how to videos on YouTubeExplainer videos or “How to” videos are too often overlooked by brands. This type of content provides an opportunity for discovery and engagement by interested viewers searching online for a solution. The viewer may not even know who you are or that you have a solution to their problem. They will just do what all people do when they have a problem. They Google it. Either directly on Google or they’ll use YouTube if they’re specifically looking for a video answer. YouTube also happens to be the second largest search engine in their world.

According to a recent study by Google, “how to” searches on YouTube are up 70% year over year with more than 100 million hours of how-to content watched so far this year. How can you take advantage of people doing these “how to” searches:

Pinpoint Your Brand “How Do I…” Moments

If you’ve identified your brand’s audience persona, chances are you’ve also identified what their pain points are and why they might be looking for a solution. If not, what are some of the questions people may be searching for in regards to the products or services you offer?

Build Your Video Marketing Strategy Around These Moments

Once you’ve identified what these questions are, figure out they fit in during your entire sales cycle. From the top of the funnel introductory questions to the more in depth questions where the person may be closer to making a purchasing decision. Videos should even be tweaked to serve different iterations of basically the same question. The more specific you are to what the viewer is searching for, the more likely they will be to watch your video and then take the next action.

Once you’ve done this, you should be slightly tweaking and scripting the content based on where the viewer is watching your video. A viewer on YouTube will be far less engaged than someone watching on your website so your videos should be customized accordingly.

Individually Optimize Your YouTube Videos

Now that you have identified and customized the videos that will go on YouTube, you need to make sure that people searching will be able to find your “how to” content. Make sure to add a descriptive title, complete details and all relevant tags to each and every one of your videos. This is the most critical step to people being able to find your videos when they are searching for a solution to their problem.

Home Depot produces thousands of how-to videos for everything ranging from complicated home improvement projects down to homeowner basics. Trish Mueller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Home Depot, has said, “We’re now laser focused on how we can use digital to deliver against our customers’ needs every moment of the day and every step of their home improvement experience.” With 67% of millennials replying that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn it’s no surprise how effective how to videos can be. There are few better ways to answer WIIFM than by providing the answer to the questions your customers are searching for with targeted how to video content.


Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts