When you spend the time to create a video, edit it and get it ready for human consumption (you could always just point and shoot like I do) you want the resulting traffic back at your place, on your website. Having a solid construction website will tell a lot about you, your products and services and your company’s personality, so don’t let sites like YouTube cannibalize your traffic and steal your thunder. Make sure people have to come to your website to see your stuff. That way, they can learn more about who you are, what you do and God forbid, fill out a contact form or make a phone call.More
Why use video? Because doing video really can be a great way to get the message out in a new way. It gives you a different platform to talk about products, news and other information that helps you stand out from your competition’s traditional websites or blogs.
What I use
I get at least one email a week asking me what I use to shoot my videos. And depending on where I am, I have a few different options. I use a FLIP HD for most videos shot in the car, I use a Philips Webcam when in the office and I use my Nikon CoolPix for both on the road and in the office.More
I think I read somewhere that within the next 5 years, 90% of the content consumed online is going to be in video format. Sure, that number includes the mass migration to watching network TV on sites like Hulu.com, but it also means people are getting busier (or lazy) with how they consume content on websites that are traditionally more contextually rich.
What’s it all mean?
Well, if you have paid any attention here at Darren’s, I have beaten the video drum for a long time. Having video on your site adds a lot of value to your readers.More
Learn from me. Do as I say, not as I do. Don’t rush onto YouTube and throw up a channel like I did. Spend some time to figure out exactly what you want that channel to become for your contracting company and how YouTube fits into your overall marketing program.
I say this because doing it right on YouTube is that important. YouTube is now the second most popular search engine behind its parent Google. More than 100 million people visit the site monthly and spending an average 54 minutes. They are greeted with something like 200,000 new video uploads each day! My point is YouTube is where the eyeballs are.
So, to market your contracting company, go where the people are!
First thing you need to do is create and customize your channel. Doing so allows you to showcase all of your videos in one place. Having a channel is your company’s virtual home on YouTube. And setting up a channel is easy, just sign up for an account and upload your first video and you now have a channel.
Now what? What to put on YouTube
I see a lot of contractors pack their YouTube channels with their television commercials. And while that is one way to do it, you will have a better chance of driving new clients or customers into your gravitational pull if you create content specifically for YouTube.
Tag, you’re it!
Tagging is very important on YouTube because that’s the way YouTube knows what your video is about since there are no “words on a page” so to speak for Google to spider. The easiest way to know what tags to use is to steal them. That’s right, I said it. Go find the most popular videos in your service sector on YouTube and see what tags they used and then use them for your videos.
Work for viewers or subscribers
Now that your channel is set up you need to promote it just like you do your blog or website. Put your YouTube channel in your offline advertising and promote it on your business cards too. You can create a series of DIY videos and promote them on Twitter or Facebook. But the best way to build subscribers is by publishing content that people want to see, and then ask for comments on that content. You need to also get out there and subscribe to other channels and social platforms to help build goodwill, which increases overall views and gains you new subscribers.
Photo Credit: Webtreats
Many business leaders and successful people have adopted a common phrase, “Hope is not a strategy”, well no shit! However, many construction contractors are still relying on nothing but hope, prayer and a little luck with their construction marketing strategy. They are hoping that their latest radio ad or television spot will pull in some new leads. Or they hope that the 1,000 postcards mailed out last week will produce a response. Don’t fall victim to this type of mentality.
Instead of relying on hope, develop your strategy
Think of a marketing plan as a new building. You have to first test and prepare the site. Then you build a strong, stable foundation. Next comes the framework and roof of the building. Finally, the interior is completed.
In marketing for contractors, the testing and preparing phase is finding out which services people are looking for. Then you need to build a foundation of communicating with customers across multiple platforms. A website, blog posts, Facebook account, YouTube videos, Flickr photos and Twitter messages are some examples of different ways to reaching prospective clients.
After making the initial contact the work doesn’t stop. You have to continually stay in touch with people. Sending out alerts about new promotions, or helpful tips, or even a quick question about how to improve service are different ways to keep in touch with people and stay in their mind until the day comes that they either need your services directly, or can recommend you to someone else.
In the end, just as it takes time to build a new office or home, it takes time for your marketing efforts to pay off. Consistent and prompt communication, focused on a particular segment, will yield better results than simple “hope.”
Photo Credit: Anil Jadhav
This video is a bit of a rant. I am just leaving a contractor who has gone from 5 work trucks and 25 people to just 2 trucks and 4 people. He does high-end renovations and remodels, but none of his trucks have any lettering or signage on them, not even a phone number. So, the takeaway here is, if you are going to call yourself a contractor, then you wouldn’t start a job without the proper tools, and marketing your company HAS to be one of those tools!
So yesterday I wrote part 1 of this 2 part post on why I am moving all of my video posts to YouTube. Basically, TubeMogul finally had enough, told me to get a life and to stop free-loading off of their video distribution service. So, I went off to see what other options I had available, and to review the content I had on the sites TubeMogul used to post to for me. The primary video sites I post to are:
A funny thing happened when watching my videos
As I was reviewing my videos on each of the sites I mentioned above, I was stunned by the amount of advertising that was placed in pre/post roll and companion ads. The worst of the bunch was DailyMotion, who not only made me sit through 30 seconds of pre-roll but a companion ad that took up half the video!
Here is a picture of the companion ad they placed during my video playback. DailyMotion was even kind enough to cut off most of the bottom part of my face, including my mouth – maybe that’s a good thing though!
Here is the pre-roll screen for some new show on ABC. Literally nothing to do with the content on the video. I sure hope ABC didn’t pay a lot for that ad!
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there has to be give and take when it comes to video hosting, I mean the bandwidth bills must be crazy! But when these sites go overboard with the ads they water down the message. I mean, who the hell is going to wait through 30 seconds of pre-roll to watch my videos?
To make it worse, most of these sites don’t have a revenue sharing option. Meaning, whatever revenue they generate from the ads placed on top of my content they keep for themselves. Now again, I know ad revenue has to help pay the bills, but let me wet my beak a little!
And that’s when I started hitting the delete button!
In the end, I opted to remove all of my videos off of all the sites listed above except YouTube, where my videos play ad free. Think about it, would you want ads for your competition displayed while your video plays of that new deck you installed? Hell no!
So, as long as YouTube is being a partner to me, I will partner with them, until they start charging me!
Contractors are constantly being asked for references and proof of their work. New clients want to make sure that the contractor can do what they say they can do in all of their marketing materials before agreeing to a binding contract. Thanks to the different photo sites that are available, showing prospects before and after images has gotten a little easier.
Increasingly, contractors have realized that having a website is not enough to bring in new business. People have access to multiple sources of information such as friends, television, radio, printed material and the web. In order to catch your prospect’s attention and convert them into buyers, contractors need to continuously provide fresh information. This can come in the way of a blog or website, videos on YouTube and the classic “before and after” pictures from a photo sharing site.More