Woman watching Square Installments video on a laptop

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but a video shows a thousand pictures. YouTube is the second most-viewed platform in the world equating to billions of clips watched every single day.

If you run your own business, it’s a veritable gold mine of opportunity – a chance to build and promote a solid brand and to capture new sales in a highly engaging, authentic way.

Why sell on YouTube

If you’re not already on YouTube, then you should be. After all, what other platform gives you unlimited access and exposure to a major eCommerce market for free?

Yes, that’s right – through YouTube, you can reach a worldwide audience, and it doesn’t have to break your budget. Sure, there are paid features, but if you’re taking your first steps into video content creation, you can get started in minutes with nothing more than a YouTube account, a smartphone and some free tools.

For businesses looking to improve their reach, YouTube is one of the best places to do it. According to one report, 76% of people asked agreed video helped them reach their goals more than any other type of media.

Where to start?

To start selling products on Youtube, you need to create a channel. But before you do that, set up a Google account. If you already have Gmail or use any other Google apps, you’ll already have one, so jump to step two.

Once you’ve got your Google account sorted, you’ll automatically have a personal YouTube account, but you need to create a brand account. Simply go to your YouTube page and click ‘Create a Channel’.

Give your channel a name and follow the steps to customise your profile, adding in branding, logos and a bio about your business. You are one step closer to Youtube selling.

Filming equipment

Worrying about how and what to film can put businesses off before they’ve even started, but the beauty of YouTube is you don’t need much to get going at all.

A smartphone is perfect for creating 4K videos in minutes, and you can upload them directly to your channel.

Still, if you’re serious about selling on Youtube, and turning your channel into a great sales generator, then at some point you may wish to invest in some more professional equipment.

Here are our top picks for taking your filming to the next level:

  • A tripod is a must-have bit of kit – vital for steady shots and being hands-free when filming.

  • Lighting – conventional overhead lighting can cast shadows which don’t look great on video, but a simple budget-friendly set-up can make your clips look more professional.

  • Camera – if you want to step it up from a smartphone, there are plenty of budget-friendly camcorder options. Pick one that shoots the recommended 1080p.

  • Microphone – while most smartphones and cameras have built-in mics, a separate USB microphone for voice-overs improves your video quality. A shotgun mic is great for enhanced sound if you’re using a camcorder.

  • Video editing software – for simple videos you don’t need anything fancy, and iMovie for Mac or Movie Maker 10 for Windows is more than enough. But if you do need in-depth editing, there are plenty of subscription option platforms out there like Adobe Premier Pro.

  • Backdrops – not strictly necessary but a background coordinated with your branding can add a professional feel to the video.

Create a landing page

Now you’re populating your channel with content, you’re almost ready to start selling on Youtube. Have a landing page or website to link your videos so people can find them. If you run an online store, add videos to your product pages. Blogs are also a great way to introduce long-form content (longer videos which go into greater depth about a topic such as a demo or tutorial) or create specific landing pages about a product or service you’re keen to promote.

Post-click landing pages also drive user action – viewers can click on it on YouTube or at the end of a video, which takes them to a web page that uses tactics such as testimonials, highlighting product benefits, and social proof to convince people to click and buy.

Build your marketing strategy

Given the power of YouTube, it’s worth spending some time customising your channel and planning your video content into your marketing strategy.

Design a content schedule

YouTube is only a useful marketing tool if you post regular content. It’s a good idea to align your content with other areas of your marketing calendar and post content across all your channels.

Create engaging content

If you want people to like what you do and buy your products, it’s got to be interesting. There’s a lot of content available online, so ensure yours stands out. Think quality over quantity and make sure what you do publish has real value to your subscribers. This is key to being successful in selling your products on Youtube.

Find a niche

One way to make your videos stand out from the crowd is to look for industry niches to capitalise on or general trends you can tailor to your business.

Here are some great ways to find out what’s hot and what’s not:

Click on YouTube trending videos to see what turns up. The content is refreshed every 15 minutes so it gives you an up-to-date picture of the most popular content across different categories.

Use Google Trends to research what keywords related to your industry are most popular and when, then consider building content around those peak times.

Check out the competition. What are other businesses up to? Are they doing anything that’s working particularly well that you could model your content on?

Cross-channel promotion

Grow your YouTube subscriber list by linking it on other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn. Similarly, videos you might post on those channels can be repurposed for longer YouTube content.

Youtube selling

Sell your product and sales

Use your YouTube channel to drive traffic to your website or links to videos. With Square Payment Links, set up payment links, buy now buttons or QR codes which take viewers to your customised checkout page.

Monetise your channel

If you reach a certain size, you can join the YouTube Partner Program which allows you to monetise your videos, creating another stream of income on top of selling on Youtube. You need to meet certain criteria to be eligible but once you do, you can make money from ad revenue. To qualify you must:

  • Have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours

  • Have a linked AdSense account

  • Have no active community guidelines strikes

  • Live in a country or region where the programme is available

While you want to sell on YouTube, your primary aim should always be to produce top-class content. Get the content right, build your brand and the sales will follow.