I have just attended The Content Marketing Academy 2016 conference. What have I learned that I can teach the construction industry? The inspiring international speakers I listened to included: video authority Amy Schmittauer; writer and content intellect Ann Handley; strategist Bert Van Loon; and author, social media and content expert Mark Schaefer.
Your videos will be a useful archive
Amy Schmittauer highlighted the increase in video on social media and online generally. Every video is an opportunity – with YouTube being a massive search engine, you can invest in an evergreen archive of content, and the aim should be to make it useful for people – not a sales pitch.
Don’t make adverts
Ann Handley reinforced this idea with an example of an instagram video that was ‘just a commercial’ – the stark lack of views, likes and comments was testament to the fact that people just don’t choose to watch your content unless it carries some genuine value for them.
It’s easy to get started
Amy pointed out that the processing power of your smartphone outweighs that of the computer that put men on the moon hundreds of times. It’s easier than ever to just get started making video.
The barriers to entry are low but higher barriers are put up by ourselves – fear of gear, fear of personality and fear of ROI. It’s important to get over these and just get started – you’ll soon be improving and way ahead of your competition. A bit of personality and ‘being human’ is often lacking in construction brands.
The human connection
From several of the speakers, we learned that the human connection can result in very powerful marketing. In my opinion there is an opportunity for the boldest in construction to steal a march by adopting this tactic. Playing it safe won’t get you far.
As Mark Schaefer highlighted later in the day, the opportunity is even bigger if your market sector is not already saturated with large amounts of content. Video is definitely an underused medium in construction so the chance to differentiate yourself from your competitors is massive.
Construction video ideas
How could video be used in construction? Here are a few of my quick-fire ideas:
- technical tutorials on how your product is made – educate the specifiers!
- how to install the product – educate the contractors!
- a human story on how your product or project impacted the community – create a strong connection with the end users! (like this example from IWA Associates below)
Training as marketing
Ann Handley later told how ‘training as marketing’ is a powerful concept and I believe this is a perfect fit for the construction industry. Construction product manufacturers aim at a highly qualified, technical audience but architects (or other specifiers) are generalists, not specialists. They often have to research products and learn more about them, in order to do their job of designing a safe and effective building.
Become a teacher in your area, and the technical audience will thank you for it. Using video for this type of content can bring your product to life – make it like an online CPD not a sales pitch.