Creating Company Presence through Value-Driven Content Marketing with Chris Fox

Episode 203 | Challenges: Community Growth Technology

Content marketing provides an opportunity to expand your business and to offer something of value to the manufacturing community around the world. Chris Fox, the creative director at MakingChips, shares why every manufacturing leader should be investing in the development of a strong and value-driven content marketing strategy. It’s all about building your online presence as a company and growing your audience. 

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Provide content marketing with value to those that need your expertise

Content Marketing for Manufacturers

Content marketing has grown from only a couple of usable platforms to several powerful mediums for sharing what your business offers - from products to educational knowledge. Blogging, social media, and YouTube are all avenues for content marketing. The goal is to establish the presence of your business and brand, while also meeting the needs of the Metal Working Nation. Chris explains that learning and teaching are things that every machinist and manufacturing leader can benefit from. Every manufacturing business has expertise and wisdom to share with the manufacturing community. Don’t be afraid to begin documenting the story of your company as you create, make mistakes, and overcome obstacles. Your knowledge can easily become rich building material for content marketing! 


Create authentic content that offers a valuable return on investment

Your audience craves and needs original, authentic content to help them accomplish their work at their very best. Being natural in your content marketing is vital. People easily see through facades and glossy content. Be honest and provide real solutions to real problems through your content marketing. If you want your audience to invest their time in watching your videos, reading your blog, or re-tweeting your twitter post, then you need to provide a valuable ROI. 

Chris encourages listeners to put aside the notion of proprietary secrets. The goal is to grow as a manufacturing community - while also building your reputation as a brand. Value-driven content marketing can help establish your reputation as a trustworthy source for knowledge and product. 



Vlogging helps establish credibility with your audience 

Vlogging is blogging in a video format - most often through YouTube. The true value in a blog comes from the individuals in your business. Content marketing doesn’t have to be formal or impressively polished. Being real is vital, and showcasing the talent and knowledge of individual team members can help establish credibility with your audience. 


Chris explains how to navigate the nuances of vlogging as a manufacturing company. Being honest with the titles of your videos is key. If your title claims to answer a question, make sure that the video actually answers it. Google is now smart enough to read the transcript of your video and match it with the title. If those two factors don’t match up, Google is less likely to promote your video. 


The length of your videos should be tailored to the needs of your audience. If it takes an hour to demonstrate the solution to a real problem, then your video should be an hour long. If it only takes three minutes, then only create three minutes. Lots of ads and fluff in your videos will turn your audience away and detract from your credibility. Above all, be honest and be concise. 


Equip and inspire your audience - and your team

MakingChipsLogo-Tagline-Color-3

The value in content marketing is derived from the desire to give without thought of receiving anything in return. Take the time to understand what your customers, partners, and team members need. Know what platforms they use and what types of mediums they are most likely to engage with. While you may not be able to kick off a content marketing strategy that utilizes YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Facebook all at once, you can certainly start with one. Don’t have expensive camera equipment to film? Use your phone! Bring in the team and refer to their feedback when developing material. Companies aren’t people, but they are made up of people. Make sure that you are providing excellent content by ensuring that you are not only promoting your brand but also equipping and inspiring. 


Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Why Jim and Jason see MakingChips as a way to pour back into the Metal Working Nation. 
  • Introducing Chris Fox: Creative Director at MakingChips
  • Is all marketing content marketing?
  • The valuable knowledge that manufacturers have to share. 
  • Tracking your marketing performance through content marketing platforms. 
  • People want value - not excess material. 
  • Knowing what platform is best for your company’s needs.
  • Building credibility through vlogging. 
  • How important is the title of your vlog video?
  • Showcasing the people in your business - not just your products. 
  • Gaging the appropriate length for your video. 
  • Learning how to tag your videos. 

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest: Chris Fox

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

 

Jason Zenger: Jim, I heard you muttering something about a sheet metal job. Are you doing sheet metal now? I know you're a CNC machine shop, but-

Jim Carr: Well, yeah, we are specialists in three and four axis CNC machining. However, when our customer sends a big package to us and they happen to just throw in a couple of sheet metal jobs, I use Xometry to quote the job and do it for me. It's really great, I don't have to say no to that line item, because let me tell you, procurement wants to do business with people that are easy to work with and if I have a job in part of a package that has a sheet metal job, I can use Xometry as my partner to do that work.

Jason Zenger: And they also do plastic injection molding and 3D printing.

Jim Carr: They do, they're experts at three, four, and five axis.

Jason Zenger: Five axis, wow.

Jim Carr: CNC machining and in close tolerance and finishing as well. Definitely you can use them for sheet metal and it's great, just go to xometry.com.

Jason Zenger: X-O-M-E-T-R-Y.com.

Jim Carr: You bet. Welcome to MakingChips. We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems, and grow your business. I'm your host, Jim Carr, and I'm joined in the MXD studio with my good friend of five years. Well, been a friend for longer than that, but my co-host for five years, Mr. Jason Zenger.

Jason Zenger: Hey Jim, how are you?

Jim Carr: Hey, I am well.

Jason Zenger: You should've said MXD with JTZ.

Jim Carr: I could have said that. I could've said MXD, formerly the DMDII too, but-

Jason Zenger: That's too much of a mouthful.

