Ellen Parson

Embracing the Value of Video in Electrical Training & Education

Dec. 12, 2023
EC&M adds another new video series to its multimedia offerings

As we quickly approach the end of another year at EC&M, I always sit back in reflection to assess the past 12 months from an editorial content standpoint. What really resonated with our audience, what didn’t fare as well as we thought, and what channels performed the best as far as getting the right information into the hands of the right electrical professionals in the most efficient and effective manner?

To let you in on a little secret, as all of my team knows, I’m more than a little obsessed with tracking online performance metrics on our content to see what items and topics are trending with our audience and which formats are the most well received. This is because our mission is to continue to be the technical authority for electrical professionals who design, construct, and maintain electrical systems, providing them with the best content they can’t get anywhere else for more than 120 years. Since its inception in 1901, the magazine has changed names six times, becoming EC&M in 1947 in an effort to recognize the importance maintenance played in an aging electrical infrastructure. Now more than 75 years later, how ironic is it that the aging electrical grid is still a topic of the utmost importance?

No matter what subject we’re covering though, I have noticed a trend when it comes to multimedia. Many people are visual learners. According to HubSpot, 80% of customers remember a video they watched within the past month. And a recent survey from TechSmith on user preferences and video viewing habits revealed 83% of respondents preferred watching video to accessing information or instructional content via text or audio, most respondents viewed videos two to four times per week, and they preferred videos between five and 19 minutes long. Those statistics mirror the findings of my personal online performance metrics tracking. When it comes to EC&M’s online audience, they increasingly prefer video as a vehicle for consuming information. As a result, we’ve built a stable of technical video offerings for our audience to choose from. 

Starting with our original video series, “Moving Violations,” NEC Consultant Russ LeBlanc is on the move and in the field, uncovering the craziest Code violations you can imagine in the most unsuspecting places. Posted twice monthly, these super quick videos (two minutes or less) highlight Code violations and offer insight and interpretation on how to make an installation NEC compliant. 

In April 2021, we started “Tech Talk,” a monthly how-to video series hosted by Randy Barnett, an NFPA-certified electrical safety compliance professional, electrical instructor, and trainer. In around 20 minutes, you learn about electrical theory, basics, and proper installation techniques in a technical tutorial format. 

In October 2022, we introduced “EC&M Asks,” a video series that enlists the technical expertise of our brand’s subject matter experts to answer readers’ most pressing electrical questions. Posted twice monthly, these quick videos (all are around five minutes) offer Q&As on topics related to various installations, applications, and troubleshooting scenarios. You can bet that when our readers ask, EC&M answers. 

As we enter 2024, I’m excited to announce the launch of another new video offering: “The Everyday Electrician,” a new series of Instagram reels/YouTube shorts designed to showcase real-world electrical installation challenges and offer practical solutions in the field. Hosted by Trevor Ottmann, president of 3/0 Electric, an electrical contracting firm based in Bennet, Neb. that focuses largely on small commercial and agricultural electrical work, The Everyday Electrician will not only demonstrate the ins and outs of electrical jobs, but it will also provide a forum in which electrical professionals can comment, interact, and share industry advice or common pain points. Providing a day-in-the-life glimpse into a practicing electrician, Trevor will offer the latest troubleshooting strategies, tips and tricks, and best practices in an easy-to-digest, relatable format in some extremely unique electrical environments. Follow us on Instagram @ecmmagazine or YouTube (www.youtube.com/@ecmwebtv) to watch The Everyday Electrician starting in January. I hope all of you have a healthy, happy, and peaceful New Year ahead.

About the Author

Ellen Parson | Editor-in-Chief - EC&M

Ellen Parson is the Editor-in-Chief for EC&M. She has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She's been a business-to-business writer and editor for more than 25 years, most of which have been covering the construction and electrical industries. Contact her at [email protected].

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