You may not have added to the 100 million views in less than two days, for the boy-group BTS music video “Butter” in 2021, or are among the 10 billion viewers (as of February 2023) of the Korean children’s song “Baby Shark,” which is now the most watched YouTube video of all time. But you’ve probably watched at least one or two YouTube videos.
Despite the search engine’s popularity, YouTube is often overlooked as a lead generator by professional building contractors, but by consistently adding content to a channel dedicated to your profession, you can easily drive traffic to your website and attract potential clients.
As with any strategy, you need to outline why you’re doing it and what your goals are around it. It’s not a strategy if you just start posting videos to YouTube without a purpose and a plan. And your goal should probably be more specific than “to generate leads.”
If you want to understand how best to use YouTube as a lead generator for your business, consider our 10 tips on using YouTube video content to help create brand awareness within the building materials industry:
How does the purpose and goal fit with your larger marketing strategy and business plan? If you’re new to the industry, your goal might be to build awareness that you exist. If you’ve been in the game for years, your goal may be to highlight your specialty. If you have a promise connected to your works, such as on-time completion, quality no matter what or a lower price point per project, your content must reflect that promise. You don’t want your videos on YouTube to be random. Focus their content (especially their length) to work toward your goal.
Know your intended audience. Plan for which YouTube viewers you’re trying to attract. Maybe people viewing your videos aren’t the current decision-makers at their organization but could be in the future. If you’re talking to industry professionals, you can include industry lingo (don’t overdo it!), but if your video content is instructional for homeowners, keep it simple without being condescending. Understanding your intended viewers can help you stay on track with your content messages.
Your YouTube research should also include who you like on YouTube. How is their content built and displayed? What seems like effective content and what seems more like pushy advertising?
For inspiration (and aspiration), consult the 12 best YouTube channels for construction pros to subscribe to.
2. Create consistent content consistently
No, we’re not trying to be redundant. Think about it. Your YouTube content should reflect your brand in every post. Part of having a solid plan is knowing what you’re going to post and when. It’s easier to measure results and keeps you from going wildly off-road. Posting four or five videos per year in the building material industry is more effective than nothing, but you should plan to add videos once a week or a few times per month.
With so much multimedia content out there right now, you want to ensure your subscribers and those that keep tabs on your company see new media pop up in their feeds at regular intervals. Create a content calendar (Excel sheet, anyone?) with specific videos and when you plan to launch them. If you plan to create new videos as you go, you don’t need to start with a huge library of content. Again, the most important part of using YouTube as a lead generator is to have a blueprint for creating consistent content consistently.
3. Highlight projects with time-lapse videos
Time-lapse photos are one of the most effective ways contractors can use YouTube and video marketing to boost brand awareness. Post a camera high above a job site or have a local drone photographer take spaced photos to create interesting content for your YouTube channel. If you want to try it yourself, Adobe has some tips.
Start shortly after your groundbreaking ceremony and continue through the final day of work. Decide when you’re going to have the photos taken, such as once a week or even every day. To complete the time-lapse, hire a digital marketing agency or a videographer to compile the photos (or even set the finished product to music).
Remember, you can chunk the footage into teaser posts, which expands the content and value of the shoot. At the completion of your project, you can chunk, or display the entire thing—of both.
4. Use customer and supplier testimonials to your advantage
You already know that testimonials are an incredibly powerful way to market a business in the building materials sector, but videos are even more lucrative. People looking for contractors to handle major projects want to hear from those who’ve worked with them.
Gather video testimonials from people involved in some of your biggest projects, including property owners, project managers, city council members and your suppliers—whoever makes the most sense for your locale or specialty. (If possible, shoot the testimonial video on a job site, so the construction context is immediately clear.)
Remember to include those affected by your skills beyond the final product. Because contractors are construction managers, responsible for everyday oversight of a site and project, their ability to manage all vendors and subcontractors shows their professionalism and skill. A contractor is the primary communicator to everyone involved in a building project, so testimonials that highlight that aspect help to create trust and reputation.
When you add testimonials to your YouTube channel and website, make sure you include a call to action and your business telephone number (or however you’d like clients to contact you.)
