How Home Depot is Winning with How-To Video Content

How Home Depot is Winning with How-To Video Content

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You may not realize it but The Home Depot is an expert in home improvement how-to videos. Its YouTube channel is sitting at just under 100 thousand subscribers, but it has used its know-how to leave a 45 million+ view footprint on the how-to space. It has focused heavily on the hygiene part of the Hero, Hub, and Hygiene strategy with solid results.

What is Hero, Hub, & Hygiene Content?

Hero, Hub and Hygiene refer to a particularly successful online video strategy that focuses on constantly being in front of your intended audience. Some companies focus more on the Hero content, which is a more traditional video marketing approach. This content is essentially the viral video campaign and YouTube recommends that you aim to do this type of content 1-2 times a year. This should generate a boost in both traffic and brand awareness. Pepsi recently released a 3 minute bit with NFL quarterback Joe Flacco that would be a good example of timely Hero content. It is highly produced and brings in some big talent, something that can’t happen every day.

Hub content is more serial in nature. It is regularly scheduled and is really the content that your core audience should want to come back and enjoy time after time. A great example of this would be “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”. The channel regularly posts the most popular bits from the show to not only drive viewers to the channel, but back to the television show as well. This is the core business of most traditional YouTube channels: posting entertaining and engaging content on a regular basis to keep their audience coming back.

Hygiene content is more searchable, evergreen content intended to draw in viewers who may not already be watching your videos or buying your products. It is in this area that The Home Depot has become an exceptional example for how to do hygiene-type content.

The Home Depot and Hygiene Content

home depot video and social reach august 2015
The Home Depot – Video Views and Social Reach – August 2015 (Data via Tubular)

In the past 30 days, The Home Depot has uploaded 85 video, the majority of these videos are “How to” videos related to home improvement. This is a great strategy to drive foot traffic into Home Depot stores. As consumers search out different home improvement techniques, who else is there but The Home Depot with not only the answers they are looking for, but every product they need to get the job done right.

This approach gives The Home Depot the ability to build good will and trust in the home improvement space and makes it a preferred destination not just for the products needed, but the knowledge to put them to use. With all of the how-to content they have produced, it gives it an opportunity to be the destination for not just one video, but potentially the #1 source for future home improvement help. As consumers find what they need on The Home Depot’s YouTube page, Home Depot will become the place to go for answers rather than search.

How Home Depot Can Increase Video Views and Engagement

The Home Depot are doing a great job with the video content it is uploading, particularly to YouTube. But there are a few ways that they could use some strategic video marketing techniques to generate more views and engagement:

It Can Update Old Videos: There are a number of videos on the page, including newer posts, which are still in the old 4:3 format and appear ready to be played on VHS. YouTube does reward recency to a degree, so updating the older content to be a higher quality would be worth the effort.

Freshen Up the Thumbnails: Although Home Depot get it right on a number of thumbnails, others are a complete miss. With minimal effort it could get some more consistent branding and better thumbnails across all of its content which should not only help it in search but also bring viewers back to their page.

Take the following batch of thumbnails for recently uploaded content. Aty a distance (or on mobile) its hard to tell these belong to Home Depot as there is little to no consistency or branding. The company could more up close faces, colors that pop and perhaps a common orange border to distinguish them from competitors.

home depot youtube custom thumbnails

Create Content Around Tent-pole Events: Some of their videos, like lawn care related ones, seem deliberately posted in the Spring/Summer time. That is great. They should consider other opportunities for how-to videos centered on the seasons and tent-pole events.

All in all The Home Depot is a great example of how to create hygiene-type content online. Just because you have a product to sell doesn’t mean that’s all you need to make videos about.  The whole purpose of hygiene content is to drive new viewers to your videos and ultimately your business.

Home Depot has done that to the tune of over 45 million views.  Job well done.  With improvement in some key areas, Home Depot can work at not just driving that traffic, but converting it to subscribers and super fans.


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