Nine Tips to Make Your Marketing Videos More Engaging

The use of video as an information source is growing among your target audience. About half of technical professionals use YouTube or other video sharing sites for work-related purposes, making video a strong channel for industrial marketers.

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Video belongs in your marketing mix. But just because you can create a video doesn’t mean it will be visually interesting or engaging to your audience. Follow these tips to deliver more powerful videos that your customers and prospects will watch from beginning to end and be more likely to remember.

1. Give technical professionals what they want
Not all video content is equal in the eyes of your audience. Technical professionals aren’t looking for big-budget, flashy marketing videos with all the bells and whistles. They simply want information to help them do their jobs better. The three most-watched types of videos among this audience are product demos, how-to videos/tutorials, and training videos. What’s common among these video types is they are focused on how to use something or do something practical and relevant to their work. Your audience also likes educational videos that present information on new trends and technologies.

2. Length doesn’t matter—but keep it short
The assumption is that if your content is compelling enough, your video can be long as you want. But let’s face it: none of us are Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. And attention spans in the Internet age are notoriously short. A good rule of thumb is to keep your video under five minutes in length – and even that might seem long. If you have a multi-step or complex how-to video, you can break it down into several shorter segments.

3. Provide good lighting and a neutral background
If you’re filming product demos, you’re likely showing computer screens. But if you have people talking in your videos, you need to be aware of lighting and background. Avoid casting shadows or uneven or harsh lighting. Make sure your subject is well lit. Don’t have anything that’s visually distracting in the background such as items on a desk, papers on a wall, or people passing by.

4. Eliminate noise, improve sound
There are two ways you need to deal with sound. One is to eliminate background noise: humming machinery, traffic, talking, the soda machine, etc. The other is to use a good microphone to clearly capture your speaker or narrator’s voice. Also, give your video some life by adding introductory, transitional and closing music. You can try lowering the volume and keeping the music throughout the video to provide a pleasant and subtle aural texture (as opposed to background noise). Most video editing software comes with music clips you can add.

5. Follow basic principles of composition
The “Rule of Thirds” has you break down the image window for filming or photography into sections so that you can better frame your subject and provide greater visual interest. Here’s a good primer on it. Apply these principles and you’ll notice a difference in your video quality.

6. Brand your video
Make sure to include your company name/logo at the beginning and end of every video. Use other brand elements such as colors in a consistent fashion so that your videos all have the same brand identity. Perhaps choose a few pieces of music that becomes part of your brand—if your audience consistently hears the same few pieces of music they will associate them with your brand. Use branding elements during video transitions.

7. Include a call to action
At the end of the video embed a call to action to a landing page or other resource. Ask your viewers to do something: watch the next video, download a white paper, attend a webinar, or learn more. Thinking about a call to action will also get you in the frame of mind to consider how any one video is integrated into and complements your overall marketing mix.

8. Share your videos
You need to spread the word about your videos. Post your videos on YouTube or other video sharing sites. Create thumbnail graphics and link to them in your email newsletters. Embed them on your website and in your social media platforms. Show them on your GlobalSpec.com page.

9. Track performance
Video sharing sites such as YouTube offer metrics you can track to analyze how well your videos perform. Number of views, number of shares, and length of viewing are all important. If you find that viewers are not watching your entire video, you may need to dig deeper and do some testing. Is the content not relevant? Is the video too long? Use the metrics to gain insight on how you can improve your video production. Maybe you do have some Spielberg in you.

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How do you use video as part of your marketing mix? What tips or strategies would you pass along to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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!

If this article was helpful to you, please spread the word using the share buttons below.

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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