Watching Concrete: YouTube channel saves time, drives revenue for Mid Atlantic Concrete Equipment
If you attend an industry event with Owen Blevins, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mid Atlantic Concrete Equipment, you better expect to hear the refrain, “Hey, Cretehead!”
It’s not an insult, just evidence that people are buying what Blevins is selling. As the founder and host of Concrete Answers, “the Internet’s most passionate show about concrete plants and equipment,” Blevins is becoming a concrete-industry celebrity, and, of course, he kicks off each episode with a resounding, “Heeey, Creteheads!”
Every other week, he introduces machinery and processes in direct response to the questions he receives from customers via his company’s website, events and sales meetings.
Even though the show is only about two years old, it has received more than 85,000 views.
“It’s not a bulldog on a skateboard, but we have a niche market. Our goal is to inform, educate and offer a little bit of entertainment. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, be sure to watch,” he laughs. “It’s highly technical.”
Hundreds of hours of work = Hundreds of thousands in sales
Every minute of the final product represents an hour of work – planning, shooting, editing and posting. However, Blevins says the hundreds of hours devoted to Concrete Answers are well worth the investment.
“We typically know exactly what brought our customers to us,” says Blevins. “This information allows us to justify expense, because there’s a lot of time, effort and energy that goes into the channel. It’s definitely been worth it; otherwise, we wouldn’t do it. I won’t reveal exact ROI, but I can tell you the show has ultimately resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment sales.”
Meeting customers where they’re at
Blevins was inspired to create a YouTube channel after hearing Gary Vaynerchuk, video blogging expert, speak. He was extolling the virtues of YouTube to sell anything when an audience member heckled, “But can you use it to sell construction equipment?”
“Vaynerchuk said, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ You just take your flip-cam out and say, ‘Look at what this product can do. Have you ever seen anything like it? This is off the hook!’” recalls Blevins.
In this response, Blevins saw the solution to one of his most pressing sales and marketing challenges: sharing processes and operational features for expensive, complex, unwieldy equipment with customers spanning a 13-state region.
“Our industry has a lot of mom-and-pops and mid-sized local and regional players that have their hands full. One luxury they don’t have is getting out of their operation to look at equipment. However, our equipment isn’t something you can toss in the back of your trunk and show someone. Furthermore, it’s a huge investment, so you must prove its value,” he says.
“Now we can just send them to ConcreteAnswers.tv to see equipment in action,” he continues. “After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures.”
Delivering content in one clean package
Blevins’ five-person sales team uses a content-sharing platform to bundle their video, ROI calculators, whitepapers and landing pages into a single tidy link to address their customers’ specific needs. Blevins says it’s key to helping them leverage their YouTube channel.
Before, Blevins’ team would spend 30 to 60 minutes crafting an email jam-packed with links to content. Every email had to be created from scratch. It was a laborious process, and the final product didn’t look polished.
“Our customers want to do as much research as possible before they go to the bank,” says Blevins.
The content-sharing platform enables Blevins to send customers what they want in one clean package without making them search multiple links and possibly missing valuable information or getting lost or distracted. It also greatly reduces the chance customers will stray off the site and to a competitor.
Blevins’ tips for YouTube stardom
If your organization hasn’t used YouTube yet, Blevins strongly encourages you to give it a try. He provides these tips to get started:
- Invest in sound quality. “Any camera works; people will put up with so-so video quality,” he says. “But I spend a lot of time making sure that I have great sound. If they can’t hear you, they won’t watch.”
- Keep it short.“Our videos are typically three to five minutes, and we make sure every minute is packed with content,” says Blevins.Be sure to provide websites and phone numbers so they can find more information.
- Write and post a transcript with the video. “It doesn’t get any more real than video conversations put into text for the search engines to find and index your content,” says Blevins. “You don’t have to pay $100 for every transcript. I hire a high school kid for $10 a transcript.”
Blevins notes that, as a result, people often find his videos through organic searches.
- Keep it real. “People smell commercials a mile away,” he says. “Keep it light and fun; you’ve got to be yourself and be genuine. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If it’s too staged, people won’t watch it.”
Do you have other tips or ideas to generate leads through YouTube? Post them in the comments; I’d love to hear about them.
Postwire – content-sharing platform used by Blevins