Jim Carr: ... that is a mouthful, but it's great to be ... I feel home here, we're at home here. They treat us really well. They're good people and I just love this rebrand. I mean this place is rocking all the time. Every time I come here there's more and more people.

Jason Zenger: They've got a pretty cool logo. I agree with you.

Jim Carr: Yeah. They did a good job.

Jason Zenger: I've just been admiring their logo this morning. Not that that's the point of the show, but it's a cool logo.

Jim Carr: Yeah.

Jason Zenger: Speaking of change, we're expanding the MakingChips team. It's no longer just Jim and Jason, we've got like 10 people that are working full-time for MakingChips.

Jim Carr: Well, what do you-

Jason Zenger: And you and I don't get a paycheck, which is kind of weird but-

Jim Carr: That is a little strange. How has MakingChips 2.0 evolved? Because some people may not know this.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. Just for the Metal Working Nation, who doesn't know, I'll try to make it quick. Jim and I started this podcast about five years ago, where we started planning it out about five years ago. And the original intention was just to give back to the manufacturing industry. We felt that there was a need for manufacturing leaders just to have a community and Jim and I were inspired by the time that we had spent in our association, just getting together with a small group of people and having a glass of wine and talking about our problems and solving each other's problems and giving each other ideas.

Jim Carr: I had more than a glass of wine.

Jason Zenger: Okay. I had a glass, you had five glasses.

Jim Carr: Maybe.

Jason Zenger: And we give each other ideas and solve each other's problems and talk to each other like manufacturing leaders that was different than what you could get from maybe your neighbor who was in a different industry. And for me, I was kind of an outsider because I don't actually work for a manufacturing company. I owned a cutting tool supply company and-

Jim Carr: You're one of those guys.

Jason Zenger: And so for me it was more, I wanted to give back to my client base. I wanted to give back to the community that supported me. And at the same time, it was also something that would help me to market my business. You got to be totally honest, that was the second benefit of starting MakingChips. That's how it all started. And then-

Jim Carr: We really are experts.

Jason Zenger: Experts at what? At wine drinking or?

Jim Carr: Manufacture. Well, definitely at wine drinking, but in manufacturing, I mean I've been in this industry for over 40 years. I mean there's not too much I don't know about it.

Jason Zenger: Oh, you'd be surprised how much you don't know.

Jim Carr: Well-

Jason Zenger: I kept you on a lot.

Jim Carr: About the industry or?

Jason Zenger: No, I'm just rambling about something you don't know anything about.

Jim Carr: Words. I know. A lot of times I talk in a vacuous sense, right?

Jason Zenger: Yeah. And in a vacuum.

Jim Carr: In a vacuum.

Jason Zenger: Anyway, going fast forward, we were approached by the Goellners who own Advanced Machine and Engineering, which is essentially a work holding manufacturing company out of Rockford. And then they also own Hennig, which makes machine and closures and other products that are related to the machine tool industry. And what they proposed to us was, well, what if we spin off our six person marketing department and MakingChips would become a marketing agency and we would also invest in the company. And that's what we've done and now we're marketing exclusively for manufacturing leaders.

Jim Carr: In particular the chip cutting community.

Jason Zenger: Correct, yeah. Our creative director and videographer that we're going to introduce today, Chris Fox, he just got back from an engagement to produce a video for Emuge. So that was kind of neat, that's something-

Jim Carr: That's a strange name.

Jason Zenger: It's German.

Jim Carr: Okay.

Jason Zenger: And that was something that Jim and Jason couldn't do. And so now that we have a team of 10 people, those are the kinds of things that we are doing.

Jim Carr: Yeah. And they're great people, and I'm looking forward to introducing the Metal Working Nation, Chris, and just highlight his skillsets. So Jason, you drink a glass of wine every now and then, right?

Jason Zenger: Every now and then.

Jim Carr: Yeah, every now and then. I know not nearly as much as I do, but how is our boring bar different than a bar that you would go to and get a glass of wine or a shot-

Jason Zenger: So a boring bar is a place where you can get exclusive content for manufacturing leaders from MakingChips, stuff that's different than the podcast, but maybe related in some additional information. So I would definitely encourage everybody to subscribe to the boring bar.

Jim Carr: All they have to do is text the word C-H-I-P-S, that's chips like MakingChips, C-H-I-P-S, to 38470, and it's that easy and they'll be subscribed and you'll be getting all that good exclusive manufacturing content in your inbox every week. So Jason, do you have any manufacturing news for this week?

Jason Zenger: I have news, it's not necessarily manufacturing specific, but it's related to the topic that we're talking about. So this is an article from Forbes and the title of the article is what is content marketing? So that's essentially what we're talking about today and I'm not going to get into the article too much except to mention the definition that they give, which I think is very good.

Jason Zenger: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. So real world example, I think I have, and I think you could probably give them one, two, is that because of MakingChips, I developed a friendship with a gentleman who owns a manufacturing company in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And we're now going to be bringing a vending system out to his facility and we're going to start doing business with him. And it was all because of the content marketing that we were doing and friendship and service that we started delivering to him. And I know that you've developed relationships also like that.

Jim Carr: I have, I'm doing work for somebody right now.

Jason Zenger: You're doing work for a guest that we had on the show before.

