Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Monday, February 09, 2009

Video marketing


Construction Marketing Website Awesomeness from DragHome22 on Vimeo.

Seth Holdren makes excellent use of video on his constructionmarketingblog.com

How much should we use video -- especially video bringing ourselves into the picture -- in our construction industry marketing? The answer seems to be "lots" though here I admit to being somewhat behind the times. I've observed, however, how my fellow blogger Seth Holdren uses video effectively, and yesterday spent at least an hour watching videos from another (unrelated) Internet marketer who uses the video imagery to build trust and validate his service -- getting around the reality that his mailing address is one of those storefront mail drops in southern California.

Video productions these days of course do not need to be high-end. Most of us with a laptop can immediately turn our computer into a video recorder, preparing the clips we can air on line within seconds. (If we want to imagine we are operating a television station, we can even broadcast live video stream videos with services such as justin.tv.).

You can of course set up showy and professional videos, or try cheap cable television broadcasts (the latter don't really work well, according to this contractortalk.com thread). What really seems to work best on the Internet are, for want of a better phrase, authentic videos. Production qualities can be low if you show things the way they are -- and if possible, put yourself in the picture.

So why don't I use video more? Part of it is a generational thing -- I haven't quite grasped how to get myself in front of the camera in a way that feels flattering to me. (This is probably a faulty worry; look, people see me as I am in real life whether or not I can see myself (internally) as others see me!) Another matter is more practical -- time. I do most of my best writing and blogging in early morning; I'm sure my family would not be overly impressed with my recording a video at 6 a.m. (and anyways, the production standards wouldn't be very good.)

However, yesterday after watching the Internet guru use his video effectively to build trust and sell his service, I thought, again, I need to do this. You'll see the first results by this weekend. In the meantime, if you have some great construction-related video marketing examples, feel free to share them.

1 comment:

Mark Buckshon said...

Following my posting, Seth Holdren sent me these observations in an email:
Mark,

Thanks so much for the kind words! I appreciate it.

I am looking forward to seeing the results of your new video endeavors.

I'm sure you have all the ideas and advice you need, but I will share a little "formula" I use to organize my thoughts concerning video:

As you know, on the internet a lot of the rules change from the "real world" of advertising, publishing, production, and sales. I think the true cause of this phenomenon boils down to two facts:

On the internet, people can and will "click away," ie. ignore us faster than any other medium. Also, on the internet there is infinite distraction...there's so much good stuff, why waste your time with boring?

Boring, to the internet visitor, isn't just plain old boring. It's a serious insult and they would shoot a "blog missile" at your blog if they could, destroying you and your whole family. Ha ha. Joking, but sorta true in a way.

That said, the rule is: "Short videos work the best."

I am by no means a master of this yet, but keeping the video short is the only way to get people to watch. My videos--as they stand now--are still going to be very boring to someone not interested in the topic, and I have a long road ahead to become more entertaining, but I CAN make them SHORT, and that's half the battle.

Here's how I organize my content:

VIDEO FORMULA:

1. FAQ's: Record 10 short "frequently asked questions," with your best quick answers.
2. "Should's":10 answers to things people "should" be asking you.
3. To get more, go here: At the end, and also pasted on the screen, direct them to the next video in the sequence.
4. Lead page video: "You probably saw one of my other videos about x. I'd like to give you 20 free videos." Link.
5. Subscribe to my videos: "Thank you for signing up. The first video is on it's way."
6. "Here's my offer" video. If you plan to offer anything, at this point you can do it knowing you have a true, committed fan. After they've dug this deep, it's really not even "selling" anymore, in the negative sense. In fact, if you don't give it to 'em here, some will find you and beg for it. ;)
7. On your "thank you" page, put a form for a question so you can learn what other things your prospect might want to learn via video.

So, there you go. That's enough for 22 videos. Heck of a good start, eh?

This formula is not my creation, but this version is my own variation on the formula I learned from a true online video expert. If nothing else, maybe it will help you with deciding how to break up your videos in order to achieve the "all important" short length. (As a rule, I usually try to stay under 4 minutes, even way less if possible.)

What you see on my websites is my first attempt at this formula. In my next phase, I will be doing a much better job, I think. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the more polished my videos get, the less effective I will be with the "viewing public.")

The hardest part for me was getting over my own insecurities of how I looked on screen (never good enough for me) and my "stammering," mistakes, and things I forgot to say.

But, I had to learn that after a few takes I just had to take the one that felt the most "conversational" and run with it.

I think people identify with anything that makes us seem human and more like them (meaning: flawed.) That was hard for me to stomach at first, but I'm glad I did, because the whole process has ended up channeling so many new clients my way that I hardly have time to write blog posts these days!

Anyway, thanks again for the plug. And good luck with your new video creations. I hope this stuff helps you in some way, even if only a small way.