All you need to know about YouTube Merchandise

January 28, 2020
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In June of last year, YouTube announced that they increased the ways in which content creators could make money with the platform. The sources of income besides ads can come from members subscribed to the channels or YouTube Merchandise.

“Ads are not the only source of income available to creators; in fact, they have been making money from many other sources for years. We want to diversify your monetization options on YouTube, so now we offer tools such as Super Chat, Channel Members and the integration of a merchandising shelf with Teespring ” they inform on their website.

The video platform introduces YouTube Merchandise

The ‘merchandising‘ for YouTube content creators has always existed. It was part of the business of many ‘YouTubers‘. What YouTube Merchandise is looking for is that the sale of products is made within the platform.

Therefore, YouTube Merchandise allows sales directly from within the channel. For this, YouTube has partnered with Teespring, a website specializing in merchandising that will offer more than 20 products to be customized by users.

When YouTube announced this updates, YouTube Merchandise was only available to content creators in the United States. However, as announced by Teespring, it has also been available in Europe since November through Merch Self. Under each video, you can see the products that are being sold.

Two requirements to use YouTube Merchandise

Not all content creators will be able to sell different items through the platform. You will need:

  1. A minimum of 10,000 subscribers.
  2. To be part of the YouTube Partner Program.

This will turn the platform into a virtual store (although you will still have to make the purchase directly through Teespring). Merchandising will not make sense for all channels, but it can be a great source of revenue for some content creators.

An example of this is Lucas the Spider, a YouTube channel that has only 10 videos with an animated arachnid that earned more than $1 million in less than a month.

How does YouTube Merchandise work?

According to YouTube, Teespring will keep part of the sales. This price varies according to the item. The way this works is as follows: there is a fixed price per item sold that Teespring takes, but the creator can set whatever price he wants to the item.

For example, the base price of a single shirt is $10.22, but they usually sell for $22. However, if the creators sell 200-499 shirts, the base price is reduced to $9.82, so the profit margin is higher.

YouTube also has an agreement with Teespring in which the social platform receives a commission for those sales, a small fixed percentage. A benefit that most of the time is returned to the creator.

This return aims to encourage channel owners to sell their merchandise through the social network itself by making the commission of what they earn more than if they did it through their own website or other platforms.

During beta testing, Teespring reported that there was an 82% success rate for YouTube users who used the merchandising service.

What kind of merchandise can be sold?

You can sell pretty much anything. YouTubers have gone from selling t-shirts to writing their own novels. The most common products are:

  • T-shirts.
  • Bags.
  • Posters.
  • Stickers.
  • Cups.
  • Books.
  • Bracelets.

These types of products are usually the easiest to sell. Anyway, each channel user can sell what interests them the most, as long as they consider it relevant to the audience.

Tips to sell on YouTube

1.- Think of your followers

What would your subscribers like? Have they asked for anything in particular? Most likely, if you have enough followers, surely someone at some point has asked for a shirt or something of yours.

Involve them in the process. You can even organize a design contest among your followers either for them to create some of the designs you are going to sell or for them to vote for those they would like to see in your online store.

The important thing in this regard is that you consider selling products that you know they will like. They have to be related to you and your brand. After all, they follow you because they like who you are.

2.- Analyze your competitors

What are others selling? Can you add something new to the industry? Analyzing the competition can serve to inspire you in what others are doing or even create something to differentiate you.

Whatever you do, always focus your efforts on surprising your users. They follow you on your channel because they like what you do but if they consider that you are designing an unattractive product, they will not buy it.

3.- Be creative

If you’re on YouTube, chances are you’re creative. To create new and exciting content every week you have to be quite creative.

The bracelets and cups are fine, but they are very common. If, for example, you have a pet that your followers love, you can create a stuffed animal. Or if your channel is about beauty, you can create your own personalized lipstick.

What makes your channel popular? What makes you different from everyone else? Use something that is unique to your channel. Look in your comments, what do people like? Are they talking about something in particular?

4.- Produce high-quality merchandise

It is important to produce high-quality products. Nobody wants to pay for a shirt that will break in a couple of weeks. This is particularly important nowadays. Don’t sell bad quality keys or cups that cannot be put in the dishwasher.

You have to think about everything. The design has to be beautiful and creative, but above all, it has to be a quality product. Nobody likes to pay for something that breaks right away.

Also, nothing creates more distrust than receiving a damaged product after having been waiting days (or weeks) for it to arrive. A piece of good advice, even if it seems obvious, is to produce things that you personally would buy.

5.- Rely on someone who knows about product production

If you want to do it well, you may need help from others. You may edit videos or create thumbnails in Photoshop but that does not mean you know how to develop products.

Doing so implies knowing design issues, printing T-shirts, fabrics, sizes, producers, factories to develop your product, etc.

Creating a product, in addition to the design, has many phases that you must control. It is difficult if you do not know how to handle a whole process of creation, design and production. You can partner with someone to help you through the entire creation process.

A shirt made with the best market fabric is not worth it if it has a poor design. Or a poorly designed sizing. A professional designer can help with your products, so they do not have any issues.

Promote your merchandise

No one can buy your stuff if you don’t promote them. The obvious promotion plan would be to create a video announcing the launch of your merchandise.

But that is not enough. A video talking about your products will not make you sell thousands of them. You will need more. Remember that you are on YouTube because you want to produce content that you like, not to become a promotional channel. Here are some ideas to promote your products without affecting your channel:

  • Specific content. Create videos about your products. Show your viewers what your products look like and why you have chosen those designs. Don’t forget to add powerful calls to action to inform your fans about where they can buy it. Consider the trends in SEO for YouTube to position your content.
  • Use social networks to promote your products (in addition to your videos).
  • Collaborate with other YouTubers to promote each other’s products.
  • Leave a link in each description, but don’t mention it. Promote your product collection in the descriptions of your video and your channel. Use a language that is true to your brand.
  • Use your products for your videos or for your social networks but don’t mention it.

Start using YouTube Merchandise to sell your products with authentic content. Being an influencer and applying influencer marketing strategies will help you position your content and your products. You do not know how to generate business? Antevenio has been working on digital marketing strategies for more than 20 years.


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