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November 13, 2020   |   6 min read

Online Video Changes the Game for DIY Customers

Julie Sablar   |   Director of Social Media

Since March 2020, 56% of homeowners aged 25-34 have completed a home improvement task. Recently, our strategy and insights teams conducted a large volume of secondary research about how these consumers think and what this means for brands. With a surge in new DIY undertakings, we see a direct correlation between self-quarantining, working from home and school closings and homeowners being at home day after day and thinking they need a change. These projects, big or small, can be an undertaking for both novices and newbies. While they are excited about the prospect of a completed project, we see that DIYers struggle to get started for several reasons:

  • Shopping confidence: “Will I love it or hate it when it’s done?”
  • Knowledge: “Where do I start, and how do I complete it?”
  • Resources: “What products will I need, and where can I get them?”

These concerns can stop DIYers in their tracks. But there is a way for brands to step in and help solve these common fears: online video.

Creating online videos helps brands be there for their customers—even when they aren’t physically there. From virtual and augmented reality to how-to videos and even products reviews, brands can create toolkits of knowledge that give DIYers the assurance and confidence they need to start and complete projects. We’re going to dive into these different types of online videos and prove just how impactful they can be.


Bringing DIY to Life Anywhere: Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete computer-generated immersion experience that is designed to simulate a person’s physical presence in a specific environment that feels real. Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone. More recently, this type of AR video has been used for augmented shopping, enabling customers to engage with brands and products via digital experiences that allow them to try on, try out, interact or personalize their products virtually. These experiences help deliver more detailed, intuitive product information than standard web experiences and help DIYers build their confidence by picturing the products in their homes before they purchase.

Social channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat encourage brands to utilize immersive video experiences in both organic and paid ads. For example, Ashley HomeStore and Target use AR ads to help customers select a product and place them in in their homes. Done from the comfort of their couches, this creates consumer confidence and increases the chance of purchase.

3 phone images; 1 showing Ashley HomeStore site, 1 showing a room and 1 showing a room with a table inserted

3 phone images; 1 showing Columbus Far SW site, 1 showing a room and 1 showing a room with a tall shelf inserted


This or That? Product & Project Reviews

88% consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations

Product reviews and testimonials are among the most helpful types of video content, especially for consumers who are in the consideration phase of the customer journey. This content helps companies simplify the "choosing" process for products and projects by providing all the information consumers need to make purchasing decisions.

Since this type of video works best when you have already established trust with your audience, it’s perfect for using influencers as content creators. But companies can still create or co-create internally by reviewing products and answering common questions to show viewers the unique product benefits. Additionally, for B2B models, companies can participate by reviewing complementary products of their own, showcasing a full customer experience or first-hand account for clients as told by clients themselves.

Well known DIY influencer Lazy Guy DIY, provides videos about DIY Projects, woodworking and tool reviews. Some of his content provides standard product reviews, while other videos supplement reviews with product hacks that offer the greatest benefits.

Red mounting tape roll on wood with the copy UPGRADE YOUR MOUNTING-TAPE SHOP HACK
4 video images from Lazy Guy DIY site


Easy as 1-2-3: Make Motivation Happen

For those DIYers who are taking on a new project, they can be hesitant about how to even get started. Brands have the opportunity to provide an expert’s tutorial that gets them to the finish line. However, this guiding content has to be more than just showcasing promotional tie-ins and soft-selling. Consumers are smart enough to know when they’re being coaxed (especially millennials and Gen-Z!).

Creating content that has added benefits to DIYers can keep bringing them back to your brand for advice and guidance. There are several different types of online tutorial videos, such as how to find things in-store or how to complete a project step by step.

House your content on site as a content hub with video, articles, products and more. Home Depot curates extensive how-to content like this, sorted by difficulty level, time to complete and project guides.

Image of The Home Depot's website - How to Build a Picnic Table with a Built-in Cooler


Several social channels offer options to help bring this content to life too. For example, Facebook video collection ads allow fans to watch the tutorial while shopping for the products. Instagram has step-by-step IG Stories that fans can follow, or they can use to watch the tutorials on IGTV. But “YouTube often serves as the most efficient channel to house video marketing content. It is the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google, provides SEO value as Google prioritizes video in search and gives preference to YouTube (owned by Google), and the default player is automatically responsive, trusted by consumers and social platforms, and innately sharable.” (Christian Durrant, Home Improvement Marketing). Home improvement brand, Lowes, creates step-by-step tutorials with SEO-optimized copy that’s housed on their YouTube channel and can be embedded on their website.

Low's website with a how to page showing


Finally, something we haven’t seen with DIY content yet is when it goes wrong. More often than not, the tutorials show how to complete the project as if they all go right. But if you’ve ever completed a DIY project, you know DIY doesn’t always go as planned.

There is an opportunity to create tutorials with a “choose your own adventure” outcome. After each step of the tutorial, users can select their next step based on the outcome of the previous one. For home improvement, maybe the stain color didn’t turn out correctly, or a certain piece broke. Before moving onto the next step, a user selects how to correct the problem. Another example is how Walmart and eko partnered with chef Daniel Holzman for a “How to Make Meatballs” video where watchers are given multiple options from which they can choose their preferred next step in the cooking process.

A series of images on computer screens showing the steps to cook a dish


That’s a Wrap

With a solid content marketing strategy that considers your brand, your audience and your goals, you can start creating video content that offers real value for viewers. Video not only simplifies the shopping experience and promotes confidence, also it helps DIYers get over the hump of consideration and down the funnel to purchase.

Additional considerations with online video include social shopping tags and ecommerce options such as Facebook and Instagram Shops, plus omni-channel cross-promotion strategies. From site to social to in-store and email, online video has endless opportunities to deliver engaging content that users need. Engaging is a key word with online video. For some video best practices on how to create content that keeps consumers coming back, check out some creative tips here.


We’re Here to Help

Our team is passionate about the DIY and “Do It For Me” markets. Recently, our strategy and insights teams conducted a large volume of secondary research on the Home Improvement category. We would be happy to talk you through these findings, answer any questions you have and assist with everything from analytics and reporting to creative execution. Contact us.

Download The birth of a new generation: Gen-DIY.

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