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Episode 13 Video Marketing for Building Materials: The 8 Different Types and Uses in the Sales Funnel

Video Marketing for Building Materials: The 8 Different Types and Uses in the Sales Funnel

Creating videos for your marketing efforts is something every building material manufacturer should be doing right now. It’s a lot easier to create videos than it once was, making it attainable for everybody regardless of your available equipment or budget. More importantly, videos not only perform well on social media but can also be used to move your audience through the sales funnel.

Photo of Zach Williams
Photo of Beth PopNikolov
by Zach Williams and Beth PopNikolov

Zach and Beth talk about eight different video types that can be used in the building material space, plus how to use them effectively in your marketing strategy to actually convert leads into customers.

More About This Show

The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insight on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.

In this episode, Zach and Beth offer action-oriented insights surrounding video marketing specifically for the building material industry.


It’s an exciting time for video in advertising today, and there are two primary reasons why.

The first is that video is accessible in a way that has never been possible before. You don’t need a huge production budget or four-month schedule to create a truly impactful video. We’ve found that handheld videos often perform better. What does this mean? You can shoot a quick video on your phone and people will still want to watch it.

Here’s a great example from Huber Wood where an employee jumps on a piece of flooring panel from competitors, breaking each one. When he gets to the Huber brand, it stays strong. This video is clearly shot in the warehouse with someone’s cell phone, but it’s still compelling and authentic.

And it works really well.

The second reason why it’s important to include video in your marketing? Video is highly prioritized by social media platforms.

In fact, Facebook’s algorithms egregiously prioritize video because it’s the most effective way to combine emotional and rational communication. Purchase decisions boil down to emotions, and video can help reach that level more quickly and effectively than other mediums.

Plus, video provides you with more opportunity to reach your audience because they can listen to it passively. 80% of online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will read content.

Video can be particularly effective on a product page. Zappos, for example, tested this recently. When they added a video of people trying on and wearing the shoes on the product page, their conversion rate went up 64%. Shoppers were more likely to buy a pair of shoes after seeing someone walk around in the shoe.

Nike is also doing this really well: Their product videos runs 100% of the time you’re on the page.

These strategies are applicable for Building Materials Manufacturers as well. Pros want to know what your product looks like installed, next to a certain tile pattern, with furniture on top of it or being used.

At the end of the day, if you look at your buyer journey, the main driver for video is to reduce friction for your potential customers. Video helps has the ability to quickly communicate in a way that other mediums can’t. This is why video can help you reduce friction in how your audience finds, understands, and perceives the value of your product.

Let’s jump into the eight types of videos you can use to elevate your building material company’s marketing strategy.

Video #1

How-To Video

This type of video demonstrates how to use your product. It doesn’t matter whether or not your product is complex, you can still show how it’s used in a live environment. We’re seeing these videos really address what people are searching for online: how to install a product or how to do a project.

It’s also a great way to hit both professionals and the DIY/homeowner market. Think about videos that support each audience and make sure to relate your how-to videos to the category, not the product. For example, if you sell a decking product, your how-to videos can address things like how to install a deck on the side of my house or how to have a two-layer deck.

This is a great example from Corian Design.

They take you step-by-step through the installation process, starting with unpacking the product, showing what tools you'll need, and then showing every step you need to take to get the job done.

Video #2

Explainer Video

This is different than a how-to video because you’re showing your audience how a product actually works. But don’t stop there: Also include why the product does what it does, and why it’s better than the competition.

An explainer video is also great for a complex product or something that’s slightly different than your competitors. It helps to give your audience that insight into everything you know about your product.

Check out this example from Slot Drain Systems.

The used a series of photos with subtitles to clearly explain how their product works and why it works better than the competition, and to do it, all they needed to do was put their photos in a slide show.

Video #3

Testimonial Video

A testimonial video can also be called a case study video. The best way to create this type of video is by starting with the end result that the potential customer wants. Then frame a customer interview around how to do something great in your category.

Say you sell roofing materials. The video focus could actually be about how one roofer sold more roofing jobs with less labor. The video highlights how the customer did it, and your product is a part of that success. From this perspective, the video provides your audience with a deeper understanding of your product’s role and capabilities.

Fiberon Composite Decking has a great example of a testimonial video.

The video is short, under 2 minutes long, but authentic and honest. It clearly tells why customers love their product, from the customers themselves.

Video #4

Expert Video

Influencer marketing is huge, so try having an expert in your space use your product in a video. If you have an expert in your industry doing a how-to video, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Here’s an example:

If your target audience is interior designers and you sell interior doors, you could partner with a designer influencer to create a how-to video showing how to install the door for one of their current projects. That designer will then share the video with their own followers, who are eager to engage with this person and purchase whatever they suggest.

