No longer limited to the pages of magazines and brick-and-mortar shops, home and garden brands are quickly filling up the digital space with photos, videos, and other content designed to excite and inspire.
When it comes to online video advertising, many brands in this industry are thriving. Why? Because they understand that consumers don’t necessarily want overly-promotional product videos. Instead, home and garden companies are producing online videos that hold real value for viewers, like helpful guides to DIY projects and tips & tricks for improvement projects.
In April 2013, Google put together an infographic based on two surveys about DIYers and their digital habits. The company found that 71% of DIY shoppers use the internet for information/help. Though this may not come as a surprise in this day and age, what may pique your interest is DIYers’ dependence on branded video content. Take a look.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different ways in which brands are using online video to encourage creativity and innovation with home and garden projects.
Home Improvement Retailers
The Home Depot and Lowe’s dominate the home and garden industry, spending the most on advertising and attracting the largest online audiences. In fact, these retailers are two of the largest in the United States. As consumers have shifted to online video, so too have these giants. Boasting a presence across several social video sites and, of course, YouTube, Home Depot and Lowe’s keep consumers entertained and engaged in variety of ways.
The Home Depot
Remember how I mentioned DIYers flock to content that provides value? The top 14 most popular clips on Home Depot’s YouTube channel are proof of just that. Each one is a how to video and boasts more than 450,000 views. Here’s the brand’s most popular spot that teaches viewers how to tile a bathroom floor. The total view count: 1,455,507.
The company also recommends fun improvement projects via Instagram Video and Vine.
The future’s looking bright on 7/12. Join our #DIYWorkshop this weekend for more lighting and electrical project ideas. Reserve your seat here: thd.co/diyworkshops View on Instagram
In a similar fashion, this brand’s top YouTube videos feature how tos and installation tutorials. With more than 115,000 subscribers and 49 million total views on its channel, Lowe’s has attracted a sizeable audience of DIYers and home improvement aficionados. The retailer also creates short-form videos for Vine and Instagram.
How To Figure Out Fertilizer: Left number – Nitrogen (N) for leaf development and vivid green color. Middle number – Phosphorous (P) for root growth. Right number – Potassium (K), sometimes called potash, for root development and disease resistance. #DIY #Lowes #SpringIsCalling #Fertilizer View on Instagram
Though paint is typically sold through retailers like the Home Depot and Lowe’s who create their own advertising materials to get people in the door, paint brands are using online video to highlight differentiators, educate consumers on proper techniques, and inspire creative painting projects.
Garden and tool brands have also jumped on the online video marketing train. Having a presence on YouTube is the bare minimum, and many companies are at least producing original content for the site. However, as people search for other ways to consume content, these brands will have to adapt—they’ll have to expand their video marketing efforts to meet video viewers on the sites they frequent.
Below are two examples of garden and/or tool brands that have embraced video as a way to educate and enthuse.
Décor retailers have an incredible opportunity, when it comes to online video, to showcase vignettes in all their glory, highlighting colors, patterns, textures, and more! Exciting video viewers with new ideas and potential projects is a great way to not only entertain, but also to build up a following of dedicated décor lovers.
While it’s easy to think that all consumers want to see is product shots and how to videos, General Electric and Kohler have branched into storytelling. With a sizeable marketing budget, GE takes storytelling to the extreme with the purpose of promoting a message, not necessarily a product. Kohler, though not as large as GE, brings storytelling into its online videos in different ways, humanizing the brand through employee spotlights and company culture videos. Take a look!
Taking into account the information above, below is our 2015 outlook for the home and garden industry.
Though we’re approaching winter and home improvement projects may not be at the forefront of consumers’ minds, spring will be here sooner than you think. In 2013, 38% of Americans completed or considered a DIY project. In the coming year, we expect this percentage to increase as young, digitally savvy consumers move into the housing market.
Google found that 38% of DIY shoppers are 25 to 34-years-old, and according to Nielsen’s Q2 2014 Cross-Platform report, this age group also watches the most online video content each week. For U.S. consumers ages 25 to 34, year-over-year, time spent watching TV has decreased (by almost two hours per week), and time spent watching online video has increased (by more than 40 minutes per week).
It makes perfect sense, then, that 49% of DIYers turn to online video to help with home improvement projects. This medium will experience the most growth, both in terms of ad spending and creativity, in the coming years, as home and garden brands experiment with new ways to build awareness, drive engagement, and ultimately influence purchasing decisions.
Of course, this industry will continue to spend advertising dollars on search ads, specifically Google Ad Words. In 2011, home and garden brands spent $2.1 billion on Ad Words—this spending is justified, as 73% of DIYers use search engines to find resources for home improvement projects.
However, with its visual nature and ability to showcase projects in their entirety, online video will reign supreme in the home and garden industry. We’ve begun to see a shift in focus as the industry embraces apps like Vine and Instagram Video; but these companies will need to maintain a consistent flow of original, creative video content if they want to capture attention, flaunt differentiators, and grow a loyal audience.