Many brands have been creating content and have an arsenal on various social media platforms. Those brands should now be looking to evolve that content or the platforms on which it resides to maximize the investment and realize its potential.
Home Depot has spent a lot of time creating and posting over 2000 videos to YouTube generating more than 25MM views both on and off the Home Depot channel, not a small feat. However, all that content can make each video a needle in a haystack when on the channel itself. The content is disparate, challenging to find, and lacking a unified voice.
If Home Depot were looking to maximize the value of their content investment, I’d suggest they segment the videos by interest and use their great merchandising partners to expand on the content in a meaningful manner.
The in-store aisle strategy can work online
Imagine walking into Home Depot and not having an aisle structure that allows the consumer to know where to go for flooring or sinks? What if Home Depot just put the most recent products delivered in the front of the store regardless of product type? That’s basically what they are doing with YouTube. They have not done a sufficient job making playlists or segmenting their video content.
If Home Depot deployed an aisle-like strategy for their YouTube content, they’d service the needs of their viewers much better. In addition to playlists, they should consider the fact that their audience needs these videos at different stages of their home improvement projects. Some may need information only about planning improvements for the outside of their homes from roofs to gardening, whereas others need information on a leaky faucet or installing a thermostat. Revising the organizational structure can benefit Home Depot whether the visitor starts on the YouTube channel or if they end up there through a video link or search, and it will be especially useful for loyal channel subscribers.
Reaching viewers when they are at pivotal moments in their projects is key to maximizing the investment of the content. What about setting up different Home Depot YouTube channels based on projects? Nike has a YouTube channel with about 28,000 subscribers and a Nike Football channel with about 200,000 subscribers. They have exponentially more subscribers for niche-focused content, because those subscribers know they are only going to see content related to football. The strategy works, and Home Depot could greatly benefit from a segmentation strategy.
Maximize offline relationships online
We recently wrote about maximizing offline partners online, and Home Depot could easily employ the concept. Many of the videos on the YouTube channel feel very commercial. In addition to posting their :30 second commercials, the brand has also created and posted content for specific product lines like GE Water Heaters. However, it feels a bit sales-y and it is not entertaining. This presents a great opportunity for the Home Depot to work more closely with GE to create more meaningful content about water heaters, content that is less overtly advertisement and more concretely helpful.
Home Depot should also consider how to best repurpose all this video content. Black & Decker could choose to add a video tip to the end of each YouTube Home Depot video with an expert from Black & Decker sharing a relevant example of the best do’s and dont’s of the “How To” the user just viewed. These adapted videos can appear not only on the Home Depot channel, but then could be shared by Black & Decker for greater audience and subscriber development.
Brands should think like DIYers – what’s next?
Seeing brands commit to a robust content creation initiative is always encouraging. However, brands that fall short when mapping the user experience will not realize maximized return on investment. If Home Depot reorganized their channel based on interest and thought of ways to add more value to their 13,000 loyal subscribers, they’d start to see opportunities for their own self-improvement projects.
Should they have a channel dedicated to the craftsman, the tradesman, the green DIY consumer, the seasoned DIYer, etc.? Could each of those channels work with a merchandising partner to underwrite, support, and contribute to great content specifically for that niche audience? Could Home Depot assign one expert per channel to become the voice of flooring, the voice of tile, the voice of decks?
Yes, they can. That’s the power of Home Depot.