Video Is An Easy Way For Contractors To Boost Credibility,
Juice SEO, And Yes, Generate Leads & Sales.
Get Your Camcorder—It’s Time To Make A Video.
By Rich Harshaw
Video! It’s the latest, greatest thing for your website! Right?
Well… yes and no. It’s not that new, and it can be great or not-so-great depending on how well you execute it. That’s what I’m here for: to give you some quick ideas on what to do—and what to avoid—when integrating video into your home improvement website. Without further ado—the tips!
Tip 1: Beware Of IMPROPER Use Of Video: We’ve all heard the headlines stating that “people spend 93 minutes a day watching online videos” or whatever the statistic of the day is. It’s tempting to want to leave the “heavy lifting” of communicating your sales messages to videos. But you also have to understand the dynamics of how people like to ingest information online, especially when they’re on a contractor website. When a person encounters a web page with text on it, their eyes will quickly scan the page and make snap judgments about whether the content is interesting/relevant/useful to them. They do this by checking headlines, scanning for images/graphics, and scanning text. In other words, they “size up” the information on the page with a quick visual inspection. When they’re presented with a video, however, their ability to quickly “size it up” and make a snap judgment is severely hampered. You can’t quickly scan a 2 minute video and see if the information looks interesting—you have to watch it in a linear fashion—start to end. Consequently, many videos are simply skipped. To remedy this, make sure the headlines and text that introduce your video tell people what to expect.
Tip 2: Create A Spectacle: One great use of video is to dramatically demonstrate what your products can do. A non-descript blender company got an idea to blend random, everyday things ON VIDEO and created an internet sensation called “Will It Blend?” Now you can watch the president of the company blend iPhones, batteries, baseballs, glow sticks, super glue, skeletons, and even Justin Bieber. The videos are inexpensively produced and are tons of fun to watch. So… what can you, as a home improvement company put on video? Here are a few ideas:
- Think the glass on your windows is strong? Smash it with baseball bats, crow bars, and chains.
- So your siding is fireproof? Show it on fire and see what happens.
- Want to show that metal roofing stands up to hail? Shoot a potato cannon at it so people can see what happens.
- Energy efficiency can be shown on video… get a BTU meter or thermometer and show various comparisons of your products standing up to heat better than your competitors.
You get the idea. As you’re planning the video, think in terms of something that would be interesting to watch, even if a person wasn’t necessarily in the market for your product.
Tip 3: It’s Okay To Use A Phone or Camcorder: You might be wondering about the cost of producing a great video. Well, if you have a smartphone, you’re already there. Yes, you want to make the video look as good as possible—account for lighting, background clutter, focus, etc. —but really, a smartphone or simple camcorder will do the trick most of the time. Two reasons: first of all, we live in the era of reality TV and “viral videos.” People are used to seeing amateur footage, and they like it because of its authenticity. Professionally produced videos are okay and have their place, but nothing says “authentic” like a self-made video. Plenty of simple video editing software exists for cheap or free—it can even be done right on your phone. Second, the video quality of your typical smartphone is actually really good. iPhones have been shooting in 1080p (HD) since 2011. That’s better quality than the pros had access to ten years ago.
Tip 4: Give Your SEO A Huge Boost: One reason to use videos is to educate, entertain, and sell your prospects. That’s obvious. But did you know that video is also a great way to enhance SEO for contractors? The foundational goal of SEO is to consistently—and as frequently as possible—add fresh, new content to your website. A lot of that content comes in the form of articles, blog postings, and customer reviews. Videos are a great way to quickly and easily boost your content. I recommend uploading your videos to YouTube, then embedding them in your site—did you know that Google owns YouTube? Sit down with a pencil and paper and make a list of videos you could make on an ongoing basis. Your list might look something like this:
- Customer testimonials (2 per month)
- Demonstration of our glass breakage warranty—show a kid throw a baseball through a window and tell people it’s covered even if it’s an accident
- Demonstration of our glass strength by putting the window on the floor and jumping on it
- Show the difference between different kinds of installations— “rip & stick” vs. full replacement
- Compare our windows vs. other windows… state pros and cons of each. Show differences. This could be done against cheap windows, similar windows, and more expensive windows.
- Frequent questions people have
- What to expect during the sales meeting video—show your processes with the goal of easing people’s fear about being “crushed” by a salesman
- Get the idea? What else could you come up with?
Tip 5: Try An “Explainer” Video: This might seem a bit contradictory to the advice to use your iPhone to create videos, but it’s not. You want to use your iPhone/camcorder to make videos because they’re cheap and easy and can help your SEO. But you should also consider creating a professional “whiteboard” style video, commonly referred to as “explainers.” Maybe you’ve seen these on the internet—they show a hand drawing images on a whiteboard that coincide with the voice over script. We like to use explainer videos to provide a professional overview of a company, with an emphasis on your identity. We’ve just barely started providing this service, and our first 4 or 5 videos are in production right now. Because we’re new at it, we’ll give you an outstanding introductory price while we build our portfolio. See the offer below for more details.
© 2014 – 2016, Rich Harshaw. All rights reserved.