7 Creative Ways to Use Short-Form Videos to Boost Merch Sales

In Creator success, Promoting merch by Danielle Pederson February 21, 2024

Short-form videos are taking the stage across social media. 

They have the power to go viral, increase engagement, captivate audiences, and best of all, get your sales to shoot through the roof when you use them to show off your merch!

Sometimes it’s a good idea to get a visual for how much of a big deal something is. Take a look below at how effective short-form videos really are in your world. 

First, short-form videos deliver the highest ROI.

Which Video Format Has the Biggest ROI? - HubSpot
Source: HubSpot

Second, short-form videos get the most engagement.

Which Video Format Gets the Most Engagement? - HubSpot
Source: HubSpot

So if you’re ready to learn 7 creative ways to use short-form videos to boost your merch sales, we’re ready to help!  

1. Product Demos

People wish they could physically touch a product when they shop online, but obviously they can’t. So help them live that experience through you (or someone you ask or hire to demonstrate handling, using, or wearing your product). Showcasing a sample of your product is a “virtual shopping” experience that helps the potential buyer see what your product looks like in the real world.

Make sure you highlight the key benefits and features of your product. Brevity is the soul of wit, so keep the dialogue lean and to the point. Online, attention spans last even shorter than IRL. 

Also, actions matter, not words. No one wants to hear about your product. They want to see it in action. When you show it, your product is literally doing the talking (in action) for you. 

Lastly, don’t be boring. Whether it be catchy music, humor or creative editing, show off your personality and keep it fun. The two key words to focus on here are: informative & entertaining! The more engagement you keep up with your fans, the more sales and long-term customers you acquire.  

2. Behind-the-Scenes

There are many reasons why BTS videos are a good idea, but here are two really strong ones: 

  1. It forms an emotional bond between you and your audience. They see you in every day action, which shows that you’re human just like them. They see that you have to deal with the same every day trials and tribulations that they do. Who doesn’t want to support someone that they can relate to? 
  2. It builds trust and authenticity. Your audience sees the actual processes and people involved in creating your amazing designs. This also gives them a story to pass along when people ask, “hey, where did you get that?”  

3. User-Generated Content

Have you ever heard someone say, “No one likes a braggart. But if other people brag about you, it gets attention.” User-generated content (UGC) is the online version of other people bragging about you. 

Encourage your customers to create and share their own short-form videos featuring your products (if they’re happy with it, of course). If need be, offer incentives to do so. This not only generates authentic content but it fosters a sense of community around your brand—Something you will already be building if you have followed steps 1 and 2! 

People also like to be given the greenlight to make their own creative calls. Let them decide what kind of video to make (unless they request you to come up with the idea). It makes them feel like part of the team, knowing they can showcase your merch in a fun and unique way. 

User-generated content (UGC) promotes trust and absolutely influences buying decisions.  

4. Brand Awareness on Social Media

Ask yourself where short videos are mostly seen. Tiktok? Facebook? YouTube? Instagram? The answer is all of the above (and more) but these platforms have the most massive user bases. The best thing about these platforms, though, is that they offer a lot of ways to promote videos, such as algorithmic recommendations, discovery pages, hashtags, and more. They are also easily shareable not just on the platform but in messaging apps. When viewers like a video or think it’s interesting, it’s so simple to share it (it’s probably harder to NOT share it lol), increasing exposure of your brand and its reach (maybe to the point of going viral). If it does, in fact, go viral, you’re looking at widespread brand awareness immediately. 

When it comes to increasing brand awareness, not all short-form videos on social media are created equal, however. Here are a couple quick suggestions:

  1. Customer testimonials. Share positive reviews and feedback from real customers who’ve experienced your product firsthand. This includes their thoughts, emotions, and experiences about how the product has either improved or impacted their lives for the better. This is similar to UGC, but sometimes you can’t get them to make a video of their own, so you need to incorporate fragments into your content.  
  2. How-to or challenge videos. How-tos can teach an important skill and they’re always popular. Same with challenge videos, where you ask your fans to compete or complete a task. Again, these build trust and credibility. Don’t forget to make the videos humorous and fun! In fact, humor is the number one common trait between most successful videos. 
  3. Unboxing or reviewing videos. These typically include showcasing the unpacking of your product for the very first time. In recent years, these videos have gained massive popularity, and they’re an amazing way to engage your audience. Note: Don’t do a fake “unboxing” video. It must be authentic because no one is really that good of an actor, not even actors. Authenticity is so important because it’s essential to be genuine and allow the excitement to shine through as the product is discovered and explored. And once again, what does this build? We’ll say it over and over and over again because it’s the key to everything involved in being successful: Connection on a personal level, trust, and credibility

5. Team-up with Influencers

The hot-button word of the moment is “collab.” Collaborating with influencers can significantly widen the reach of your brand. A lot of influencers have engaged followers across multiple channels. If one of them endorses your products, you just hit a whole new audience. 

One of the greatest ways to partner with influencers is in the short-form video format. Either influencers can create short videos, showing their audience your products, you can make the video with the influencer for your audience, or ideally, both!  Any of the types of videos we covered in point #4 will work. The more the merrier!

6. Q & A with Customers 

You would think we’ve harped on connection, trust, and credibility enough, right? Well….one of the best ways of building those three key elements is to hold a Q & A. Sometimes your fans have questions. Sometimes it’s tough to get to each individual. If this is the case, hop on a Q & A video and answer those questions. Be funny or at least light-hearted and sweet about it. Bots don’t take care of everything. Plus, people (your fans) want that personal connection. And who wants to pay a live agent out of their revenue? I’m sure you don’t. Make it known you will be holding a Q & A every month or so. It’s fine to have a FAQ section on your site, but you will be answering these questions with more nuance and a personal touch. 

Also, think beyond just providing “answers.” You can provide step-by-step explanations, product demonstrations, and examples. Studies have shown that this clarity reduces frustration and confusion on the viewers part, leading to higher customer satisfaction. 

7. Contest Teasers

Who doesn’t love a contest? They’re a no-brainer if you want to reach a larger audience. Contests also create buzz around upcoming product launches, and short-form videos are one of the best ways to execute buzz. Here are some tips on how to go about using short-form videos to hype up a contest:

  1. Playfully hint at contest details. 
  2. Feature catchy jingles, quirky characters, or a mini storyline that leaves your fans craving more. 
  3. Keep the videos short and snappy. Give fans a taste of what’s in store but don’t give away all the juicy details. 
  4. Keep it fun and think outside the box. The more memorable it is, the more it gets shared with their friends. The more they share, the more your visibility and reach increases. 
  5. Highlight the prizes that can be won. Showcase them in an engaging and creative way, and make sure they’re aligned with your target audience’s interests and your brand. 
  6. Make the prizes really enticing. The more enticing, the more eager people will be to share your videos and enter the contest.  

In Closing

These 7 surefire strategies will help you use short-form videos to boost your popularity and your sales. Since videos are really what the entire planet is responding to right now, the possibilities are endless. So start filming and happy selling!