Online video is one of the strongest tools remodelers can use in their marketing toolbox. Although video won’t replace Websites, direct mail and advertising as effective ways to generate leads and close business, it can enhance these tools to make them more effective.
Britt Amundson, marketing manager for Trehus Architects+Interior Designers+ Builders in Minneapolis has been using videos to help market the firm’s design/build process since 2010.
“We were thinking about our competitive edge and how do I tell that story better, and video seemed like a natural fit,” Amundson said.
Over the last 15 years, Trehus has built a reputation for craftsman-quality building. The team needed a way to explain its design/build process, which includes a feasibility study, project development and construction.
“The main function of these videos is to explain our process in a compelling way,” Amundson said. “To read stuff on a page would take a long time in Web terms. Five minutes of reading on the Web is never going to happen, but watching a video is easy.”
They decided to interview long-time customers about their experience when working with the company. Trehus also wanted to combat the premise that cheaper is always better.
“We used to get 50 percent of our business from architects who wanted the lowest bidder because people would assume that everyone builds every project the same way,” Amundson said. “We have a client who is an architect who experienced what happens when a project is too much for the contractor. She called us to bid the job, and she can talk about our difference.”
Trehus hired long-time friend Ben Myrick of Myrick Visual in Minneapolis to produce the videos.
“It cost us about $3,000 to have our videos made, but that was a few years ago, and he is a family friend, so it would probably cost a little more now,” Amundson said.
Together, the Trehus team and Myrick wrote a list of 10 questions for each interviewee and spent about an hour with each person filming their responses. Myrick edited the footage into a series of videos. They used craftsman-themed graphics that emulate the look and feel of the Trehus Website and other marketing materials. Amundson and his wife both play violin, so they created their own classically themed soundtrack for the videos.
“The videos had to look artistic because if people are going to trust our aesthetics with our homes, we wanted that aesthetic reflected in our videos as well,” Amundson added. “My wife and I played violin forever, and it seemed like the natural place to go with it.”
Trehus now uses the videos on the Website’s “process” page. The YouTube channel videos have garnered more than 1200+ views. The team was also able to use some of the footage to create other videos, such a 30-second television commercial, which is also posted on YouTube, with about 5,700 views.
“We put that on local cable, like on HGTV, the Travel Channel, and The Food Network.” Amundson said. “We found that we could specifically target neighborhoods so that form of advertising was pretty inexpensive since we already had the video.”—Tanja Kern