On episode 13 of the Construction Industry Podcast I share with you the audio portion of a fantastic webcast put out by the Construction Marketing Association on the topic of using YouTube to promote your services and products to the construction industry.
In this webcast, they had both Neil Brown, the founder of the Construction Marketing Association (CMA), Brian Reuhl, Social Media Manager for CMA, and Brian Stokoe, Social Media Program Manager for Caterpillar.
If you’ve listened to previous episodes of the podcast, you will see that I really like the work that the guys over at the Construction Marketing Association are doing. They were very generous in letting me share this audio with you. This is the audio-only portion of the webcast, so if you get a chance, use the links below and watch the video portion of the webcast as well.
Take a listen by clicking the orange “play” button above.
- Construction Marketing Association
- Purchase the full webcast here
- “YouTube Killed the TV Star” article on socialmediatoday.com
- Vertetek’s “Coat of Silence”
Listen to the entire episode by clicking the orange “play” button above. Or you can check out the entire text transcription of the discussion by clicking here: [spoiler]Neil Brown: Let’s go into the benefits of video marketing. First is video supports search engine results, build search authority. YouTube is owned by Google and there’s no surprise that that has an impact on search results. There’s significant sharing of videos via Facebook embedding and Twitter and other social platforms. It’s well-known that video has the highest clickthrough rates or CTRs so it’s very appealing and very inviting for users to click on a video. I think demographically if we looked at that, we would see some differences there. So video is highly interactive.
Next, video supports customer service with training, demos, installation, et cetera. So I think we saw this in the polling questions that video is an important part of customer service that in theory, could eliminate customer service calls and such. Video supports one of the fastest-growing mediums that is mobile marketing and one example of this is your cell phone screen, your very small cell phone screen whereas sometimes it might be difficult to view but then mobile-optimized website easily through a video.
Finally, video helps lead generation with all of the above, the SEO aspect, the clickthrough aspect, the registrations to view videos, et cetera. So, those are some of the benefits and with that, we wanted to give you some indication of what are the channels that are driving video. So Brian found this piece of information. Is this from Nielsen? No, this is comScore.
Brian Reuhl: This is comScore.
Neil Brown: Yes. So there are a couple of things here. There’s total unique visitors which I think is a little obtuse but viewing sessions and minutes per view or when we look at Google sites which is primarily YouTube. That also includes some of the Google article sites and such but we see that YouTube is pretty dominant, close to 40 percent in viewing sessions and close to over 30 percent for minutes per viewer and then we see some other – some Facebook – as Brian pointed out to me the other day, Facebook is going to have a lot of embedded YouTube videos out. You’ve seen a lot of the network and publishing companies that have videos and Hulu as some of you may know is really more geared around TV shows, films and that kind of thing.
So I don’t know if this is really apples to apples when you see you got a lot of Turner clearly as CNN and news versus social platforms like Facebook and then Google and YouTube. So I don’t know if this is really apples to apples per se but at least it gives you some perspective here. So, as we mentioned, video is extremely high-growth [0:08:43] [Phonetic]. One of the things that we pointed out in our social ebook is that in 2010, there were 10 million terabytes of information I believe that was over here, one-month snapshot and …
Brian Reuhl: Right, this is year …
Neil Brown: OK. So then in 2012 in just two years, that’s doubling and then it’s nearly doubling again in another two and the third year. So video is clearly growing significantly for the near future. So with that little overview, I’m going to turn it over to our Social Media Manager Brian Reuhl.
Brian Reuhl: Thank you, Neil and welcome everyone. So now that we’ve discussed why video is so important, we’re going to jump into YouTube seeing that it’s one of the largest social video networks and why you guys should be integrating it into your marketing mix and your social media strategies.
So first, 147 million unique visitors to YouTube. It makes them the number one online video destination. That’s as of May 2011 by comScore. There are two big companies that do studies on video. One is comScore. The other one I found was Nielsen. Both of those will be available in the resource section at the end of the presentation. You saw earlier from comScore, YouTube owns a significant amount of the market share. Over three billion videos are viewed a day on YouTube which is very large. It’s larger than any other platform.
YouTube’s demographic is extremely broad, 18 to 54 years old and I’ve pulled all these statistics directly from YouTube which again that exact resource will be available at the end of the presentation for everyone here. A hundred and fifty years of YouTube videos are watched everyday on Facebook and every minute more than 500 tweets contain YouTube links. So to really put this in perspective, that’s two and a half times more Facebook sharing than last year and three times as much sharing on Twitter. So it’s growing extremely fast and video has become more and more important.
