In manufacturing and countless other B2B industries, video marketing has become standard practice. Companies that use video to create a stronger online presence see more traffic, more conversations and, ultimately, more sales in exchange for their efforts. For manufacturers, YouTube has proven to be a valuable outlet for information about their company's products, people and brand.
A majority of marketers in the manufacturing space identify video as their top content marketing strategy (Content Marketing Institute), and almost 50% of all manufacturing professionals regularly use YouTube and similar video hosting/marketing platforms to publish and share information. The numbers for viewership, particularly on social media, are even more eye-popping.
The top three social media sites used by manufacturing marketers are Facebook (77%), YouTube (67%) and LinkedIn (61%).
Video is an extremely dense and flexible form of content that has changed how leaders in manufacturing industries reach new audiences. For social media and SEO purposes, YouTube is the go-to platform for a majority of video content in manufacturing. While we recommend dedicated, unbranded video hosting for videos featured on website pages, YouTube's proven to be a strong asset for marketers in the manufacturing industry that want to ramp up their visibility.
What are the kind of results that manufacturers can expect from YouTube? It all comes down to how they're using the platform and sharing their content.
1.) YouTube for Manufacturing SEO
For pure SEO purposes, industrial professionals should make sure all of their publicly available videos (website videos, social media clips and blog videos that are not "gated" or hidden behind form submissions) are uploaded to YouTube, in addition to any other private hosting solutions they use.
YouTube and Google can’t watch or listen to your video (yet).
That means that they heavily lean on the text surrounding the video to understand your video’s topic.
YouTube is by and large a social media platform; on YouTube, over 1 billion hours of video are viewed every day, and the platform is shaping up to take over live television as the leading outlet for video content in 2017-18. For sheer scope, all videos a manufacturer produces should be uploaded to YouTube and treated with descriptions, tags and any other content that can improve their visibility. It's this scope and user volume that separates YouTube from other video hosting options.
2.) Higher Click-Throughs With Customization
Like other video hosting and marketing services, YouTube allows manufacturers to customize player thumbnails and other parameters (such as in-video annotation links) to encourage both plays and website click-throughs. While there's no custom branding for YouTube's standard player, there are various watermark and embedding options manufacturers can use to improve how their video content is presented and shared on YouTube.
The end-goal of content marketing, in all of its forms, is traction that leads to a sale. For manufacturers, product demonstrations and on-site facility videos are great options that build brands and help businesses overcome abstract concepts about products. On YouTube, manufacturing marketers can equip videos with custom images, next-step links and playlists to drive clicks to their website. We encourage all of our partners in manufacturing to learn and develop the art of the perfect thumbnail.
3.) YouTube Retention and a Recurring Audience Base
One of the most prominent ways we've seen professionals in the manufacturing space benefit from YouTube is in viewer retention: those audience members that are actively subscribed to the company's YouTube channel and know to keep an eye out for new content. That said, getting marketing qualified viewers to hit the Subscribe button is a huge challenge in itself.
Something as simple as a new product demo video every other Monday sets expectations and incentivizes followers to check back on your channel (or better yet, your website) for new content. To build that recurring audience, we've seen many manufacturers include CTAs in voiceovers, or even on-screen, calling on viewers to visit their channel and subscribe for future videos. Supplementing these kinds of segments with examples of your channel's best videos (almost a sort of teaser or channel trailer) is a great way to encourage Subscribe clicks.
Kurzgesagt's wonderfully nerdy channel has a great channel trailer that gives viewers a look at what they can expect from subscribing. For manufacturers, showcasing facilities, products and equipment in a short, simple trailer is a powerful way to turn first-time channel viewers into subscribers.
4.) Playlists and Segmenting
Video's biggest strength is its ability to humanize organizations and tell stories. This is a big deal for companies in manufacturing and related industries, who can use their YouTube channels as a content outlet and differentiator. The businesses that see the greatest results on YouTube are those that create keyword-heavy, topical playlists and segment their back-catologue of video content; both practices that impact future content.
If you're a manufacturing professional marketing with YouTube, we highly suggest segmenting existing videos into individual playlists that highlight different aspects of your business. When segmented into playlists, new viewers will be presented with other items in the playlist first, as opposed to videos that deal with similar subjects but are created by other users/businesses (the standard Up Next video). Playlists also help boost your SEO on YouTube, as the platform can more accurately pull information and create rankings with a pool of topical videos than with individual, "set-and-forget" uploads.
Manufacturers can see traction by creating playlists that deal with:
Their facilities and behind-the-scenes exposure
- Product highlight pieces
- How-to videos on how products are best used or installed
- Team profiles
- Q & A videos (a library of FAQ topics segmented into a running playlist)
By creating video playlists of new or existing videos, manufacturers make it easier for users to A.) find the company's content when searching on YouTube and B.) access more of the content they're interested in without disruption and without moving from the company's channel. It all comes back to one of the foundations of inbound marketing: putting the right information in front of the right people at the right time. Not to mention, playlists are also a great way to organize your channel for both new and returning users.
5.) Ultimately, More Sales
At the end of the day, the success of video and YouTube marketing all fall back on the bottom line: is using YouTube worthwhile for your manufacturing business, and if not, what can you do to see true ROI for spent time and resources?
Video marketing is a great way for manufacturers to showcase their products and resolve questions that existing customers present ("How to Use/Install the X"). With YouTube, the big opportunity is in SEO and social sharing value. YouTube is the world's second largest search engine. Manufacturers that leverage both YouTube (for social media and SEO) and an ad-free, unbranded video marketing service (for website videos) see the greatest return on their video content.
The potential audience range that YouTube presents is astronomical. For marketers in the manufacturing industry, this range drives recurring traffic and ultimately results in new sales opportunities.
Alex is a University of South Florida mass communications graduate and Video/Media Specialist at Bluleadz. He is a big movie nerd, loves (possibly dangerous) concerts and enjoys taunting co-workers with a camera. He's probably seen The Royal Tenenbaums 14 times by now.