Videos presented on machining and manufacturing Web sites vary wildly in both quantity and quality. Don't believe me? Take a trip around the Manufacturing Web and tell me what you find.
Granted, some are marginally good (mostly those on capital equipment manufacturers' or other big boys' sites). But the vast majority of what little you can find shouldn't be.
A big part of the problem is MIP (Manufacturer's Internet Phobia). This is a condition that afflicts many managers, presidents and owners of small to mid-sized shops and plants that are on the cusp between their kids that can setup a LAN with their eyes closed and their parents who still marvel at the first time they saw the Smothers Brothers on color TV.
Videos can be incredibly valuable in presenting your value as a technology and service partner. They can also go a long way in differentiating you from your competition.
But the question for MIP sufferers is: How do I create and manage videos efficiently and do my business justice? Answer: Have you thought about YouTube?
Here we have a channel that reaches out to the world, that allows us to post videos of our capabilities and accomplishments, that costs nothing(!), and that offers 2-way links to (and from) our Web sites, and the pickings are still slim. In 2009. Where are the small- and medium sized manufacturers (SMMs)?
Check out these search results from YouTube a few days ago (keyword/phrase – results):
- Machining – 470,600 (looks impressive until you start finding Jimi Hendrix "Machine Gun" and Rage Against The Machine clips on the 2nd SERP)
- High Speed Machining - 277 (much cleaner results, but c'mon – 277?!?!)
- Gear Hobbing - 56 (mostly educational or descriptive)
- Screw Machining - 1,210 (mostly all focusing on machine brands - lots of used machinery here)
YouTube isn't the place where your customers are going on their own to research in ways meaningful to you. There's too much "space junk" to make it a valuable research channel for your prospects.
But YouTube is a fast, easy, inexpensive place to establish a library of your shop, your best work and your value as a supplier. It is a promotion-rich library tool for you to differentiate your business.
Instead of producing and hosting your own videos on your site or posting random videos on YouTube hoping they're found in the haystack, consider creating a Channel for your business on YouTube.
It's easy to create an Account ("Create Account" is available from every page on YouTube - check out the upper right-hand corner) and creating a Channel (or, your Profile) is a snap. Give your Channel your company name, and start uploading videos of the processes you're best at. As your collection grows, link to it/them from your own Web site – both as a collection ("click here for videos") and individually ("click here to see this turbine blade machined"). Link to your videos from anywhere on the Web your company may be found, like your MFG.com profile or ThomasNet.
Following this advice is free, effective (by linking to it from your site, you increase the value by sending prospects to videos in context to their research) and it's easy (no hosting or other technical requirements). Oh, and one other thing:
YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world, behind Google.
With work and customers in US manufacturing so hard to find these days, why aren't you there yet?