How to create great construction videos for marketing campaigns in NI

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1. Introduction: the importance of construction videos in successful campaigns

Marketing with video is essential in today’s NI digital landscape. And that’s never been truer for companies in the Construction and outdoors industries generally, sectors that are absolutely critical to Northern Ireland’s economy.

Construction videos, properly used in a marketing campaign, will drive leads and convert them into customers. . This blog post is dedicated to explaining how anyone can do this – but particularly how now is the time for Outdoors and Construction sector companies to act.

Following the pandemic outbreak and the initial lockdown, companies in these sectors were able to trade during the summer and onwards.

Plus, looking further over the horizon, it is likely that big public sector infrastructure projects will be in the pipeline, so it’s critical NI businesses in this segment are ready for any upturn when and if it arrives.

If you act decisively and effectively, making video a key part of your marketing mix, as company owners and marketing managers you will be able to find new leads and customers by through your use of construction videos.

SOME STATS:

66% of people prefer short videos of products or services Viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos 85% of viewers are more likely to buy after watching a video

2. The importance of Construction & Outdoors industries to NI PLC

Workers on a construction site: construction videos are a key marketing tool

Let’s face it, the importance of outdoors and construction matters to the whole of NI PLC.
Anyone who’s been on a redeye to London can testify to that – they’re now full of construction people, not the stuffed shirts in suits of yesteryear.

Even taking the narrower specialities of the pure Construction and Minerals sub-sectors, just for starters, the NI Construction industry actually accounts for about 10% of NI’s Gross Domestic Product.

Add to that the whole range of Outdoors companies – from heavy equipment manufacturers and sellers to civil engineers – and the value to us is even greater.

If you add in infrastructure companies like NI Water, and the side of telecoms devoted to cable and pipe laying, etc. then the sector is bigger again. Perhaps even as much as 15% of GDP.
That’s a long and proud history that remains incredibly important – and let’s not forget the export potential to ROI and GB.

But, of course outdoors, construction, quarrying, civil engineering and all of these other industries are highly competitive, so it’s important that companies make the most of their digital marketing opportunities: and that’s where construction videos and the like plays a key role.

3. Why video marketing is important for these NI industries to attract and sustain customers and strategic partners

Of course, procurement is incredibly important for many large companies in these sectors.
But a key part of procurement is the forming of strategic alliances, consortia and partnerships with other companies.

There are two key issues here:

  • How will your potential partners know you exist if your marketing isn’t good enough
  • And when they see your marketing, will it be good enough to develop that bond of social and corporate trust that makes them think: this is a potential partner or consortium member?

At this stage in the evolution of video marketing, I’m not going to bore you with lists of statistics of the effectiveness of video.

I’ve sprinkled a few stats throughout this post, but there’s little point inserting dry lists of figures here, which, unfortunately, is what you’ll get in lots of video marketing presentations.

For me, the case has been made and the evidence is overwhelming.

What is important to say is … video connects you to your audience because it shows (where 2D advertising preaches) and creates engagement and trust (where 2D advertising essentially says “trust us…because we say so”).

That’s not to say video is some sort of panacea. Of course not. There can be jiggery-pokery here, and there have been lots of suspect TV ads.

But generally, when we show instead of tell, we are more believable and raise levels of trust levels.

Which of these two would you rather believe:

  • a sales letter from a company director saying how wonderful the product is
  • a testimonial video from a real customer, and in particular an influencer in their local community, saying the product actually does work.

No contest, it’s the latter.

THE GOOD NEWS…

The great news is that Outdoors & Construction have a head start during the Coronavirus pandemic due to the outdoors nature of the work

4. How do I put construction videos at the heart of my Outdoors marketing strategy?

So how exactly do you put construction videos – as well as manufacturing and other outdoor productions – at the heart of your marketing strategy for companies in the outdoors and construction industries.

First of all, let me illustrate this by stating how not to.

The single worst thing you can do is commission a lovely slick video, and then post links to that video on your social media channel.

That’s not how it works. You will have wasted your money.

I have had several clients who nodded vigorously when I explained this to them. And then they went ahead and did it anyway. Don’t be like them!

Look at your company’s strategy and content output with a fresh pair of eyes. Don’t just convert your existing content into video. Think video first… and then create your content.

To put this into actual actionable intelligence: fast forward to the end of your video.
Pay attention – the following is probably the critical piece of advice in this entire post:
The most important question to ask yourself before you create even one frame of video is this: what do I want the viewer to do once the video ends?

The answer to that question will inform not just the shape of the video, but your entire marketing strategy. Because, from there, you can work out your sales and marketing funnel and all the other important stuff that flows from that.

The second key question to ask yourself is: who is my audience, and how does my campaign serve this audience?

– How am I answering their questions or pain points?

Other key questions include:

– Are they getting similar content elsewhere, if so how am I different?

– Where does this video fit in our sales and marketing funnel?

– Do we need more than one video for the funnel – i.e. awareness, lead, conversion, etc?

When you have answered these questions, you are at the start of creating your video journey.

5. Goals and measurements for construction videos campaigns

Next, start thinking about your goals, and how you are going to measure success?

6. Shooting your video content: which type?

First off… relax. Unless you’re a big brand, you don’t need a Hollywood-style production. And even larger brands sometimes create inexpensive video promotions. Think of your construction videos on five levels:

Category 1: High-end videos like corporate videos, advertisements, very slick product videos, etc. Most companies and organisations should have a main corporate video. This is key for many reasons, but most importantly: social proof.

