The Retail Reach of YouTube

by : 

Megy Karydes

April 20, 2015
Marketing Mondays - The Retail Reach of YouTube

Before you dismiss YouTube as too hard, consider this: you can upload a video straight from your smartphone in one minute or less!

What I absolutely love is that YouTube is so easy and the search engine optimization is so rich. Even if you don’t have video footage, you can upload a video of great photos of your retail store or studio space. The goal is to give viewers a glimpse into your retail or wholesale business so they want to learn more about you and your business.

A quick YouTube search for “gift shop” finds me watching this video of the world’s largest gift shop, located in Las Vegas. I can neither confirm nor deny it’s the largest gift shop in the world, and the video is far from breathtaking, but that’s not the point. If I was heading to Las Vegas and needed to bring back souvenirs or something that screamed Las Vegas, wouldn’t this store be a good option?

The only thing the person who uploaded it did was walk around the store videotaping with her smartphone and upload her video onto YouTube. And, while I think her video is a bit dull, at the time of this writing, she had over 9,000 views.

Why not start your video outside your store or studio’s door, have someone open it to let you in, and do a slow pan of the interior? Then focus on one item to end it. The video could be 30 seconds to a minute in length. A tease, if you will, for what’s in store (pun intended).

Check out the promo video for Twig & Willow Store in Long Beach, Calif. How cute does this shop look?! The video was created using photography and video footage, and I just adore the music. This one took a bit longer to create, but if you’re willing to learn, most computers come with video-editing software that makes creating these kinds of videos easy (and free). Or, you can download free editing software if you don’t have it already installed on your computer.

If you decide to go for it and create your own video, make sure it’s short (less than 3 minutes – try to create it closer to 2 minutes total). Unless you’re showing someone how to make something, people’s attention span for these kinds of videos is short. Keep your video short and sweet. It’s better to have several videos than one very long one.

Then, before you upload it, have these things ready: what words will people be using to find your video? These are the words you want to use in your description. This is KEY because this is how people will find your business. If you’re a gift shop in Long Beach, Calif., that sells locally-made jewelry, apparel, and accessories, for example, you’ll want to include a description like:

"Megy’s Gift Shop is a local, independent gift shop in Long Beach, California, that offers locally-made jewelry, women’s apparel, and women’s accessories such as handbags and scarves. You will find unique gifts from local artists in one of the most art-friendly cities in southern Los Angeles County. We’re nestled between some of the hottest restaurants and coffee shops, so bring your girlfriends and make a day of fun!"

Notice the description is short (three sentences), yet it’s packed with search engine-friendly language. Looking for a gift shop that sells locally made items in Los Angeles? This will show up. If they’re specifically searching for shops in Long Beach, it will show up. If your business carries something exclusive, mention it.

Also, the description tells you not only what you’ll find at their shop but nearby, too. The goal is to entice people to want to take time to come in. Knowing there are other things to see or do if they make the trek may be the deciding factor to visit.

Setting up a YouTube account is easy (and free) and a great way to get your gift and home retail shop or wholesale business some visibility with tremendous visual appeal. Is it something you can set up today? I’d love to see your video! Tweet it to me @megy so I can share it, too!

Editor's Note: For more resources on creating and uploading videos to Youtube, read "Share-Worthy" and check out our video tutorials.

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.