Marketing for Manufacturers: YouTube on a Shoestring Budget

Customer Relations, Marketing - All industries

youtube channel cartoon

Don’t underestimate the power of YouTube for marketing your manufacturing business.

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine with over two billion active users—giving you a tremendous opportunity to show off your company and connect with customers. YouTube is a cost-effective platform ideal for demonstrating your manufacturing processes and highlighting your products. Learning how to use YouTube effectively can boost your brand visibility, generate leads and drive growth.

Why is YouTube an effective marketing tool?

The truth is that people love video. Think about how much time people spend on their phones (or other devices) watching videos.

YouTube gives you a unique opportunity to position your company and products in front of all of these people—showing off things like behind-the-scenes footage of your machinery—every hour of the day, every day of the week. If you can figure out how to make an effective YouTube channel and get people to watch your videos, you can establish your manufacturing business as a trusted industry presence and attract new customers.

You can also create YouTube content and videos on a small budget, making it an invaluable platform for small and mid-sized manufacturers to showcase their manufacturing prowess, build brand awareness and engage with a larger audience. Read on to learn some tips on how to use YouTube as a great marketing tool for your business.

1. Research, Research, Research

Before you can start creating and posting great video content, you need an effective YouTube marketing strategy. Take time to think about who you are making videos for and what they want to see. You also should research and brainstorm ways to create engaging content that people want to watch.

Target Audience

Devote some time to researching the YouTube channels and content your target audience is already following. By understanding the types of videos they watch and engage with, you can gain valuable insights that can help you shape your own content strategy.

If you already have a YouTube channel set up, take advantage of the provided Analytics tab. This feature gives you information about your audience’s demographics and interests, and you can gain insights into how viewers discover your videos, whether through search, suggested feeds or other sources.

You can also use social listening—tracking and analyzing online conversations about your brand and industry—to learn more about your audience.

Search various social platforms, including YouTube, for any mentions of your brand or relevant industry keywords. By actively listening to what people are saying about your business or industry, you can gain insights into the topics and questions that pique your audience’s interest, which you can use as inspiration for generating your own video content.


Checking out what your competitors are doing on YouTube is another good way to develop an effective YouTube marketing strategy. One of the quickest ways to grow on YouTube is to figure out what’s working for your competition and then do that…but better. When exploring your competitors’ YouTube channels, check out their subscriber count, average views per video, posting frequency, video quality, comment section feedback and main topics covered.

Ask yourself what are their most popular videos, how you can differentiate yourself from your competition and what content ideas you can derive from their channel. Put together your findings and use these as a jumping-off point for your own YouTube channel.

Favorite Channels

Another great way to learn about YouTube is by checking out your favorite YouTube channels. These channels don’t need to be related to your industry, but you can use them to give you some good ideas on how to create engaging videos that people want to watch.

Consuming YouTube content lets you gain valuable insights into effective YouTube strategies and helps you keep on top of a constantly evolving platform. For instance, did you know that having good audio quality is more crucial than video quality? It’s true—poor audio can deter viewers from watching your videos or subscribing.

Creating YouTube videos that capture viewers’ interest involves several elements. When you watch other creators’ content, pay attention to:

  • Video thumbnails: Take note of visually appealing thumbnails that attract attention and entice viewers to click.
  • Channel art: Observe how other creators design their channel art to create a cohesive and visually appealing brand identity.
  • Post and product links: Analyze how other creators strategically link their posts or products to drive engagement and conversions.
  • Video editing techniques: Pay attention to the use of text popups, special effects and other editing techniques employed by successful creators to enhance the viewing experience.

Many YouTube channels also focus on creating videos, editing techniques and strategies for YouTube growth. Exploring these channels can provide valuable tips and insights to help you improve your content and maximize your YouTube presence.

2. Create Great Videos

Once you have identified your audience and learned some effective YouTube strategies from your favorite channels and your competition, it’s time to start making great video content.

If you’re unsure where to start, think about how you can repurpose and reuse video content you already have but have never thought of posting on YouTube. For example, if you record a video of a machine before it departs from your shop floor, share it on YouTube—with the customer’s consent, of course. You can also repurpose videos showcasing your personnel, company culture or any other relevant and interesting behind-the-scenes content. You are likely already creating some great video content without realizing it.

YouTube content doesn’t have to be expensive to produce, and there are tons of great tutorials and YouTube videos that can tell you how to make good-looking videos without spending a lot. Here are a few other content ideas that small to mid-sized manufacturers can make on a small budget:

  • Product demonstrations: Showcase your products in action, highlighting their unique features and benefits. People love watching videos of interesting machines at work.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours: Take your audience on a virtual tour of your manufacturing facility. Show them the intricate processes involved in creating your products, or highlight your skilled workers.
  • How-to guides: Share valuable knowledge and insights related to your industry. Create informative videos that offer step-by-step instructions on how to use your products or solve common manufacturing challenges.
  • Case studies and customer testimonials: Feature satisfied customers who have achieved success with your products. Share their stories and highlight the positive impact your solutions have had on their businesses.
  • Industry trends: Position yourself as an industry expert by discussing emerging trends, sharing your perspectives on relevant topics and providing valuable insights.

A word to the wise—keep your videos short. Under five minutes is best, though many experts say that about two and a half minutes is the sweet spot, as any longer and people start to drift off. You can still pack a lot of informative content into two and a half minutes while keeping people entertained and engaged.

3. Optimize Your YouTube Channel

Now that you have created some great content, you need to maximize the visibility of your videos and improve their discoverability by optimizing your YouTube channel.

  • Use keywords: Perform keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases your target audience will likely search for. Incorporate these keywords into your video titles, descriptions, tags, and transcripts to improve search rankings.
  • Engaging thumbnails: Create visually appealing thumbnails that entice viewers to click on your videos. Use high-quality images, bold typography, and compelling graphics to capture attention.
  • Calls to action (CTAs): Encourage viewers to take action by including CTAs in your videos. Prompt them to subscribe to your channel, visit your website or engage with your social media platforms.
  • Consistent branding: Maintain a consistent brand identity across your YouTube channel. Customize your channel’s banner, logo and color scheme to align with your company’s visual branding.
  • Respond to comments: YouTube is a social network, so replying to viewer comments demonstrates that you’re there to establish a community, not just push out self-promotional content. It will also improve your video’s status to the algorithm because more comments mean a more popular-seeming video.

4. Promote and Share Your Videos

Creating great content is only the first step. You need to actively promote and share your videos to expand your reach. Use a content calendar to organize when and where you are going to post videos so that you are consistent and build an audience. Some good ways to promote and share your videos include:

  • Cross-promotion: Embed your YouTube videos on your website or blog to make them easily accessible to your website visitors.
  • Social media integration: Share your videos across your social media channels to leverage your existing followers and encourage them to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
  • Collaborations: Collaborate with complementary businesses, customers or industry influencers to co-create content or cross-promote each other’s videos. This can help you tap into their existing audience and gain exposure.
  • Email marketing: Include links to your YouTube videos in your email newsletters or create dedicated email campaigns to inform your subscribers about new video releases.


YouTube offers an invaluable opportunity for small to mid-sized manufacturers to showcase their manufacturing abilities, build brand awareness and engage with a larger audience. Consistency, creativity and audience engagement are all key factors in building a successful YouTube presence: By producing good-quality videos that creatively showcase your products and processes and actively engaging with your viewers through comments and discussions, you can leverage YouTube to inexpensively market your manufacturing business and unlock new growth opportunities.

Join us next month for the final installment in our Marketing for Manufacturers series, where we will look at whether you need to use a marketing agency or if you can effectively market your business on your own.

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