“How we sell guitars on YouTube”: the story of Boris Kolesnikov, skifmusic hypermarket of musical instruments
Boris Kolesnikov, founder of the skifmusic hypermarket of musical instruments, shares his experience of developing a corporate YouTube channel and tells how entrepreneurs can sell using this social network
How we sell guitars on YouTube
In 2010, we created the Skifmusic YouTube channel. The idea came up spontaneously: I noticed that there was no good guitar channel in Russian and suggested that my friend, the famous musician Sergey Tabachnikov, shoot a video and upload it to the network.
We discussed the concept and decided that we don’t want to be boring and are ready to communicate with the audience in a simple way. How does an ordinary guitar player learn to play? Sitting in my underpants on the couch. Sergey did the same: sawed the riffs of famous musicians on the background of the carpet, gaining a huge number of likes and views.
Since then, eight years have passed, now the channel has 700 videos that have gained a total of more than 15 million views. The most popular videos have 400 thousand views. We are working on a content plan, new videos are released twice a week.
There are several presenters on the channel who shoot videos in different formats. We produce guitar lessons, reviews of new instruments, interviews of famous musicians, and live broadcasts from Skifmusic stores. In the description of each video, we talk about the guitar played by the presenter, and give links to acoustic and electric guitars. We distribute issues on Skifmusic pages in social networks and in partner groups. The channel has fans who repost videos on their pages — thus gaining coverage.
Now 2-3 % of site visitors Skifmusic.ru they come from YouTube. Direct sales, when a person clicked on the link and immediately placed an order, are not enough — in our field, a long purchase cycle. Guys spend weeks flipping through videos, looking at guitars and only then buy them. But we see the effect of the channel: after the release of the review, the new model is sold within five to seven days. We also get requests from time to time for vintage guitars from the US and Japan that we shot in previous releases. They are produced in single copies, so we select analogues for customers.
You can sell almost any product using video. Of course, it is not a fact that your channel will appeal to the audience and will make a profit. But to test it, you need to try.
I will tell you how to organize an entrepreneur’s YouTube channel.
Allocate money for the experiment
Now no one will watch a video with bad sound, shot with trembling hands. Therefore, you will have to spend at least on minimal equipment. Ideally, you need a camera, a stand, a light, and two microphones: a portable one and a lapel one. All together, it costs about 100 thousand rubles. If you are not ready to spend so much on the experiment, shoot a good smartphone from the rack, it will cost 10 thousand rubles.
For each video, you will need to order a cover, the designer on a freelance basis, it costs from 200 to 1,000 rubles. Installation is also easier to delegate to a professional — from 1 000 to 5 000 rubles per video, depending on the level of the performer.
If you don’t want to be filmed for the channel, hire a host. In Moscow, its services cost from 50 thousand rubles a month, in the regions – from 25 thousand rubles. Choose a “multi-armed” person who shoots and mounts the video himself.
Set a commercial goal
Decide what goals you want to achieve with your YouTube channel. Some entrepreneurs set direct sales as their goal. For example, my friend sells Chinese tea on YouTube. He has five thousand subscribers, but all targeted: after looking at the review of the new tea, they immediately follow the link and buy. But this concept usually operates in the segment of inexpensive goods, when the person quickly makes a decision about the purchase.
I would say that the main goal of The skifmusic YouTube channel is to build the store’s reputation. The potential buyer understands that we really understand musical instruments. He thinks it’s cool to be with us, and it’s probably a good idea to buy something.
Think through the content of the channel
Decide how often new videos will be released on the channel and make a content plan for at least a few months, preferably for a year at once. Don’t try to change it drastically, just add new ideas when you have them.
Shoot how your business works, what kind of people are behind it, publish product reviews and instructions for use. Strive to be closer to people, not to produce corporate gloss. If, for example, you sell fishing rods, then go fishing. And right on the Bank of the river, show and tell us what kind of fishing rod is easier to catch fish with.
Training videos are good, for example, we have a series of guitar lessons and videos on how to choose a musical instrument for a beginner. This can be invented in almost every area. If you, for example, sell children’s products, then tell mums what gadgets they can use, how to use them. Be honest with your audience, try not to sell, but to give useful information. Then you will be trusted, and the video will be converted to sales.
Distribute videos in social networks
At least once a week, a new video should be released on the channel. It is important that subscribers get used to watching your videos and wait for new releases. Therefore, keep an eye on the content plan and kick performers in a timely manner.
Think about how to distribute releases. Now there is a lot of content in the network, we have to invest in promotion to increase the audience. You don’t have to use only YouTube, you can upload the same videos directly to Facebook and Vkontakte — modern social networks love videos and actively show them to the audience.
If your social media pages don’t have enough subscribers, you may want to spend money on targeted ads. In Moscow, running an advertising campaign for a freelancer costs, on average, 10 thousand rubles a month. Additionally, you will need a budget for advertising.
Will the video benefit your business?
Today, almost everyone watches videos in social networks — this is the TV of the modern generation. Videos will be useful for business, even if they do not gain hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. You can place them on the site, send them in an email newsletter, or upload them directly to social networks. And, in this way, to become closer to customers, to build the company’s reputation and take the business to a new level. In my opinion, video works perfectly in narrow niches. In particular thanks to the channel we managed to promote a hypermarket Skifmusic.ru and become famous among musicians.