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Architects turn their eyes towards YouTube

It is easy to forget that social media is still in its relative infancy. Its use has doubled in ten years, now being used by nearly 60% of the people around the world. Closer to home, each Brit is spending two hours a day scrolling, liking, sharing, and re-posting. That’s not to mention the additional time we are spending on our phones shopping, streaming, banking, or gaming.

The scope professionals have to capitalise on an audience dedicating hundreds of hours a month to looking at their screen is vast…

Instinctively we might look towards LinkedIn; a site capable of providing almost unlimited access to a tailored professional network of thought leaders and decision makers. Beyond that, traditional, more ‘social’ sites, such as Twitter/X, Facebook, and Instagram also have scope to be used for professional networking.

Recently, however, Refresh partnered with Competitive Advantage who took a deep dive into how hundreds of architects are utilising communications channels. The report, part of the Construction Media Index, is a comprehensive exploration into the channels available to promote the construction sector and its leading figures.

This report shows an interesting trend in how architects are increasingly using YouTube. While it’s true only one in five might go to the site regularly for technical information, that rockets to 63% of architects using it for product information and ideas. Compared to the platform’s peers, such as Vimeo, Slideshare, and Pinterest, YouTube is the only site that has seen its use grow between 2021-2023, too. This appears to be coupled with a significant decline in meetings and phone calls between architects and manufacturers occurring between the same time period, further eroding traditional sources of information access.

In many ways, this is not surprising. Videos – especially those with high quality sound and closed captions – can be accessed virtually anywhere, on any device, and at any time. Our team have seen this firsthand, creating a docu-series that hit nearly 20k views with our construction client, Etex, charting the state-of-the-art, sustainability-led factory. And, when tasked with distilling over one hundred pages of regulation, we worked with Polypipe to reach an audience of 100k on our video series, ‘A Question of Regs’.


In social media terms though, you’d be forgiven for thinking though that YouTube – still yet to hit it’s twentieth birthday – is thinking more about collecting its pension than growing its audience. Whether its Threads, Broadcasts, and the evolving iterations of Twitter/X, almost every site now has a video publishing function. But, amongst architects wanting to look for product information and inspiring ideas, YouTube is the leading platform of choice.

Navigating a rapidly evolving social media landscape is challenging but this research provides detail and clarity for anyone wanting to see how communication channels influence decision makers. It is a must-read.

For more insights from the research, get in touch and we can discuss how we can use it to maximise your campaign!

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