It’s not every day your company builds a new automated plant.
But now you’ve got the new factory you need to film it, so you can present it to customers, and video showcase your new, superior manufacturing scope & capability.
Your credibility will rise immediately if you do.
This counts double if you’re an exporter who needs an effective business development tool to win long term partners (and trust) in foreign markets. You might even consider getting your video translated into your key foreign languages if you’re an international player.
So where do you start?
Your factory video choices
One of the first decisions is to decide how long you want your video to be.
Normally there are 2 clear choices, a short video, or a longer one.
Option 1: Produce a 90 second short, to-the-point, low cost video. This will be based on filming your premises onsite for a day, and writing a story around it. You’ll have around 160 words of voiceover to say your best possible message.
From this short video customers will clearly recognize your investment, and why you’re the leader in your chosen sector.
Potential new customers who are close to signing up with you will appreciate this even more, especially in the late-sale stages of their decision to buy from you, ie, the crunch point.
Option 2: Produce a 2-3½ minute video, with more depth & detail, perhaps including animation to show how everything seamlessly joins together, or show how your product integrates brilliantly into your customers’ operations.
You need to decide early which of the above options you want:
– a cheap & cheerful (and effective) video.
– or a longer, more powerful video (demonstrating why you’re the undisputed market leader)
It’s worth a mention that many marketers today are scared of long videos, either because of the higher cost, or a fear that audiences will be bored. I feel these rules apply more to Facebook viewers, YouTube cruisers, and social media video watchers.
So let me say it now: If a B2B customer is genuinely interested in buying from you, then you have a captive audience who’ll watch as much video as you show them. You’re making it easier for them to think, visualize & understand. They’ll welcome seeing your planning & consultancy capability, production & assembly, distribution & warehousing, quality & safety controls,and so on.
Whichever option you choose, here are 16 practical tips to help you produce a more exciting factory video, helping to flesh out your personal vision of your market leading operation.
Now let’s follow up with 16 practical ways to make your video look and sound better.
16 great factory video ideas
These are in no particular order. Maybe the best idea for you is at the end.
1: Use director soundbites at key points, eg, see the CXO explaining “why we built a new plant”, or “why our delivered product is even better than before” or “we wanted to show an even stronger commitment to our customers”. You can probably think of more. The key is that seeing people can build greater trust and reinforce relationships. Your video production company will explain the best way to do this.
2: Use a drone to get overhead footage of the plant. This shows plant size and scale in an impressive way. Be sure your drone operator is licensed, and there are no unintended legal consequences. If you’re unsure ask your lawyer.
3: Use a crane for impressive, interior plant shots. Most good video crews have a small jib for this. The results are very movie like, and considerably beef up the more static camera shots. Having a portable, quick assembly jib is like having a small drone indoors.
4: Use time lapse cameras. If you leave them in place for a day or a week, you’ll get an interesting take on the whole workflow of a week/day or hour.
5: Use supersoft slomo. Impressive areas of the new plant, such as highly automated areas look stunning when supersoft slomo is used. It makes the machines look even more impressive, and more beautiful to look at. Your video editor can probably suggest more effects as well.
6: Use Steadicam. This is a handheld camera device especially designed for smooth moving shots. Television uses steadicam all the time. So should you.
An extra long Glidetrack camera mount is a cheaper alternative. Don’t be surprised if your video director is keen to explain all this filming technology to you.
7: Film customers. Getting a friendly customer to say a few kind words to camera can be priceless. Offer them a teleprompt if they’re nervous.
8: Film the product in use. Seeing the product in action is the natural follow up to showing it being made. If you can’t film this for any reason, then think about animating it to show it. Animation often makes things clearer and simpler than video filming, and adds a whole new level of technology feel to the video, bolstering your general aura of “future vision”.
9: Mention your customer’s customer. This is relevant if your product is a primary goods product, where you sell to someone else who then adds value to it – and then they sell it on as their customer solution.
Mentioning the customer’s customer will appeal to your customer, as it’ll prove you have the joined-up thinking they seek from a supplier.
10: Produce a highly graphic illustrated video. This type of video is a happy marriage between plant footage and animations, combining them together for an amazing Technology Leader look.
Areas that lend themselves to being animated are any essential items that are invisible to the naked eye, ie, concepts, performance improvements, processes, work methods, technologies, etc.
2d or 3d animation? Both are good, but 2d is invariably cheaper.
11: Put charts on the wall. If you want to show a product performance chart or any graph, then show the chart against a factory wall or piece of plant, or any suitably large flat area / surface.
A good video designer editor can dub any performance graphic or image into a real life scene, usually with very impressive results. But this needs advance planning prior to shoot, otherwise it mightn’t work later in post production.
12: Show a Presenter walk-through. Some factories may benefit from seeing a professional presenter walking through the new plant, explaining live as they go. This is more friendly and personal than simply using voiceover.
Your audience can see an engaging presenter make performance charts appear on nearby walls with a wave of their hand. And it’s fun to choose a new face of your company – with the help your video producer’s recommended casting agent.
13: Don’t show any people. Instead use your video to show the marriage of automation & engineering. By focusing on the automated process, you don’t have to spend your video runtime mentioning “committed people” or “passion for this that or the other”. These are very tired marketing messages where factory videos are concerned.
The intention here is to show how automated and efficient the new operation is, with sole focus on the reliability & performance of the delivered product, ie, what the customer actually wants from you.
14: PIck a sunny day. Easier said than done in some countries. But if the filming schedule has some flexibility, then if necessary arrange to go outdoors and film exteriors each time the sun comes out. Nothing looks cleaner or better than sunshine in any season.
(I once took the video crew to Dubai, right on the edge of the burning desert, and it rained all morning. Eek!)
16: Do it quickly: Your new plant will only keep its shine for about a week. So plan ahead to film in the 1st week after installation, when everything looks brilliant, brand new.
17: Spend time picking music. A new factory can work with an orchestral track that makes it look magnificent & energetic. Or equally well, a lighter more electronic track that makes everything feel clean, calm & clever.
You might pay a little more for the right track. But so what, if it delivers for you.
All the above 16 great ways are proven, practical techniques for lifting a factory video production beyond the plain and ordinary of “regular camerawork”. You can inject any or all of these ideas into your script or storyboard.
Decide early on if you’re aiming for a quick 90 second short, or a longer more in-depth presentation that genuine buyers will be glad to see.
And be sure to produce it in 4K as well as 1080 HD, ready for those stunning new Ultra HD monitors that are appearing in boardrooms across the globe.
Good luck with your next factory video production 🙂