Jim Carr: Exactly. And it's exciting. It's a little bit different than what we normally do, but because there was a relationship there, it gave us an opportunity to exploit it a little bit and get more information than I would have if it was just a cold knock on the door. And it's really turning out to be something exciting.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. And not everybody can start a podcast and I'm not suggesting that everybody starts a podcast.

Jim Carr: No, it's not easy.

Jason Zenger: There are different forms of content marketing. However, there are ways that every manufacturing leader out there could do content marketing to a certain degree. Even social media, which we're not going to get too much in today, could be a form of content marketing.

Jim Carr: Totally. Would you like to introduce to the Metal Working Nation our new-

Jason Zenger: Yeah, I will introduce our guest to the Metal Working Nation, so you will know him. You will maybe recognize him by his beard and he is a face in manufacturing because he actually has done a lot of video work with popular names in the industry like Titan Gilroy and John Saunders and manufacturing OEMs that you're familiar with, such as Tormach.

Jason Zenger: So his name is Chris Fox and he is now the MakingChips creative director. And like I said before, he knows manufacturing, worked for a CNC machine tool company and understands cutting tools, programming. But his real passion is content marketing, video marketing and he's also a great writer and we're glad to have him on the MakingChips team. So welcome to the show Chris Fox.

Chris Fox: Thanks. And it's quite a lofty bio. That's a high bar, I got to live up to it.

Jim Carr: And I just got to tell you, you don't know this and I don't even think Jason does. But before MakingChips hired you and Nick was really speaking highly of you I'm like, "Does this guy really know manufacturing?" So I went to one of your YouTubes, and you were talking about cutting with a shell mill. And when you were describing how to cut the metal with the shell mill, 67% engagement of the thing. I said, "This guy is not full of crap, he knows what he's talking about."

Chris Fox: I'm not a machinist, but I play one on TV.

Jim Carr: Yeah. Well, you did pretty good, you impressed me. It sounded like you knew what you were doing. But that's not why you're here today. We brought you in today to explain a little bit about what your passion is in this industry, what drives you. Can you share with the Metal Working Nation just exactly what content marketing is, and your background in that and how it relates to manufacturing.

Chris Fox: Yeah. Well, so the Forbes article, I mean, it's a very Forbes in way to explain what content marketing is. I mean, at the end of the day, people that are in content marketing will adamantly and religiously say that not all marketing is content marketing, but all marketing is content marketing. So years ago there was the blog boom and everyone and their mom was saying that their company, your company needed to have a company blog. They didn't tell you what to write-

Jim Carr: They did.

Chris Fox: You didn't know what to write, but you needed to have a presence in blog format somewhere on the internet.

Jim Carr: Yes, I remember hearing that a lot.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And then it turned into, okay, well, now here's social, you need to have a Facebook page, which Facebook for a business is dying at this point. But you also have things like video. YouTube blew up and then suddenly now every company needs to have a YouTube channel and find out what that means and understand what that means. At the end of the day, it's all content marketing, because what it's doing is it's establishing your brand in its space.

Jim Carr: In that space.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: Whether it's a blog or a social or a YouTube page.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And what that does is it creates a presence for an audience. So content marketing is about an audience. So instead of having customers, you have an audience, that's where the big gap is in understanding, especially with manufacturers, because manufacturers, I mean, I get it, right, we're used to the black and white. We're used to the ROI of a facility. If a guy's not at the machine for a certain amount of time everyday or that spindle's not up, or it's not running or whatever-

Jim Carr: If you're not MakingChips, you're not making money.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: I mean, that's how I was raised.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And I mean, I know in a previous podcast we had the folks from Xometry, and he was talking about how, here's the lights and the buzzing from the lights was the bane of his existence, and that is traditional manufacturing. So then when you say, "Oh yeah, but here's a marketing effort." But there's no direct immediate ROI from what you're creating, they immediately shy away, and just like this doesn't make any sense.

Chris Fox: Manufacturers are starting to realize and understand what that is. But it's got a lot of importance in our space because our world is super technical. And so the real value that we can provide as marketers in this space is to teach, show people how to do these things. And that's probably the most important thing that we can do, is that learning portion. Now, there's a whole gambit of different ways to do content marketing. But learning and teaching is one of the biggest ones that manufacturers can really benefit from.

Jason Zenger: So Chris, manufacturing leaders are busy, they've got just so many things to worry about. They have to worry about making a quality part, they have to worry about on time delivery. They have to worry about their people, they have to hire people, they have to just do all those things that a manufacturing leader has to do on a daily basis.

Jim Carr: Paying their tool suppliers.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, buying their tools and all that kind of stuff. You want to add another thing to what they need to be doing in order to be a successful manufacturing leader.

Chris Fox: Well, and here's the thing, it's not me that wants, I mean I like what I do, and I'm good at it, but it's the way of the world as we move forward. What do you mean? For instance, you're talking like, talk about soda. You have Coke and you have Pepsi, right?

Jason Zenger: We don't call it soda here in Chicago, we call it pop.

Chris Fox: I did not know that.

Jim Carr: So Coke and Pepsi.

Chris Fox: Okay, so you have Coke and Pepsi, they've always been there. But how do other brands make their presence known? LaCroix is made of really big splash in the soft drink space.

