Google Says To Reach YouTube Users On How-To Searches

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Google is giving marketers some best practices for capitalizing on major growth in how-to searches on YouTube. Believe it or not, these types of searches have seen 70% growth year-over-year. A whopping one hundred million hours of such content has already been watched in North America in 2015, it says.

In other words, this is an opportunity for businesses who can provide high quality how-to content to attract some eyeballs.

This information comes from a Think with Google article by David Mogensen, Head of B2B Product Marketing for YouTube and Google Display (via Marketing Land). According to him, people look for how-to videos increasingly on mobile with 91% of smartphone users turning to their devices for ideas while completing a task.

These searches are on the rise across all age groups, but millennials are especially likely to search YouTube for how-to videos. According to Google, 67% of them agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.

I guess that's why Google Helpouts didn't take off.

"Being there in these moments may be the single most important thing a marketer can do, but many aren't," writes Mogensen. "Marketing is still largely planned against brand moments and milestones, and it is anchored to campaign flights and product launches—not personal moments like these. The reason for this is simple. Most marketing plans are grounded in traditional one-way media: Broadcast from brands to large audiences." Without signals of intent, traditional media makes it impossible to know whether someone actually needs or wants your product.

"But when people ask how to do something, that's a need," he continues. "That's someone asking, 'can you help me out?' Digital media let brands respond to those questions and be there at the very moment someone needs them most. Brands that successfully do this can win loyalty and drive sales to boot. In fact, nearly one in three millennials say they've purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video."

He talks about how Home Depot has a bunch of how tos for home improvement and how Valspar has content about various paint-related subjects.

Home improvement, beauty, and cooking are among the most popular categories for how-to searches.

As far as best practices, Google says to identify the "I-wan-to-do moments" in which people have a need that your brand can help with. It says to find these moments across the whole consumer journey and put them at the center of your strategy. You should also figure out what questions and concerns people have related to the types of projects you sell or the projects they're used for, and then create the content to serve as resources for those, it says.

Google also suggests looking at when how-to searches occur, and making your videos easier to find by adding descriptive titles, details, and relevant tags to each video. Promoting the videos is another option.

One thing that Mogensen didn't really get into that is certainly worth considering is how frequently videos appear in Google search results. You have to imagine that there are plenty of these how-to searches happening right on Google.

We recently looked at a study on Google Universal Search trends, and video is the most frequent type of universal result Google shows. They appeared in 55% of search results pages analyzed. While the percentage of search results pages showing video results actually fell over the course of 2014, videos appear more often than anything else by far. 80% of videos displayed in Universal Search results came from YouTube.

Image via Google

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.