We’ve all seen an ad that just really caught our attention and made us think. It might have been an image on a website or a short animated video, but whatever it was, it grabbed us and made an impression. That’s the goal for digital media in the modern world; use the precious time you have with a potential customer and make it count. And as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), you may be wondering how you can make a similar impact on your audience, which is why we wanted to share how to start building media into your OEM marketing strategy.

First things first

Before we describe how to build media into your plan, it’s worth the time to stop and make sure foundational elements of your marketing strategy are already covered. 

Brand Identity – Ask yourself these questions

  • Who is my audience?
  • What is the core benefit of my product?
  • What are the reasons to believe in the core benefit?

Understanding the Customer Journey – The purchasing path for your audience

  • Awareness – The potential customer learns about product offerings. 
  • Consideration – The potential customer does more research on products they are considering. 
  • Trialing/adoption – The customer has either purchased the product or is trying it out. 
  • Advocacy – The customer is a fan of your product/company and tells people about it.  

Doing this work up front clarifies your brand identity and audience for your product, which helps determine whether or not to incorporate media into your plan. This is just a small sample of what goes into building an OEM marketing strategy. For an in-depth look at this topic, check out our blog on How to Build a Manufacturing Marketing Strategy.

Steps to adding media to your strategy

To better understand the inclusion of media in your plan, we created a four-step process you can use to get started. Step one is determining if media is right for your product.

1. Should we use media in our OEM marketing strategy?

When you were working on your brand identity, you considered the audience, core benefit of the product, and the reasons to believe in that benefit. Now you can ask yourself three questions to determine whether media is suitable for your strategy:

  1. Who are you talking to?
  2. What are you trying to share with them?
  3. How can media connect your audience with your message?

You need to know whether or not your audience engages in media when they are in the awareness or consideration phases of their journey. If they are engaging with media via YouTube, Instagram, or other websites frequently, then media would be a good way to go.  If not, you will want to consider a different approach that is tailored to where and how they spend their time.

Next, solidify what you are trying to share with your audience because different messages call for different methods of delivery. Whether you want to share technical specs of your product, or something different like company culture, knowing your message will speak to the final question: how can media connect your audience with your message?

To illustrate the value of answering these questions, consider the example of PACCAR, a client we worked with to build media into their plan. Through client interviews, we helped PACCAR uncover that their audience loved the in-person tours of the PACCAR facilities in Mt. Vernon, WA and Columbus, MS. The tours showed just how much care and attention to detail went into each PACCAR powertrain, but few customers were able to take advantage of them. 

They also uncovered that their customers enjoy spending time watching truck and equipment reviews on YouTube. PACCAR wanted to focus their message on the craftsmanship that went into every engine they built. To satisfy both the audience and the message, they chose to do a live-action video tour of the plant. The video met their audience right where they like to spend their time and drove engagement on the PACCAR Powertrain website, which is a valuable metric for success that we will discuss in step four.

If you’ve decided, like PACCAR, that media is the right way to go for your audience and your message, you will now need to decide how to make the media work for you.

2. How do you make the media work for your company?

While PACCAR decided on a live-action video tour, they also found that their customers wanted an in-depth explanation of their engines and the supporting technology.  To meet this need, they created a 3D animated video of one of their products to show it in a unique light and appeal to their audience that is more focused on features and specs.

They did this because there are many ways to share your message and make the media specific to you as a company. There are many different types of media you can use; company culture videos, tutorials on how to use your product, or testimonial videos from your customers, just to name a few. To make the best decision on the type of media to use, lean on the knowledge of your audience and the important elements of your message.

Media also comes in different sizes. Thinking about the customer journey, media works for the awareness and consideration parts of the journey, but they yield different types of videos:

  • Awareness – Media created for the awareness phase is typically focused on sharing a quick snapshot of your core benefit. For example, a 30-second video ad on YouTube that captures why your product or company is worth considering.
  • Consideration – The focus of media during consideration is to share the reasons to believe in the core benefit. This media will have significantly more detail, and if it’s video representation you are after, a longer video (2-5 minutes) can work here as long as it is all relevant.

Keep in mind the length of your video does matter! See our thoughts on the video length ranges that have the most engagement.

Once you have decided on the type of media that is best for your audience and brand, then you can start outlining the specifics of what you want to share. After your media is finished you will want to think about ad placement.

3. Where do we place our media?

This next step in the OEM marketing strategy for media can be a little tricky. Where you place your media is very important to its success, so once again you will need to leverage your understanding of your audience to make a decision.

Also, in the world of advertising, there are two types of ads: paid ads and organic ads. Paid ads are ones that you pay to have placed on social media or websites, while organic ads are shared by your loyal clients/evangelists because they are compelled by the message you chose to share.

When thinking about where to place your media, consider these questions:

  • Where is my awareness video going to have an impact on my audience? A short awareness ad on YouTube? An email marketing blast? A paid ad on social media? Maybe an ad on a website frequented by your audience?
  • How do I drive people to my consideration video? Is it on the front page of your website? You could consider placing a link in your awareness video that leads to your website and subsequently to the video.
  • Social media might be another great place for a shorter consideration video. If they have already heard about you, they may be more likely to click on it to get more information.

Now that you’ve placed your media, there is only one thing left to do… analyze how well it’s performing.

4. How well is the campaign performing?

Your final step in adding media to your OEM marketing strategy is to analyze the results of your work. To do this you can look at a few important metrics of media performance.

  • Impressions – This accounts for the number of times your media was viewed by someone. If your video played, it made an impression. It’s as simple as that.
  • Engagement score – This metric takes impressions to another level because it analyzes how many times people clicked on your video, or engaged with it. This is a true test of value because a click typically means someone is interested in learning more and proves your video’s value.

After you have analyzed these results, feel free to try and move your media to different locations to get more impressions and engagement. Then, take a look at how those compare with each other to get a sense of the best place for your media moving forward. Trial and error is the name of the game in this last step, and when you’re ready, you can start again with a more educated point of view.

That attention-grabbing ad we discussed at the beginning was made intentionally to make you feel the way it did. To get there, they likely brainstormed, outlined, storyboarded, reworked, tested, and reworked again. Getting there takes time and effort, but when you put in the work and combine it with the process above, it is easier to manage. And before you know it you have a repertoire of media work to show for it. We know that you want to have the ad that someone can’t get out of their mind, so follow the steps, pay attention to the details, and get ahold of us if you need help.We have a team for that. Media can drive your product in a way nothing else can.

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