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Should Manufacturers Use Video in Their Marketing Mixes?

Should Manufacturers Use Video in Their Marketing Mixes?

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As a consumer, it’s nearly impossible to get away from videos, advertising or otherwise. To give you a numeric sense of our collective obsession with online moving images: Since last year, YouTube has started registering over a billion hours of video viewing every single day.

We all know the reasons we personally turn to YouTube, whether it’s to watch sports highlights, silly cat videos, cooking instructions, or power tool demonstrations. But does video — originally a consumer-oriented medium — have a rightful place in the marketing arsenal for manufacturers with a strong B2B audience?

The Data Behind Video Consumption in B2B Marketing

Clearly, a lot of people are watching a lot of video content online, and this prevalence bears out in B2B video marketing statistics, not just consumer video activity. Seventy-two percent of B2B content marketers use video content as part of their strategy, making it the third most popular type of B2B marketing content overall. This strategy frequently pays off, as B2B videos experience 41% higher web traffic from searches, 27% higher click-through rates, and 34% higher web conversion rates as compared to non-users.

The success of B2B video extends to manufacturing and industrial specific applications. In its 2017 annual report on trends in industrial marketing, IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions found that 50% of manufacturing marketers spent more money on video in 2017 than they did in the previous year. Videos also ranked in the top 10 marketing channels, with 34% of all manufacturing marketers saying they utilized video in 2017.

Even more impressive, a full 80% of industrial content marketers said they used video for marketing purposes in the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 report. (Content marketing is a subset of marketing, which is why this number is higher than the IEEE GlobalSpec report.) Furthermore, pre-produced videos were named one of the top three most effective content marketing mediums (the other two were email and LinkedIn) with 52% of industrial marketers saying that video was effective.

As the numbers show, videos are already an important part of the industrial marketing toolbox, and are likely to be more important over time as more manufacturers learn how to effectively produce and use them.

Types of Manufacturing Marketing Videos

The key to success with any marketing tactic, including video, is having a specific plan that aligns with your overall business goals. Here are some manufacturing-specific video ideas that can help you start brainstorming ideas:

Virtual Tour

No matter how state-of-the-art your facility is, giving in-person tours isn’t always feasible, for a variety of reasons. However, videos give you a chance to create a virtual tour of your facility that people can view anywhere, any time. This content is an excellent way to highlight any special equipment or capabilities that you have, and a timelapse (such as that used in the example below) can show off an entire day at your facility. Make sure to let employees know you’ll be filming. Your public relations, legal or public affairs department can help you with any releases they might have to sign.

Flying Out the Door: How Boeing Keeps Up Delivery of the Popular 737
Flying Out the Door: How Boeing Keeps Up Delivery of the Popular 737

About Us

If you have a corporate office or headquarters, creating a virtual tour of that space can help bring company culture to life for both prospective customers and potential employees. You can intersperse shots of the office with footage of company events or employee interviews, showcasing real people talking about your company mission and values.

Heroes of American Manufacturing  Ace Metal Crafts Company Source
Heroes of American Manufacturing Ace Metal Crafts Company Source

Product or Equipment Demo

Certain performance metrics — e.g., efficiency, speed, or quality — can be difficult to demonstrate with words alone. Showing a product in action or going behind the scenes into the making of that product are powerful ways to show off your product’s capabilities and features. Product demo videos are also a great way to introduce a new item or service.

Kingston DRAM Manufacturing Tour
Kingston DRAM Manufacturing Tour

Customer Testimonial

You already have case studies and quotes from customers on your website, so why not unite the power of testimonials with the power of video? If one of your customers is comfortable in front of the camera, a video testimonial can be a great way to break up the usual case study format, convey authenticity and be more persuasive because it can often better communicate emotions. Your potential customers can see and hear the enthusiasm your current client has for your product. You can also add shots of your facility and the product in question for extra impact.

Customer Success Story - Tag Team Manufacturing
Customer Success Story - Tag Team Manufacturing

Educational Content

Including informational content among your marketing messages is an important part of positioning your company as a trusted industry expert. Alongside blogs and reports, educational videos can showcase your subject matter expertise. These videos may take many forms, such as interviews with subject matter experts or a how-to tutorial that answers a common question.

How to Design and Manufacture a Product
How to Design and Manufacture a Product

Videos Definitely Belong in the Manufacturer Marketing Mix

Videos have already proven to be an effective marketing channel for B2B business, including manufacturers, and the importance of this compelling medium will only continue to grow in the future. From time-lapse virtual tours to customer testimonials, videos offer a unique, immersive marketing resource for demonstrating what sets your business apart.

If you need guidance on video marketing or another manufacturing marketing challenge, connect with your local MEP Center for more information.

About the author

Katie Takacs

Katie Takacs is the marketing and operations manager for the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech. She leads the marketing strategy and outreach efforts for the GaMEP, and oversees the operational structure supporting GaMEP’s reporting and administrative functions. Prior to her work at GaMEP, Katie was the marketing manager in Georgia Tech’s Professional Education department. Before joining Georgia Tech, she worked at a variety of marketing agencies. Katie holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Florida.

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