What is a Haul Video and How Can You Use it to Promote Your Retail Business?

What is a Haul Video and Should You Still Use Them?

If you’ve spent any time on YouTube in recent years, you’re probably familiar with haul videos. This type of content can provide potential benefits to both influencers and small retail businesses.

Though they may not be quite as prevalent as they once were, it’s still important to be aware of the potential impact of these videos. They still may be able to help you spread the word about your brand or create useful content for your target audience. To learn the ins and outs of haul videos, here’s a quick guide.

What Is a Haul Video?

Essentially, a haul video is a recording of someone going over a collection of purchases. They may go into detail about what each product is, their initial impressions, and the shopping experience as a whole. A haul usually includes products from a single retailer, a particular collection of shops, or at least a specific category where the products all relate to one another.

Haul videos originally gained relevance around 2006/2007 through the beauty vlogging community on YouTube. But then the concept has since spread through plenty of other niches. And though they’re still most common on YouTube, they’ve also spread to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Haul videos may not be quite as prevalent as they once were. But influencers are still creating and sharing these videos daily. And since the market for them isn’t quite as saturated, it could be an interesting time for businesses to jump in.

Haul videos really only offer initial impressions of products. They’re not as thorough as full product reviews. But they do usually contain products that the influencer has chosen, so they can quickly explain why they liked each item. In certain categories like clothing or makeup, the person may even try on the items to offer a full and honest first impression. So it could be a bit more impactful than an unboxing video, which often features products from a subscription box or items gifted from a PR company.

Who Can Use a Haul Video?

Haul videos have been posted in nearly every business niche and target audience. However, they tend to be especially popular in areas like makeup, fashion, toys, and any area where it’s possible/common to buy a lot of products at once. It’s not a concept that’s especially relevant for service businesses or retailers that sell really expensive products.

As a small retail business, haul videos can help you connect to relevant consumers through influencers. Basically, viewers watch and subscribe to YouTube videos of people they trust or who share similar tastes in products. So when that influencer shares a collection of products, a viewer might see an item that strikes their fancy and decide to purchase one as well.

On the influencer side, haul videos can offer a way to share valuable content with your audience. If you have a YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram account or blog, offering insights on the products you love can help your audience shape their own buying decisions. And the video format allows people to get a feel for your personality and connect with you. It also creates a natural way for you to infuse some brand related content into your strategy. This can lead to profitable connections for your business going forward.

How Can You Use Haul Videos for Your Small Business?

If you’re interested in utilizing haul videos as an influencer, you simply need to find a product category or shop that is relevant to your audience and then go on a shopping spree. When you film your video, simply go over each purchase and then promote your content. Over time, you may even be able to work with brands that want to connect with your audience. This can help you cover the costs of your videos and bring in a profit in exchange for spreading the word.

If you’re a retailer, taking advantage of haul videos requires finding relevant influencers to work with or promoting organic content related to your brand. Haul videos can be especially helpful in spreading the word about new products. So if you’re preparing for a launch or have recently unveiled a new line, you may want to contact some relevant YouTube creators or social media personalities in your niche to arrange sponsored content.

The exact logistics are up to you. But you may be able to pay them or arrange a free shopping spree for them. However, it is usually beneficial to have them pick out their own products. If you send them items without their input, they may be less relevant or less likely to share the positive attributes that drew them to each item. In these cases, they’ll also need to disclose that the content is sponsored.

Of course, organically created content can also be incredibly valuable for your business. This is a less proactive step. But you can still keep an eye out for haul videos that mention your business or include your products. Then you can promote them to your own audience. This may also be a helpful way for you to find influencers for future sponsored content opportunities, since they’re already genuinely interested in your offerings.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. The haul video is definitely something to note. It has so many items that interests the customer that it ends up getting more sales.

  2. Though I’ve never taken the time to watch one, I know exactly what these are. Was unaware they were on the decline. I’m thinking keeping an eye/ear out for haul videos that mention your brand might be a bad use of time. Maybe a side gig for a daughter and her network of girlfriends. I seem to recall there was an issue awhile back with fake hauls in the U.K. or Australia — I didn’t dig into the issue; heck I don’t recall the country.