Competing in the construction industry can be tough. Your company might be great at building facilities and completing complex projects, but does it have the expertise to build its own reputation in a crowded marketplace?
Marketing doesn’t have to be hard. Instead of spending time writing copy and worrying over phrasing, construction companies can let their own work do the talking through the use of jobsite cameras. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but a construction camera can speak volumes for the quality of your work.
What’s in Your Portfolio?
When a potential client starts asking if you can provide a portfolio of past projects in the middle of the proposal process, there is no need to panic or go shopping for the services of a professional photographer.
Architecture photographers can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 per day, and then you have to deal with the potential liability of a third party trying to roam around the jobsite. A construction camera system can provide a more cost-effective and safer alternative.
Construction cameras can be strategically placed around the jobsite to capture images at all stages of a project. The right jobsite camera system can be used to produce the high-quality photos necessary to help secure new contracts. The usefulness of construction cameras extends far beyond just marketing by providing 24/7 onsite monitoring capabilities.
Features You Need
Not all construction camera systems are created equally, so there are certain features to look for. Your first consideration will be camera resolution. A resolution that is too low will obviously lack the detail and sharpness you would want, while too high will create a less responsive camera due to large file sizes. Somewhere between 5 and 20 megapixels is generally the sweet spot of quality and performance.
You should also weigh the benefits of fixed-position versus robotic Pan-tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras which can offer 360-degree coverage. Important service features will include live images, live streaming video, customizable time-lapsing, and the ability to embed the camera onto your own website.
Different firms will take different approaches to marketing with construction cameras. Some companies will set up a display in their lobby, where anyone who walks into the office can see a dashboard of live construction camera feeds showcasing their work.
Many contractors will take advantage of the online embedding features that some construction cameras provide to place live camera feeds on their websites. In other cases, the end customer — whether a city government, nonprofit corporation, hospital, or developer — will put the live camera on their website to keep the public up to date with the project.
One example of this type of construction camera-based marketing: The San Diego Convention Center Corporation used jobsite cameras to document the $10.5 million Sails Pavilion roof renovation project. Having outlived its estimated 25-year lifespan, the roof of the 90,000 square foot pavilion was renovated with all new materials and installation by the original contractor.
The cameras, which provided a live web feed, were used to give the public an online glimpse into the progress of the renovation. As illustrated by this project, high-tech construction cameras can provide valuable marketing services in addition to their normal jobsite monitoring capabilities.
Some contractors will use construction cameras to record time-lapse videos of project progress. They can then place time-lapse videos from completed jobs on their website for potential customers to view. Time-lapse videos can also be displayed at trade shows to showcase their work. Custom time-lapses can be created for special milestones such as a groundbreaking.
The best construction cameras give customers many promotional options to choose from. Camera feeds can be easily featured on a customer’s website. Social media sharing features let customers quickly/easily share photos to Facebook or LinkedIn or through email or social media directly from a smartphone app.
The best construction camera systems provide live video streaming capabilities, which can be accessed from any device. Meeting with a potential client on the fly? A feed from a live camera can be pulled up on a smartphone or tablet, allowing project progress to be shared anywhere and at any time.
Providing a direct link to a live stream can also make a great networking tool. By giving a client access to a live video stream, they can show off your construction company’s work to business colleagues.
Live images, streaming video, and historical time-lapse images are let you showcase your project details and processes. This can make a meaningful difference when it comes to winning a contract.
Construction cameras are invaluable for project management and logistics, but they can also be used for purposes far beyond just monitoring jobsites. These cameras can help limit liability and increase productivity.
Theft and vandalism cost the construction industry $1 billion per year, according to estimates. By remotely monitoring the jobsites, cameras can deter thieves and provide documentary evidence in the event of a theft. Capturing 24/7 security video allows firms to review events where equipment has grown legs.
The use of jobsite cameras can also give construction superintendents tools to improve workflow by using time-lapse videos or marked-up photos of worker performance as feedback. In the event of a worksite injury, cameras can document whether safety procedures were followed.
Construction cameras can give businesses the ability to market themselves through high-definition images, live streaming, and time-lapse photography. They can give companies the abilities to access a full history of their projects in high-definition photos that can be pulled from any date/time during the process.
It may sound cliché, but a picture does say a thousand words — especially when showcasing your work to potential clients. Construction cameras can provide the tangible evidence needed to give your company the competitive advantage it needs in a crowded marketplace.
Ken Pittman is the CMO for TrueLook, which provides construction cameras that combine live jobsite viewing, project time-lapsing, and HD security, as well as webcams for various other industry applications.