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1 HOW TO ESTABLISH TRUST & AUTHORITY WITH ONLINE VIDEO Toll-Free:

2 As more and more users are going online to find information about local businesses, there is a huge opportunity for home improvement professionals to implement powerful video marketing tactics in order to build trust, authority and ultimately drive sales. For general contractors, plumbers, electricians, interior decorators, landscapers or any professional working in the home improvement space, it s more important than ever to create a strong online presence, attract new clients and show existing ones that you are an industry leader. While websites, blogs and social channels are integral, online videos help to quickly establish your company as a trusted, expert source - which translates into more customers and a healthier bottom line. Marketing Costs are up & more Companies are turning to the Web i With all the traditional advertising consumers are bombarded with, the Internet represents the largest and most cost effective opportunity for sales growth available to home improvement companies and contractors today. It is where your consumers look first when making a large purchase decision. If consumers can t find your company or if your company isn t finding these homeowners, you simply aren t in the game. { Over 70% of all new product and service inquiries now start on the internet. (B2B Magazine) Page 2

3 YouTube Why Use Online Video? Using video in the home improvement industry offers several marketing advantages. Primarily, in the field of home improvement it can be used to establish trust and authority with potential new customers, as well as helping to provide value-added services to existing customers so they return for more ii. In the U.S. alone, over 43 million online videos are viewed per month, with this rate rising each and every month. The average viewer watches over 23 hours of video per month, primarily through sites like YouTube. This is a huge market where quality videos can earn significant web traffic iii. Online videos can be used to drive traffic to a website, acquire new clients, retain current clients, build a reputation, or to demonstrate installation, care, or maintenance of a product. Additionally, videos can add valueadded services (such as troubleshooting or tips) in order to develop an online following, capture industry recognition, and increase the company s client base. { The average cost of an issued home improvement lead is over $300 and rising every year. The rising cost of marketing is the biggest challenge facing home improvement retailers today. (Dave Yoho) Page 3

4 Social Media as a Marketing Tool Blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels can be used for customer outreach. Although setting up and maintaining these accounts takes time, these channels enable companies to reach large and engaged audiences and establish online presence, which results in increased brand awareness, traffic to websites and improved sales iv. Taking Advantage of Google In early 2012 search engine use rankings show that more than 66% of searches were conducted using Google v, indicating that if companies are looking to attract business via search engines they should primarily focus on ensuring that their site ranks well on Google. Besides having their website set up correctly using appropriate search engine optimization techniques, companies can leverage additional Google services including Google Places and Google+ to increase search engine rankings. Adding video and photos to these sites also greatly improves rankings. Both services are free of charge and can help web users to find businesses online and find out whether or not they have good reputations. Home improvement businesses can further improve their reputation by encouraging past clients to leave feedback on these sites. Page 4

5 Integrate a Local Search Strategy Here are a few tips for getting listed on the map and at the top of organic search results for your important keywords. With 70% of local consumers now using the Internet to find good local businesses, greater visibility on search engines and local directories could put a local business in front of thousands of potential customers each month vi, says Myles Anderson of Search Engine Land. Further to this, since video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings and have much higher click through rates than their plain text counterparts, video is integral to search engine strategy. According to Forrester, web users predominantly click on the top four results for any particular search, and then move on. For this and the above reasons, local search has become a very important consideration for businesses that focus on a local market. Getting listed at the top of organic search results and on the map keeps you above the fold, meaning your customers are much more likely to find you Claim your listing on Google Places Optimize your listing with a keyword rich business description, videos, photos, opening hours, contact information and even reviews from customers. It s important to fill out your information 100% as identified by Google in order to experience the full SEO benefits of a Google Places listing. Claim other listings on local directories and point links to your website or dedicated landing pages that engage prospects and convert them with strong calls to action Encourage online consumer reviews from your satisfied customers. As Google considers consumer reviews to be relevant, this is an important factor just make sure you point your customers in the right direction so they know where they can leave the reviews. Not only does Google value this, potential customer s do as well; they increase the amount of referral business your company can potentially receive. Local consumers prefer to read up to 10 reviews prior to making a decision about which local business to use, according to Search Engine Land. Increasingly your online reviews will be one of your best selling tools vii. Page 5

6 Incorporate Video on your Website, Blog & Social Media Window World of Minnesota does a great job of incorporating video into their marketing mix. They focus on Video Testimonials from happy customers, which they host on their website, blog, YouTube channel and other social media profiles. Letting your best customers sell for you not only in written reviews but also in video testimonials, where they can explain the relationship they ve had with your business is the best way to build trust and credibility. Customers spend 10x longer on sites with testimonial videos, according to ReelSEO. Ron Hazelton takes more of a DIY approach, offering tips to loyal followers on the howto s of home improvement. Although as a contractor your approach would be different, you can still offer your customers little tidbits this will keep your site sticky and if you are seen as a helpful resource, they will know who to turn to when the time comes. } Web users predominantly click on the top four results for any particular search, and then move on. (Forrester) Page 6

