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How To Win With How-To Videos

Joyce Camille Reyes
May 21, 2020

As brands continue to experiment with content marketing, they have also come to recognize the power of video to offer their consumers something new to learn and discover. Data from Google suggest that 23% of internet users watch online videos because they want to learn something new. This trend could also be why brands increasingly turn to how-to videos.

In the age of #LifeHacks, Do-It-Yourself projects, and online tutorials and courses, it’s no surprise that how-to videos have really marked its importance to a generation of online learners. As a result, “how-to” video searches on Youtube have shot up by 70% year over year according to Google.

Click here to work with Southeast Asia's top videographers

But whether you’re in the business of home improvement, skin care, fashion, or food—one can assume that at least a hundred how-to videos have already been made about the exact same thing you want to teach. So how do you make sure yours will stand out? Here are a few tips we’ve gathered based on the hundreds of video campaigns we’ve run at GetCraft:

#1 Create moments

How-to videos have the tendency to become generic, especially if the product involved isn’t the first of its kind. But within the right context, even the most ordinary product has the potential to shine. To make sure your how-to videos elicit a sense of wonder and curiosity, create videos that lean towards context and originality instead of pure authority.

It will help to identify specific moments in which your brand will be uniquely valuable. For example, instead of creating a simple product demo for your brand’s new makeup line, why not create a day-to-night tutorial for busy women in the workplace, or a how-to on creating the perfect summer look using a set of warm shades?

#2 Get personal

Consumers are more likely to pay attention to your content if it reflects what they are already interested in, and if it’s shown to them in a manner and at a time they prefer. You can only do this if you truly know your market.

We recommend making use of contextual data to understand your audiences better and tailor your message according to their unique personalities and interests (see #1). This involves looking at consumer habits and behavioral intent, and using available search tools to find out what your target market is already searching for online.

#3 Get close

While it’s important to prepare a clear script when creating how-to videos, we suggest you keep these videos light and conversational. An informational video is a lot more engaging if it encourages dialogue, and if it makes viewers feel as if they are being spoken to directly. Try breaking the fourth wall once in a while to connect with viewers through video content, as ads that use on-screen talent are associated with higher brand lift.

#4 Get right to it

Regardless of the format, the first few seconds of your video are extremely vital in keeping the attention of your viewers. On YouTube, the highest performing videos are those that capture the audience’s attention early on. Getting your viewers hooked within the first 2.7 seconds is a safe rule.

This can be a bit tricky for how-to videos, since the format may require the viewer to stay tuned in to a number of steps before seeing the final product or result. To ensure that most viewers get hooked within the first few seconds, brands can opt to quickly flash the final result at the beginning so that viewers get curious as to how it was achieved.

#5 Get an expert

No matter what it is they’re looking to learn, your target consumers will want to hear it from an expert, or at least from someone who appears to know what they’re doing. If your goal is to educate your market on a specific benefit of your product, consider reaching out to an expert who is credible in your industry and partner up with them to create a how-to video for your brand.

#6 Get real

With the right balance of credibility and authenticity, how-to videos have the potential to strengthen consumer trust by presenting a more realistic image of your brand. The key is to avoid over-promising so as not to come across as too hard-sell. At GetCraft, we have found that the best way to do this is to work with content creators who are seen as thought leaders in your field.

Finding content partners to work with might be tricky. Based on our experience and the conversations we’ve had with marketers, it can take up to two weeks just to make content. Our Marketplace allows you to easily discover and collaborate with thousands of influencers across Southeast Asia, many of them considered experts in their fields or categories.

Visit the GetCraft Marketplace

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