Leveraging YouTube as a Manufacturer

Manufacturing, like many other industries, is continuously searching for the best ways to engage its audience. Content Marketing is a popular focus for this reason. It is designed to help companies make content that will not only engage and educate, but also entertain audience members. While content is typically thought of as words on a page in the form of blog posts, guides, whitepapers and case studies, there are other forms of content, such as video, that are less commonly thought of. Manufacturers, however, have recognized the benefits of creating video and dedicated time to creating them. It was the top listed tactic in this year’s B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Report by Content Marketing Institute, with 87% of manufacturers creating them. Behind in-person events, video is listed as one of the most effective content marketing tactics.

Top Content Marketing Tactics for Manufacturers
While video has increased in popularity, the effectiveness depends on a number of factors, the first being your overall business strategy. For 2015, brand awareness, sales and lead generation were listed as this year’s most important content marketing goals for manufacturers. Is your business looking to increase brand recognition, drive sales or something completely different? Before your manufacturing company goes about creating video, be sure you know what goal you hope to accomplish with it and your other content marketing efforts.

Below are the types of videos that manufacturers should create to accomplish those goals:

Brand Awareness:

  • Thought leadership videos
  • Storytelling videos

Lead Generation/Sales:

  • Facility, product or process videos
  • Testimonial videos
  • Company differentiator videos

So Why Should Manufacturing Marketers Use YouTube as a Channel to Distribute their Videos?

Unlike TV, YouTube has a highly-engaged audience who is actively using the internet to do research. YouTube puts users in control, giving the autonomy this audience craves and the ability to interact with the content of their choosing. As a manufacturing marketer, your job is to create the content your specific audience desires and be available when your audience is ready to talk to you. YouTube allows you to do just that; create content that your audience wants to interact with, when they want to interact with it.

How to Follow YouTube Best Practices to Create and Optimize Your Content:

As previously mentioned, the first and most important factor to keep in mind when developing video for your manufacturing marketing is brand content strategy. Before making any content, it’s important to revisit this plan to have a clear idea of your audience and the message you want to send to them. Keep in mind their pain points and how your product or solution helps solve them.

Next, think about how you are going to present your brand on YouTube. Are you going to inspire, educate or entertain your audience members? It is important to be consistent. You want your audience to know what to expect from your brand. Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about how to present your brand with videos:

  • How will you present your stories?
    • Will they be humorous or serious?
  • Will you have a brand personality, like Flo from Progressive or Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes?
    • If so, will they be a real person from your company or a fictitious character?
  • What goals are you trying to achieve and how will your content achieve them?
    • Think back to the above types of video
  • How will your videos differentiate you from the competition?
    • Do you use high-end equipment, have an updated facility or a unique process? Highlight these
    • Compare your product/service side-by-side to a competitor to show the difference- is your process faster, more precise or higher quality?

Once you’ve created your video, ensure it’s optimized to increase effectiveness. Use the following Best Practices to optimize your video for the best results:

Meta Data

  • Use enticing titles that will grab audience attention
  • Accurately describe your content

Meta Description

  • Describe your video in 2-3 clear, but enticing sentences
  • Describe your channel and link to your channel page
  • Lead viewers to the subscribe link

Meta Tags

  • Use both general and specific tags
  • Update video tags with new trends to drive traffic


  • Use a clear, high-quality image for your thumbnail


While annotations are often not used because they can be considered spammy by viewers, Google’s best practices says that annotations can be used to drive traffic and engagement by doing the following:

  • Provide a direct link to subscribe to your channel
  • Link or direct to other relevant videos
  • Use calls-to-action to gain new subscribers and get likes or shares
  • Ask questions to inspire your audience to comment
  • Avoid annotations that are distracting or interrupt your content (those that might cover too much of your video)
  • Use a reasonable amount of annotations- too many can make your video feel spammy
  • Set annotations to appear later in your video so they don’t take viewers away from important content
  • Ensure annotations open in a different window when appropriate, or the same window if prompted at the end of the video

Watch this Video by GE to see how they properly use video & YouTube best practices.

Boosting Video Effectiveness with Paid

In addition to organic traffic and engagement, utilize paid to boost your results. TrueView is a type of paid advertising that presents your video ad and allows the viewer to choose whether they watch your ad. There are 3 options when using TrueView – in-stream, in-display and in-search. In-stream plays your video ad before a regular video, allowing viewers to skip it after a few seconds.

The benefit of this type of advertisement is you only pay for the viewers that actually watch your content (at least 30-60 seconds), but they are typically more engaged because they are choosing to watch it. In-display and in-search show your video advertisements as options when people are searching or watching videos already. YouTube’s TrueView advertising provides significant opportunities to grow your audience and drive engagement, help boost results and, ultimately, achieve your manufacturing content marketing goals.

Measuring Success

Lastly, measure the success of your content. Use these common metrics to help measure the success of your content:

Brand Awareness

  • Search share of voice on relevant category terms
  • Number of views
  • Percentage of audience reached

Lead Generation

  • Number of clicks
  • Number of subscribers
  • Percentage of audience subscribes
  • Number of likes
  • Number of shares
  • Watch time

Remember, views and shares can be broken out by organic and paid to help identify the role paid plays in driving brand awareness and engagement.

With today’s digital savvy audience, video is the perfect way to introduce your brand and drive leads to your website in a more user-friendly fashion. Use your brand strategy goals and types of video for manufacturers to guide your content, follow best practices to optimize for the best performance, and use paid advertising to boost your success. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be hitting your brand awareness, lead generation and sales goals in no time!

Read about other important tactics to help you achieve your manufacturing marketing goals in our quarterly manufacturing magazine, The MFG Standard.

Industrial Marketing Strategy

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