In case you hadn’t noticed, video is fast becoming the most popular medium for how we consume content. Whether it be to teach us how to do something, or to inspire us, or even to entertain us, like the plethora of memes that our fellow global citizens have created from the safety of their home during COVID (including my personal favourite, ‘Option B’).
If you’re not convinced of how all-pervasive video is, here’s the stats:
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic – 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)
78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. (Hubspot)
YouTube is the second most popular website after Google. (Alexa)
This all begs the question, why do we love video so much and why is it so effective as a form of communication?
Because video bridges the experience gap.
According to Charlie Porter, head of visual content agency, Burninghouse, “video is a rich media that relies on a combination of visual and aural cures. Short of experiencing the live product, video is the best medium to illustrate, demonstrate or display a product or service in our online environment.”
So how can you use video for your practice?
The easiest way you can incorporate video into how you communicate is by sharing the story of your clients and their projects.
Posting a gallery of photos and 500 words on your site isn’t the most effective way to convey the experience of your past clients. It doesn’t communicate how they felt before the project versus how they feel now. Featuring your clients sharing this in a video is gold dust for potential clients who want to know, before they engage you:
Can I trust this architect?
Am I going to like working with this architect?
Am I going to get what I want and will I feel good at the end of the process?
According to Eugenia Tan of Euzeta, beyond creating video content of projects, there’s a number of other ways you can leverage video. This video created for DiMase Architects, provides a short and easily consumable insight into who the practice is and what they offer.
Video provides potential clients with a better understanding of your process, your ethos and importantly, who you are. Remember, people buy people. Not past projects.
Video can also be used to showcase speculative ideas for potential clients or for competition entries.
How much is it going to cost?
Today, everyone has a video player in their pocket and when factoring in the power of this rich media, video is an extremely cost-effective way to communicate.
Just like architecture, the creation of a video is an amalgamation of many decisions. Once the desired outcome is understood, there are many pathways to achieve that outcome. For example, a house can be built from marble or it can be built from timber. There are very different cost implications for each pathway and video is no different. “Engaging a professional to produce your visual content means you’ll get the benefit of their experience in achieving more with less”, says Charlie Porter.
You may also consider collaborating with an industry specialist like Anthony Richardson of The Design Emotive. With over 70k Instagram followers, The Design Emotive targets those who are actively in the process of building their own home and seeking ideas and inspiration for their design. There’s no upfront cost for producing the video, Anthony instead works on a licensing arrangement.
Colin Chee, creator of the Never Too Small YouTube channel, adopts a similar approach. With close to 1 million subscribers, Never Too Small is a video channel dedicated to small footprint design and living; featuring award-winning designers and their tiny apartments, studios and self-contained projects.
Do I have to be in front of the camera?
Preferably yes, according to Colin Chee.
Video gives you the ability to communicate the approach, process and story behind your project. Key to this, is to tell that story in a way that your audience (remember, that’s potential clients, not your peers!) understands. Translate: no archispeak.
Appearing in the video also provides an opportunity for your personality to shine through. As Eugenia Tan noted, giving a glimpse of who you are helps potential clients to gauge whether you’re the right fit for them. It reduces the trepidation they may be feeling about picking up the phone to make that first call to your practice. No headshot on a website can do that.
Should I upload my videos to YouTube?
YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google.
Google owns YouTube.
Google algorithms favour video content posted on YouTube, meaning it’s more likely to serve up your videos.
Posting your content on YouTube does open you up to comments, however, as Colin Chee says, this isn’t something you should fear. Architects should present themselves more widely and openly, “like sportspeople do.” Remember, much of the general public don’t understand what you do.
And therein lies the opportunity for using video.
Special thanks to the Geelong & Surfcoast Regional Practice Forum for recently hosting the online event, Toward the value proposition: Telling stories of (your) architecture using film in digital media promotion, featuring Eugenia Tan, Colin Chee and Anthony Richardson.
Photo credit: Bjarke Ingels interviewed by Burninghouse talking about the Southbank Project.
If you’re looking for more tips, strategies and advice to improve your marketing, download our beloved “Architect’s Guide to Marketing” here. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by filling out this form, and we’ll find a time to chat about your needs and how Archibiz can help.