5. Introduce your team
Most people appreciate being recognized and your YouTube channel affords an effective way to give credit to your team, but also show the people with whom customers will do business. It shows your respect for your team members but also works to create trust. This is also another way to chunk your content.
Who makes a difference on your team? Create a video around that achievement. Who’s celebrating a large milestone with your company? A video highlighting longevity shows your team member in a positive light but also shows your company is not a flash in the pan. Follow the appreciation calendar, such as National Construction Appreciation Week or, if appropriate for your specific business, when efforts to expand the profession are celebrated.
Anytime you can thank all your team members (or vendors and subcontractors) for their hard work or just offer a year-end or quarterly message of thanks.
6. Showcase your community efforts
Although you plan for your video content to target your audience, your viewers may not always be part of your target. Creating videos that showcase your efforts in the community (to make where you live a better place) speaks to multiple stakeholders in your area and can enhance reputation and trust. Even if you sponsor a local girls’ softball team, support the facility where baby boomers play pickleball, or volunteer to walk dogs from the local shelter, you’re contributing to the quality of life in your community, and it can be celebrated in video.
This all goes back to overall branding and awareness about your business. The more visible you are to your target market in a less-obvious “hire me, hire me” way, can make it easier for people to decide to hire your firm.
7. Keep it short (overall)
According to Statista, viewers in 2022 spent, on average, nearly 30 minutes each time they viewed content. But don’t expect your channel subscribers to use their 30 minutes watching your one long video. Keep your YouTube videos on the short side, somewhere between two and five minutes. (Reference this Hootsuite tip sheet on the best length for all social videos.) Unless your video involves a complicated explanation of a complex process (they’re out there), keep it short. Viewers usually prefer snippets of information they can digest between other tasks.
8. Showcase your history
As a professional in the building materials industry, there’s a good chance you’ve contributed quite a bit to your local community. Showcase this by adding explanation videos to your YouTube channel with throwback photos and project memories from those who worked on it.
If you’re new to the industry, you can still document your history—highlighting how you reached the point you wanted to be a builder in a certain specialty or region. Viewers appreciate well-done origin stories, even if the origin was recent. (If you’d like help with this one, contact ER Marketing. We help tell stories well.)
9. Use video on your landing page(s)
If you already have a website and landing pages, consider using videos from your YouTube channel to explain why you’re the best local firm for getting the job done right. You never know when someone might see it and decide to give you a call to discuss your next big project.
10. Highlight Special Achievements
Highlight any special achievements or regional awards your work receives. Sharing the good news only further solidifies your expertise within your industry and makes it easier for your target customers to choose you over the competition.
Adding YouTube to Your Strategy
Digital marketing for contracting companies can sometimes be tough, but myriad resources are available to help, including HubSpot and Hootsuite. When you’re ready to start advertising on your own YouTube channel, YouTube itself knows something about it.
If you’d like guidance on video marketing and YouTube for your business? Please give us a call at ER Marketing today for more information.
YouTube can drive traffic to your website and attract potential clients by consistently adding content that aligns with your goals and target audience.
Start by outlining your purpose and goals, understanding your intended audience, creating consistent content, and utilizing strategies such as time-lapse videos, customer testimonials, team introductions, and showcasing community efforts.
Posting videos once a week or a few times per month is recommended to ensure regular engagement with your subscribers and keep your brand visible.
Time-lapse videos of projects can effectively boost brand awareness and showcase the progress of your work from start to finish, engaging viewers and generating interest.
Video testimonials from satisfied customers and suppliers can build trust and credibility for your business, providing potential clients with valuable insights and social proof of your expertise.
Introducing your team on YouTube not only recognizes and appreciates their contributions but also helps create trust with customers, as they can see the people they will be working with.
Keep your videos short, preferably between two and five minutes, as viewers tend to prefer concise and easily digestible content that fits into their busy schedules.
Create explanation videos with throwback photos and project memories to showcase your professional journey and highlight your experience and contributions to the local community.
Yes, incorporating videos from your YouTube channel on your landing pages can provide additional information and help convince potential clients that you are the right choice for their projects.
By sharing any special achievements or regional awards your work has received, you can further establish your expertise within the industry and make it easier for target customers to choose your services.