Jason Zenger: It has.

Chris Fox: It's not a soda, right?

Jason Zenger: It has a Cola flavor.

Chris Fox: Exactly. Yeah. It's not competing with Coke and Pepsi, but it is. People are buying that instead of Coke and Pepsi. Well, what's happening is they've created, and this is a different form of content marketing. But they've created an audience for their brand. And that audience is what content marketing is all about, is when you build an audience, you now have people who are basically already drinking the Kool-Aid. [inaudible 00:13:28], we're talking about soda, so not literally. But the people are already drinking the Kool-Aid at that point. So then when you go to quote unquote sell them, you don't have to sell them anything.

Jason Zenger: So would this be like Red Bull energy drink? We're talking about drinks here.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jason Zenger: They put on events and that event, is that a form of content marketing?

Chris Fox: That event, that's exactly it. And Red Bull has done amazing work at this. They actually have, there's a whole magazine that they do online that's focused on Red Bull's content.

Jason Zenger: And extreme sports.

Chris Fox: And it makes no mention of the energy drink that they promote.

Jason Zenger: They created the brand through creating an audience.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And what happens is, is people value the content that you're creating. They value this thing that you're providing them, this thing that you're giving them without them asking.

Jim Carr: Well, one of the oldest examples of content marketing is actually from one of the oldest manufacturers out there, John Deere, who a lot of manufacturing leaders actually-

Chris Fox: Do business.

Jim Carr: ... know about because they probably make parts for them. But John Deere created a magazine for farmers in order to educate them on what they should be doing on their farm as a way of marketing John Deere tractors-

Jason Zenger: I did not know that.

Jim Carr: ... and all the other equipment that they have.

Chris Fox: Exactly. Yeah. I think content marketing is not new.

Jim Carr: Right, this goes back 100 years ago.

Chris Fox: It just got a new name. And it's more prevalent now because now like I was saying is the fact that, and this is part of the reason why manufacturers are often cautious about it, it's because there's no real easy way to get direct ROI.

Jim Carr: It takes a lot of time and persistence.

Chris Fox: Exactly. Here's the thing, you can get more ROI now. You can measure the ROI way better than you ever could in the past, which is why suddenly now content marketing is a thing rather than just being John Deere putting out a magazine.

Jim Carr: Right. And back then, one of your only options, when John Deere did release their magazine was print.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: That was one of the very few forms that you could do of content marketing, but now there's audio, video, print, there's this events [crosstalk 00:15:29].

Chris Fox: And then all you have is a list. You don't know who's reading that. You don't know what they're looking at in it. Whereas online, you can track them, you can chase them all over the internet. And that's the value of content marketing is what's going on behind the scenes. So as a manufacturer, that's where that real driving value is, is yeah, you can create content but you don't want to just create the company blog. Because that was the thing that a lot of companies tried and failed at and they said, "Oh, we don't need to do this." And then they wrote off content marketing altogether. Well, what it is-

Jason Zenger: They weren't doing it correctly is the problem.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jason Zenger: They were just always talking about themselves, they're like, "Hey, guess what? We'd like to welcome Chris Fox to MakingChips." And it's like, well, nobody wants to read that because they want to welcome Chris Fox. They want to hear what Chris Fox has to say that's going to help them.

Chris Fox: Right, what value am I bringing, what value is the podcast bringing.

Jason Zenger: This episode is turning very meta. So I had a question about this blogging and about stuffing. I remember years ago it was like really impactful for SEO when you created a blog that you used to stuff keywords in there multiple, multiple, multiple times to add relevancy to that particular blog post and make you more searchable on the world wide web. But Google got privy to that and now instead of helping, it actually doesn't help you.

Chris Fox: Google is-

Jason Zenger: Is way wiser.

Chris Fox: Google's frighteningly smart, and I'm not talking about the company, I'm not talking about the people in the company. I'm talking about the algorithm that exists that none of those people can even ... if you ask an engineer from Google, no single engineer at Google knows exactly how the algorithm operates, because it's so complicated and it's such a massive thing, nobody knows exactly all the bits and pieces of it. It's all about how this whole thing works together in the web as a whole.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, and I think Jim to answer your question a little bit, I think you're talking about maybe SEO, which is related to content marketing. But I would say from like a content marketing perspective, you should never be doing something that is stuffing, you should be talking naturally to your audience because that is the way that you create original content that Google does like from an SEO perspective.

Jim Carr: Google will give you precedents over the keyword stuffed pieces.

Jason Zenger: Right, because you're natural.

Chris Fox: Exactly, it's regularity.

Jason Zenger: So Chris, how does the average manufacturing leader get started with content marketing establishing themselves as a voice for whatever audience that they have?

Chris Fox: Yeah, I mean I think-

Jim Carr: Good question.

Chris Fox: I think a big part of it is, I guess in the past it was kind of referred to as like brand building. And I know you guys have talked about this before, brand is more than just a logo.

Jim Carr: Totally.

Chris Fox: But again, manufacturers aren't super invested in marketing, so it's one of those things, it's like, yeah, we got a new logo and a new website, our branding is done. And it's like, there's so much more to that. And that's honestly, that's where content comes into play. So when you're building out a content marketing plan, it's really figuring out what platform is going to make the most sense for what you do. So for instance, I know Jim did a video a while ago and you talked about hashtags, but a big part of it is, yeah, you're cranking out all these parts and you just don't have time to create bits of content around it all the time. Instagram is huge for the machines community.