So a couple of basics for YouTube. You can go out and create your own YouTube account by visiting the website www.YouTube.com. From there, you will be able to log in to a Google account and link it to YouTube and choose an account name. You want to design and implement your own custom branded background. This really allows you to integrate your brand and we’ll have an example for you guys to see here soon.
Your videos should be shorter than 15 minutes and these are standards set by YouTube so videos need to be shorter than 15 minutes and smaller than two gigabytes in file size. Depending on how much video you upload or how broad of an audience you have, YouTube can vary these sizes but for the average user, these are the sizes that you’re allowed to when you first sign up.
You can choose what video is displayed first on your channel which again you will see on the next slide with the examples that we have to show you. You need to be thorough when selecting keywords for your description and tags so when you go through, you need to choose words and put them into your description that really would highlight what someone would go onto YouTube and search for in order to find your company, your brand or whatever topic that video may be about. So you really need to spend some time sitting down and thinking about what keywords are important to that video, put it in the description and choose those tags when you’re uploading video.
Neil Brown: And I know Brian Stokoe is going to comment on that.
Brian Reuhl: Yes, he will.
Neil Brown: Yes.
Brian Reuhl: And then you want to be uploading one to two videos a month if you can. This keeps your channel fresh, relevant with new content. You’re going to show up higher on Google. It’s going to increase your page rank. So there’s a bunch of positive reasons to be constantly uploading content to your YouTube channel.
This next slide here is just going to go through a couple of the profile aspects that you guys should be aware about. At the top of YouTube, number one, you see the YouTube search bar. This is where you’re going to type in a channel name, a video name, a brand you may be searching for. This is really where the user is going to go to find your content. This kind of hits upon the tags again that you should be uploading for your video because the words that a user searches for within this bar is really integrated into the tags that you used to highlight keywords within your video.
Secondly, in the top left there, you see your channel name. It can be words of 20 characters and why this is really important is because once you choose your channel name, you cannot change it back. So you need to be really sure about what you’re choosing. You need to be sure that you had in a trademark as you can see here with Weather Guard but you just need to be really specific about the name that you choose because it’s again going to be something that users are searching for.
Third, you can see your video upload list here and it’s in the order that you uploaded your videos. However, you can force what video you would like to show up in this main area over here and you can do so by logging into your administrator panel and then selecting which one you want to be first. So that’s something really important to understand. You can see here that it highlights three to start depending on how many favorites you have but you can also choose in what order these videos are displayed.
So next, we see the specific video title and description for the video that’s being shown on your channel. Here we see the Weather Guard E-Z Glide System Ladder Rack. So again, we want to make sure that the title, the description and the tags of the video are keyword-driven so that when someone is searching for that video, they’re able to find it.
Number five, down here we see the channel information, the actual name of the channel, how many views that the channel – how many times your videos have been viewed, the age of a channel and when they joined, when they last logged on. So it just gives brief information about your channel.
Then lastly, we see the branded background which as you can see here, we custom built for Weather Guard. You can see their logo integrated into it with the job site in the background and we have the red saturation which really brings everything together with the red font and the way that all of the videos are branded. So really it just brings everything together and carries your brand over to your YouTube channel.
Here we can see a brief snapshot of the analytics, one aspect of the analytics dashboard and Brian Stokoe is going to go really in-depth with this. So I don’t want to spend too much time but here, you can see that within the past year, you can take a look at exactly how many video views that the Weather Guard channel had and it totaled 22,657. So you really are able to get a feel for the kind of activity that you’re getting from your YouTube channel and how positive the sentiment is towards the content that you’re developing.
So next, we’re going to go through a couple of content ideas for you guys. We have 18 in total and this deck will be made available to attendees so don’t worry about it too much, about taking notes. Just pay attention and kind of listen to what I’m saying.
So the elevator pitch is kind of a 30 to 60-second video that highlights your company’s unique selling proposition. So it’s really brief and short so it keeps the watcher’s attention up and it gets to the point without beating around the bush at all.
Second idea we have for you is a slick capabilities piece. It’s really a company overview where you can add in animation and sound and a professional overview to really highlight your company and the capabilities that you have.
The third one that we have is customer testimonials. Again, the idea with YouTube videos and video in general to keep the viewer’s attention, you want to keep it nice and short. So with a testimonial, you want to keep it a minute, minute and a half so it doesn’t seem like it’s too extravagant or forced; but you want to get to the point and really highlight your company benefits.
Executive briefs. So you can record a C-level exec within your company talking about one of your products or services, maybe a new initiative or even the state of the business. So again, just overview of the company from the perspective of an executive.