An expert video can quickly establish trust and value, which is important to the buyer’s journey.

For example, see how Benjamin Moore Paints used a designer to help sell their new paint line.

The video starts with showing who the designer is as a person before it starts to sell the paint line. It gives the viewer a chance to connect with the designer who can then influence them on the product.

Video #5

Product Demo Video

A product demo video shows how your product works in action. If you've got a great paving material, for example, you can demonstrate how the paver works in a live environment. Talk about concerns related to the product, like water runoff and durability, which answer people’s questions while showing them that your product is better.

This type of video sounds a lot like a how-to video, and that’s okay. Sometimes there’s overlap between video types which can be extremely effective. Just don't get too hung up on features and instead focus on how to best resonate with your audience.

ClosetMaid shows how easy it is to produce a product demo video in this example.

They don't need to say a single word to get the viewer's attention. A few subtitles and video of the product in action is all it takes to show how their product is the right product.

Video #6

Brand Video

Every manufacturer loves this one because they get to talk about themselves. However, be careful not to brag. Be sure to focus on talking about your brand from the context of what matters to your audience. Don’t just talk about how long your company has been around: Tell them why they should care.

ODL Building Products does this in an exceptional way.

This video is simple, but powerful. ODL is honest about what their company does and why it is important to the viewer. They explain why you should care about their company.

Video #7

Event Video

This type of video is becoming more popular. It includes creating videos for events you’re going to, videos that take place while you're there or even a recap video once the event is over. Event video communicates that you’re a player in the space for your audience. It also says that you’re relevant within your category and a leader who is creating content to educate your audience.

Pfisher Faucets recently posted a great recap video from the KBIS 2018 tradeshow.

They start by inviting you into their booth and then talk about the new products they displayed, giving the viewer the opportunity to "attend" the event with Pfisher.

Video #8

Live Videos

Producing a live video can sound intimidating, but it’s now become such a common feature on social media platforms that the barrier to entry has lowered. You don’t have to be overly prepared in order to go live.

We’re even seeing things like live video for webinars because it lets you reuse it in the future. At trade shows, you can do a Q&A and get direct face time with your audience. There are truly endless opportunities.

Don't be intimidated thinking you need the moment to be totally perfect. You can be human, which ultimately adds to your authenticity.

Cambria Surfaces shows you that all you need is a phone to create a great video.

They take you right into their processing facility to introduce viewers to Cambria's newest product line. The speaker is so friendly and shows such enthusiasm for the product that you don't even notice the background noise from the facility.

How to Use Video in the Sales Funnel More Effectively

There are three stages of the sales funnel:

  • Attract, where your audience gains awareness.
  • Convert, where you increase your leads.
  • Close, where you turn leads into sales opportunities.

We have seen tremendous results from using video in the attract phase, but it can actually be used in all three stages.

However, a lot of building material manufacturers don’t even think about using video in the convert and close stages. If you're trying to grow awareness about a product line, you have the ability to promote a video to your different audiences via social media by targeting their demographic profiles. Focus on your ideal customer and how to drive them to your site.

Facebook and Instagram actually reward advertisers for using video. It’s entertaining to users, so they charge you less. Expert and how-to videos are great ways to attract new customers at the top of the funnel because they provide value to your potential customer.

Once you've got their attention and they've gained awareness, you’re now ready to convert them.

To do this, think about what opportunities you can create on your site that tee up an action or lead generation. This is where content like product demo videos, how-to videos or case study videos can come into play.

In your convert stage video, be sure to recommend the next step. When a visitor watches a video, they learn about the product, but you then need to tell them what to do next, like request a sample or contact a consultant.

You can do this in the video itself or on the page right next to it. This kind of call to action helps you measure how effective the video is. If you have a clear conversion point on your video and conversion is not happening, you know you need to change your marketing tactic.

Once a visitor is at the conversion point, they become a lead, and you have an opportunity to close the sale using video. Testimonials are a compelling video type to send to your lead at this point, along with product demo videos to reinforce the benefits of your product.

If you have a hot lead you’ve been chatting with and he or she asks you a specific question, you can also respond with a personalized video. It adds to the customer’s sales experience and helps them trust both you and the product more.

To get the most out of your marketing videos, you need to ensure they are being used in the most effective way. That means you need to continually pivot your strategy when you look at your metrics. If one type of video isn’t working, try another.

Videos are versatile and interchangeable, you can use them in different ways to enhance your product sales.