The hidden marketing within homeowner how-to videos
In the digital age, customers and pool professionals can interact in more ways than ever before. Website building, marketing and general media play significant roles for many pool service and supply companies. One way pool pros can support their customers and the health of their business is through how-to videos.
Kelly Skelton, director of marketing for SSG Pools, an in-ground gunite pool builder in North Billerica, Massachusetts, has implemented these types of videos to tremendous effect.
The company recently invested in a videographer and is starting to produce how-to videos on everything pool owners need to do to take good care of their pool, Skelton says. “We wanted to go a step further…and provide them a way to self-service their pool and save money if they wish to do these tasks themselves.”
Skelton says it saves his team a lot of time on simple tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex maintenance issues. “Meanwhile, customers have a 24-7, 365 alternative to scheduled maintenance or calling our support line,” he adds.
Clever Punch Marketing in Santa Barbara, California, specializes in the housing and construction industry. Owner Jade Flogerzi says how-to videos are a brilliant way to market a company.
“First, you are capturing the attention of viewers who are ideal target clients,” Flogerzi says, adding that it will almost exclusively be current pool owners finding your videos through a web search. “[The videos] answer questions and problems while learning about your business, so you are achieving great awareness.”
Flogerzi says the best way to integrate self-promotion into these videos is to solve the problem or answer the question while helping the viewer get to know your company. Before starting a video, she recommends thinking of five to 10 words to describe how you want people to perceive your business, such as professional, helpful, knowledgeable, family-oriented or quality-focused. “Be that person in your video,” she says, “and balance your message with how complex this problem is with how easy it is to solve.” A call to action is also necessary, she adds. For example: “I am Clay from Pacific Pools. I hope this video has helped you [do this task]. If you have questions about your pool and spa or need a professional to help you, feel free to give us a call!”
The ideal outcome of these videos, in Flogerzi’s opinion, is the viewer realizing halfway through, “This is going to be way too much work for me — why don’t I just call this guy!”
Kelly Skelton says SSG Pools’ videos do not integrate much self-promotion, but he echoes Flogerzi’s advice that the marketing aspects should materialize naturally. “When someone stumbles upon an SSG video or blog to solve a problem or answer a question, they can see the source and follow up if they have questions or would like us to provide a quote for a project,” he says.
While not necessarily intended as a lead generator, how-to videos can still have that outcome.
SSG Pools created service tutorial videos as asynchronous support for customers — something it can use to fulfill basic tasks or fix quick issues “without spending money on a service appointment,” Skelton says. When thinking about which employee would be best suited for the gig, make sure it’s someone comfortable on camera, he adds: “If the video format is desirable, it’ll be important to have someone confident and articulate.”
Additionally, because a gunite pool can be a significant investment, consumers often research companies to determine which is the best fit. Coming upon a robust number of blogs, pictures, videos and reviews can help cement customer confidence “that we are experts in our trade and will be around for a long time to support their pool needs,” Skelton says. For pool companies considering whether a video component is right for them, Skelton says start with evaluating clients’ most common questions and concerns. “Lean into the questions or problems [your] customers face most often,” Skelton says. “Those are usually the best videos or blogs to begin with.”