YouTube Searches On How-To Videos Surge 70%; Search Marketers Need Spontaneity

In the spur of the moment when you need to know something, most people pick up their smartphone and search for information. This often requires going to a video site like YouTube to find how to complete the task. This trend requires marketers to become more spontaneous when it comes to executing search advertising and content marketing campaigns. Here's why.

How-to searches on YouTube have growth 70% in the past year, demonstrating that viewers are turning to videos for answers on a variety of subjects.

Google's study on I Want to do Moments: from Home to Beauty analyzes a rising trend related to a reliance on video content. We know that searches can help people answer questions and find information, but now it's apparent that people also heavily rely on videos to do a multitude of tasks.



People are turning toward video to discover how to do many things such as make a chocolate layer cake with whipped cream and strawberries, cut the hair of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, or put air in the tires of a car. In fact, more than 100 million hours of how-to content have been watched in North America so far this year.

Many of the searches and video viewing for how-to content occur on mobile devices, specifically smartphones. Some 91% of smartphone users turn to their smartphone for ideas while doing a task. Google said many of these searches occur during moments of intent, those "I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments." These are moments when someone needs to know something at that specific moment, according to the study.

There are more than 135 million how-to videos on YouTube. The Home Depot has its share of every type of home improvement, from outdoor projects to homeowner basics such as how-to make a vegetable planter, which recently came in handy for me. The video shows the viewer the tools needed to get the job done and the process in which to build the box.

Google lists the top 10 educational searches for how-to videos from 2012 through 2015. How to kiss came in at No. 1, followed by how to tie a tie, how to draw, how to get a six-pack in three minutes, how to make a starburst bracelet rainbow loom, how to make a cake, hot to curl your hair with a straightener, how to make a bow, how to make a paper airplane, and how to dance.

While some brands use how-to-videos to drive consumers from online into stores, others provide videos to help patrons get the hang of a dance before hitting the bar. If you have ever tried country line dancing, how-to videos come in handy, especially as they become more complicated.

Millennials continue to drive growth in food channel subscription on YouTube. About 75% of that growth comes from mobile devices. About 67% of millennials agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn, and nearly one in three millennials say they've purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video.

It's all about the moment of intent, finding the information when needed -- and it may be, per Google, the most important thing a marketer can do, but many aren't. Marketing remains a planned brand moment and milestone.


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