7 Engage with a Home Improvement YouTube Channel { In the home improvement industry the click-through rate for online media is around 6.6%, which is higher than the average across all industries of 4.3% Create engagement with potential customers by offering a few tips and tricks on home improvement viii. Strike a balance between offering helpful information and not selling your services for free. Offer just enough information so potential customers will know who to contact when they do require home improvement services. Your customers will appreciate that you are sharing some of your skills for free. Take things a step further by directing clients to your YouTube channel via your website, blog, social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc) and other online marketing platforms it s one of the many ways you can strive to keep past clients and prospects engaged. Create practical, how-to videos with easy-to-follow steps. Videos like these create stickiness a reason for visitors to come back to your YouTube channel or website. Why Hire a Video Professional? Professional videographers can assist with creating a polished video that resonates with audiences and delivers a clear message about your company and why you are the best choice. For establishing a reputable, professional presence it is best to get the help of a qualified video producer. Jessica Thorpe, Vice President of Marketing at EXPO says We found that consumers perceived feature benefits as more believable when coming directly from the brand through professionally-produced content, while the unbiased user videos were more believable in verifying specific product claims. Customer testimonials can therefore be a very effective type of video to build trust and ultimately drive conversions. Page 7

8 Part of the measurement of success for a video marketing campaign is ascertaining the click-through rate or what percentage of video viewers click-through to your website. In the home improvement industry the click-through rate for online media is around 6.6%, which is higher than the average across all industries of 4.3% ix. It is important to note, however, that about 57% of home improvement companies do not currently track their click-through rates, so they are unaware of how successful their campaigns are at bringing traffic to their websites. Getting Started with Video Creating a video is simply one of the steps involved in online video marketing but getting noticed is one of the most important steps and can mean the difference between a successful campaign and one that garners only a few viewers. Attract attention and get the word out about your video by posting on social media platforms. Page 8

9 Here is a guideline to get started ix : Try to garner media coverage and use video as support content Embed video on your website Add video in enewsletter Create blog post with video Post video to YouTube Tweet during multiple times of day with video and relevant hash tags Create engaging Facebook post with video Add video to LinkedIn business page Add video to Google Places and Google Plus Add video to targeted networks in your industry as well as directories The more social media platforms that carry a link to the video, the more viewers the video is going to get and the more successful the campaign will be. Additionally, you can leverage your video by linking from other articles, directories, reports and white papers. The Power of Video Marketing Online video marketing is extremely powerful with more and more users going online to find information about local businesses, products, services and the like. Home improvement companies are uniquely Page 9

10 positioned to provide information and value-added services to increase their market share. Whether looking for new customers or hoping to retain past ones, video marketing for home improvement companies is an integral part of customer outreach. Appendix i. Three Deep Marketing, Mobile Marketing for Home Improvement Lead Generation ii. Stephanie Flosi, December 2011 Online Video Rankings, ComScore; January 2012 iii. Stephanie Flosi, December 2011 Online Video Rankings, ComScore; January 2012 iv. Business 2 Community, How Six Hours of Social Media Marketing can increase your Sales v. Stephanie Flosi, February 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings, ComScore; March 2012 vi. Mashable, Home Improvement Videos vii. Search Engine Land: Study: 72% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations, March 12, 2012 viii. BenchMark , Home Improvement Business Subscriber Click-Through Rates ix. Construction Marketing Blog, Content Marketing is King, May 27, 2011 SoMedia Networks Video Solutions for Web Service Providers SoMedia Networks has been pioneering scalable, cloudbased online video production services since Our proprietary video ordering, production and delivery platform combined with a North American network of over 2,500 videographers allows us to deliver high quality video products at extremely low costs. We ve designed a simple, scalable solution so that Internet Marketing Agencies and Web Design & Development companies can immediately profit from selling online video products to their clients. Toll Free: Profiles Engaging and unscripted videos that provide clients with the opportunity to deliver a personal message to potential customers in their own style and tone. Ads Either scripted with a professional voiceover or interview-driven to deliver a positive first impression and drive higher conversion. Testimonials Captures customer experiences through authentic, unscripted interviews that build trust and credibility News Compliments traditional PR methods with videos that are journalistic in tone in order to establish credibility and drive media interest. Page 10

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