The most popular genre on YouTube is the ‘how to’ video. Up to the end of September over 100 million hours of different ‘how to’ videos had been watched this year alone. As marketers we, and our clients, can learn a lot from this statistic.
Life-hacks is a term that’s entered our language recently and in essence it’s about gaining knowledge, or learning how to achieve something quickly and easily. There remains a desire in most of us to ‘learn’, it’s what we want to learn about that changes from person to person. Start typing ‘how to…’ into YouTube and observe the multitude of predictive answers it provides; how to tie a tie, how to dry onions, how to get a six pack, how to reset an iPhone, it’s an almost endless list.
What brands and marketers need to understand is the move away from being told to being taught. It’s a subtle change but it’s a change all the same. As a brand you have a level of expertise, you need to start demonstrating that and leveraging it. Simply put if you don’t someone else will and it’ll probably be a competitor. Be under no illusions that most YouTube videos are simply commercials for something or someone, but to be successful they need to engage the viewer or fulfil a demand for knowledge.
The good news is most of these knowledge demands are fairly simple and haven’t changed much over the years. The most searched ‘how to’ video on YouTube is ‘how to kiss’, teenage angst and insecurity remains no matter the generation. This simply underlines that what people actually want hasn’t really changed, it’s how they want it that’s different. The smart marketers understand that.
As we approach 2016 it’s important we all review whether our marketing plans will engage or not, because if they don’t they’ll become increasingly easy to ignore.