How could you ever fix a stuck shutter on granny’s old German Zeiss camera without spending a fortune on a professional repair? Or, how could you improve your customers’ brand experience by helping them out with optimal use of your product? The answer is YouTube and user-generated content. Join the greatest potluck of all times—and bring something to share!

To many of us, it’s natural to use YouTube as the primary search engine for finding out how to do things, like adjusting a boiler, configure a WLAN or cook the perfect sushi rice. YouTube is literally dotted with instruction videos. Watching how to do things is very convenient since we don’t have to dig out that old manual (would we even find it) and we don’t have to interpret a written instruction at the risk of misunderstanding and making mistakes accordingly. Actually, by watching we can learn how to do things that most of us wouldn’t stand a chance to do without proper demonstration.

The beautiful idea of sharing

The basic idea of sharing know-how is for the better. If everyone who was helped by an instruction video, in turn, helps others by sharing their know-how, a lot of personal frustration and time waste could be reduced.

So, why do people spend a lot of time (and in some cases considerable money) producing instruction videos to share their knowledge and advice? Well, there could be many different reasons from pure altruism to sheer exhibitionism, but for now let’s conclude there are millions of instruction videos available to anyone who wants to learn how to do this or that.

Never mind the packing—it’s all about the content

A typical instruction video addresses a particular need, i.e., ‘How do I unmount the cutter on my ride-on mower Brand X Model Y?’. Now that you can literally see that there was a guiding pin that had to be removed before releasing the cutter, your problem is solved, and you don’t care about the quite amateurish video quality. Maybe you even give the guy in the video a thankful thought. This is why packing and production quality is secondary to the very information in a typical instruction video.

From ‘how to’ to ‘why to’

However, if decently produced, an instruction video could also add goodwill to the product brand helping out customers with problems that would require a lot of research—or a call to the customer support. This is why it could be a good idea for a product brand to produce and share simple YouTube videos for how to do this or that. Besides improving both service and customer experience, you also make sure that instructions are correct and optimal handling is demonstrated. And, perhaps most important—you can also add and emphasise benefits and brand values in your way!

Give and take—take and give

Whether professionally or in private, we can always benefit from the ever-growing plethora of YouTube instruction videos. If we’re helped by someone else’s philanthropic efforts to share know-how, we should do the same for others. That’s the basic idea of sharing. So, share your know-how for the good sake—or at least for helping out your customers.

For more inspiration, let us know—we are happy to share our knowledge with you!

 Talk to an expert 

Peter Ishii

Content Strategist since 2001
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