"How To"​ Books Are Nearly Extinct, But "How To...?"​ Is A Question That Will Always Need An Answer

I'd guess that nearly everyday your customers have a "How to...?" question that you could answer, but the question for you is, "Are you providing them the answers they need when and where they need them?

Recently I came across a pair of Reader’s Digest Home Improvement books. The ultimate "How To" guides.  They were purchased at a used book store eons ago. I realized, NO ONE USES THESE ANYMORE! Granted, they are chock full of useful knowledge, tips, tricks, and shortcuts for the homeowner, but we all know where we go for information nowadays. Online videos of course.

I did some digging as to why books like the aforementioned have gone the way of the dinosaur.  Here are some stats to consider:

  • Cisco, an internet behemoth, published in their “Annual Internet Report” that 82% of all online content will be video by 2021. That is an 88% increase in just five years.

  • The king of online video, YouTube, has seen a 70% increase in “How To…” searches.  Whether it’s how to change the alternator in a 2012 Toyota Corolla or how to take screenshot on your MacBook, the world is going digital for learning. (How to tie a tie is still the number one search).

  • Globally in 2019, users spent and average of 6 hours and 48 minutes watching online videos each week. That is a 59% increase over the three years prior.

  • Web speed and web access are only increasing (average global speed 110mbs). As 5G connectivity and rural access increases, there is no limit to the future of dynamic video content to access literally anywhere.

  • Online consumption of video was at 56 exabytes monthly in 2017, is projected to quadruple by 2022 to 240 per month. If you didn’t know what an exabyte is, it’s equal to 1 billion gigabytes. Yeah, I know- unfathomable.

Some really smart (and now extremely wealthy) people forecasted this to happen. Social media platforms are now driving their users on video content. Business owners are realizing consumers love seeing product videos on social media. As of 2019, 87% of marketing professionals use video as marketing tool. And video WORKS!  – in the next installment, we’ll take a moment to understand why microlearning and short testimonials are so effective. 

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