DIY Goes Digital

Perhaps in reaction to the current economy, “do-it-yourself,” or “DIY” is becoming a growing trend. In fact, Google Trends demonstrates that searches for the term “DIY” are up 24% over February last year. Corresponding with the increased search demand, stores that offer resources for consumers to get their hands dirty by taking on home projects on their own have shown tremendous growth in the past ten years. Lowes’s grossed $50.21 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, with Home Depot grossing $70.4 billion!

With the growth in the DIY trend, one might wonder, “How have ordinary homeowners suddenly become so resourceful?” Our answer – the wealth of resources available on the web!

Take Pinterest, for example. According to Pinterest directory, Repinly, outside of the food and drink category, “DIY & Crafts” accounts for the second largest share of popular pins at 9.6% of total share. Home décor follows closely in share at 8.4%.

And for those DIYers who learn best from a combination of audio & visual coaching, there’s YouTube. Search results for “DIY” return over 1.5 million video results, giving consumers guidance on everything from creating a solar water heater to replacing a dryer belt. Home store Lowe’s has certainly capitalized on this trend, creating a branded YouTube channel that features tips on painting, decorating and gardening, among other topics, to which over 36,000 consumers subscribe.

Blogs have also become a popular source for DIYers to showcase their projects and instruct followers on how they can do them as well. In fact, searching “DIY home blog” on Google returns over 344 million results! A popular favorite for home DIY project ideas among several Levelwing team members is the “Young House Love” blog. “Young House Love” is a true DIY love story, no pun intended. YHL was launched five years ago as hobby for husband and wife team, John and Sherry Petersik. As it grew in popularity among DIYers and home improvement enthusiasts, so did the time John and Sherry spent on the blog, which ultimately became a full-time job and recent book gig for them both.

Bottom line: digital presents a huge opportunity for home and garden brands. Specifically, social channels are great for positioning your brand as an educator and thought leader in the home industry, thus leading to increased brand awareness and helping push the consumer further down the purchase funnel. In addition to building brand awareness, going the “DIY” and “how-to” route allows a brand ( like these tool companies) to showcase products in a not-so-pushy way.

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