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Video as a marketing tool: Why businesses should use this media format

By Clayton Ditzler

Setting up a slider track for a sliding time-lapse shot of a backyard pool and landscape project.
Setting up a slider track for a sliding time-lapse shot of a backyard pool and landscape project.

Chances are, many who read industry trade magazines such as Pool & Spa Marketing are business owners and/or managers, and part of their responsibilities, in whole or in part, is planning the company’s marketing campaign. This is not a simple task and is certainly one worthy of some serious consideration. In recent years, video has seen rapid growth and development with sites like YouTube recording 1.5 billion monthly users. With this type of reach, it is important for businesses to explore why they should consider using video in their marketing efforts, as well understand how they can implement it.

1. People have short attention spans and gravitate to things that are easy

A well-made video can be more engaging than some other formats as it is effortless to watch. The combination of sound and visuals can make the message more impactful and memorable and will reach the audience on a more emotional level.

Using video to highlight specific elements of a project, such as a meandering stream, allows the subject to be shown off in very interesting ways.
Using video to highlight specific elements of a project, such as a meandering stream, allows the subject to be shown off in very interesting ways.

For example, someone watching a video on a landscaping or pool installation project may play out like this: “Hey honey, I found this video by a landscaper, it’s like they are talking about our project! Let me show you.”

Video marketing can be very effective and multiple people can stream it easily. Customers can share with each other what they like, how they feel about the company’s services, and the prospect of working with the company on their own project.

2. Video is readily interpreted as being ‘real’

Today, people have become accustomed to photoshopped images and are conversely more likely to interpret something in a video as being genuine. Take for instance someone’s vacation photos. When looking at the pictures, the sunsets appear to be mind-blowing; however, one may notice when watching their videos taken during that same moment, the scene looks different. The sky is a little bit orange and looks nothing like the still photos the vacationers fun- housed with filters.

One can blame this on the vacationers, but it is one reason why consumers may be jaded thanks to this steady feed of photoshopped imagery. That said, a business can use this to its advantage by producing good video in its marketing.

3. Landscaping, pools, and hot tubs are highly appealing

The work that landscape, pool, and hot tub businesses produce is visually attractive. Pools with sparkling blue water, gardens with brilliant, yellow daylilies, decks finished with stone and tiles, outdoor kitchens with food on the grill, and lush green lawns; these backyard-leisure living projects cannot be captured in a single photo.

Using video, these projects, along with specific elements which make each one unique, can be shown off in very interesting ways. A water feature in motion, a series of images showing an entire project and how it takes shape, people interacting with the products, the list is long.

One of the objectives in online marketing is engagement—how long can a business keep people on its website and interacting with its content? Video can help a business achieve these objectives as long as they are presented in a way that provides this type of engagement.

4. Video is an engaging way to do customer testimonials

Customer testimonial videos can be filmed in an interview format with the client in their backyard. Have them talk about their experience of working with the company, including footage showing different features of the project with the soundtrack of the interview overlaid.

For these to work, the client needs to be coached a little and should definitely be comfortable with being on camera. Then, it simply becomes a discussion about their experience in which the viewer can immerse themselves in. In general, shorter videos are better, but this author’s company has had good results with viewers watching testimonials in the five- to six-minute range. To achieve this type of success, videos should be carefully edited to tell the story.

Customer testimonial videos can be filmed in an interview format with the client in their backyard.
Customer testimonial videos can be filmed in an interview format with the client in their backyard.

Some marketing professionals in the industry might laugh and say, “Nobody watches something like that for five minutes,” but it has been proven to work for this author’s company, which tells them they are on the right track with respect to this marketing approach.

As stated in the second point, this is one of the best ways for a company to show its testimonials are real. These videos portray real clients with the same objectives and challenges a potential customer might have. As a bonus, interviewing customers in this fashion will provide interesting insights into why they hired the company in the first place, and possibly even what their pain points might have been.

A business owner may think a client hired them because they are creative and complete high-quality work when, in fact, the client’s primary reason may have been seeing the company’s work and knowing it would be finished on time, which would allow them to enjoy the rest of their summer using their new pool or hot tub in their landscaped backyard.

5. Informed customers

Prior to companies having websites, customers would typically call a landscaper and/or pool builder to discuss their needs and find out how the company could meet them. It was important to have good frontline staff answering the phone that could do this.

Today, many companies may not even have these staffers anymore because customers are more likely to visit the business already informed about what type of work they are capable of doing. In some cases, these clients have already decided, at least in part, they are going to hire the company to complete their project before making initial contact.

This is a direct result of a company’s website and social media channels, as they are a big part of the equation. That said, video is an important component of making this connection happen, as the client is confident they made the right choice long before the company even knows they are interested.

The versatility of video
  1. Video can be used in numerous parts of a company’s website, including blogs, alongside still images and text.
  2. YouTube is used by roughly three quarters of adult consumers and is the second most popular search engine behind Google. YouTube is owned by Google; therefore, they work well together. Keep in mind, however, this is not the only video hosting service available, but it is definitely the largest and most influential.
  3. Play video at trade shows on a monitor or TV. Getting someone to stop is often half the battle in those very visually noisy environments.
  4. Videos can be played in a showroom to highlight a specific product or a new item that customers might not be aware of yet.
  5. Videos can also be used to create training or employee recruitment segments.
  6. Broadcast videos on TV, perhaps a community channel.
  7. Push videos out via social media. Facebook has a native video format that it presently favours over other formats. Keep in mind, social media is a moving target and should be only one part of a company’s marketing strategy.
  8. Third-party websites like Pools, Spas & Patios’ Backyard Lookbooks or Houzz are a good place to embed videos. Further, videos can be pinned on Pinterest to increase reach on this platform, too.
  9. Companies can use videos to reinforce its referral base. Customers love seeing themselves and their project featured in a professional video.
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