flooded with marketing videos and is just about the main location for viral video marketing. So who's using the potential power of YouTube?
Well, Blendtec certainly is. You'll probably know them from the "Will it Blend?" video series. After that campaign they've recorded 500% growth in sales. Then, of course, there's the Old Spice Guy with more than 100,000 subscribers and over 70 million video views (and reports that it didn't impact sales at all as well as pushed sales drastically).
But videos alone aren't what's driving conversion and sales, you've also got to be clever about your other things. At GDN's page I put our URL at the beginning of every video description. Doing that, coupled with clickable calls to action, advertising and other factors could increase clickthrough, sales and revenue. Don't think that you can just toss up some videos and expect people to follow some invisible breadcrumb trail back to your site. Most YouTube visitors are there for video or for a specific video, not shopping around for the best price on a new vacuum cleaner.
Who's Rockin' YouTube?
According to the State of Video in E-Commerce Report Q1 2010 from SundaySky,HSN (Home shopping network) is. In fact they are doing so well that they have no competition. With 55,000+ videos on YouTube, they have 30 times the number of videos that second place, Buy.com, has uploaded to the video sharing site. Closely behind them is QVC followed by Dell, Bestbuy (price check on Aisle BOOM!), Redcats, ToysRUs and some others.
How drastic is the difference? Buy.com has 1,800 (videos) roughly, while QVC has 1,400 and then Dell has 700. So you can see it's a massive drop off. As for views, Nike has 80 million views and HSN has 28.5 million. In 3rd place is Victoria's Secret with 9.5 million views or...wait a second, really? Nike and HSN are beating Victoria's Secret? That's just wrong on so many levels.
What Counts, Videos or Views?
Well it's not the number of views that counts, it's the number of videos...right guys? Actually, one video on the VS channel counts for 10% of all view there. Adriana Lima pushes video views on YouTube for Victoria's Secret, it seems. How's that for Boom?! Personally, I think it's the words 'super bowl' which drove traffic and not her, because the Temperature rising video, is far hotter.
SundaySky found that both the top and bottom ends of the scale are jam-packed with E-tailers. 24% have 0-10 videos in their channel (including no channel at all), while 34% have more than 100. I don't know that their scale is large enough because I would consider both of those numbers on the 'extremely low' side of any scale where a channel has 55,000 videos or over 80 million views.
However, if we look at number of views, 30% have more than 1 million and 26% have less than 10,000. That's a pretty large gap. It certainly seems like 25% of E-tailers have scoffed at the power of YouTube and continue to do so while about an equal amount have embraced it with gusto. So my question is, what the heck are the other 50% of you doing? Have you not decided how to use it? Are you not sure what you're doing? What's going on over there?
Would you like some help? I know some people, and they know some people, and those people know how to make other people do things that people need. Or I suppose you could just read ReelSEO and forgo any arm or leg-breaking (I can neither confirm nor deny the breaking of any appendages during the writing of this article).
There is one final note from the research, Nike keeps an active YouTube channel for each of its sports lines, while many retailers have only one channel. I don't know that it would work for most and the logistics of maintaining a squadron of channels could be more detrimental to many than beneficial. But it was worth noting. I could certainly see a video game publisher breaking down their channels by game or even an online retailer of said games. After all anything with Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Sims or Halo in the title will instantly get traffic, including (possibly), this post.