Despite the marketing industry’s continued digitization, human connections have arguably never been more important. Today’s consumers have developed a fresh desire for personal value and organic interaction — perhaps a reactionary mentality as the world shifts away from in-person communication on many fronts. 

Enter the advent of “with me” videos, a concept that is hardly new, but one that has grown into a full-fledged norm in recent years. By this point, the average consumer is well-versed in the “with me” format; they have used such videos to cook, exercise, and assemble appliances — all under the guidance of an actual human being (in some cases, an individual they trust and consistently turn to). This phenomenon is, characteristically, an extension of the same appeal found in traditional cooking television programs and instructional workout routines, but it taps into a potent sense of comradery, often showcasing “everyday people doing everyday things” to keep viewers engaged and motivated to perform a task or skill. 

Naturally, the “with me” audience has become a rich opportunity for digital marketers — especially those looking to break into the minority of retailers investing in proper ad personalization. 

The implications of instruction

A great way to complement an existing ad campaign (or spur a nonexisting one) is to consider the formulation of brand-specific “with me” video content. An increasing amount of retailers, from Glossier to Kate Spade, have already dabbled in this area, taking an instructional, influencer-esque approach to Youtube marketing by walking audiences through their products’ key components and uses. Adding this personal touch is a great way to merge direct, relevant targeting with audience empowerment — a crucial combination in effective marketing. 

Specifically, Hubspot points to “how-to” videos as highly effective marketing assets; they are both popular in terms of search frequency and, in many cases, they are comparatively easy and inexpensive to develop. General audiences are gaining newfound confidence and interest in “how-to” search queries, with over 50 percent of them favoring brands that include such content alongside their products or services. 

Subsequently, many consumers are now turning to “with me” videos — usually instructional or review-based ones — as part of their brick-and-mortar shopping experience, often searching for them when considering products for physical purchase. This trend is evident due to an uptick in mobile “with me” viewing, reflecting its prevalence in on-the-go, in-the-moment decision making.

Given their impact as both a personalization tactic and supplement to time-tested approaches, “with me” video marketing will likely remain at the forefront of industry efficiency for quite some time.