Leveraging Videos in Manufacturing
BY CHRISTINE TORRES
Published July 22, 2021
How can you draw attention to your manufacturing business? Video is a good tool to help captivate an audience. The power of video marketing can entice potential leads and help the business shine. Jeff Long of True Focus Media in Dayton, Ohio, shares his tips and expertise on how to leverage video in manufacturing for the #USAMfgHour chat on Twitter.
People are Watching
Videos help people retain information and make decisions, and Long’s team at True Focus Media helps industrial manufacturers automate marketing, sales, and training. On the business side of video marketing, there are some sweet statistics. According to WordStream, an advertising company, video content has the best return on investment with 84% of marketers polled saying video helps them generate leads.
Why is creating video content important for manufacturers?
“It is the way that more and more people are consuming their media. So it essentially increases engagement and interest in products & services,” said Ben Nordman of Obsidian Manufacturing in Rockford, Ilinois.
“The visualization of a process or manufactured product is hard for many buying a product. They are not able to understand a text dialogue or concept. A video can easily display it working especially if it is in context to the buyer,” said Nigel T. Packer of PelaTis Online in the United Kingdom.
“Video is the No. 1 way people consume content these days. If we're not creating video, then we're somewhat irrelevant,” said Rebecca Hart of Drive Source International/Dynamatic in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
“Video content is the preferred option among the next generation. Many people will listen even if they choose not to read. It also personalizes the interaction and you reveal more personality,” said Phil Samuels of Intuilize in Rockton, Illinois.
“Totally agree. Plus, most people would rather watch a video than read an article, case study, or white paper,” said Long. “Just show us a video...don't make us read, haha!”
“SEO,” said Gina Tabasso of MAGNET consulting in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Videos help showcase your products, demonstrate your expertise, engage with your customers, help you stand out from your competition, tell a story, answer questions and so much more,” said Long.
An XANT study found that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first to an inquiry, said Long. “If your ideal customers can find you and your company faster then they'll see your expertise and trust you, which can lead to more sales. Video can do this,” he said. “Showing is better than telling. Video lets you showcase your products, answer questions and demonstrate your expertise.”
According to a Genius.com study, 66% of buyers say that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing” is a key influence in choosing which company to go with.
“Send video content to your ideal customers,” Long said. “I've been producing videos since 2003 and manufacturing tends to lag in terms of marketing innovation. This includes video. It's currently easy for manufacturers to stand out from their competition by having a video library. For now.”
What types of videos are industry experts and companies creating that seem effective?
“Short, to the point showing the aspects of the product or service relevant to the target audience. Let them see themselves in the video. Subtitles and translation options should also be considered,” said Packer.
“Short and how-to, give info/educate,” said Tabasso.
“Prospects need to be informed (you’re the only one doing that for your products & services), and it helps if you have a flair for entertainment like DCSCInc’s Buddy the Bull,” said Samuels.
“Seems like it should be "How to" solve a problem using the product you're focusing on,” said Burger and Brown Engineering in Grandview, Missouri.
“Depends on the intent. We're doing a mini-series right now with longer videos around 3 minutes to convey the message that we want it to. Most of our other videos such as a product focus are shorter, not even a minute long,” said Obsidian.
“Short ones! Most people prefer snippets rather than documentaries,” said DSI/Dynamatic. “They should also educate and entertain at the same time.”
“These days it also doesn't hurt to showcase your company culture - a great draw for hiring. Video can also show the dynamics of the use of your services/products,” said Christine Torres of Graphic Products in Beaverton, Oregon.
“Want video content ideas? Think of the buyer's journey and create video content there for people in each phase,” said Long.
Video Content ideas:
- Industry trend videos
- product showcase
- safety, setup, usage videos
- Top 10 problems you solve
“What are your top 10 questions customers ask you? (strangers, right before the sale, after the sale). Make a video for each,” said Long. “What are 3 things that make you different? Make a simple video for each. What are 5 misconceptions your ideal customers have?”
What types of additional content can you get out of your video content? (extract the audio, etc)
“You can’t sing with the written word. Hard to use inflection to emphasize a point or tell a joke,” Samuels said.
