All AEC firms have stories to tell. From pulling clients out of technological tailspins, to helping them salvage the design of a complex structure within restrictive land-use regulations. These are stories worth sharing, and are great ways of showing what your firm can do. As arguably the most efficient and compelling storytelling medium, video is a perfect choice to connect these narratives to potential services buyers.

If you follow this blog, you’ve likely already learned a bit about basic costs of producing video for the web, and about the costs vs. benefits of video marketing. You’re likely thinking about starting a video marketing project or campaign of your own. You understand the costs and the potential benefits, but how do you get started?

To help you make the most of your efforts, here are seven video marketing tips to follow as you plan your project:

  1. Focus on your target audience. All of your marketing efforts should be specific to your audience, and video is no different. Keep in mind your viewers’ common likes, dislikes, goals, challenges, and achievements.
  2. Lead with the story. Content marketing is not about making a sales pitch. It’s about educating and telling stories. This is not an advertisement or a commercial. Keep the pitch subtle. What you’re selling in your video is not your services—it’s the story.
  3. Have others to tell your story for you. Let interviews and case studies speak about you. Nothing you can say will be as impactful as what clients say about you. And to help you avoid getting too sales-pitchy, it’s a good idea to have folks other than clients speak about you. Your partners or industry experts and influencers can fill this role. They can speak directly to your expertise and position in the marketplace from an impartial perspective.
  4. Be authentic. Whatever your firm’s identity, video is a great place to let your personality shine. Be funny, be smart, and be engaging—just as long as you’re true to your brand. The graphics, sounds, and music you use can speak volumes about who you are. Keep in mind, if you are NOT a whimsical, wacky workplace, don’t try to convey that. Your efforts will come across as insincere at best. Tell your story in your voice.
  5. Be original. Nobody goes viral with a rip off. The web is full of copycats that can’t get off the ground. If you want to strike a chord with your audience, do it in your own way. Don’t jump on anybody’s bandwagon; make others wish they could jump on yours.
  6. Demonstrate your services. While you’re not shooting a commercial, there’s nothing wrong with showing what you’re capable of—just keep the focus on the benefit to your clients. This is their story as much as it’s yours (if not more). Remember to keep these kinds of videos short and to the point. Plan on holding your audience’s attention for no more than a minute.
  7. Include a call-to-action. Don’t hit your audience over the head with it, but give interested viewers an easy way to contact you or find out more about your firm. There’s even video production software that will enable you to insert a “hotspot” to click on that will link to your website.

Don’t underestimate the strength of your story. Instead, use these video marketing tips, along with all that the medium has to offer—music, engaging visuals, and sincere testimonials—to tell your story as powerfully as possible. However, be careful with trying to cram too much into one video. Shorter videos are good – and more of them is even better.

Keep in mind that these best practices are only big-picture strategies. There are still technical details and artistic choices to hammer out, some of which are best addressed by videographers and marketing professionals. However, hopefully this list will positively inform your choices as you begin your video marketing endeavors.

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