Top 5 Ways for a General Contractor to Use Video

Construction Executive Using Technology

For an industry that prioritizes efficiency, maximizing every opportunity to fine-tune bidding and project management, construction companies remain stuck in the dark ages when it comes to marketing and business development.

Construction is inherently exciting! We, quite literally, build the future. Construction companies pave the way for posterity in many ways, including hiring a diverse talented workforce, embracing new technologies for improving efficiency and project management, and aggressively adopting best practices for safety. So, why do we struggle to convey this value to prospective clients and business partners? Why is our message so challenging to deliver?

We’ve had the privilege of talking to several construction executives, including past clients, and we’ve found one thing that stops them from reaching the bid table: how complacent they get with their communication practices, both internal and external. It may not seem like much, but the nature of how business “gets done” in construction is either a limiting factor or an opportunity. Our industry is built on reputation, referrals, and networking, and implementing a consistent approach to marketing communications has been a tedious proposition even before the coronavirus.

Don’t wait around for good construction marketing to fall in your lap. You can start today and shift your approach to something more proactive and more efficient. Marketing and Business Development is an effective symbiosis when fully realized and activated. The way you talk and interact with your prospects, clients, and staff can become a vehicle to reach your goals instead of a barrier preventing you from obtaining them.

Before we get into video marketing and video marketing tactics, let’s take a look at how the absence of interactive, visual content impacts our ability to close deals and convey value.

Btw, we developed a quick video about the importance of video marketing in today’s socially distant economy. You can watch it below.

Bonus: If the COVID-19 pandemic has you worried about your entire business development process in a BIG way, reach out for a free Coronavirus Proofing your Construction Marketing consultation and protect your business during this pandemic!

How not using video is hurting your chances.

Do any of the below excuses sound familiar to you?

  • “I could never do that; our company just isn’t built for…”
  • “I can’t assign it because nobody will follow through, so I’m just not going to start.”
  • “Why would anyone care about video from a construction company?”

If they sound familiar, it’s because 99.9% of construction executives have all experienced these thoughts at one time or another. They know that other B2B companies embrace video and new marketing methods to grow and prosper, but the construction industry is different. At least that’s what they say. If you’re new to good marketing, you probably don’t know this, but the goal is not to be gimmicky or salesy. The goal is simply to convey distinguishing characteristics of what you do for the people already searching for your services. Just picture it, your construction firm using video to share the importance of your work. Work that is essential to building our collective future.

Most of the time, when we consider non-construction companies, we think along the lines of “I can’t be as successful as Apple with marketing. Our company isn’t built like that.” The problem is that we build up a false narrative, convincing ourselves that construction marketing is incapable of a more streamlined approach. Apple relentlessly showcases its value to enterprise clients through video. They compete for contracts like you, but they understand that video marketing generates 66% more qualified leads. If Apple has to build its case, why shouldn’t you?

We say, “Oh, I could never build video pitches and walkthroughs that robust” or “They’re a tech company”. We all do this. And the worst part is it’s so deeply embedded in the industry we don’t even notice we’re dismissing valuable tactics that could help us. Roughly 75% of executives and high-level decision-makers watch videos to help vet new opportunities. Don’t become another self-fulfilling prophecy in the long line of failed builders before you.

Let’s get into how you can implement video into your communication and marketing to control your business development.

How to start with video for your construction business.

1. Virtual SOQ (Statement of Qualifications)

We understand that your business developers have consistently relied upon relationship marketing to win new projects and foster new customer referrals. It’s preferable in this industry, a very litigious and risky sector, to do business with trustworthy, capable, reliable, and passionate partners. Knowing who meets these standards and who’s just in it for a quick buck takes an investment of time and testing, and that means building and establishing professional relationships with whom we do business. This relationship-building process hasn’t lent itself well to digital marketing… then, along came Covid-19.

Virtual SOQs are loaded with quality audio and video impressive enough to match your reputation. What better way to connect with a prospect’s needs and goals than through a compelling visual aid? Show how your company builds, provide a walkthrough of successful projects, highlight how you innovate through challenges, and introduce potential clients to your leadership team and project managers while socially distanced.

2. Project Case Studies

The concept of case studies is tied heavily to human behavior. Our justification for developing a case study is not merely to show off our incredible talents but also to show that someone else was willing to hire us. It’s a type of “social proof” that validates our business as a competent one. And although the practice is used throughout the construction industry, going the extra mile with video isn’t the norm. Most firms can’t justify the extra effort of taking a case study and turning it into a compelling video. However, research from the University of Wellington, School of Psychology suggests that is exactly what they should do.

3. Hiring & Onboarding

Video onboarding is an excellent example of how a construction firm can improve its efficiency. Consider all of the time needed to properly acclimate a new employee to the various procedures and policies of your operation. There is no easy path. But the use of video helps provide a more compelling employee handbook, team tours that are more expedient, quicker process training, and ultimately, costs much less than hiring a full-time instructor or pulling someone away from their regular duties. It’s also a method that helps build a consistent brand experience because you know everyone is getting the same information.

4. Specialization Explainer Videos

Often, we wrongly believe that everyone in this industry is the same, that all construction is homogenous, but this simply isn’t true. Think at all the times you’ve witnessed a competitor building, and you think to yourself, “Wow, I would never do it that way!” Or “That’s an incredible idea. I only wish our company would execute projects that way.” These are instances of differentiation – the foundational element of a great brand. A video that helps show why your business is different is a perfect way to highlight your best attributes when your words miss the mark. Prospects will look favorably on the visual representation of your specialized skills.

5. Anniversaries, Mergers & Other Milestones

Yet another form of social proof, the concept of capturing video moments of business wins, helps you further validate your competency. Would an unsuccessful company be celebrating its 50th anniversary? Would an unsuccessful company merge or acquire its competitor or hire away the best talent? While it may seem like bragging in the context of your peers, it goes a long way toward helping prospective clients decide who is the most capable of handling their project.

Bonus: Having an internal strategy and external strategy can help you plan your video needs. Learn how we advise clients to approach these two different categories with a brief introduction call.

We’ve highlighted a handful of options to get you started. But what about costs? That’s the real beauty of well-made video content. Although it can vary and may cost more on the front-end, the lasting impact and effectiveness make it one of your company’s smartest investments. Plus, what’s the alternative? In this new business environment, there isn’t one. Even when the dust settles and we go back to “business as usual,” video marketing will still outwork the competition. It will reach farther and advocate on your behalf while you’re fast asleep. Its usefulness is currently unmatched, and the most successful companies in the world have already realized this. Why can’t we?