A Big Marketing Opportunity Most SMBs and Their Vendors Miss

Earlier today Google exposed data on the massive growth of “how-to” searches on YouTube. The company said that these explainer searches have grown 70% YoY. And an increasing number of these queries are happening on mobile devices: “91% of smartphone users turn to their smartphone for ideas while doing a given task.”

Google says that these searches concern a wide range of scenarios and questions. However, Home improvement, beauty and cooking are the most popular categories. Another very interesting datapoint revealed by Google is: “nearly one in three millennials say they’ve purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video.” 

Google refers to these “how-to” mobile queries as “moments of intent” and makes the following best practices recommendations for creating how-to video:

  • What are the questions and concerns people have related to the types of products you sell or the types of projects they are used for?
  • Find these moments across the entire consumer journey and put them at the center of your strategy.
  • Create I-want-to-do content for your website and YouTube channel to serve as resources for them.

This is definitely a content marketing strategy that SMBs can participate in and win with: plumbers, electricians, floor installers, painters and so on. Answering typical or common questions (which all these service providers already know) or providing how-to help for consumers can expose SMBs and their expertise in ways that conventional digital advertising does not or simply cannot.

Many consumers intending to DIY will look for help but ultimately turn to professionals to fulfill their needs. In addition to helping SMB-customers create these videos, publisher-vendors can host them on their own YouTube channels, which helps with SEO and can help drive leads.

Most people “in the industry” are thinking about video as an advertising vehicle (e.g., “pre-roll”). However substantive content creation is often going to be a great deal more effective. And how-to searches on YouTube are often the same as local search queries — consumers are expressing a need, often an immediate need.

While there are some SMBs taking advantage of how-to content on YouTube it’s not common. In addition, this how-to video can also be posted on social media sites or blogs for additional reach and exposure. The caveat is that the content has to be meaningful and helpful — not superficial. Selling, as opposed to explaining or instruction, won’t work.

This is an area that all those creating and selling video on behalf of SMBs should be actively considering or implementing.

2 Responses to “A Big Marketing Opportunity Most SMBs and Their Vendors Miss”

  1. Edwin says:

    Great insight here. When a SMB realizes how easy it is to leverage video for a competitive edge, they never question “what to do next” in terms of generating highly consumable content.

  2. 70% YoY grow in “how-to” is insane. Great write up on how to continue to push for great content that meets potential consumer needs and meet them early in the “buying” process.

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