194. Idea: Video Content Marketing for the Manufacturing Space Transcript


00:00 Chris:

Welcome to EECO Asks Why. Today we have an idea episode, and we’re going to be talking about a topic that I think it’s going to bring a lot of value to everyone. It’s about how a simple video content strategy can help showcase your expertise. Get more leads. And boost your SEO and to help us walk through that, I brought in Jeff Long and as the owner of True Focus Media, Jeff helps industrial manufacturing companies be more efficient and effective in their marketing, sales and training.

Since he started a company in 2003, Jeff has worked with international companies as well as small job shops. And we know we love those companies that own EECO Asks Why. So whether it’s creating custom websites to sell more effectively, producing 3D virtual reality videos, building custom e-learning systems or using his innovative video value bomb strategy, he’s always looking for ways that companies can be more effective in an ever-changing environment. So welcome.

01:02 Jeff:

Thanks so much for having me on Chris. I’m really excited to be on the show today.

01:05 Chris:

I’m thrilled to have you here. You’re definitely the expert in this area. I love following you on LinkedIn and definitely for the listeners out there. Check out the show notes, get connected with Jeff. He’s constantly bringing just wonderful content that’s going to help you get better. So Jeff, there may be manufacturers out there listening that are just not familiar with at all when you say video content strategy. So how would you define that make it resonate in their world?

01:30 Jeff:

Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. And I come from, from all of this from a, like how do we help and serve our ideal customer? Right. And so, I mean, just if you look at yourself as well as the general population we all are searching 24/7 for products, for solutions. And this is still true in the manufacturing space, right? It’s not any different. I recently read a stat. I think it was by SEO insights that said 70% of buyers look online and do their full research before reaching out to a sales person. And that’s only going to get more, in fact, I just yesterday was reading how digital natives. So I don’t know the exact age range. There’s more of them than us kind of analog natives. Right? So as, as the millennials and, and under get older, they expect digital, they expect to do their research online.

So when I say a video content strategy. All, I mean, is. Do you as your company, do you have helpful information to answer the questions that your ideal customer is searching for? Right. And, and since video is most of us are kind of too lazy to read these days. Video is really important to do that short, simple videos. And we’ll kind of talk about maybe what that could look like and in a little bit, but that’s really all I’m talking about is giving helpful information. Typically through video, but not only through video, podcasts are another fantastic way as well as articles. I mean, people learn in, in different ways. We need to meet them in different ways.

03:06 Chris:

Jeff, when, when you started out, you talked about that 70% now, clarify that for me, 70% are doing what before and using video as they evaluate their strategy.

03:17 Jeff:

So 70% of buyers, and this is in a B2B space, right? So 70% of buyers are looking online. They’re researching a solution to their problem even before reaching out to a sales person. So in a manufacturing space you know, your competitors are, you know, have content out there, that’s meeting a need. So my question is, you know, does your company have that same amount of content, whether it’s articles or podcasts or videos, webinars, I mean, there’s a, a breadth of different types of content out there that could be.

 No

03:51 Chris:

doubt. And I’m sure that number, is doing nothing but growing year over year, right. It’s just, yeah, it has to be keep going up. So I know when we talked, you dropped a little nugget on me that, caught my eye called video value bombs. And I’m really curious about that and maybe break that down for our listeners.

04:10 Jeff:

Yeah. So my background, you know, like the bio set it’s, it’s in marketing for manufacturers but my parents were both teachers, so I love to look at marketing and sales from a, how can we teach and help people, right. It’s not about like, how can we like knock down doors and cold call and pitch people and like force them to buy our stuff because that never works, especially long-term right. Nobody wants to buy from that type of person. Right. So and, and knowing that people are searching 24/7. So I always say content marketing is key, but video content is king. You know people, again, I say this a lot, people are too lazy to read. They usually would rather listen or watch. And so because of that, I developed this strategy called video value bombs.

When I started my company in 2003, most companies, when they think of video, they think first, Hey, we need to make a, a big company profile video, right? Where we tell our story, our history, Hey, we have great products, great people, great service. And that’s fine. I think there’s a time and a place, but I don’t know that has the ROI that answering frequently asked questions or demonstrating your products. Maybe it’s set up, safety, install, whatever that is. Like, those have more value because they’re customer centric. So video value bombs takes this customer first approach and the premise is at least when I do it, it’s give us 30 minutes and we’ll you give you a month’s worth of sales and marketing content.