What we’re doing right now, this webcast will be available on our YouTube channel. We’re recording it. So this again can be repurposed as content as a video.
Any case studies that you may have so documents, successes that your company has succeeded with and make it into a video summary and then PowerPoint gives you the ability to turn a presentation into a video with simple animations, background music and really just animating text. But again, it’s a way if you need to get across information that you can do it very simply with a low-cost, no-cost budget and you can do it in-house.
Another idea is an employee interview where you can interview a key sales, technical, customer service or other key staff member about their role in serving the customer and how they work with the company. The next is company news so interview someone that’s involved with the news or what’s going on within the company.
Then we have in-the-file cabinets so you want to look into the old content that you have. Maybe an old commercial, old brochure, old advertisement or maybe even an older video but you just repurpose that and bring it over your YouTube channel. Then you can take your collateral business materials and do a short video summary of what the literature entails, why it’s important, what it highlights, how that material can be made available to the person watching the video; and then whenever you travel, there’s a lot of video opportunities such as attending a trade show, a conference. Walk around now with mobile devices and the video recorders that are available on the market today.
Video is very easy where you might want to just pull someone aside and ask them if you can record a one to two-minute video of them talking about some industry-specific content that was at whatever conference, trade show or anything of that [0:20:23] [Indiscernible] that you traveled to.
Then we have formal roundtables so invite industry peers and discuss current topics, maybe industry outlook, current trends and any emerging technology within your industry that could be important to a viewer. Then we have question and answer sessions which again is exactly what it sounds like. Someone, whoever is behind the camera, just asks the presenter a couple of questions and you record the video. Again, keep it short. Then why not ask your end users for some content that they’ve generated? Ask them to highlight how they use your product or how they use your service on a day-to-day basis and then repurpose that under your YouTube channel.
Number 16, we have a press release. Take the content that’s within the press release and present it in the form of a video. Another idea that we have for you is giving an inside look to the company. Maybe interview employees about why they love to work for your company or even why they love your products and why they chose to work there and lastly, take old advertisements that you may have. Maybe walk through how you guys developed it, why you developed it the way you did and why that is important to the end user or anybody else that’s involved in the marketing process or that will be using that product potentially.
So now we’re going to work through video strategies and once you have the videos on your channel, what you can really do with them. Your videos can be embedded and shared via social networks so first, embedding your video is really important. Where you want to be doing this is on your website and on the blog. Reach out to other industry peers and ask them to upload and embed your video on to their site. You can email your video. YouTube will give you sharing options and one of those options is to email the video. So right there on YouTube, they will format the email. You just have to plug it in, who you’re sending it to and then you can do that very easily.
Then same with tweeting. This option is also made available on YouTube and it automatically generates a short link and you can send it out through your Twitter account. Then if you copy the URL of the video and paste it into Facebook, you can embed that video onto your Facebook page, share with your social network and it really allows your video the ability to go viral which is really what we’re hoping for with any content that we developed.
Then adding that video to your LinkedIn products and service page. It gives a backlink to the video and a clickthrough to your YouTube page which then ultimately we’re hoping would lead them to a form on your website to convert to a lead.
Now, I’m going to pass it over to Brian Stokoe who is the Social Media Program Manager for Caterpillar who is going to walk you through some YouTube examples.
Brian Stokoe: Hi. Yes, this is Brian Stokoe. I’ll first give just a quick background about myself. I’ve been working for Caterpillar for the past 10 years and for the past year, I’ve been the Social Media Program Manager. I ultimately am responsible for any public-facing social media presence that we have at Caterpillar that encompasses the brands of Caterpillar, our different customer segments and all of our Cat dealers around the world.
So I get involved in quite a few pieces of social media strategy and direction. YouTube is obviously an important piece of that strategy and some other players as well when we think outside of North America but we’re going to really talk about how Caterpillar is looking at using YouTube and social media components of that. We’ll dig right in.
So a little bit of background. Caterpillar started going down the route of recognizing that we have to be leveraging video and trying to figure out how we do that. Well, here’s a historical screenshot I guess of a website that we created. It’s called Cat TV and what it was, was a website that we built ourselves and we put it online. We started putting our own videos out there and we used the player that we created and used that on our website but what we recognize is that we built this video platform and expected everyone to come to us to come see a video.
If we go to the next slide, what we recognize is – you know what? That video that I just had up on the screen there, it was about a 374D L. The majority of videos that we create or other people create about our products are all happening in YouTube. So why would we ever recreate the wheel? We should be using the platform and the place where the rest of the world is already looking at video.
