How to Produce Videos Industrial Professionals Will Watch

If you’re thinking of using video for marketing to engineers and technical professionals, that’s a good decision. With video you can connect with your target audience. Forty-seven percent of engineers use YouTube or other video sharing sites for work purposes. No surprise. Engineers are passive participators in social media. They prefer to watch and read rather than create and post.

Another benefit is the ease of sharing videos across channels: company website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, GlobalSpec.com, etc. So there are built in economies, plus it’s a natural fit for your content marketing strategy. But before you put on your director’s hat and call “Action,” here are five tips to make your videos a powerful force in your marketing portfolio.

1. Give your audience what they want
Based on our latest Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector research report, 85 percent of engineers and technical professionals watch product demos and 80 percent watch how-to videos. If you create product demos and how-to’s, you’re in the game. Use these types of videos to demonstrate what’s different and special about your products. Or how to use them. Check out the video resources page on FUTEK’s website. You can choose application, product and support videos among other categories.

2. Give your audience what they need
There’s more to your customers’ buying decision than just finding the technology or product that meets their needs. Your customers also are motivated to buy from the right company. They want confidence in you. Sixty-three percent of engineers watch videos on new trends and technologies. Sprinkle in a branding video, third-party testimonial, or your thought leadership series to let customers and prospects know why they should buy from you. Make sure you have a clear message and the right person to deliver it.

3. Always have a storyboard
If you have an off-camera narrator, you’ll want to write a complete script to ensure smoothness (practice narrating so it doesn’t sound like someone’s reading; that’s boring). If no script, you at least need a storyboard that documents what you’re going to film and the story sequence. If you can plan your shots in advance and script your message, you have a better chance to finish your project on time and create a polished final product.

4. Make equipment and production decisions
There are lots of ways you can go here: from grassroots videos from your smartphone, to high-def cameras, lighting, and audio. In the YouTube era, you can get away with casual production standards—sometimes. But if you’ve got the resources, you might want to get some gear. Good lighting and clear sound immediately improve production quality. You can also clean and spiff your footage with video editing software. Add music and transitions. Some editing programs are free. You might even have one installed on your computer. Higher-featured offerings cost a hundred dollars and up.

5. Allocate an appropriate amount of time
Even simple videos can take a great deal of time and effort. A good rule of thumb is that every minute of finished video will cost one hour of production time. That time is taken up planning your message, writing the script/storyboard, setting up shots, filming, editing, and publishing across channels. This ratio of one minute to one hour will help you keep your videos short—a couple minutes at most (that’s what you want; people have short attention spans). Also plan on tracking how well your videos perform. The number of views and length of view (stats which you can get from YouTube or Google Analytics) will give you a good idea of performance.

Okay, now you’re ready: Lights, Camera, Action!

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Have you created videos aimed at engineers and technical professionals? What are your tips and best practices? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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