How To Create Click-to-buy Links In YouTube – for FREE

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YouTube has now begun placing click-to-buy links beneath its videos, as part of a larger plan to offer an e-commerce platform to all its partners. However, YouTube partners are typically large and well-established companies, leaving out the 99.9% of businesses and individuals of this opportunity. Fortunately, we have a tip on how anyone can create their own “hot URL” to any web page they want, which shows up in a better position than these links, and without having to shell out any cash. Read on…Right now, the larger partner companies – Amazon, iTunes, EMI music and Electronic arts – are getting to test out the “click-to-buy” feature, which appears below partner Videos – either as graphic buttons (as shown in the example above), or as text links.

What’s good about the YouTube click-to-buy program

These links are actually one of the better forms of unobtrusive “behavioral targeting.” Michael Benedek, VP of Business Development for AlmondNet and one of the speakers of the recent Search Marketing Expo conference in New York on the panel What’s New With Video Search Marketing,” defines behavioral targeting as “the delivery of advertising to a person based on their online observed behavior.” What’s very appealing about this click-to-buy feature is that it’s directly relative in both media format and content to what video a person is watching on YouTube, and not with any cookies that track people’s browsing activity elsewhere.

What’s missing

YouTube is only offering this feature to “partner videos” – meaning, large companies with lots of dough. That leaves out the 99+% percentage of YouTube users for this eCommerce opportunity. Even if you do happen to have something for sale on Amazon, don’t expect to have the “Amazon” button or link below your video mentioning what you have for sale on there.

How the smaller businesses can do their own “click-to-buy”

Gregory Markel, President of Infuse Creative and a fellow speaker on the “What’s New with Video Search Marketing panel,” had offered a very good tip: For your YouTube Description field, lead with a hot URL to your website. It serves as a direct call-to-action with good proximity to the video and how people’s eyes normally go from left-to-right:

  • 1st Line: Lead off with the call to action description: Start off with an action verb (”buy,” “see”, “Learn more,” etc..) and the keywords that match the video content. Example: “Buy our Blentec blender here!”
  • 2nd line: Insert the Hot URL. (Try to put it all on its own line, right below the call to action) Example:
  • 3rd line (and maybe 4th): Add more keywords relating to the video content and what people can expect to see when the click on the link.

Example of the YouTube "Hot URL" feature for everyone.

You can take this strategy even further: Do a video for each individual product or service you have, and any popular and targeted subject matter. The Hot URL becomes your call-to-action landing page for every single video, allowing you to track your YouTube video-to-on-site conversion.

Since YouTube is notoriously bad for allowing multiple duplicate videos, you can even go further and switch out pieces of the same video and submit each of the revisions to YouTube. Create a separate landing page URL for each – you’ve now accomplished an A/B multivariate strategy with no platform cost to you!

What’s that? Oh yeah… you’re welcome.

Special thanks to Sheffield Marketing for their sponsorship of our coverage.


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