Think about the last time you purchased a considered product. You probably did some initial research to figure out what options were available, and then you may have turned to YouTube to watch videos of people unboxing, reviewing, or comparing the product. If that’s the case, then you aren’t alone. With over half of consumers turning to YouTube to watch videos for more product information, having a solid YouTube strategy is key to ensuring ecommerce advertisers are present when their potential customers are starting the purchase process and, ultimately, to driving more sales.

Follow the recommendations below to craft a YouTube strategy that ensures you to have the right content to engage the viewer, a format for them to take action, and a way to reach them when they have high purchase intent.

Create Content That Your Audience is Looking For

In order to position your brand most effectively, you should aim to produce video content that people are already looking for. For example, if you sell makeup, you should capitalize on the large audience that turns to YouTube to watch makeup tutorials by creating tutorial content that can be used in advertising. Just imagine how effective it would be if a viewer was watching a video on how to achieve that perfect cat eye look, and your ad showing a brief cat eye tutorial comes on beforehand. You’re showing the viewer something helpful that they’re already looking for, so they will be more likely to recall your brand positively and consider purchasing.

To see this in action, check out this example from Wayfair. They know that a lot of people turn to YouTube to watch videos on home décor and design, so they created videos that show quick decorating tips. Placing these as ads on videos about home décor would be the perfect way to introduce Wayfair to potential customers.

Even in cases where the content doesn’t make sense to be used for an ad (e.g. a longer tutorial or comparison analysis), having those types of videos in your channel will allow people to find and explore your brand while researching. As a result, your brand will be more likely to be included in their final purchase consideration.

YouTube e-book blog bannerTest TrueView for Shopping

youtube ecommerce ad exampleYouTube offers a campaign type called TrueView for Shopping that allows ecommerce advertisers to link their Merchant Center feed with their video campaign. While someone is watching an ad from a TrueView for Shopping campaign, product “cards” will display that will allow viewers to shop products from the video directly. This helps to link the moment that someone is learning about a brand to actually being able to take action and explore the products they see.

Advertisers can select to show specific products from the Shopping feed to match the products being featured in the video to make for a frictionless shopping experience. As a bonus, the products also show in the Companion Banner area, which stays on screen even if a viewer skips the ad.

Utilize Custom Intent Targeting for Major Holidays

Targeting audiences that show a lot of purchase intent, especially around big shopping holidays, is a great way to get in front of potential buyers when you know they’re actively shopping. Custom Intent audiences in particular are an excellent way to target shoppers for specific holidays.

For example, if you were looking to advertise your brand for Mother’s Day, you can use keywords like “mother’s day gift ideas” or “best gifts for mom” in your Custom Intent audiences to reach Mother’s Day shoppers in the weeks leading up to the holiday. It’s even better if you can also create specific content that matches with the holiday. Using the same Mother’s Day example, create ads with messaging around Mother’s Day gift ideas and how your brand makes the perfect gift.


YouTube will continue to play an important role in the shopper’s purchase process, so it’s important to start building out a strategy now to make sure you’re not missing a key part of the journey. By focusing on content that appeals to the viewer, using a format to drive action, and targeting people with high intent, you can feel confident that you are setting yourself up for success driving sales from YouTube.