Most people when considering buying a product or using a service that costs more than a few quid do some basic research to check out the seller’s credentials: do they have an adequate website, what is their social media offering and have they a professional video to watch. 

Once reassured, then they’re more likely to know, like and trust you.

Category 2: This is still professional video, but not the full production values of category 1. They might be customer testimonials, standard product videos, training videos etc.

Category 3: Innovative video: Think 3D virtual tours, 360 tours, animated video explainers, professional live-streaming.

Category 4: DIY shoot, but professional edit: This might be material shot on a smartphone, but professionally edited. The truth is that learning to shoot half-decent video on a smartphone isn’t that hard. It’s the editing that’s tricky! If you’re struggling call in a pro.

Category 5: Cheap spur-of-the-moment stuff: Live social media broadcasts from a smartphone. Advantages – instant, cheap, personality comes across, can be very effective. Disadvantages – does this fit your brand positioning? Do you or your performer have the right personality? 

Plus, you can lose control of the medium very easily. There is no hard and fast rule for any of those. Consider any of the above, although more established businesses and organisations should approach 4 and 5 with care.

7. How much should I pay for construction videos in NI?

Ok, so the process is about to get underway. But here’s where the rubber meets the road.

How much does it cost to get a video for outdoors and construction companies?

Sorry to be evasive, but the short answer to that question is: how long is a piece of string? It depends on what and who is needed for the construction video.

The long answer is from a few pounds for DIY amateur video to tens of thousands for a top-end global-standard corporate video. Oh, and every stop in between.

At SmartVideo we have a range of clients including the public sector. But mostly we work with small and medium-sized businesses and organisations.

As a result, our prices are highly competitive. As a rule of thumb, SmartVideo’s business products start at £395+vat for a short video for a very small business to over £1,000+ for bigger productions.

For the more complex productions, it depends on what you want. Drone, actors, action sequences? Anything can be done, but at a price.

Never, ever underestimate the importance of a video script, for example. After the call to action, this the next most important thing. A good script is invaluable.

8. Creating the actual video content for Outdoors/Construction campaigns

We’re now ready to begin shooting. The first thing is, who do you use? The choices are:

For almost all videos made in NI for businesses and charities, the answer is a video agency.

Will the jobbing videographer go off sick, or let you down because a bigger job came along?

Even more importantly, will they have the proper insurance? This is a major worry.
To be honest, in my experience many one-man-band videographers don’t have business insurance for their cars, never mind public liability etc.

You should understand that if you hire a videographer and you didn’t check his/her insurance, you could well be jointly liable if something happens.

Creating video for the outdoor and construction sectors is likely involve slightly higher risk than for other sectors.

Powerful machinery, quarrying, construction site filming, etc all come with their own concerns. It’s important to use a company with proper insurance and a track record of caring about Health & Safety.

So you can compare your video provider, here’s a bit of inside info: SmartVideo never operates with less than:

Top tip

Never trust showreels. Anyone can cobble something together that looks superficially impressive

9. Drone videography: will it be of use for my construction videos?

The answer to this one is emphatically yes. The nature of quarrying or construction or infrastructure creation is by its nature big and dynamic.

Your construction video or other outdoors footage will want to show the scale and capability of your business, and that covers everything from building domestic residences to bridges or quarrying operations.

Drone video adds scale, drama, and visual excitement to your production.

Unless your project is concentrating mainly on indoors work, or there is some other reason for it, drone and aerial videography should be in your construction videos.

There are a few things to watch out for, however.

So in summary, drone videographer is brilliant, but make sure it’s arranged properly.

10. How do I SEO a video for Outdoors and Construction in NI?

There’s a whole art and science behind SEO-ing marketing videos, particularly for the big platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

People think you just put your video on YouTube and add a few tags and that’s it.

Wrong! There is a whole industry behind successful SEO-ing of construction videos.

I’m working on a proper post on this subject in the future, but for now, here are some tips:

Advanced tip

Develop a strategy to get the video featured in Google’s Rich Snippets. This will not just rank you better, but it will help you stand out. You’ll need to understand and use a piece of code called a “schema”

11. How to get your Call to Action right in marketing videos

Remember what I said in earlier about the single most important thing in this whole process?

The most important question to ask yourself before you create even one frame of video is this: what do I want the viewer to do once the video ends?

This is where your call to action – also known as a CTA – comes into its own. Once the video ends, you must have a call to action clearly signposting to the viewer where to go next.

Writing CTAs is an art in itself – as this Wordstream blog shows.

The aim is to get the viewer to take an action. This action dovetails with your marketing plan. So, it might be

 

So, it’s really important to get this right.

My advice is to create your call to action first, and then start the process of creating your video. You can always update it as the process flows along.

You can be as creative as you like as long as you don’t break the parameters of your brand.

 

Conclusion

It’s not good enough just to create construction videos and other video material for outdoors companies. As we all know, the days of build-it-and-they-will-come never really applied to the Outdoors & Constructions industries in NI – and if they did, they are long gone!

Video marketing is a powerful tool in your toolbox, but you need to use it properly.
If you have a plan and create the goods, then video will give you an emotional and intuitive connection to your audience and a way to build trust.

TLDR: This post summed up in two sentences:

Make sure you have a main video for social proof telling your outdoors/construction company’s story, and then smaller videos that are targeted at specific things, for example, customer testimonial videos or primary keywords. Then SEO and optimize them!

Feel free to get in touch

If you want to chat about:

or anything else in the wonderful world of video: feel free to get in touch via the website, or book a consultation with Paul.