Everything we purchase comes with instructions. Fortunately, most of them are quite simple – how to launder a new clothing item; how long to microwave a frozen meal; directions for making a specific dish; how often to take a medication, and such. They are short, simple, and easy to read and understand.

What happens when instructions are not so simple?

What happens, though, when you purchase or order a product that requires assembly? Here you are faced with a bevy of parts, screws, nuts, and bolts, all of different sizes, in small plastic bags. And, of course there is that assembly “manual,” often written by a foreigner if the product originates in another country, along with pictures and alphabet letters to identify the many parts. You may be an American retailer selling this product, but this is what your consumer actually receives to assemble what you have sold to them. It can all lead to frustration, even anger, and certainly the loss of a future customer.

All of this could be avoided if the customer could access a How-to video that shows the step-by-step assembly process. And that’s the beauty of videos. How-to videos tell you exactly how to do something, in great detail, so you can accomplish a task or learn something new, even without previous experience.

And herein lies the value of how-to videos in marketing your products or services. Any of your customers, current or potential, will be able to gain great value when they can learn how to do something they’ve never done before and when you have given them that knowledge.

Unpacking five reasons why a business needs How-To videos

1.  Customers Learn How to Use a Company’s Products/Services

Let’s suppose you sell an array of beauty facial products. Each comes with those tiny instruction labels on the jar or tube. But let’s also suppose that in the marketing of each of those products, you have created a specific how-to video of exactly how the product is applied, including before and after results. How much more engaging and compelling will that marketing tactic be than just a wall of text that promotes the product’s value. You are “showing,” not “telling.”

The same might apply to a company marketing a piece of software – something that must be installed and then, of course, used correctly. There may be many elements of the successful use of a chatbot, for example, and there will be a learning curve for that first-time user. When a company develops how-to videos for each facet of its use, the customer is happy and has an emotional sense of accomplishment. And when you provide an updated piece of chatbot software or another product that a current customer might consider valuable, you will have a potential purchaser who already trusts you.

2.  Higher Google Rankings

Marketers do their best to craft amazing, engaging, and compelling content that educates, informs, entertains, and even inspires. They also know that video content is far preferable to consumers to written text or instructions.

And they want that content to be “found” by Google bots, indexed as valuable, and ranked according to the current algorithms. One of the most often used terms by searchers begins with “how to.” If marketers can use that term in their titles and meta descriptions, including the fact that this content is in the form of a video. Consider the difference between these two content titles:

  • Perfect Instructions for Setting Up Your Microsoft Account
  • A How-To Video for Setting Up Your Microsoft Account

Google will prefer the second title because of the terms “how to” and “video,” both of which they know are more valuable to searchers.

3.     Help Customers Solve a Specific Issue

You may be marketing exterior paints and stains for decks. And you may have crafted great “how-to” videos for each type of product you offer, along with recommendations for which product works best with each type of deck wood, ideal temperatures, etc. have you forgotten anything? You may have. And if you have, you will probably get questions from your customers about those things. For example, what is the best way to prepare the deck for the specific products? Is the deck bare wood or is there an old stain or paint that must be removed? And how best should it be removed? You may have anticipated such questions and already have videos in place, from which customers can choose options. If, though, a question arises that you may have missed, then crafting a new video will add to your arsenal.

4.     Improve Your Sales Funnel

Marketers are well aware of the delicacy of keeping potential customers in their sales funnels. It requires constant vigilance, frequent but not harassing communications, sometimes incentives such as special discounts, etc. And yet, there is always “leaking” from that funnel for a variety of reasons. Your leads are just not warm enough yet. Some have an awareness of what you offer but are considering competitors too; some are just not quite ready to make that final decision to make a purchase. Now may be the time to do something unique and stunning in the way of a special How-To video.

Suppose you are a full-service travel business. Competition is tough in this business, and you have to be consistently studying what those competitors are offering in the way of special packages and pricing, always “under the gun” to get an edge. How about taking advantage of some of the newest technology, specifically augmented and/or virtual reality, to provide video virtual tours of special vacation destinations – tours that allow your viewers to place themselves in those environments and experience all the amenities first-hand. This could be just the tipping point a wavering customer may need to push him into booking that trip. Linda Ferguson, CEO of Subjecto educational assistance organization, is a big fan of exploring the newest technology that might be usable in her niche. “We understand the importance of using whatever technology may be useful for us. We are currently exploring setting up virtual classrooms for student clients who have similar issues and needs. It’s exciting.”

5.     Prove Your Value and Expertise

This requires that you know your customer base intimately – not just their demographics, but their values, their pain points, and their preferred language, style and tone from companies they choose to patronize. When you craft your How-To videos, you must of course show that you have the greatest expertise regarding the product or service you market, and that expertise means that your product or service is the best available. In the creation of those videos, though, you must also address the specific solutions you provide (the convenience of a disposable razor blade subscription, for example) of a focus on social or environmental responsibility (critical to millennials and younger generations), or perhaps a commitment to diversity. And the language tone and style of your script must match that of your audience. You’ll create a script for senior citizen assistive products differently than you would for young people looking for the latest in clothing styles.

Final thoughts

It’s a competitive digital world, and consumers have lots of choices when they look for products or services to solve their problems and meet their needs.

Brands that make it as easy as possible for consumers to get good information via video will always have an edge over those who do not. Make video production one of your brand’s most important marketing strategies, continue to craft new and improved ones, and you will find that your customer base grows and remains loyal.

Bridgette Hernandez

Bridgette Hernandez

Bridgette Hernandez is a writer at Subjecto and marketing consultant for numerous small to mid-sized companies with their digital presence. She is especially skilled in the creation of engaging, entertaining, and on-point scripts for brand videos. In her spare time, she runs marathons throughout the country.

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