So I can give you the three-step process if you want of what we do. Absolutely. Yeah. So it’s, you know, I try to make things simple. You know, again, my parents are teachers. I try to boil things down to simple things. I try not to even talk in industry jargon. Right. You know, part of our business’s website, design and development, very technical. I don’t like trying to confuse people. I like keeping things simple. So this video value bombs is three steps.

Number one, it’s a content roadmap. I find when, when most companies are looking to create content, they might have a good idea. Hey, we want to tackle this and this, but I don’t know that they have a roadmap in place of where they want to start, where they want to go both soon and in the future. And so we help them, you know, here’s every month where we want to go here are the, some of the subject matter experts we might want to interview. As you know, Chris, I mean, there’s different buying, decision makers or people, even influencers that influence the, the, the decision makers. We want to hit each one of those. Right? So it might be an executive we want to target or an engineer or marketing or sales or whatever. A content roadmap is step number one. And so every month we’re interviewing different people. When we interview them, we do it through video and we can either do it in in-person, which we’ve done, you know, a lot, or we can actually do it through what you and I are doing right now, which is virtually right through zoom. We have a different platform that, that has some benefits. And then we cut that interview up into these video value bumps. So we’re asking specific questions that their target audience wants to know. And then we chop those into video value bombs. So that’s the kind of stuff.

Step two is we multiply that content. So once we have these short videos, we can write articles from those that are SEO packed, you know, with SEO, goodness. We can pull out different quotes that the person has. So you can put those quotes on your brochures or your website or your social or you know, all these different places.

And then step three is content distribution. And this is where we supercharged things because we have a list of, I dunno, probably 40 or more different places that we can post and repost this content, videos, articles, all this stuff every single month. So imagine this content snowball getting bigger and bigger as it rolls down the hill every single month. And it becomes this big library of customer centric content and that’s the video value bombs strategy, the three-step process.

08:21 Chris:

And that’s beautiful because so many times people think maybe it’s a one and done deal. No, no, it’s not one. And done. You can use this so many different ways. And when you were walking through that, the content roadmap, the multiplying the content and distribution. I love video is king. I think that’s a t-shirt Jeff. You need to make that happen. Content is key. Video’s king. That’s a, that’s definitely a t-shirt or coffee mug, but I was thinking for manufacturers, I read a book one time. If I’m making these little video value bombs, like you’re talking about the book was called, They Ask You Answer. It’s all about being specific to what people are coming to your site to try to learn about it. Because to your point, the over encompassing all about me video, this is what the company does. That probably has a place at a time, but that’s not what people are searching for. Right? I mean they’re trying to answer a problem and it sounds like the video value bombs really focuses on.

09:18 Jeff: It does. Yeah. It’s funny. You’re the second person this week that has mentioned that book. And so I actually downloaded it on my phone and I plan on starting it pretty soon because I’ve heard rave reviews about it. So yeah, that’s funny.

09:32 Chris: It really aligns to what you’re doing here and maybe the manufacturers out there that are listening they’re intimidated. Maybe they’re scared. I don’t know how to start a map like this. You have any tips that come to mind when you start thinking about walking down this video content road?

09:48 Jeff:

Yeah. So some of the some of the questions I ask when we have some of these kickoff meetings where we create this roadmap, because part of it is like I have a penciled in roadmap, but obviously the company needs to like formulate it or bend it to their needs. It’s not a one size fits all. So here’s some of the questions I typically ask a company it’s like, what are some things your ideal customer wants to know? What questions are they asking? So who knows those questions? Well, maybe your salespeople, your customer service, obviously your executives, some of your engineers. So there’s different people in the company, even talk to shipping and receiving or other departments where maybe they get calls or complaints that you might not necessarily think about first, but they have some inside information that you can leverage or you can take advantage of in a good way.

