As a manufacturer, you have a huge advantage over other industries. What you do is visual. You make things. There’s a physical process to producing your product, and it doesn’t hurt that it usually involves some pretty cool machines.
From a video producer’s perspective, this is pretty awesome. Imagine the flip side. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make an accounting firm visually interesting? I do. As the Founder and Chief Storytelling Officer at a Milwaukee video production company, I’ve had to produce that video!
Fortunately, your industry is different. Which is great because it means you stand a good chance of people wanting to watch your videos.
However, this doesn’t mean producing videos is as easy as turning on the camera and hitting the record button. There’s more to it than that.
You Need a Plan
First things first. You need to invest some preparation into your video project. I’m hoping you have a digital marketing plan. You should be able to use that to answer some of these basic questions.
- What type of video(s) do we need to produce?
- Who’s our audience?
- Who are our characters?
- Will we produce videos ourselves, or hire a production company?
Let’s take them one at a time.
Types of Videos
There are all sorts of types of videos manufacturers can produce, but we’re just going to focus on a few marketing videos.
The first is the About Us Video. This is where you introduce your company to the world. Tell the story of who you are, what you do, and maybe why you do it. Think about this as your first impression video.
Next are Product/Service Videos. Show people the products/services you offer. Finally, while the first two videos are pretty easy to accomplish, this one will take additional effort, Testimonial Videos.
Who are your favorite customers? Who loves you? These are the people you should be asking for a testimonial.
This one sounds so simple, but many people lose track of it. It’s critical to know your audience. Who are they? What’s important to them? How do we help solve their problems?
Virtually every decision you make regarding your video should start by considering your audience.
Remember, this video isn’t about you. It’s about them.
Even if you have robots building your products, your video should include human beings. Whether they’re on-camera talking about your business, or simply shown performing their jobs, you need people.
We tend to buy things from people we know and trust, and video is a great way to help in both areas.
Which is why selecting the right people to be in your video is important, especially if they’re speaking on-camera.
Who are the people at the company everyone loves? You see them walking down the hall toward you and just seeing them puts a smile on your face?
Those are the types of people you want to put in your videos.
Is that person the CEO, someone in sales, the receptionist? I’m more interested in personality than I am their position at the company.
To DIY, or Not to DIY
Now that we all carry an HD video camera in our pockets and purses, many people consider producing their own videos.
Believe it or not, I’m not here to dissuade you. In some cases, I think producing an amateur video is even better than a professional one.
I do have some criteria though.
- If you are in startup mode and you have zero budget for marketing… it’s okay to DIY.
- If you have a kitschy company culture and your customers know this about you… it’s okay to DIY.
- If you’re producing videos intended as short product demos or social media videos… it’s okay to DIY.
Don’t fit into these categories? You should probably hire a pro to produce videos for you. My reason is simple. You have a reputation to uphold.
Producing an amateur video could tarnish that reputation, so don’t do it.
Shooting the Video
Now, the good news is you work in an industry that’s incredibly visual. The bad news is you also work in an industry with lots of technical jargon and specs.
Those things are video killers.
Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion.
We’re going after hearts, not minds.
You want to build an emotional connection with your viewers. Facts, stats, and data tend to get in the way of this goal.
It’s not to say you can’t use them, but they need to be incorporated into a good story.
There’s no substitute for a good story. That’s what’s going to help you sell your products/services.
I love the way marketing guru Seth Godin puts it. He says that people are drawn to stories, and that logic is a battering ram.
It’s pretty tough to go after someone’s heart with a battering ram.
All Done! Actually, Not Quite
Many people feel like once the video has been shot and edited, they’re done.
Wahoo! We have a marketing video!
You’re really only half-done.
While you might have a video, it does you absolutely no good if it doesn’t find an audience.
Get it up on your website; however, don’t just add your new video to a “Videos” page. Layer it throughout your website.
Add it to high traffic pages, blog posts, and there is not rule that says you can only add it to one page.
How are you incorporating it into your marketing funnel… or your marketing flywheel, or whatever you’d like to call it?
Think about the video content you have and the different layers in your funnel. Can you pair some videos with content you’re already pumping out through your funnel?
You also need to promote your videos.
Get them out there on social media. Make sure everyone at the company is aware of the video and ask them to share it.
Get as many eyeballs on your video as possible!
Video is an incredible marketing tool for any business, but it’s truly amazing for manufactures. From the visuals to your stories, you have the potential to draw people in and help make a sale.
Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 17 Telly Awards for its work.