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Exploring the Marketing Power of ‘How To’ Videos

As online video consumption continues to increase, more and more business owners are making it a part of their digital marketing strategy. Statistics show that video offers a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other content type. Whether you’re looking to sell a product, sell a service or generate leads, you should consider using video to help achieve your business goals.

But it’s important to create the right type of videos. Some business owners focus strictly on commercials and other promotional videos, believing this yields the most conversions. While there’s nothing wrong with creating promotional videos, you’ll have an easier time connecting with your target audience by diversifying your video marketing efforts with non-promotional videos as well.

Enter ‘How To’ Videos

One type of non-promotional video that’s highly effective at connecting with viewers is “how to” videos. As the name suggests, a “how to” video reveals how to do something. A business that sells aftermarket car parts, for instance, might produce a video on how to replace a radiator. On the other hand, a cosmetics company might produce a video on how to apply foundation. “How to” videos such as these walk the viewer through the steps of performing a pertinent task.

The fundamental purpose of a “how to” video is to answer a question that’s frequently asked by your business’s target audience. This is in stark contrast to promotional videos, which are designed to sell a product or otherwise convert the viewer into a customer. With “how to” videos, you want to help the viewer perform the respective task featured in the video.

Benefits of Producing ‘How To’ Videos

So, why should you produce “how to” videos for your business? For starters, it allows you to reach a larger audience. Let’s face it, most consumers of online video content don’t actively search for promotional videos. Rather, they search for non-promotional, informational content, including “how to” videos.

According to Think with Google, roughly seven in 10 viewers use YouTube to solve a problem for their job, studies or hobbies. More specifically, the company found that 65% of YouTube viewers use the platform to find solutions on how to fix something in their home or car, and 56% use the platform to learn something new.

Even if a “how to” video doesn’t directly promote a product or service, it may still generate sales or conversions. After watching the video on “how to replace your radiator,” for instance, the viewer may visit the business’ website and buy an aftermarket radiator. Why?  Because the viewer now feels a sense of trust that the company is an authority in the auto parts business. While the primary objective of the video was to walk viewers through the steps of changing a radiator, a secondary and indirect objective was to generate more sales.

Basically, “how to” videos typically create a strong response by the viewer, even stronger than promotional videos. Viewers are more likely to share a “how to” video with their friends and family. And with each share your video receives, you’ll generate additional traffic and exposure for your business.

Finally, “how to” videos can boost your business’s authority in the eyes of your audience. Assuming your video is professionally made and answers the viewer’s questions, it can make your business stand out from its competitors. So, the next time a prospect wants to buy a product or service offered by your business, they’ll probably choose you instead of a competitor.

Tips for Creating Effective ‘How To’ Videos

When creating “how to” videos, there are a few things you should know. First, create and follow a script that walks the viewer through each step of the process. Skipping around without clear directions or instructions is a sure-fire recipe for failure. You must assume that viewers have no understanding of the process.

Don’t just tell users how to perform the task but rather, show them. After all, videos are designed to be visual by nature; therefore, users expect to see the process.

You should also optimize your “how to” videos for higher search rankings. As previously mentioned, a substantial number of “how to” searches are performed, both on YouTube as well as traditional search engines. If you want your videos to appear in these searches, you must optimize them accordingly. This means constructing your title to include the “how to” phrase, adding relevant keywords and promoting your videos on third-party platforms (e.g. your website, blog and social media).

The Bottom Line…

As you can see, “how to” videos are a powerful component to your business’s digital marketing strategy. You’ll reach a larger audience while potentially generating more sales or conversions in the process.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only produce “how to” videos, however. On the contrary, it’s recommended that you diversify your video content with a variety of videos, including both promotional and non-promotional videos.



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