Now more than ever, marketing relies heavily on visual elements. Video content in particular is a must if you want to reach the 45% of users who watch at least an hour of video every week on Facebook or YouTube. Or is it?
That’s the question many manufacturers ask when allocating their marketing budgets. Whether previously invested in more traditional channels like trade journals, conferences, and online directories, or actively testing inbound channels such as email and social media, it’s difficult to know when and how to use video for manufacturing marketing efforts.
Unlike most industries, the target audience for manufacturing marketing campaigns is still making the transition from analog to digital. As a new generation of engineers and procurement professionals enters the industry, however, it’s more important than ever to start shifting resources to the formats they are most likely to engage with. Let’s look at what that entails.
When Video Makes Sense for Manufacturing
In 2017, a survey by PMG uncovered that only 42% of manufacturers use some form of video on their websites. That’s not marketing, that’s all digital activity. The majority have not and are not considering video for their efforts – whether because of cost or because they don’t see the benefit.
But it’s more important than ever to use the media type that is most likely to capture and hold attention as long as possible. Benefits of video for manufacturers include:
- Improved Search Rankings – Video vastly increases your chances of being found in a Google search. MarTech estimates by as much as 5300%. People tend to watch the video longer than they read as well – meaning they engage with your content for longer. Considering that more than half your competitors are NOT doing this, it’s a big potential edge.
- Boost Conversion Rates – What percentage of people who visit your website convert and call you or fill out a form? For some manufacturers it can be 0.5% or lower. Video content has been shown to boost conversion rates, not only on the pages where it is featured, but on an entire website.
- Show Not Tell – How often do you lose a contract after giving a tour of your facility? Most contract manufacturers would kill to get a prospect on the shop floor to showcase the equipment, processes, and team behind the finished goods. With video you can do that remotely, carefully showing the right items at the right times.
Video content does a lot to boost your perceived value, visualize your value proposition, and get more people on your site for longer. It’s not just a tool for B2C companies with huge pools of prospects. It’s a psychological tool that can help engage with and build relationships with your target personas in engineering and procurement.
How to Use Video as a Manufacturer
Many manufacturers know some or all of the above benefits. You’ve read the articles, seen the case studies, and want to give it a shot, but aren’t sure how to best utilize video in a format that will drive results and be worth the investment. Some things to consider include:
- Testimonials – These are huge – endorsements from your best customers can help showcase the good work you’ve done in the past. But it goes beyond just doing good work. You need to put the proof in front of people. Visual testimonials, interviewing your best clients can do just that.
- Case Studies – Don’t just describe your best projects, show them. Provide a visual tour of the finished product, the equipment used to manufacture it, the value-add services you provided to the client, and more. There may be limitations on what you can or are willing to show because of NDAs and trade secrets, but a skilled videographer can work with you to find the space in between where you can show off what you do best.
- Tours of Your Facilities – If you work only with local clients, this may not be necessary, but if you ship anywhere outside a 100-mile radius, virtual tours of your facilities can showcase the things your prospects want to see in advance. Keep it engaging, brisk, and dedicated to the benefits of working with you to maximize the value of the video.
- Educational Content – Finally, use video as an opportunity to engage with and educate your prospects. Installation videos, presentations you’ve given at seminars or trade shows, recent engagements, or interviews you’ve done on topics related to the needs of your prospects. These are all good opportunities to showcase thought leadership and build trust with your target audience.
The video does something that written content and images alone cannot. It brings a human element to your website and marketing efforts. In an inherently impersonal online environment, your video content can better engage, entice, and build relationships with people who you may never meet face to face during the sales cycle.
By leveraging these tools, using a visual format to display the value proposition of your products and services, and engaging with all types of media on your own site and through social media and other inbound channels, you can attract, retain, and convert more of your target audience.