4 Dec 2018

How to Sell your Print on Demand Products Through YouTube

Cute pet fails. Drag queens. ASMR. Conspiracy theories.

Whatever you’re searching for online, we all know that YouTube hits mean BIG business. Each day alone the platform racks up a whopping 5 billion views in total from all over the world.

When it comes to influencers and brands, the biggest and best know the importance making use of YouTube can have on increasing traffic and sales. According to Amazon’s Alexa, YouTube is in fact the second most visited site on the Web, so it’s no wonder that many people have been able to build a career from the engagement on their online videos.

But as with every great venture, there is often a plight that follows. In this case it was the recent dawn of the ‘Adpocalypse’ – which saw Youtube changing their rules regarding ad revenue for users. The onset of this has made it increasingly difficult for initially successful Youtubers to make money from their channels in recent years and begged the question: where does this leave the future of YouTube?

Luckily, there are new and improved ways to get around this if you’re an avid influencer. Increasingly, one of the most lucrative, long-lasting ways to increase revenue is by creating and selling merchandise.

Enter Print-on-Demand! If you haven’t yet heard of it, Print-on-Demand makes this easy for busy YouTube influencers to sell custom merchandise, and the best part? Once everything is set up, whenever you make a sale, every step (including packing and shipping) is taken care of for you, giving you more time to spend on other things…like growing your online presence.

The bottom line is this: if you’ve built a large and engaged audience on YouTube, then with the correct approach you can find a way to sell products through YouTube. In this article, we’re going to take you through 6 steps to do exactly that.

1. Create your videos

When looking at the most successful YouTube influencers and their content, you might notice a theme: the more interactive the video, the more attention their video seems to generate. There’s something to be said for actively engaging your audience here: answering questions about your products either in the comments, or using a Q&A video can be the perfect way to speak directly to viewers and let them feel like they have a say in what goes into your content.

Listen to your audience. They’re often vocal about the types of content they want to see next, so it can be useful to go with the consensus, while taking into account individual requests and one-off suggestions can give you ideas for future content.

Another top tip to bear in mind is to always give them more. Your audience are inherently curious (i.e nosey!) so a great way to peak their interest is to show how the design/manufacturing process via a behind-the-scenes video.

Next up, it’s time to consider sharing reviews of your products. Actions..or in this case reactions speak louder than words. Reaction videos have been having a bit of a moment on Youtube, and it all boils down to the fact that testimonials are a great way to enhance your brand, not to mention the added bonus that product reviews make great vlogs/videos from a content perspective.

Next, focus on making topical videos, and always be tailoring content to your viewers. I.e. if you’re releasing a clothing range, film a ‘What I wear in a Week’ video. You viewers have found you for a reason, they’ve come for the content and stayed for the style you deliver it in.

It’s no secret that as a youtuber, you’re under a lot of pressure to come up with completely fresh and exciting content every week, however this is not to say that you can’t apply some of this creativity to your merchandise too. A great example of an influencer applying creativity that translates to their merch is American YouTuber Jenna Marbles, who sold custom plush toy versions of her dog to her online followers.

2. Get Traffic to your Site

So you’ve established your audience and done the groundwork to get people watching videos about your products. But next comes the all-important part: getting them to your website to actually buy the products.

Linking direct to your online store from a YouTube video is a super effective way to showcase your products, and the use of video annotations makes it simple for users to click straight through with no fuss.

For a detailed how-to on how to set this up for your current videos, try this guide from Selz. (However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that video annotations don’t work on mobile devices.)

Next up, don’t forget to include links in your video descriptions. Sure, it sounds obvious, but the viewer should never be left guessing where they are being directed to next. The perfect way to encourage viewers to head to your e-commerce store is by including links directly to the product page in the description.

Applying interactive cards at the end of videos are the perfect way to give viewers more ways to engage with your brand. Play with the formatting and you can ensure that you’re left with a sleek call to action when your video ends.

3. Marketing your YouTube Videos

An audience that feels acknowledged is a loyal one. Engaging with your online community and answering their questions can go a long way in promoting your brand. The perfect ways to do this are by replying to comments on social media, sharing others’ posts and answering comments on videos to name a few.

Keywords always play a major role in SEO ranking. Increasingly, it is becoming more acknowledged that Youtube SEO can in fact gain you far more search traffic than certain search engines combined…including Yahoo and Bing, when done right. Put some time aside to invest specifically in YouTube SEO by doing the following:

  • Always include a detailed description and multiple links to your landing page, along with an actual description of the video.
  • Use keywords in your video title
  • Add keywords as tags to your video
  • Use SEO optimised video descriptions
  • Brush up on the YouTube ranking factors


4. Promote Outside of YouTube

It’s important to share and embed your content across all of your social media channels to ensure you’re getting wider reach all round.

Consider added value of the blogosphere – contact blogs who may want to share your content, or try your products.

Finally, start a blog of your very own for your YouTube channel. If you have a following, then people want to hear what you have to say. Ensure you’re utilising your platform by starting a blog on your chosen area of expertise.


5. Run Campaigns to get YouTube Channel Subscribers to Sign up to your Email List

Email is still one of the top converting channels for eCommerce, and it can sometimes be difficult to consistently achieve positive ROI using paid social (Facebook) and PPC (e.g. Google / Bing). It follows therefore that building your email list is a high priority to take your marketing to the next level.

Image source

Organic leads are harder to come by, but often have a much better payoff. Rather than paid advertising for advertising’s sake, try running campaigns to build your email list. This can then be used repeatedly in the future as a channel to promote your merchandise.

You can run viral giveaways in return for subscribing to your email list and also include a call to action in all videos and descriptions encouraging viewers to subscribe. In the long run an email list that you own and control could become your top converting channel that you can use whenever you launch some new merchandise.

Example by True Crime Garage (podcast):


6. Run remarketing ads on Google targeting on YouTube channel views.

Recently, influencers are acknowledging the power of remarketing in relation to their videos. With remarketing, you can show personalised ads to the people who have previously interacted with your YouTube channel.

So how does it work? By linking your YouTube channel to a Google Ads account you can create remarketing lists based on different actions taken by viewers. This means you can show personalised ads to viewers depending on which one of your videos they watched. Ultimately, this allows you to improve your ROI and only target the people who are most interested in your products. It provides the perfect opportunity to hone in on certain viewers, be more creative and personal, and take the time to explain why your products are beneficial to them as individuals.

Top Tip: by having the Facebook pixel on your e-commerce store – you can also build an audience for remarketing on Facebook. There’s a wealth of useful information on how to utilise Facebook to more effectively market your products, including this handy guide for marketing custom merchandise.

People who are retargeted are in fact 70% more likely to convert on your website than first-time visitors! The best YouTube influencers are known for producing high-quality products that have been designed especially for their audience, so nurture your audience’s interests and reap the benefits.

YouTube is a fantastic platform for building a loyal following, eager to see your next video. With the right approach and tactics, you can also use YouTube to your advantage in promoting your very own range of custom merchandise. We hope this article has given you some inspiration.

Want to sell your own print on demand products? Check out our Merch Apps!

eCommerce Merch Plugin