So that’s one question I know there are several in there. Another is, you know, who are the decision-makers and internal influencers and then create content for them. So think about your ideal customer and I’m sure it’s customers, right? It’s different buckets. Maybe you serve different industries or there’s different applications, or I get that, especially in manufacturing, there’s channel partners in a lot of different ways to get to market. So just be thinking even what is our thinking of the 80/20 rule, which says what 20% of your products or customers result in 80% of your revenue, something like that. So what are the 20% of our customers that bring in 80% of our revenue and let’s create content for that customer base because it can be overwhelming. We have all these products and applications and industries and my head swims just thinking about that.

So let’s keep it simple. You could even start with the top 10%, whatever it doesn’t matter. Keep it simple and, and commit to a timeline, right? Whether it’s a year. I mean, I would think many months would be appropriate. Like you said, a couple of minutes ago, it’s not a one and done thing. You know, it, I just had a, I was working with a company just the other day and he said that they have an internal kind of video set up like you do. And he said, you know, content our it’s insatiable, you know, our customers want to know both high-level both detailed in the weeds and we need to create content for that. So start simple.

12:11 Chris:

And I love it because, you know, getting clear on the questions up front and, you know, that’s, that’s really speaking to your value proposition and where, where you can really help those people, but you’re all over identifying I call it your target audience and making sure you’re speaking to them directly. Personally. I create avatars and my brain and, you know, I’ll give them a name and a background, and then I’m speaking to that avatar because I feel like if I’m serving that person, you know then I’m hitting the mark there.

12:39 Jeff:

That’s brilliant. Yes.

12:42 Chris:

Beautiful. Beautiful. Now we have a studio. It’s a very makeshift studio here at EECO Asks Why. For a manufacturer out there they may not have a studio. So if they want to get started, you know, is it as simple as a webcam? What really do they need to get going?

12:57 Jeff:

 I think in today’s age with COVID and all that, I think it’s shown us that we can do a lot with a little, right. I mean you know, personally, our company owns, I don’t know how many tens of thousands of dollars worth of video equipment. So I’m not saying that that the, the listener needs to invest, you know, $50,000 or whatever for that. I mean, thankfully, a webcam and I would recommend, like, I have a logitech Breo, and it’s a 4k. That’s like the resolution. Right. So you know, start there with a web camera, typically your camera in your computer or laptop or phone. It’s fine, but it’s not great. So that’s why I think these logitech webcams are really good. And then an external microphone, like I have I don’t want to touch it cause it will make noise.

I have an audio technica ATR2100, I think. And so those two alone might cost $200. Like I kind of forget, let’s say two or $300. Right. And you know, you, you kind of have like, a studio right there, so start simple. And then as you get some traction find out even also, is there anybody internally that’s excited about creating. Do you have a millennial or somebody that’s already used to consuming video content? Maybe they’re excited about creating it, give that project to him or her and let them run with it.

14:19 Chris:

I was talking to someone the other day in our company pretty high up. And when I mentioned going on video, he turned white. I mean, I thought he was going to faint because it’s not for everyone. So maybe that’s a great point. See if they are already people internally that you’ve identified it and want to jump in and take lead.

14:37 Jeff:

So that’s really interesting because, oh man, I could tell some, some stories about high level executives, huge companies, you turn on that camera and they just, yeah, they melt. And it’s like, where did this confident, amazing good-looking person go? They’re like in a puddle right now. But it is scary. It’s it can be scary for me. I’ll be honest. I don’t love being on camera, especially when you have lights and camera and production and people all staring at you. You feel the pressure.

But here’s a trick that I use to calm myself down and make it easier. Okay. Let’s go back to teaching, right. Again, my parents are teachers, so I go back to that. I find that when I invest in, you mentioned you like avatars. You’ve named them. When I think of my head, all right. I’m going to teach to people right now and it happens to be on camera and all I’m going to, I’m just going to talk to Chris here, right?

So I’m going to teach Chris a couple of things that at least for me, that lowers my pressure. It makes it more conversational. I think with content marketing or content videos. It’s more about the content than the nailing, every word correctly. So you and I I’m sure have said some some uhs we’re not perfect. We’re not, you know, we’re just normal people and that’s a good thing. I think people want authenticity over polished to perfection. I think there’s a time and a place for some of that, you know, but I think some of these video pieces can be more personal than polished to perfection.

