More and more, moms are turning to YouTube for answers to their daily questions. Kate Stanford, director of YouTube advertiser marketing and mother of three, shares new insights about how moms are using YouTube, and how your brand can be there in the moments that matter to moms.

Written by
Kate Stanford
September 2015

Like most moms, I'm faced with new questions, decisions, and challenges every day. Questions from my kids like, "Mom, how do I draw a My Little Pony?" Decisions I need to make like, "Which jogging stroller will be light enough to push up that hill by my house?" Or the kind of big parenting challenges that keep me up at night like, "How do I talk to my kid about bullying?"

With a world of information at our fingertips, moms are going online with questions big and small. To better understand what this looks like for moms, and how online video fits into their lives and decision-making process, we partnered with TNS and Ipsos and surveyed self-identifying moms, ages 18-54, who watch videos online. We found that 83% of moms search for answers to their questions online.1 And of those, three in five turn to online video in particular.1

We know that two of the main reasons moms use YouTube are for how-to and DIY ideas. As moms turn to YouTube more and more, brands have a great opportunity: to be there and provide useful content when moms are looking for help, product know-how, or even ideas.


Moms rely on YouTube how-to videos more than the average viewer

Few moms have time to scour a dozen fashion magazines for the latest trends, or test drive a dozen different strollers around the store (while their toddler is crying). Instead, in those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do micro-moments, they'll often turn to YouTube. Today's moms want show-not-tell answers in the moment. And YouTube delivers.

Of moms surveyed who view videos on YouTube, 81% watch how-to content. In fact, moms are significantly more likely* to watch how-to content than the average viewer.2

"I wanted to learn how to cook a steak. I went to YouTube to watch a video instead of just looking up a recipe because I wanted to know how they actually cooked it—to see exactly what they are doing." — Rique, 40
"Bullying has been around for a long time. YouTube provides resources for parents to use, whether they be videos or activities that you could do together to have an open conversation. It helps me start a dialogue with my child." — Jessica, 32
Today's moms want show-not-tell answers in the moment.

For product research, moms turn to YouTube videos

Fifty-eight percent of YouTube-watching moms we surveyed agree they're likely to search for videos about a certain product before making a purchase.2 And when it comes to watching a video to learn more about a product or service, 69% go to YouTube first, over other online video platforms.3 Barrie, a 34-year-old mom, shared:

"When I was trying to figure out what kind of a stroller to buy, I went to YouTube. They had videos that showed how the strollers work—how they open/close, how the seat moves back and forth, how it goes in and out of the car. They have people actually demonstrating how heavy this is. Those are the things I want to look at before I buy it."

Brands can act as a handy next-door neighbor by building a YouTube content strategy focused on useful content that answers moms' questions. Take, for example, this in-depth product video from Graco or this product review from Gerber. Online videos like these can help make moms' lives more efficient. It gets them right to the products they need faster, and with more confidence in their purchase decisions.

58% of YouTube-watching moms we surveyed agree they're likely to search for videos about a certain product before making a purchase.

What your brand needs to know: how moms use YouTube across product categories

Whether she's buying something for herself, her kids, or her household, chances are mom has looked up a YouTube video (or ten) to help her make a decision. In our research, we dug into how moms approach three specific types of categories: fashion (for herself), baby/kids products (for her children), and cars (for her household), and what that means for brands.


First, we found that the challenge for brands changes depending on the category. When looking for fashion items, for example, only 42% of moms surveyed start shopping with a particular brand in mind.4 Instead, they start by searching different styles and trends, and make up their minds about which particular brands to buy as they go. So to reach potential purchasers, fashion brands should be present when and where moms are looking for general fashion inspiration. That could include creating videos that cater to more upper-funnel fashion searches, like "fall trench coats," or that give fashion tips for moms on a budget—connecting with moms who are looking for some ideas.

In other categories, moms have a clear brand in mind from the outset: 80% of moms surveyed have a brand in mind when shopping for cars, and 62% do when shopping for baby/kids products.4 This represents a different opportunity for brands. Uploading content on YouTube that answers questions about specific products, features, and models is a must for brands in these categories.

Moms connect with content designed to help them with the real challenges they face every day, so think about how they might be searching YouTube for answers in your category.

Moms Turn to YouTube Throughout Their Shopping Journey

Build a content strategy to win the moments that matter

Think about your brand's YouTube content strategy holistically and how your content can be there, in big ways and small ways, for mom in her moments of need. Check out our hero/hub/help framework and think about how it can apply to your brand. Look for opportunities to provide helpful content that addresses moms' questions directly: practical videos like how-tos, product demos, and product information. And don't forget about the hero content that connects with moms on a deeper level, addressing big parenting topics. That's the type of content that breaks through and gets moms to engage with your hub.


A great example for hero content came from Cardstore, which won moms' hearts all over the world with its "World's Toughest Job" video. And P&G provided moms a way to start important conversations with its Always "Like a Girl" video. In the words of Alice, a 35-year-old mom: "Dealing with a 6-year-old's self-esteem is tough. This connects with me on a personal level. This helps me open a discussion."

Being a mom means facing a seemingly endless number of new questions and adventures every day. These moments are great opportunities for brands to lend a hand, show empathy, entertain, inspire, start a conversation—in short, to be mom's sidekick.

*75% of average viewers watch how-to videos

1 Google/TNS, Moms Audience Study, among 1,500 women ages 18-54 who watch videos online and have kids under the age of 18, April 2015.
2 Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Moms Audience Study, among 523 women ages 18-54 who watch videos online and have kids under the age of 18, July 2015.
3 Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Moms Audience Study, July 2015, n=523. Question: When you want to learn more about a product or service by watching a video, where do you go first? Select up to 2 responses. Platforms surveyed: YouTube, Digital stores (e.g., Google Play, iTunes, Amazon), TV channels (e.g., ABC, ESPN, HBO), Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Hulu, Vimeo, Netflix, Crackle, Instagram, Other, Don’t watch videos for this info.
4 Google/TNS, YouTube: Digital Moms Media Consumption Research, June 2015, n=2,252.

All quotes from Google/TNS, Moms Qualitative Audience Study, March 2015.