“Website content, blog, social content, podcast, webinar,” Tabasso said.
“Screenshots to be added to your blog or published article on the topic,” said John Buglino of Optessa in Edmonton, California.
“Screenshots for social media use,” said Burger and Brown.
“I can get useful quotes out of it for use in blogs, creative ideas in general based off dialogue for use in blogs, and the different splices of a video production can be used in different contexts,” said Obsidian.
“This is a great reminder that we can create one piece of content, but it can be used in many other ways,” said DSI/Dynamatic.
“Promotion, direct selling, adding a personal message, Demonstration of excellence. Many apply, it is important to set your objectives before you start,” said Packer.
“Find short quotes from the video and create quote graphics. These are good sharable content and showcases that person as the industry expert,” said Long. “Take out the audio and make 'audiogram' videos.”
Where can you post and repost your videos for the best ROI?
“Website. LinkedIn. Twitter. Instagram. FB. Email campaign. For some industrial products even cable channels that address the same market,” Samuels said.
“Press releases, blogs, website, social, YouTube, and sometimes in virtual events too,” said Graphic Products. “We also share videos in our booth at tradeshows, and send them along when prospecting for various partnerships, clients, events, etc.”
“Social media, email, YouTube, and our website are the ones off the top of my head right now,” Obsidian said.
“Email signature - How many emails do you send out each day? You can promote your products and services with every email you send. Simply put a link in your email signature template,” said Long. “YouTube - Video boosts your SEO. Google is the #1 search engine and YouTube is the #2. And YouTube is owned by Google. You boost SEO and leverage the power of Google/YouTube.”
- Make your website a content library. Post videos on your make product pages, in blogs, FAQ pages, and anywhere else you can.
- Industry association websites, blogs, or magazines - they're looking for content to promote. But make sure it's customer-centric and not all about your company.
- Don't know how to measure the ROI with your print catalog? Use QR codes in the catalog that link to pages on your website that contain video. From here you can offer a free download in exchange for their email. Now you're able to measure leads.
- Create custom videos and share them with a new contact in LinkedIn Mail. It's a fun way to introduce yourself and more easily connect. Or send them a video you've done as you ask for the connection. That's what I do every week.
“I have a list of 40+ places you can post and repost your videos every month. The key is to put the videos where your ideal customers will see them. Think outside the box,” said Long. “By being focused on your customer you can take the pressure off yourself. Create simple how-to videos, FAQ videos, or other things you can do on your phone or webcam.”
What's keeping you from making more videos?
“Time and money. We utilize free options, such as Adobe Stock Video and Canva animations, as much as possible, but they only go so far,” said DSI/Dynamatic.
‘(Thankfully) we've been focused on landing new business. We have a brief break in the excitement and are working on videos to support our latest product,” said Optessa.
“Nothing thanks to this chat and my buddy who told me to use Animoto. I created an entire YouTube channel for my last company that way,” said Tabasso.
Other video creation platforms, apps, and editing include: Canva, Adobe Premiere, LumaFusion, iMovie, Apple Clips, Filmmaker Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Magisto among others.
“We have taken a brief hiatus for vacations and refreshing our content brains, but for a while, we were posting videos weekly,” said Samuels.
“Manpower right now. We have a smaller marketing department with four brands to market. We've recently been making progress in getting more and more videos though,” said Obsidian.
“That's a very common struggle with the companies we work with. There's always too much to be done. But the good thing is that videos help you automate your marketing, sales, SEO, training, customer service, social media, and more,” said Long.
“I recently ran a poll on LinkedIn and found that 51% of people didn't make more videos because they didn't have a strategy in place,” said Long. “The good thing is that your customers want authentic videos. They don't have to be Hollywood quality. There's a time/place for highly produced videos but don't be afraid to make simple videos.”
Here's our 4-part video strategy anyone can use:
- Create regular video content.
- Offer a lead magnet on SOME of them.
- Send helpful information who signed up. Give value, don't focus on sales.
- Repost the videos.
Learn more about video marketing in True Focus Media's Video Marketing Playbook.
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.