16:05 Chris:

I agree. The raw is where it’s at. I mean, there’s several of the podcasts I listened to. I mean, one of them, even yesterday when I was running, there was a train that came by. And they didn’t edit that out. Right. And they were just like, well, welcome the train to this podcast. You know, they just, they just went with it. Cause I think the rawness, you know, that shows this real and you’re not trying to, you know, to be something that you’re not great advice though. Love that. Now how about, you know, the headwinds? Cause you have manufacturers, they start thinking about this, you know, there’s going to be the person out there just really pushing back. How can they get past that?

16:40 Jeff:

Just know people are already searching online. People are already consuming content. So do you want to be in front of that or do you want to be at the tail end trying to play catch up in a couple of years? So I think on a business level and I get it right. It is a time cost, whatever investment. Okay. Well, I mean, but the, the benefit is you can leverage this content to do more with less, right? And so, as it’s harder and harder to hire good people, you can automate some of your sales and marketing with this. I’m not saying it’ll replace people by any stretch. That’s never going to happen. But my word, I mean, if you could duplicate your sales team by interviewing them or getting them on video and having them create content. I imagine, I mean, we did this Stober drives is a a gearbox manufacturing, Kentucky. And we did this strategy before. COVID like three months before COVID, as we were rolling out content, obviously everything shuts down all of their salespeople can’t travel. But now because we have these video value bombs and all this content we’re creating their salespeople have an in or a way to serve their audience, serve their customers before a sales call during and after.

So it’s kind of an easy in because it wasn’t, again, it’s not a hard sales pitch. It’s Hey, people have these common questions. You might want to check out these two or three videos, right. You’re in.

18:05 Chris:

That’s a touchdown right there. Now managers, we know how the bean counters, they like to know the metrics. Speak to that. Are there any leading indicators, any KPIs, you know, Maybe ROI, but what do you put out in measure to actually say, Hey, this is working. This is why we’re doing this.

18:23 Jeff:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. And, and at least for this strategy, we’re targeting all parts of the buyer’s journey. So people that might not even know about your company, what do they need to know versus at the tail end at the bottom of the funnel, you know, some people call it is a happy customer. What do they need to know and experience and all that. So there’s different people or different steps in that journey that we need to highlight.

So some of those things, it I’ll be honest. It is hard to know KPIs for every step along the way, but let’s talk about some KPIs. So like obviously views are a big thing, right? So whether it’s on your website or YouTube, social media, some of those different platforms have analytics and different things. You can look at views, you can look at demographics. We have a custom video player where at the end of, or anywhere in the video, we can have a form pop up on the video. So like with Stober Drives at the end of their videos, they say something like if you enjoyed this content, check out our free guide below and they have some really high quality case studies. I forget what all they have, checklists, you know, things like that. So now we know exactly who is watching these videos. It’s not a casual viewer. Like, wow. A thousand people watch this. We don’t know who they are. Yeah. Now we know, wow, this person works at this company. They’re interested in this topic and want to download this thing.

Holy moly. Now we have a lead. Right. So that’s something to consider as well as the interactions. I mean, that’s kind of gold. I mean I know a lot of people are adverse, is that the word I’m looking for to social media or different things? I kind of am too, to be honest, I’m a marketer. I’m like I’m in LinkedIn and YouTube, but I’m not like I don’t live there, but yet people are there, your, your ideal customers there, so you should be there. So you can, you can measure some different interactions. And then thinking longterm, like increased visibility, mean. You know, Chris, you know, for me, this podcast that it showcases your expertise in a way that, I mean, before podcasts and videos was almost impossible, right?

So I’ve seen content creators. In fact, our buddy Jake Hall was just, I don’t know if nominate is the right word, but he was just made a LinkedIn contributor. He’s the only guy in manufacturing because all the content he’s creating. I mean, for those of you that are connected to the manufacturing millennial, the guy puts out tons of content doing an amazing job. And LinkedIn saw that said, Hey, we want to promote you. You promote us. I mean oh, my word. Yeah. So it, yeah, some of that is not, a one for one tangible thing, but like, I mean, I’m sure you could speak to the podcast and how that’s opened doors and done wonders. So there there’s a lot of opportunities there for actual data, KPI data as well as the intangibles.

