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The Untapped Power of Organic YouTube Promotion for Ecommerce Brands

The Untapped Power of Organic YouTube Promotion for Ecommerce Brands

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

Many brands try to make a go of YouTube advertising, but not many have discovered the secret sauce to crafting a tried-and-true strategy for growing organically with their channel. 

It’s especially important for companies selling DTC to understand just how much legwork having a great YouTube channel can do for you. 

But why do so many brands get it wrong, and what can they do to get it right? 

As a pioneer in the field of YouTube organic growth, Liz Germain has over a decade of personal experience that has enabled her to fully understand how to craft content that not only goes viral when posted, but has the staying power to be an evergreen resource for the brand and people searching for it. 

In a recent episode of eCommerce Evolution with Brett Curry, Liz laid the foundation for viral reach on YouTube, including outlining why YouTube is better for growth than other social platforms, the power behind mastering long-form content, and how you can later use that long-form content to remix into YouTube shorts to maximize your time investment. 

Additionally, she describes how aligning your goals with that of YouTube (keep people on the platform and watching videos as long as possible) is the key to success. Read on for more golden nuggets of wisdom!

Why YouTube?

Liz got her start as a YouTuber over a decade ago when she (and her sister) created the Super Sister Fitness channel, which to date has over 15 million total views and more than 150,000 subscribers. In addition to the videos on the channel, Liz also sold digital products, meal plans, and workout plans for women all over the world, in over 32 countries and to over 100,000 individuals.

While this business is successful, it’s not her main focus; in fact, she hasn’t posted a video in over 2 years, but she’s still making money from her channel because it's bringing in leads and AdSense revenue. How’s that possible? Because high quality YouTube videos are evergreen, baby. 

Besides the potential for evergreen content, YouTube is king when it comes to the investment spent in watching long-form video.

While there’s a ton of buzz around YouTube Shorts/Reels/TikTok videos, those viral moments with short videos are often a flash in the pan. Having your customer spend time watching a video and getting to know you and your brand is basically a warm lead; Liz states that several clients she has helped with organic growth actually found through analyzing their conversion from landing pages that whenever someone states they discovered the product/service through YouTube, that it’s the easiest close of all time.

Many brands struggle with the barrier to entry in creating long-form videos. Why does someone want to find a studio, plan for proper audio set-up, and script a full video/episode when we can just use our phone and record a 60-second clip? I’ll tell you why: because once you master the art of the long-form video, you can then repurpose that content into Reels, YouTube Shorts, TikTok videos, as well as creating blog articles from the video’s transcript (look at us, we’re doing this right now).

It’s efficient, and it allows you to reach people wherever they are, which is pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

YouTube Wants Content People Can’t Stop Watching

If you’re selling a product, YouTube is an amazing place to find a captive audience.

And if your content is good, and people keep watching it, then YouTube will show it to more people in the suggested videos section. The key to success on YouTube is to align your goals with YouTube’s main objective: keep people on YouTube. With YouTube making nearly all of its revenue from the ads it shows to viewers, any way you keep people watching will be rewarded by YouTube’s algorithm. When you consider YouTube Shorts, it’s another way to watch content and keep people engaged (or, mindlessly scrolling?) and have them remain on the platform.

A new feature on the YouTube App is the Remix option, where you can take videos from anywhere on YouTube and create a Short. This is a great way for brands to feature smaller sections of a long-form video, and YouTube loves this because they get to show ads on both. YouTube likes this. 

Liz’s Tips and Tricks to Maximize Organic Growth

First-and-foremost, you need to understand the difference in sources for your viewers: search vs. recommendation traffic. One of the things brands often do incorrectly is focus all of their energy on one type of content, to the detriment of the whole channel. 

Most of the highest growing channels have these three types of content in common:

  1. Help: These are videos that feature how-tos, tutorials, listicles, and FAQs. They’re informational in nature and rely heavily on search traffic. 
  2. Hub: Often repeatable content, like if you were running episodes of a TV show. Because it’s repeatable, you can find yourself in a rabbit hole of never-ending series of similar episodes. A great example are MrBeast’s whacky challenges.
  3. Hero: Designed to display why a brand is doing something and to elicit an emotional connection with the viewer, these videos highlight a problem and midway through the video have a call-to-action to join the movement (like FinalStraw’s plea to save the turtles).

Help content is really great at the beginning of a channel’s life, specifically for Ecommerce brands. These videos tend to perform well for search traffic, but if your viewer is clicking on the video to get an answer and leave, it’s not doing much for your channel health. 

The secret keys to the YouTube Kingdom come in the form of recommendation traffic. Once you crack the code on how to get your videos featured in the suggested video to watch next, or on the sidebar where videos are recommended, then your videos are performing well. YouTube supports high quality content being pushed out to the right audience, so you need to know your audience. 

A Four Phase Approach to the Customer’s Journey

First, a few definitions and then we can get into the weeds about how you can optimize each step of the customer journey:

  1. Impression: a viewer sees your video either as a recommended video or in a search result. You don’t have direct control over this, but it happens. 
  2. Viewer Clicks on Video: the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) tells us the rate at which viewers see your thumbnail and decide to click through to the video itself.
  3. Viewing Time: how long they spend watching your video.
  4. Where do they go next? A viewer could watch more videos on your channel, other suggested videos from YouTube, or leave YouTube altogether. 

Once an impression occurs from search results or recommended videos, there are a few ways to ensure you’re succeeding in steps 2, 3, and 4. The CTR tells us if the topic of the video is relevant to the person seeing it, so you need to get really good at writing clickable titles and jazzy thumbnails to match. The baseline to aim for with CTR is about 7-10%.

After a viewer starts watching your video, do they leave after 3 seconds or stay for 80% of it? This statistic can also tell us if your thumbnail and video title are working (if they’re leaving after 3 seconds, they didn’t get the content they were hoping for).

The goal here is a minimum of 40% retention, but if you can get up to 60-80% retention, YouTube will be even happier.

As stated previously, the goal is to keep people on YouTube as long as possible. So if you’re keeping people on the platform after watching your video, great. If they’re staying on your channel and watching more of your content, even better. If you optimize your video content for steps 2, 3, and 4, more impressions are bound to happen once the algorithm continues to show your content to potential viewers through the recommendations. 

To get started with a new YouTube channel, make sure you’ve got a variety of content for day 1. For example, if you put out 10 videos, make sure 4 or 5 of them have some kind of keyword, especially if you have products or services to sell.

The rest of the videos should largely be focused on recommendation traffic sources (with the jazzy thumbnails and clickable titles listed above), so right off the bat we’re focusing on both search and recommendation traffic. Oh, and don’t ever run an ad to a video or run ads to try to build an organic audience. It just doesn’t work. If you do run ads, you can run them from a separate dummy account to protect the integrity of your organic data. 

Geeked to Learn More?

Liz has an amazing free guide at to get you started! 

If you really want to level up, Liz’s paid program at is a great resource for learning how to grow your YouTube channel organically! 

Connect with Liz Germain:


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