Jim Carr: That's essentially a content marketing platform.

Chris Fox: Yeah, exactly. So take a picture of your part, put a filter on it. If you really want to get complicated and find an artistic machinist that wants to play with Lightroom a little bit on their phone, it's a free app. You can make adjustments and then get it up on Instagram. Research some hashtags. I mean, it does take a little bit of time to get started, but honestly that hashtag-

Jim Carr: It's really not that hard.

Chris Fox: It's not, and that hashtag instant machinists community is huge and it's a great community of people. [crosstalk 00:19:02].

Jim Carr: Yeah. Somebody might ask a question about that photo, which brings you to be more of an expert in your industry and then a potential customer could notice that and engage you to start making parts for us. I mean, kind of simplified this intentionally, but that's essentially the way that you could start content marketing is by getting involved in social media platform, which essentially becomes a way to deliver value to the community.

Chris Fox: And that's just one route. You know what I mean?

Jim Carr: It's just one route.

Chris Fox: Exactly. Really it's finding a manufacturing leader in your organization. Find somebody who wants to be a voice for your organization.

Jim Carr: Yeah. You could start at a local event in your area and that could be your way to develop content in order to spread the word about your company.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And that's a perfect example, that instant machinist community is growing, it's huge. And I mean, when I worked at Tormac, we had a ... there was a meetup at IMTS, we were at the back of the tooling booth. It's a small company, we had a small booth. Our first time at IMTS it was-

Jim Carr: So hashtag instant machinists had a meetup.

Chris Fox: Yeah, there was a meetup and it was right outside, there was a booth with Tormac and AB tools and Earl from AB tools is a minor celebrity in that space. And what's cool about that is all he does, because he does some proprietary work. A lot of these guys do proprietary work, but what they do then, is they're sharing tips and tricks, skills about what they're doing, mishaps that they have. I mean, anything and everything, it's documenting. But what happens is then they can get into each other's shops, they can help each other. So this is the new school mindset and this is something that I've kind of preached across the board, is the old school mindset is you're in manufacturing, it's all proprietary secrets, don't tell them about what you're doing.

Jim Carr: Right, I lived that my whole life.

Chris Fox: And what's happening now, especially in that type of community is you see people helping each other and excelling and they're not only getting better work, but they're providing better work to their clients, faster work to their clients. It's no longer these industry secrets. It's grow with the community because honestly there's plenty of work to go around especially right now.

Jim Carr: There's plenty of work to go, I could not agree with more.

Jason Zenger: So you've had extensive history on vlogging first and foremost, explain why this platform is important, especially to manufacturers of just the vlogging. We talked about brand building, which is blogging, social, YouTube. Is vlogging a component of brand building?

Chris Fox: It's a tricky thing too, yes. The short answer is yes. And I don't know how privy the audio, vlogging is basically a blog in a video format. You're putting your face in front of the camera and talking to it like it's a person. But what happens is you're communicating with an audience and that's again, that's a part of content marketing. You're building an audience, you're growing your brand by building an audience.

Chris Fox: The value in vlogging, especially in this space, is you are creating credibility for your brand. And what happens in that space as well, and this is kind of what I've started to develop on our YouTube channel for MakingChips, which if you haven't, you should go subscribe to the YouTube channel because my face is all over it, and we're doing videos for all the podcasts. So it's a good time [crosstalk 00:21:59].

Jim Carr: All our faces are over it.

Chris Fox: Exactly. So we do a weekly vlog there and we do all the podcasts. But anyway, enough with my show. The real value in a vlog is it brands individuals within your organization. So it's a combination of efforts, it's providing know-how from your brand, which is awesome. That's what the community likes, you're building an audience there. But it also provides branding for the individuals in your company. And it doesn't have to be one person, it can be multiple people. But the value is that builds trust, because when you build trust with anybody, it's easier to sell. So when I walk around IMTS, people recognize me and then my name is then attached to a brand.

Jim Carr: Was I doing vlogging when I was doing those videos on hashtagging or dressing for a manufacturing career, how to do an interview in a manufacturing environment.

Chris Fox: Yours was, it was more formal version of a vlog. So the thing about content these days is it doesn't have to be formal.

Jim Carr: It's just matter of fact.

Chris Fox: It's just, you just ... some of the best YouTubers and vloggers out there don't even use high-end cam.

Jim Carr: Nothing scripted.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: I mean, at first you see lighting.

Jason Zenger: As far as video goes, there's a place for both.

Jim Carr: Exactly.

Jason Zenger: There's a place for highly edited polished video and then there's also a place for not. There's a place for unscripted vlogging and then there's a place for highly scripted video episode. I think that you just need to figure out what your voice is and what is going to be the most value for your audience. So now that we're talking about video, why don't we kind of get maybe a little bit deeper into that particular form of content marketing.

Jim Carr: Yeah, I think we should.

Jason Zenger: Now that we've addressed what is content marketing and why manufacturing leaders should be doing that, let's just get into vlogging or get into the video side of things. So how important is the title of your video when you finally do release that to the audience or the key words or tag that you put into the video?

