Content Marketing Blog

Google urges brands to invest in how-to videos

YouTube is trying to convince more brands to invest in instructional videos to help customers use their products more easily.

According to Google, YouTube's parent company, Australians run 2.4 million how-to style searches on the video sharing site every month, but whether it's connecting up a DVD player or fixing a problem with a new smartphone, the solutions are coming from users rather than manufacturers or retailers.

YouTube is seeking to change that by encouraging brands to put together official how-to videos that can then be posted on a dedicated YouTube channel.

To help make the case for investing in official instructional video guides, YouTube is currently running its own project. Google's Talia Knowles provided a sneak preview at ThinkTech in Sydney this afternoon.

The project involved commissioning two videos to demonstrate an effective how-to. In the edited-down versions posted on YouTube, Australian mime actors the Umbilical Brothers show us how a simple instructional video can provide a superior customer experience.

So far, the target number of views on the dedicated channel, howtoau, has topped 27,000, which is ahead of YouTube's target. It aims to secure 100,000 views by the end of June, with a cost per view of no more than 60 cents.

Google is hoping that by having more official how-to guides, the quality of this type of content on YouTube will improve dramatically.

While user-generated videos can be very useful, the quality – in terms of production and accuracy of the information – varies enormously. Google knows that if it can get more brands spending money on professional-looking videos, it will create lucrative sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

Full results of the "how to" project are due to be announced at the end of the month.