This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
You don’t need to throw thousands of dollars at professionals in order to utilize video. Brian Town and his team at Michigan Creative are among the best video marketing teams in the state and they’ll be the first to tell you — manufacturers can find success at video on their own.
“The untold ‘secret’ behind video is that it isn’t hard,” said Town, president & CEO of Michigan Creative. “The editing process can be challenging and time-consuming but, if you go into video creation with a plan, it is something that any manufacturer can do and do well.”
Michigan Creative can help — 75 percent of their clientele is part of the industry and Town himself hosts a regular podcast called Skilled to help promote Michigan’s many skilled trades career options. They can assist with editing, marketing, consulting and more, but Town firmly believes manufacturers don’t need Michigan Creative or any other professional to create video content that catches the eye.
“Like everything else manufacturers do, you need to start with a plan and you need the right tools,” Town advised. “Get a tripod, an external microphone, a reliable phone or DSLR camera and a simple editing program like Camtasia. For under $2,000, you can set yourself apart from the competition and create limitless marketing options.”
But, many manufacturers will argue, what in our business is worth recording? For Town, the answer is everything.
“Manufacturers have amazing products, eye-catching facilities, cool technology and great employees,” pointed out Town. “Showcasing your culture doesn’t have to take up hours of your day. Decide what message you want to share, what actions you want people to take and how you get from recording it to someone viewing it.”
Town offers these video tips:
- Preserve knowledge: Sit down with a different long-
tenured leader every Friday and record a few lessons they’ve learned. Future employees will benefit from the stories of the company founder, a long-serving CEO or experienced machinist.
- Train your team: Onboarding is boring. You hand a new hire a binder full of text and expect them to absorb it all. Mix in video clips, shot on-site, of how to operate a machine or fill out an important form. Visual learning resonates better than flipping through pages.
- Shorter is better: Get away from long videos; it’s time-consuming and people won’t watch. Stick to 15-60 second videos to draw someone in and they’ll come to you for more.
- Aim for real and raw: Realism sells. Today people love short videos shot in the moment. A two-minute weekly vlog from the company president or a clip from your sales team at a trade show will humanize your brand and build connections.
- Everything can be video: Think about it! Your 10 most-often asked customer queries? Ten unique short videos for a company FAQ page. Celebrating an anniversary or your one millionth product getting shipped out? Record the event as part of your brand’s story.
“Don’t avoid video just because you’ve never done it or think that you can’t,” Town recommended. “The generation of people you’re looking to reach have grown up with video. It’s how they get their news and how they share their stories. Make it a way for them to learn about you.”
Michigan Creative is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since March 2016. Visit online: www.michigancreative.com.