Chris Fox: I don't even know the answer to this question.

Jim Carr: So go ahead, how important is that title?

Chris Fox: It's very important.

Jim Carr: Really?

Chris Fox: Yeah, so what ends up happening, if you dig into the research on other people who are doing, have big booming YouTube channels, you look at the big famous people. What's the video game guy? PewDiePie, his videos don't-

Jason Zenger: What about Joe Rogan.

Chris Fox: Or Joe Rogan. Let's use someone that's more relatable.

Jason Zenger: Is he really thinking about his titles?

Chris Fox: He is not, because his brand has become so big that he no longer has to worry about being found.

Jim Carr: Yes, he just puts his guests in the title. But he also has another YouTube series which are his clips, which we're going to start doing clips for MakingChips as well. Where there he does put a lot of thought into or his team puts a lot of thought into what the title is of the clip.

Chris Fox: Yeah, exactly. And it's because that's a new channel and they want to be found for certain topics.

Jim Carr: Right.

Jason Zenger: Well, and also it's clip oriented. So you need to establish what is the point of this particular five minutes.

Chris Fox: Right, and really that's what it is, is it's striking a balance between SEO, which is, we talked about search engine optimization, being found. But the other part is you don't want to sacrifice being found for creating good content. And that goes back to the Google algorithm with keyword stuffing in blogs, it's the same type of thing. If you use too many hashtags or if you use too many keywords in something, the algorithm sees that and says [crosstalk 00:25:22].

Jason Zenger: They're going to punish you for it. Yeah, they'll come up with a video that's like, this is going to be awesome. And then the whole point of the video is Jim talking about what he wears to work everyday or something like that.

Chris Fox: Well, and that's the thing too, is once you establish an audience, if you look at the high-end establish YouTubers, a lot of them will have like, well, this finally happened and that's their title. But it's because they have an audience already, they have that subscriber base. In our market, in our industry, you do need to be concerned about the titling, you need to be concerned about the copy that goes into the video.

Jason Zenger: Is that like tagging or is that something else?

Jim Carr: No, this is something else, yeah.

Jason Zenger: Okay.

Chris Fox: They'll know, this is the actual written part. If you scroll down past the video, past the title, it has a description of what's in the video.

Jason Zenger: Yes.

Chris Fox: That helps the search engines understand what's in the video.

Jason Zenger: Got it.

Chris Fox: And then the search engines, again, Google is smarter than anybody even realizes, Google is reading the transcript and comparing it to the copy that's in that description. And if they don't match, it's going to get knocked down, it's not going to rank as high. And so what happens is you need to create valuable content for the audience that you have or want to have and then leverage that everywhere. So really the key to it is less about, the titling is important, but it's less about getting hit on one or two big things. And it's more about getting hit well on many, many things, so regularly with content-

Jason Zenger: [crosstalk 00:26:46] to that. Okay, got it. Jim, I thought you said you were busy.

Jim Carr: We are Jason [crosstalk 00:26:57], we're going to have a great year.

Jason Zenger: I'm looking around and I don't see any messy desks. I don't see any paper thrown about. Tell us what's going on.

Jim Carr: Well, first and foremost it's part of our culture that we have low paper. But since we've been using ProShop ERP, the whole tactic behind using that ERP system is to go completely paperless and we are dramatically reducing our paper flow through the entire facility.

Jason Zenger: So you're not quite there yet, but the goal is to be totally paperless.

Jim Carr: We're not quite there yet, but we've only been using ProShop now for about nine months.

Jason Zenger: Well, I got to be honest, I mean most manufacturing leaders, when I go into their offices, I mean there's stuff all over the place, prints and everything.

Jim Carr: I think it just creates a clean system, if everyone knows how to utilize the system efficiently, then the paperless thing will work. Yes, it's hard for an old school guy like me to not have that print in my hand, but at the end of the day we're moving in that direction.

Jason Zenger: So go to proshoperp.com for more information.

Jim Carr: You can call our good friend Paul.

Jason Zenger: Chris, one of the notions in the content marketing world is, do you own the land that you produce that content on? And what I mean by that is you could put a video on your own website or you could put a video on YouTube.

Chris Fox: I've often wondered about that too.

Jason Zenger: Absolutely.

Chris Fox: So embedding it in your own website or linking it to a YouTube page.

Jason Zenger: No, not linking it to YouTube, actually just putting it on YouTube.

Chris Fox: Oh, housing it.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, housing it on YouTube, because you could utilize YouTube to have it on your website, but then there's just producing it on YouTube.

Chris Fox: Yeah. This is an argument that a lot of marketers, high, high-end marketers, the ones were GE and Pepsi will get into.

Jason Zenger: So just to get into a little bit, so if you do it on your own website, you could be a little bit more specific in who you push that out to, you could push that out to just your customer base in order to get them to understand who you are better or to add value to your own customer base. Whereas you could put it out on YouTube and your own customer base may or may not see it, but then you've got a whole another audience that you could potentially get to watch it.

Chris Fox: That's where the power of brand comes in. I'm a religious believer in the fact that you should put as much as you can out to the world as often as possible. It doesn't matter what the platform is. YouTube is big right now, it's going to go away. Facebook was big five years ago-

Jim Carr: Now it's Instagram.

