Incorporating video into your marketing is something ALL manufacturers should be doing. Why do we say that so boldly? Because 87% of online marketers use video content, and marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.1 Now, consider these other compelling B2B video statistics.
Still not convinced that video marketing will give you a boost? Read this infographic on how video is more popular and effective than ever. In fact, in order to have a solid presence online and attract more leads, video is a must. As a B2B manufacturer, think of your shop floor as a Hollywood set that your prospects want to see. Think your product is boring? Check out the show How It’s Made to see “boring” products that have a complex and interesting manufacturing process.
OK, on to the 4 tips that will elevate a manufacturer’s video marketing game.
1. Get the Right Equipment
A decent camera that shoots digitally.
You probably don’t have a film-industry-quality camera lying around your office. But we bet you have access to a smartphone. Your device just needs to shoot video digitally and easily export it for editing to produce web-quality video. A quick note, if the scope of your project requires ultra high-quality, we recommend a step or two above an iPhone. Not sure? Read this to scope your video needs.
A microphone that captures sound the way you need.
Having an awesome camera with a terrible microphone is like having a Formula 1® race car with bicycle tires; you won’t get far. These two types, used for different purposes, can vary in cost — but don’t pay anything less than $50 (quality and durability are important):
- Omnidirectional picks up sounds from all directions, similar to the speakerphone in your conference room. Use this mic if subjects are in multiple areas and for picking up general ambient manufacturing floor sound.
- Directional is used for recording sound from one direction, such as a lapel mic used to record a single subject speaking. You’ll need this mic if you plan on recording someone talking within a noisy environment.
Lights that make you look good.
Have you ever watched a video shot so poorly that you couldn’t see squat? Even multimillion-dollar productions can screw this up (Game of Thrones, we’re talking to you). Fluorescent lights on a shop floor give everything a yellow glow so, if possible, you’ll want to buy some bright white stand lights. We love this DIY approach from Wistia, but if you don’t have time or patience, grab a set of decent lights on Amazon for about $150.
Camera stands that eliminate distracting jitters.
A secure filming position makes your videos look more professional, so invest in a good stand for your camera setup. You can even get creative and rig up some wheeled setups on a shop cart if you need to follow something down an assembly line or want to shoot someone walking. Videos are all about motion — but not the shaky motion of the camera.
Memory that handles your video quality level.
Video files can quickly fill up a hard drive: one hour of video could equate to a 20+ gigabyte file. Multiple memory cards for your camera are a must for a longer shoot. External hard drives also come in handy, allowing you to save data to a large portable drive instead of a single computer’s hard drive. This is especially useful if you plan on giving the video footage to someone else to edit.
Software that edits video properly.
Become familiar with some sort of video editing software, whether it’s for Mac or PC. Basic software comes pre-installed on both platforms, and you’ll find plenty of guidance on how to use the programs online. Whatever you’re editing, keep your marketing video length to 3 minutes or less, if possible.
Pro tip: a fast computer is vital if you plan on loading/exporting large video files. An older computer may take a few hours to tackle a large video file.
2. Consider a Professional Vendor
OK, that list of equipment above may look intimidating and expensive. Yet, it really doesn’t need to be, especially if your company can designate one person to handle all of your in-house video marketing. Today’s technology makes that easier than ever.
However, having an experienced third-party professional involved does smooth the entire process and ensures successful and consistent videos. It really depends on the types of videos you want and the frequency of them (many simple, low-budget videos = a dedicated staff member; few but high-quality videos = hire a third-party pro). The middle of this article on scope provides a good overview if you’re unsure how to move forward.
3. Decide What and How To Shoot
Interviews With Customers and Employees
Sit down with your customer and ask questions that will uncover what they value about your product/service. The discussion should be about what makes you different. Here’s one example. Your prospects are interested in your employees’ unique perspective and insights on how your product can help them (and why it’s superior to others). It’s a great opportunity to showcase your brand personality. This one is only 35 seconds.
- Keep your background simple so viewers are focused on your subject
- Give the interview a natural feel by having your subject converse with an off-camera interviewer
- Provide your interviewee with the topics and questions ahead of time so he/she can craft thoughtful responses
A demonstration can highlight important features and benefits, and they’re even more powerful with a side-by-side competitor comparison. Ask your sales team what features really sell your product and what customers want to know/see; those are your individual video topics. Whether you use one or multiple employees, always use the same on-screen talent to develop brand consistency. Case IH picked the right guy for this one.
- Your approach depends on what type of product you’re filming; a specialty vehicle requires a different approach than a high-volume water pump.
- If you have 6 features you want to showcase, group them into 2 sets of 3, which helps stock your library and allows your prospects to choose what they want to see rather than having to wade through one long video.
If you’re not able to give tours at your facility because of risks/regulations, time constraints, or cost of getting prospects onsite, a video tour you can show off your facility to anyone at any time. Share everything you can that’s relevant and helps illustrate your strengths. Although they’re sometimes longer than the 3-minute target, thoughtful tour videos like this one keep the viewer engaged.
- These videos require planning; don’t just grab a camera and walk around your facility.
- A company representative should “give” the tour.
- If there are especially noisy areas, you can film the shot/station with no audio (or cut out the audio later), then add a voiceover by the same company representative afterwards.
We bet your assembly line has a bunch of great action going on. A time lapse video can show your entire production process quickly. Want to build an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting truck in 3 minutes?
- These videos could take a while to shoot and may require some coordination between workers’ shifts to pull off correctly.
- The camera must remain stationary for each shot, so choose one that has a time lapse feature.
- Read this article that addresses time lapse, animation, and using drones to provide a dynamic perspective.
4. Plan To Promote
What good is it to shoot a ton of great footage if nobody sees it? Thoughtfully promote your videos across all of your social media networks, just be sure to research which video platform makes the most sense for your company’s brand, personal user preferences, and desire for viewer data. We've compared YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia, as well as HubSpot, Wistia, and TwentyThree.
Optimizing your video SEO around your existing keywords will help your video get found initially, but social sharing is where your video will go viral so be sure to have employees promote it on their profiles and share it in relevant industry groups as well.
We’re confident in video’s unparalleled power to compel prospects to action. Getting started is often the hardest part for companies. Just keep in mind that for your video efforts to be successful, you must have a plan of what equipment you’ll need, when to involve a third-party pro, what and how to shoot, and how you’ll promote it.
We’re passionate about video, so we’ve compiled all our best video marketing resources in one place, exclusively for B2B businesses in complex industries. Discover everything you need to know about using video within our video marketing resources library. Still have questions? Just reach out! We love talking about video.
1WordStream, 37 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics for 2018, updated June 9, 2019