21:15 Chris:

Exactly. And I think one of the biggest intangibles is if you don’t lean into this, now it’s going to be too late because the way the buying. The whole buyer’s journey. Cause I don’t relate this to the buyer’s journey. Like you’re talking about, you have to be there from the lead you know, to the, to the PO, right. And then, and, pass the PO to the implementation. I mean, you have to be creating content that’s going to help cause you can’t be there 24/7 for your customers, the way you want to, but your video content you can, and, you know, by the way, hats off to Jake, I saw that the other day he’s been on this show, we really support what he’s doing, manufacturing millennial, and I think he’s just a great voice for us, so excited to see what he does there too, man.

So, yeah. Great, great metrics and KPIs and things to think about from views to the social, to the leads, all that stuff. For the manufacturers out there. Who do you find when you’re working with these plants who you working with? Cause I’m trying to get an idea of like, who owns this from the end-user standpoint, right?

22:15 Jeff:

Who owns like the, the viewer? Is that what you’re saying?

22:18 Chris:

Or like, who would you find is like the primary one that’s invested in, Hey, I want to take this on. I want to be, you know, working in a, you know, in front of the camera, doing the content, coming up with a strategy, things like that. From a manufacturing standpoint and we talked to a lot of engineers. I’m not picturing engineering doing this, but I could be wrong. So I just, just curious who you find yourself working with.

22:41 Jeff:

Typically my point of contact is the marketing department, right? So that’s typically who kind of internally is my point of contact. But again, I think it’s key to, to interview different subject matter experts. So it could be the engineers. And I mean, I’ve been doing this almost 20 years. I started the company in 2003. I love coaching people and helping them get more confident on camera and delivering their message. So, you know, there’s little tweaks, you know, I can kind of help them with, and these video value bombs, we’re talking like short videos, right? We’re, you know, two to three minutes, we’re not talking, you know, 20, 30, you know, epic dialogue things where they’re, you know, rambling on. I think there’s, there’s a time and a place for that. But I think probably that’s more further down in the sales cycle where you do want a, one-on-one call, a zoom call, something like that in person you know, video can’t take the place of, of that.

So that’s typically the, the point of contact is marketing and then we interview different people in the. And even customers too, right. We could interview like case studies is an untapped potential for different video products.

23:51 Chris:

I love it. I love it. We’re actually working on one of those right now, trying to take a case study and turning it into multiple podcasts, which I think now we need to turn those into multiple video value bombs. Right? Exactly. It makes sense.

24:05 Jeff:

They’re bragging about. Well, you don’t, I mean, you don’t have to brag about yourself. Right. Which is gold.

24:12 Chris:

That’s right. And it sticks to my rule of being humble, always. So there you go. It works. It works out. Yeah. That I’ve learned a ton. I know our listeners have, this has been wonderful, Jeff. We call it EECO Asks Why cause I always try to wrap up with the why and for that manufacturer out there, you know, give them the answer here. Why is having that video content strategy so key to being successful for manufacturing in the future?

24:37 Jeff:

Yeah, that’s a great question. I think it kind of summarizes a lot of what we said, meaning, you know, people are already searching online, especially as millennials and stuff get older, they’re demanding it, but also we, non millennials are demanding it. It serves, it teaches, it kind of fills a lot of the buckets that marketing, sales, you know, even the bean counters you mentioned, you know, if we can help marketing and sales. That fills their buckets as well. So to me, it’s a no brainer or a win-win.

 And I know companies like, I’m not trying to say, Hey, only Jeff Long and True Focus Media can do this. You guys are obviously doing an amazing job at this, as well as other manufacturers are doing some of this internally. So I applaud you Chris and your company. If companies can do this internally, go for it. If they want to hire an expert that already has a plan. You know, look for somebody like me or others that are doing this, but either way I encourage the listener to get started.

25:33 Chris:

No doubt, no doubt. And I, and I encourage the listeners, connect with Jeff. I mean, at true focus media, they have the strategy. He laid it out for you here the video value bombs work, check out the show notes. We’ll have links to get to Jeff to True Focus, to everything that you can find there. And Jeff, this has been a lot of fun. So thank you so much for taking the time and for sharing your expertise today.

25:54 Jeff:

Thanks so much for having me on the show today. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation and being on today.