YouTube is the second largest search engine right behind Google so it’s one of those no-brainers for us that now we recognize. YouTube has got to be the place where we put all public-facing videos. In this example here, that 374D L, it’s not only stuff that we create but it’s videos that our fans and enthusiasts create so I think that’s an interesting piece of the puzzle here. So we’ll go on to the next slide.
Now, this screenshot is our current YouTube channel for Caterpillar and I will explain where we’re going and what we’ve done at this point. Historically, when we entered the social media space, we did a lot of things in the context of Caterpillar Inc. and one thing that we recognize is that we’re a pretty big and diverse company who is trying to talk to a lot of different people. We’re heavily ingrained in the mining industry. We’ve got the construction industry of course, electric power. We’ve got NASCAR. We got all these places where we are and we were trying to use one channel, a YouTube channel called CaterpillarInc for all those messages.
So when we took a step back and said, “Let’s look at this from a customer’s perspective,” someone in the marine industry or construction industry is getting a lot of noise that really didn’t mean anything to them. What we recognize is that was becoming a negative perspective from the way that people were viewing Caterpillar.
So, if we go to the next slide. What we started looking at is what metrics and what detail can we get from YouTube and we found out there’s a lot. You can find out all sorts of details about what are the subscription levels for – how many people are subscribing to your page on a daily basis. You start to look at trends and what we started to realize was that we created a lot of video. On average, we make 45 videos at Caterpillar a single month.
In peak periods, like for – when CONEXPO happens or something like that, we’re making like 150 videos a month. So we had to kind of look at this in a context that was unique to Caterpillar for sure. But the list of 10 that I have on the screen here are actually our top 10 videos that have been viewed off of our YouTube channel. Besides for the two 797F videos, all of these videos are so completely differently from each other, everything from paving to our operations to mining applications to rail. You could start to see that we really have a scattershot approach.
So if we go to the next slide. We’ll start to see where we’re going now. We have recognized that even from Caterpillar’s organization overall, we have to connect with customers more effectively and as – what you will see here and you will see more of in the future is us creating channels that are tied together effectively and represent a specific customer segment or industry that we focus on.
So everything listed here is electric power, our truck, on the mining industry, the forestry industry. Each of these is – we’re allowing and sort of enabling these groups to have their own presence so that they build a place for people that know this business, that know the details about these products that fit into the business. It’s a place where they can connect and collaborate more effectively than the Caterpillar Inc. channel which is more of a broad level perspective on everything that we do.
So we’ll go on to the next slide. So I wanted to get into some best practices just to talk through how we view things. Go on to the next. Brian actually brought this up before but I think it’s good to reiterate the importance here, the valuable keywords that you’re able to put into against the videos that you’re looking at. Remember, when anyone is looking for a video in YouTube, it’s not searching on anything that’s inside of the video for the most part. It’s looking at how you described this video so looking at the title, looking at the description. That’s how Google is intelligent. They look at the text that matches what you’re searching on.
So that’s one of those situations where you probably want to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and say, “What is it that they’re looking for that I can help with and how can I phrase things in my video description and title so that I will become top of mind?” Then not to miss the point that they also have tagging that should be leveraged as well especially for the important keywords.
So we go on to the next slide. This is another kind of best practice. YouTube offers a really, really simplistic way to include a subscription method right on your website. I mean that is the actual code right there that you can drop on your website and this is just the example that they have on YouTube for YouTube’s channel. But once you have your channel available, you can use this little snippet and if you search for YouTube subscription widget, I’m sure you will find this really easily. Basically it’s a nice way to just include that on your website so that people could subscribe really quickly.
We’ll go on. I think this is reiterating similar points as before. It’s really important to integrate a video and the content that you’re creating into the other channels that you manage. So if you have a Facebook page, if you have a Twitter account, any of these other places, make sure that you’re pushing the content that you’ve put some effort and time into, into those channels; and really I think this all becomes a bit of an ecosystem where you create one piece of content and that feeds your other channels.
So sometimes you might be creating a blog. Sometimes you’re creating a video, press release. I think all those ideas that Brian said earlier are great ideas for video but then being able to make sure that anyone who’s connected with you in any other channel whether it’s your website or a newsletter or Facebook or whatever – you are making sure anyone is aware of those pieces of material that you’ve put together.
Going to the next one. So just to speak about analytics a little bit, I think this is a truly important piece of what YouTube offers. When you start to look at all the details that are available to you and your YouTube channel, there are a lot of things that can sort of help you understand who’s listening to you, where they’re coming from and it helps you sort of structure your approach a little bit.
