How to Scale an Ecommerce Business Using YouTube Advertising

The increased prevalence of the internet and technological awareness have revolutionized the way new age consumers shop.

Consumers are rapidly turning to online shopping due to the ease, wider choice, competitive pricing and personalized advertising offered by technology-enabled direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce brands.

According to a recent industry report, India has over 800 D2C brands, with the market poised to reach $100 billion by 2025.

D2C marketing is a relatively new concept that has evolved over the past ten years. The main drivers of growth in this sector have been social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which have facilitated discovery for e-commerce brands to reach end users directly, eliminating the need for middlemen.

Brands moved to D2C because the cost of acquiring social media advertising platforms would be lower than what they would have paid retailers or distributors. However, acquisition costs on Facebook and Instagram have increased dramatically as more brands jump on the D2C bandwagon.

This is where brands need to branch out, and one such heavily underutilized platform among D2C brands is YouTube.

YouTube provides a cost-effective platform for brands to add value at every stage of the customer buying journey and improve their popularity. It’s the perfect blend of social media engagement and Google’s search engine features.

The popularity of YouTube as an advertising platform

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have increased YouTube views.

With a constant thirst for creative content, nearly 25 percent of consumers spend seven or more hours a week watching online videos on YouTube. It has the second highest monthly base of active users among social platforms after Facebook.

According to Google, approximately 40 percent of viewers have used YouTube to compare items, watch reviews and get suggestions from their favorite influencers, making it a popular advertising channel for brands to reach their target consumers.

Video ads were a complex and tedious task around five to ten years ago, and only brands like ITC, Patanjali and other FMCG companies were involved.

However, with user-generated content (UGC) and testimonials becoming popular, we no longer require studios to create promotional videos. Instead, we can use a smartphone camera to create engaging TikTok-style videos.

Therefore, several brands advertise on YouTube using the same ads that would appear on TV. According to studies, paid mobile advertising on YouTube is 84 percent more likely to grab consumers’ attention than TV ads.

A game changer for e-commerce

E-commerce brands need to stand out to compete in an ever-changing consumer market. This is where YouTube advertising comes into play. YouTube Shorts captures the attention of consumers and many e-commerce brands use it to distribute captivating and short videos to their subscribers and other audiences.

Additionally, YouTube has rolled out innovative features, including YouTube for Action, discovery ads, and custom intent targeting, to help e-commerce brands reach potential customers.

Source: Shutterstock

YouTube for action

YouTube for Action targets e-commerce brands looking for middle and lower end solutions and helps increase sales and awareness.

With video action campaigns, you can tell your brand story with longer headlines and access top-performing areas like the YouTube home feed, watch page, and Google video partners.

According to Google, action video campaigns can generate 20 percent more conversions (per dollar) than TrueView for action, making it a cost-effective choice for most advertising budgets.

A purchasable ad feature

Brands can create shopping ads for their stores that allow users to buy the featured products from the video.

YouTube has also rolled out feed ads, also known as discovery ads, which appear as you scroll through the YouTube feed, similar to the news feed and carousel ads seen on the Facebook feed.

Brands like Puma, Urban Outfitters and Nectar have taken advantage of YouTube’s advertising tool. According to industry sources, Urban Outfitters has seen a 241 percent increased click-through rates across all campaigns, resulting in a 186% increase in sales. About 52% of the traffic was made up of new customers.

Custom intent targeting

The real game-changer is YouTube’s custom intent targeting, where brands can leverage the power of Google. They can capture search intent from the Google search engine and use it for niche targeting on YouTube through their custom intent segments, helping e-commerce brands deliver more relevant and useful ads across all screens. .

How can brands make YouTube ads effective to scale their e-commerce business?

Monitor YouTube campaign performance

Consumers prefer video ads to learn more about brands or items that piqued their interest. Therefore, monitoring performance metrics is essential for measuring the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

You can measure this by tracking the increase in volume of branded search queries. You can also link Google Ads to your YouTube channel and run YouTube campaigns to get useful insights into who’s watching ads, how long they’re watching, and where you can improve ad performance.

Focus on creating the right content for YouTube ads

According to a report, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content developed by brands. So, capture YouTube’s vast user base by incorporating influencer and user-generated content or testimonials into your YouTube advertising.

It facilitates interactions between a brand and a consumer, allowing brands to establish credibility and grow. People trust others. Focus on using user-generated content and testimonials as modern word-of-mouth advertising.

Follow YouTube advertising guidelines

YouTube ad size and specs play a crucial role in creating effective ads and driving results. For example, landscape mode is perfect for creating YouTube video ads because it displays the largest on the desktop.

Additionally, mobile visitors can watch the landscape video ad in full-screen mode if they turn on their phone.


With the growing craze for video content, harnessing the power of video advertising has become key to growth. YouTube combines the functionality of a search engine and a social network and offers e-commerce brands a unique platform to reach their target audience. So, devise a strategy and use YouTube advertising to grow your business and thrive in this digital ecosystem.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

Comments are closed.