Social media video matters: Why and how to do it at your AEC firm (with examples)

April 30, 2024

For better or worse, today’s marketers need to keep the beast we call “Social Media” well-fed. The problem is that the beast’s palette keeps changing.

What’s the optimal post time on each platform? How many posts should I make per week? How is my audience responding? Why are impressions down? Oh wait, they’re up again. Feed? Threads? Stories? Reels? Shorts? Hashtags? What do you mean Congress wants to ban TikTok?!

If you want to keep the social media algorithm happy — and more importantly, your audience engaged — you should consider working video into your strategy.

Why video?

Daunting as it might sound to add another round of content creation to your never-ending to-do list, the data doesn’t lie. Video is a growing priority in professional services marketing. 

In Hubspot’s 2024 State of Marketing, researchers found that short-form video delivers the highest return on investment (ROI) for businesses. To get more granular, we can look at the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) research, which found that 84% of B2B content marketers use video — the most popular content format after short articles and posts. In addition, 69% of B2B marketers told CMI they want to invest more resources into video, with thought leadership a close second at 53%. 

And if you’re still doubting its impact, just think about how many platforms have incorporated video features in recent years. Even LinkedIn is working on a way to optimize short-form videos on its feed, following in the footsteps of basically every other popular social media app.

Who’s watching?

Allow me to set the stage real quick: Why would a person scroll through an architecture, engineering or construction (AEC) firm’s social media profile? They may be:

  • A prospective client who wants to get a vibe check on your firm’s capabilities. They’re trying to get a snapshot of your past projects, awards and recognitions, firm values and the AEC professionals who may be involved in their upcoming projects.
  • A job candidate deciding whether your firm is a good fit for them. They want to get a feel for your culture, values and their future coworkers. Do you celebrate your employees’ achievements? Are there any extracurricular programs or activities they can participate in? What about learning and development opportunities, such as workshops or conferences?
  • A referral partner or other AEC professional who sees your firm as an industry leader with their pulse on the latest trends and developments. For this person, your account may be an educational resource that helps them keep up with the rapidly evolving industry. It could be a referral partner, such as developers, subcontractors, land use attorneys and site selection specialists. If you’re an active thought leader, this group can also include journalists evaluating whether your subject-matter experts can contribute to their publications. If speaking engagements are part of your strategy, it may include judging panels determining whether your team should be awarded a speaker spot at their event.

Six engaging videos to use in your AEC firm’s social media strategy

Frankly, video is a great marketing tool. It allows you to cater to different audiences with different media consumption preferences, diversify your content to keep followers engaged and build trust by bringing an element of authenticity to your AEC firm.

Now that I have your attention, let’s look at the types of videos that work well for AEC firms. We’ll focus on the following six:

  1. Project spotlight and/or updates
  2. Behind-the-scenes
  3. Project timelapse
  4. Education and thought leadership
  5. Culture
  6. Podcast excerpts

1. Project spotlight and/or updates

VSJ Construction Services — Milwaukee County North Garage

Full post

Mace — Brent Cross West Station

Full post 

LS3P Associates — Guilford County Behavioral Health Centers

Full post

Skanska — NYC Public Health Laboratory

Full post 

2. Employee spotlight

Superior Construction — #SuperiorWomen spotlight

Full post

Clark Construction Groups — Projects That Made Me

Full post

Kiewit — Engineer spotlight 

Full post

The Lane Construction Corporation — Women in Construction Week spotlight

Full post

McCarthy Building Companies — Project-specific employee spotlight

Full post

Balfour Beatty — Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Full post

3. Behind-the-scenes

RS&H — Live On Site 

Full post

Gannet Fleming — How does hydropower work?

Full post

Jigsaw Interior Architecture & Design — What happens at a photoshoot?

Full post

EDIT Studios — Construction evolution on EDIT’s Sandstorm HQ project

Full post 

4. Project timelapse

Clark Construction Group — Augustana University Midoco Arena

Full post 

REX Architecture — Brown University Performing Arts Center

Full post 

The Walsh Group — Carolina Crossroads Project

Full post 

Architecture, Incorporated — Old Town Hotel

Full post 

Cline Design — The Emerson on Rocky Point

Full post 

5. Education and thought leadership 

Mace — Circularity best practices

Full post 

Landscape Architecture Foundation — Eco-friendly construction materials

Full post 

MKM Architecture + Design — #OneQuestion

Full post 

LYT Architecture — Project approach explainer

Full post 

Mackey Mitchell Architects — 5 Powerful Ways to Celebrate & Invest in Women

Full post 

6. Culture

BB+M Architecture — Recruitment

Full post 

KAI Enterprises — Community involvement

Full post 

Prince Contracting — Safety standards

Full post 

7. Podcast excerpts

McMillan Pazdan Smith — “The Future of Education” Podcast

Full post 

Skanska — “Shaping Sustainable Places” Podcast

Full post 

Ossa Design Studio — “The Power of Design” Podcast

Full post 

Mancini Duffy — “DETAILED” Podcast

Full post 

Five tips for executing a successful video content strategy

Before we part ways, I’ll leave you with some actionable ways to execute a video strategy under time and budget constraints. We want to make sure each post hits home with its target audience and that as many people as possible get the opportunity to see your firm’s video investment.

#1 Repurpose existing content

Time and marketing dollars are precious, albeit limited. Use your existing content as a springboard to generate video topics. For example, could you pull bite-sized threads from a recent blog post, bylined article, speaking engagement or client presentation?

#2 Make it as painless as possible for talent

Plan out your content ahead of time and pre-script as much as possible to make the recording process quick and easy for your staff. 

#3 Use your smartphone

You don’t need expensive equipment to start shooting videos! Smartphones are the perfect starter tool for dipping your toes into social media video creation. If you want something fancier or are ready to level up your production value, check out our equipment recommendations for an in-house video program.

In-field team members are a powerful resource for capturing video on the job site. Build into your culture an expectation that they should be thinking about how to capture site conditions to support marketing — just make sure you have the right client permissions in place.

#4 Keep it short

Asking a scrolling — mind you, busy  — AEC professional or client to spend 30+ minutes watching your video isn’t always going to fly. Short videos are easier for social media audiences to commit to. Additionally, most platforms have video length restrictions. Overall, try to keep your videos around 60-90 seconds.

#5 Post strategically

Your social media posting schedule is influenced by three factors: Where, when and how often?

Where? Most professional services audiences congregate on LinkedIn, so focus most of your energy there. If you run Facebook and Instagram accounts, you’ll also want to post to reels there. YouTube is the #1 video search engine, but don’t sweat about creating an account unless it’s already part of your broader marketing strategy or you plan to produce long-form videos. 

When? You should understand when your audience uses social media. Tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social track activity times and can recommend optimal posting times for your accounts.

How often? Social media real estate feels infinite, but it is limited. A healthy account will post two or three times a week, but not all of that content needs to be video. To start, I’d aim for one video per month and progressively scale to one per week for best results. Avoid posting back-to-back. Instead, give your videos the time they need to breathe. People consume social media on different dates and times, so give them the opportunity to have that video from Monday show up on their feed before you bury it under three other posts.

Do you have questions about creating videos for your AEC firm’s social media? Or maybe you just want someone to brainstorm video ideas with? Let’s talk:


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  • About the Author
    Sofia Millar

    Sofia is a creative and dynamic content creator with a passion for innovative storytelling. Whether she’s crafting a compelling blog post or developing a fun social media strategy, she knows exactly what to target to make sure audiences are invested in her client’s work.

    Read my full bio or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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