Whether you’re an interior designer, landscape artist or electrician, you’re always on the lookout for the next big client. But when your job requires showcasing your unique skills and talents, a basic website or even a blog won’t set you apart from the competition. For today’s homeowners, seeing is believing, which is why video may become one of your most effective marketing tools.
If you need proof that it’s time to start filming your first video, consider the overall growth in the Canadian home services sector: as housing prices continue to rise, many homeowners are deciding to renovate rather than shop for a new home. And Canadian homeowners plan to spend an average of $17,142 on renovations this year, according to a poll released by CIBC.
Although that amount is slightly down from the year before, what’s perhaps more relevant is that the number of homeowners planning to renovate has remained high at 42%. The most popular projects? Home maintenance such as painting, refinishing, replacing or repairing flooring, doing general repairs and replacing appliances are the top planned home improvements, followed by outdoor landscaping and upgrading bathrooms and kitchens.
CIBC enlisted HGTV’s Scott McGillivray to offer advice to homeowners through a series of YouTube videos. Indeed, when it comes to the home improvement market, video is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. But you don’t need to be a TV star like McGillivray to do it.
The numbers don’t lie
Not only are searches for how-to videos up by a whopping 70%, the amount of how-to content viewed has grown as well, with more than 100 million hours of how-to videos viewed by North American users from January to May 2015, according to data released by Google.
YouTube’s most popular how-to searches are related to home improvement, beauty and cooking videos. The top how-to home improvement video searches include how to unclog a toilet, how to remove wallpaper and how to decorate your bedroom.
Whether it’s a how-to on landscaping or a tutorial on kitchen renos, a 30-second video is far more effective than trying to explain it in words. Although photos can work, for most people it’s easier to follow a video tutorial than to read instructions underneath photographs or illustrations. And if you’re the one giving the video tutorial, you become the expert, which helps you “brand” yourself.
Why video now?
Canadians, in particular, consume more online video than any other population in the world, at more than 40 hours a month, according to comScore. When it comes to digital marketing, we often think of social media and blogs, but video is an essential part of the marketing mix – especially for the home improvement market.
Video sees a 300% increase in click-throughs on email compared to text-only email, according to Zapier. And, it has six times the retention of written communication – meaning that one minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million written words, says Brainshark. According to a study by Animoto, 96% of consumers find videos helpful when shopping online; three out of four say watching a video on how a product works increases the likelihood they’ll buy it.
Home improvement shoppers watch how-to videos, reviews and tutorials to see a product in action, get more information or narrow down which brand they want to buy, according to Tremor Video. And it doesn’t end when the sale is complete – they watch the same number of home improvement videos post-purchase as they do during the shopping process.
When to use video
There are several ways you can use video to promote your business, including product demos, product explanations, case studies and customer testimonials.
Given how homeowners today conduct research online extensively before they buy, it just makes sense to use video wherever you can. For example, potential customers would rather watch a video where you educate them or demonstrate your services instead of having to read a lengthy description.
Video plays a key role in the customer’s buying-decision journey. It can inspire, educate and inform. It is also a great way to prove your professionalism through customer testimonials or by showing quality work you’ve done for other clients.
Before you start, determine the purpose or objective of your video. Are you trying to educate people? Showcase your business and services? Position yourself as an expert? Once you’ve figured that out, you can create a storyline, develop a shot list (what your video needs to capture) and decide who will be featured in the video – you, your team, customers, partners or others. You’ll also want to consider music, voice-overs, editing and graphics to ensure the video looks professional. Finally, you’ll need to determine where you will showcase your video: YouTube, social media and your website should all be considered.
That may sound complicated and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with a professional can help you master these steps and create engaging video content. Contact Yellow Pages to find out about our video marketing offerings.