News to know
Glass shops market to the YouTube generation
Read part one of the e-glass special series on marketing.
A search for “glass shower door” on YouTube results in videos of professional glass shower enclosure installations and commercials for glass and hardware manufacturers. Although the same search also results in non-industry related videos, such as a person running through a glass shower door, the widespread use of YouTube has some glass company executives working the site into their marketing strategies.
“[YouTube] videos help get the word out,” says Aric Wilson, co-owner of Wilson Glass Co. in Berkeley, Calif. Wilson Glass, a distributor of do-it-yourself glass shower door components, has posted instructional videos on YouTube.
“We want to have as much information for people as possible. A lot of times, people call in with questions, and it’s much easier to provide thorough instructions on video, rather than just on the phone,” Wilson says. “[The videos] also show that we know what we’re doing.”
Wilson says he tries to make videos and post them on YouTube whenever he gets an influx of questions about one specific topic or task. So far he has posted two videos on frameless shower door installation here and here.
Other companies are posting marketing materials such as television advertisements on YouTube. The “glass shower door” search resulted in promotional videos from Custom Hardware Manufacturing Inc. of Keokuk, Iowa, here, and Super Glass of Campbell, Calif., here.
Bill Evans, president of Evans Glass Co. in Nashville, says he is looking into posting the company’s TV spots on YouTube to reach the increasingly online customer base. The ads are already available online at the company’s Web site here.
“Having a Web presence is becoming more important. The Web is the way my children shop—they’re 22 and 26. They don’t have a clue what the Yellow Pages are and they don’t really watch TV,” Evans says. “They are online. That’s why I want something on YouTube.”
David Fitchett, president of Carolina Glass & Mirror of Garner, N.C., agrees that companies need to consider new ways to target this new customer base. “We are starting to consider these unconventional methods to communicate about our products and our company,” he says.
While Fitchett says YouTube isn’t ideal for the commercial market yet, it does help glass companies reach homeowners directly.
“The videos could help develop a rapport with new home buyers or remodelers. There are more and more people in that demographic that are using YouTube,” he says.
—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter Editor