How Online Video Helps Consumers in the I-Want-to-Do Moment

Increasingly, Asian consumers are being drawn to online videos in their I-want-to-do moments. These real-time, intent-driven micro-moments in the consumer journey present terrific opportunities for brands to connect through relevant and meaningful content.

We no longer go online; we live online. This change has fragmented the consumer decision journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments. Being constantly connected has increased expectations for immediacy and relevance for consumers. More than ever before, brands have the opportunity to earn loyalty by delivering relevant content to win people over—one micro-moment at a time.

One such moment is the “I-want-to-do” moment, when people need help to get something done. Ten years ago, if you wanted to know how to set up a new printer, bake perfect cookies, learn how to play the violin, or unclog a sink, you might have reached for a manual, combed through a giant recipe book, attended a class, or called your mom and dad for help. These days, you’re far more likely to pick up your smartphone to search for helpful content.

Asia turns to video on smartphones during I-want-to-do moments

Storytellers across the ages have advised showing rather than telling and one of the most powerful ways to show is with video. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are more than 135 million "how-to" videos on YouTube worldwide.

Percentage of people watching online videos to learn something new

Source: Google, The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/2015. Based on internet users, n=16,970.

Though we see this trend globally, it is especially pronounced in Asia. In the Philippines, for example, 56% of online users watch online videos to learn something new compared with just 21% in the U.S..1 Nestlé Philippines tapped into this trend and built a content strategy around these “I-want-to-do” moments, featuring a range of how-tos dealing with nutrition, health, and wellness on its YouTube channel.

While half of YouTube watch time worldwide happens on smartphones, Asia is clearly leading this trend: In Korea, 70% of watch time on YouTube now happens on a mobile device. In Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore, that number is 60%.2

In Asia, the smartphone has become the first screen for video viewing. This makes sense because while we are mid-task, we need help immediately; we don’t want to swipe or scroll while we are busy cooking or fixing a tire. Video on smartphones solves all of this.

Winning I-want-to-do moments

It is far more important to know that someone is looking for information on beauty, food, or home improvement than knowing demographics such as age or educational background. Intent is critical in micro-moments. When people are actively looking to find out how to do something, effective use of digital media allows brands to respond in meaningful ways to those signals of intent. It’s not just about reaching people anymore. It’s about reaching people in intent-driven moments with immediacy and relevance.

Many brands are already finding ways to win brand loyalty in these I-want-to-do moments. Unilever India, for example, noticed that millions of Indian women look online for information around fashion and beauty. To be there for women in these moments, Unilever created the “Be Beautiful” YouTube channel as a one-stop destination for a range of how-tos for looking and feeling beautiful. Hemant Bakshi, executive director of home and personal care at Unilever India, commented, “Marketing is going through a change. The power has shifted to the consumers. Therefore, becoming a part of what they watch and being a part of the content they consume is what we need to do.”

Here are some ways of understanding intent and providing consumers with relevant products, services, and suggestions at precisely the right moment:

  1. Map I-want-to-do moments to identify the right topics around which to create content
    • Find out what people care about in the moment by identifying questions and search queries in relation to your brand or category across all phases of the consumer journey. Search is a good proxy for intent. Look at your site search queries in Google Analytics or Google Search.
    • People often search for answers to their questions at specific times of the day, week, or year. For example, when compared to the rest of 2014, the month of July saw a 264% increase in searches on YouTube for Ramadan-related content. Brands can use tools such as Google Trends to uncover these valuable insights into what exactly people are searching for during a particular time.
  2. Use context to deliver the right content and experience
    • Once you have identified key search trends for your category, layer context on top (are they at home, are they on the bus) to generate insights on developing relevant content.
    • Create authentic how-to content that is optimized for mobile so that your brand is there for your customers when they are searching for things they care about. You can then promote your content with skippable “TrueView” ads. This content can and should be designed to help trigger a conversation with your audience and build relationships.
    • Advertise against content that your consumers love and that is relevant to your brand by using affinity, in-market, and topic targeting.
  3. Measure every moment that matters
    • Think about your marketing objectives and go beyond measuring clicks and impressions to measure brand metrics like awareness, favorability, and perception with solutions such as Google’s Brand Lift solution, which is now available across all major APAC markets.
    • Measure across devices and channels to understand if you reached your audience and what implications it had on perception and actions. Google’s cross-device conversion measurement helps brands measure across Google properties as well as the whole web.

The emergence of I-want-to-do moments, and of micro-moments overall, presents terrific opportunities for brands to make meaningful connections with their customers. Successful companies will rethink their content and media strategies in order to adjust to, and profit from, this pivotal change in consumer behavior.


  1. Google, The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/2015. Based on internet users, n=16,970
  2. Google Data, Q1 2015

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