YouTube Marketing From Scratch

YouTube Marketing From Scratch
I have wondered for some time why Handmade businesses such as those found on Etsy and ArtFire do not use YouTubeTM as a major part of their marketing strategy. So this is the first article in a new series to explore how small businesses can get more out of their YouTube channel.

Don't get me wrong. Small handmade businesses are using YouTube, but they could be using it more as it is such a great social marketing resource. A few years ago, I discovered the website channel on YouTube. What I saw amazed me. To my knowledge, no other craft and handmade business had ever taken video marketing to this level. is owned by Mary and Leo Kowal. Mary is the one in front of the camera demonstrating how to use each of their SVG Kits and Leo is the one behind the camera creating those great videos. Beginning in 2009, together they have taken their company a great distance in just a few years, resulting in the Martha Stewart American Made award in 2013. As Leo states, the reason for this is social marketing, especially on YouTube.

On their YouTube channel, you will find two types of videos. The first is a short video featuring finished craft projects created from their SVG kits. As this video is only of the projects with background music, Leo calls them "trailers". The second is a step-by-step video, called an assembly tutorial, with Mary walking the audience through the process of making those beautiful sample projects. This how-to video begins with the same short trailer, which leads in to Mary who is a natural on the screen.

On his website, Leo shares his adventure developing his SVGCuts trailers for each kit in their store. Starting out as a still photographer, Leo switched to video to create these trailers and believes that they are one of the reasons for their company's success. I agree with him, as their videos ignite that "I can do that" emotion in the customer. I return every week to their channel to watch the latest trailers.

As an animator without a video camera or studio, I wanted to do something similar with still photos. So I started making my own product trailers from the still images that I take of the finished projects created from my own SVG cut designs. I use the Ken Burns panning and zooming effect, along with some 2D an 3D effects in MotionR, to add movement to the still images on the screen. Why Motion? Because of my $0 budget and Motion is only $50 USD at this time. So, after a year and a half, I've now have almost enough confidence to share my process with all of you.

To answer the question at the start of this article, I believe that handmade businesses don't use YouTube fully because they don't believe they have the resources to do more. Recently I applied to become an SVG cut designer for the online store After talking with them via email, I discovered that they wanted to do more with their YouTube channel and they asked me to help. As we will be starting from scratch, I will be documenting our experience together. So stay tuned.

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