Chris Fox: ... it's slowly spiraling. Instagram is big-

Jason Zenger: Yeah, but they own them.

Chris Fox: Instagram is getting more expensive and starting to fade. LinkedIn is one of the few places you can still get organic reach by just posting.

Jason Zenger: But that's changing too.

Chris Fox: That's changing too, because Microsoft now has the audience and now they know that they can start charging you.

Jason Zenger: Microsoft owns LinkedIn?

Chris Fox: Yeah.

Jason Zenger: I did not know that.

Chris Fox: And TikTok, which I'm sure, I don't know if you guys-

Jason Zenger: No, I've heard of it.

Chris Fox: It's a short form platform. No manufacturers are on it right now because it started out as Musical.ly, which was basically 14 year old kids lip syncing-

Jason Zenger: My daughter told me about Musical.ly about five years ago.

Jim Carr: Musical.ly or TikTok or both?

Chris Fox: Musical.ly is now TikTok. But here's the thing, that's the next platform. That doesn't mean the other ones are going away, it's not going to replace something. I remember 10 years ago when I first got into publishing because that's how I got into this industry, it was in publishing. Everyone's like, "Our audiences isn't on Facebook." They will be. That's the key, is if-

Jason Zenger: So you're saying now it's our audience isn't on TikTok but they will be.

Chris Fox: They will be, and if they don't hit TikTok, they'll hit something else, it will happen.

Jim Carr: Is the manufacturer's audience on Snapchat?

Chris Fox: Yes, absolutely. I have some friends who are engineers and they don't text, that's the only way they communicate is Snapchat.

Jim Carr: No kidding.

Chris Fox: The thing is, is all these platforms, I mean you have to look at, this is going to sound funny, but you've got to look to kids because the juveniles are the first ones to accept something new.

Jason Zenger: They are the first ones to adapt.

Chris Fox: Exactly. We're the old dudes, right? I mean, I'm 34 and I'm one of the old dudes.

Jason Zenger: So briefly the history on Musical.ly is that it was a platform where you would essentially lip sync to a song.

Jim Carr: Really?

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Chris Fox: For like 20 seconds.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. And is that still what TikTok is or does it [crosstalk 00:31:05].

Chris Fox: TikTok has that but then it's [inaudible 00:31:08] but it's also short form content.

Jason Zenger: Like video or everything?

Chris Fox: Video, whatever. I mean, there's a lot of different things that are happening on the platform, it's actually really interesting. There's a lot of junk on there too and of course there's a lot of teenagers and it's just like, okay, this is clearly, it's still a very young platform.

Jason Zenger: But from a manufacturer's perspective, that's who we want to reach from a perception standpoint too. So I think that we should probably start creating MakingChips music videos.

Chris Fox: I've already been talking to the team about that.

Jason Zenger: Okay.

Chris Fox: Don't even worry about it.

Jason Zenger: I heard it here first.

Chris Fox: That's a real thing.

Jim Carr: You know what? I can do that, I can lip sync.

Jason Zenger: Nobody wants to see you [crosstalk 00:31:41] on a music video Jim.

Chris Fox: No, but that's the thing, is all these platforms require resources and that's 100% real, back to your point earlier, it is another thing to do. The key to that is you just need to get started. Because just in all honesty like, and like I said, what it comes down to is building that brand, understanding what your brand has to offer will only help you grow and you'll be amazed, even like, okay, so the blue chip OEMs, the big high-end OEMs that might have massive sales forces and stuff like that. Maybe the brand doesn't have the resources to do it, but have the salespeople do it.

Chris Fox: Those salespeople can create personal brands on those networks that support your brand. Now granted that sales person might leave one day, but you know what? They're still part of your brand, they've created content for you. And that's where the real value is, is companies are not people, but they're made up of people. And that's the real value is, is when you have faces to put to an organization, people will gravitate towards it so much faster.

Jim Carr: I could not agree with you more. That's why culture, when you show people the culture within your company, people really grab it. I've noticed in my own social media posts that people, I get more likes, I get more engagement from posts that show my team or posts that show people in it. I feel that people are more, gravitate more to that than they do just like a picture or something else of a part or something.

Chris Fox: And the key to that is to not do the posts that are like, hey, guess who's on the team now? Those are good feel good posts to have, but if you bring your team in and then you provide value. So here's my guy who's an expert with chip breaking, for Jason's business. If you're talking about cutting tools, well, here's this guy who's an expert, he's been in the industry for 25 years and he knows about chip breaking and why it's important when you do deep hole drilling, just as an example. It might seem like it's super nuanced, but the audience that might be tied to your brand wants that kind of content. And what it does is it not only creates real gusto for you and the person involved in your company, but it also then-

Jim Carr: You're equipping them.

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: With information that they don't have to pay for.

Chris Fox: You're equipping and inspiring them and then they'll go to you for business and that's important.

Jim Carr: And that's how you build a brand.

Jason Zenger: So Chris, I know that we mentioned earlier on the show, we just did this great video for [inaudible 00:34:03] and that was done by the MakingChips team, it was very high production, highly edited. Do you have to do that in order to be effective as a content marketer or can you just get out your iPhone and start shooting a video?

Chris Fox: Right, and kind of that goes back to what you said before. I mean, you have to do, there's a place for both.