These are things that I pulled from our Caterpillar Inc. channel which I think this is interesting to share. I don’t think there’s any huge surprises especially like from the gender. Caterpillar typically has an 80-20 rule with male-female so YouTube is a little bit more heavy on the male but the age range is not surprising either. Typical customers that Caterpillar connects with are business owners or people who have that – have reached that level of age where they’re actually responsible for things and making purchases of equipment and things like that.
Then down below, we are looking at the top three methods that people are using to get to videos on our channels. So this kind of tells us YouTube-related video is really important because it’s 40 percent of the views that we’re getting on our channels. So what that really means is that – what I talked about before with keywords and tags, Google and YouTube is looking for logical connections with content that you’re looking at.
So when you go to YouTube and view a video of something, it will say, “You know what? We see you’re watching this. We recommend this video.” It’s looking at those keywords and everything and obviously for us, that’s very important because that’s where so many people are finding our channel. We also recognize that YouTube search and regular views from the website are important too.
Now, this slide is really talking about something that I think is just interesting. I thought it would be fun to share. They have this capability called Hot Spots where it actually shows you along the bottom of each of those this is all the same video. It shows you where the interest level of the viewer is so Google is pretty smart about this stuff and so what I – going top to bottom here. We recognize that the interest in this video about our new truck starts to get a little bit lower when we start to talk about safety and hood design. We’ll take that for what it’s worth but once it gets over that hump of information, it starts to talk about the interior. You see that that gets really interesting. People start to engage with that a little bit more and then when – once you start to get towards the end of the video and you start to talk about the mirrors and the storage of the truck, the interest really starts to drop off there. So it’s just another tool that I think Google provides in a way that can help you think about what we should focus on in our videos and learn as you go.
So I guess on my last point, I know we’ve talked about YouTube quite a bit but Caterpillar is looking at things from a global perspective. So I thought this was interesting to at least share. We’re also looking at platforms in China. They block YouTube entirely so we use – there’s a similar platform. The YouTube over there is called Youku and it’s another important piece of our strategy to make sure that we’re making sure our videos are available in location, in language. It’s just another factor for you to think about and typically, I think lots of people online are North America-focused; but I guess the context overall is just like make sure you know who you’re trying to reach and make sure you’re acting in those places.
That’s all I have. So feel free to ask questions and connect with me on Twitter. We go from there.
Neil Brown: Sounds good. Well thank you, Brian. That was a – it’s just so interesting to me and I hope our participants. I’m going to summarize and then we’ll get right into Q and A. We’ve got a lot of great questions coming in.
So we got the video polling question so we had some insights into our participants’ video practices. To summarize video marketing, fastest-growing marketing medium expected to double in just two years and YouTube ranks highest with nearly 40 percent of all video views including news channels and broadcast and all that; but we believe separately that as far as videos outside of more news and such, it’s closer to 80 percent.
The major benefits of video and YouTube marketing include improved search results, high clickthrough rates, valuable customer service; for example, installation, troubleshooting and vide support and the fastest growing – or the fast-growing mobile marketing with cell phones and finally, lead generation.
YouTube basics include custom backgrounds, a 20-character max channel name, 15-minute max length, two-gigabyte max file size, keyword descriptions and tags and of course the analytics. YouTube advance features include embedding videos on websites, emails, Facebook, tweeting, like that and Caterpillar’s Brian Stokoe shared video examples including the evolution of Cat TV to YouTube, custom vertical YouTube channels. Cat best practices included keyword tags, subscribe widgets and analytics. I think the fascinating thing is our polling question identified how many videos do you produce a year and Caterpillar is producing an average of 45 videos per month. So the scale there is just so interesting that Brian is working on.
Then finally we’re going to get to some resources in the appendix. So with that, let’s get to the Q and A and I guess the first question I’ll pose to both our panelists – and let’s go ahead and start with, “What is the best length for a YouTube video?” Brian Reuhl of CMA, would you like to answer that first?
Brian Reuhl: Sure, Neil. I spent some time trying to find what the average length of a YouTube video is and it’s around two and a half minutes, two minutes 45 seconds; but in general, best practice that I see it is one to three minutes. Keep it short. Keep the attention high. The shorter the video is too, it’s actually proving through several studies that it’s going to be more likely to be shared through social networks. So again, keep that in mind. If you’re trying to get that video out there and get a lot of attention and really increase the reach of the video, the shorter the better.
Neil Brown: And Brian Stokoe, what is your perspective on video length or YouTube video length?
Brian Stokoe: Yes. I completely agree with that.[/spoiler]