Jason Zenger: Okay.

Chris Fox: And honestly MakingChips as an agency because we have a marketing agency now that I'm a part of, that's an important element to what we do. When we have clients that come to us and they say, "I see you guys doing these vlogs and doing regular content." I mean, we're cranking out right now two videos a week and my goal is to get more. Our clients are saying, "Well, can you do that for me?" And I say, "Well, we can, but it's really expensive, because to have our team commit time and effort to that, it gets expensive."

Jim Carr: Oh my God. Sure.

Chris Fox: And it would [crosstalk 00:34:48].

Jim Carr: To show up and-

Chris Fox: Exactly.

Jim Carr: ... put all your cameras off.

Chris Fox: But where we add value as an agency is to provide those high-end videos. So to do vlogging is one form.

Jim Carr: Yeah, I mean, we had John Saunders on as a guest on episode 199 and he doesn't put a lot of high production into his normal vlogs. It's just him and a camera. And he's got somebody on his team that edits it and [inaudible 00:35:15].

Chris Fox: And that's the thing is-

Jim Carr: And he's got hundreds of thousands of people that watch his videos.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And so what it is, is you have to just get started. You have to start creating content. I guess the best way to put this is you get bonus points, if you spend a little extra money on better equipment and a little knowledge base to understand how to edit properly and things like that. I mean there is ... it'll help your audience grow faster and be more qualified, but there's real value in just getting going. At the end of the day, if everyone could have a nice DSLR camera that they're filming with and they're using a high-end editor, that's all they do is edit their videos, absolutely, that would be ideal. And I mean, I got a lot of friends in the market if they would love to have a job editing video their entire life. But the challenge with that is it is expensive, to just get started with your iPhone, absolutely.

Jason Zenger: Well, they have the new iPhone 11 Pro that's coming out, which has three cameras, which if you don't have triphobia probably is going to be a great camera for doing this kind of work. Do you know what that is Jim?

Jim Carr: No, I do not know.

Chris Fox: Fear of three, isn't it?

Jason Zenger: Fear of threes, yeah.

Jim Carr: No, I did not know what that was. So Chris, I have another question, the age old question is, what is the appropriate length of a video? Where should we ... I know we talked about vlogging and that short snippet that's 20 seconds, right?

Chris Fox: The short answer is it doesn't matter. If you're creating valuable content-

Jim Carr: It doesn't matter.

Chris Fox: ... it doesn't matter. So the key to that, and honestly one of the most useful tools that YouTube but-

Jim Carr: Google owns-

Chris Fox: [crosstalk 00:36:46] can provide you, is the retention rate that you have on your videos. You can see if people see your video and then disappear very quickly, that means your title was clickbaity. If you have people maintained throughout most of the video, but then it cuts to a sequence where you do something very different.

Jim Carr: There's metrics for that on YouTube?

Chris Fox: You can see how many people lasted through how long in your video.

Jason Zenger: It's like when you go to a website and the click out rate.

Chris Fox: It's essentially a heat map on the video.

Jim Carr: No kidding.

Chris Fox: And so for instance, we talked about John Saunders really, I mean John has hour and a half long facility tours on his channel.

Jim Carr: And people watch the whole-

Chris Fox: And people watch the whole thing.

Jim Carr: That's really interesting.

Chris Fox: But then there's also videos. I mean, the vlogs that we push out are between three to five minutes, right?

Jason Zenger: Sure.

Chris Fox: But part of that is because, to be honest with you, it's more my time, how much time I have to sit down and talk at a camera.

Jim Carr: And then you've got to edit it off.

Chris Fox: Exactly. But really what it is, is as long as you're still providing value in the video, so you can't shill, you can't be selling, you can't be even pitching. That's what makes it content marketing versus normal marketing.

Jim Carr: Got it. Totally got it.

Chris Fox: Normal marketing has that called action, content marketing might have a call to action, but it's real subtle. The real value in content marketing is that you're giving without any thought of receiving.

Jim Carr: I totally get it.

Chris Fox: And what that provides then is real value to your audience. Growth in your audience means save your audience-

Jim Carr: Potential monetization.

Chris Fox: Exactly. And if you look at what you have as a YouTube audience, if 10% of your audience converts to a customer, that's awesome. But you know what? If you get a million views and only 5%, that's okay too, that's still a lot of people that are going to be hitting your brand and that's the real important thing to remember is that, it might feel like you're spending a lot of money and you're giving a lot away, but at the end of the day, you're not really giving that much away except for information which your sales people or your marketing team would probably provide anyway. It's about giving them something that they value and then that converts into sales.

Jason Zenger: So what about tagging? I uploaded my videos to YouTube before and it asks you to put in tags. Tell me what those tags mean and what they represent and how do they help you?

Chris Fox: Well, there's kind of an argument in that space too.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, it's not a hashtag.

Chris Fox: No.

Jason Zenger: It's just a tag. It's a tag that represents what?

Chris Fox: Right. So a hashtag has a similar function. Hashtags are actually more valuable than tagging in a YouTube video.

Jason Zenger: Really?

Chris Fox: It's one of those things where within a YouTube video, like I said, there's a lot of argument even within the communities, but what I've come to realize or come to sort of understand is that you get hurt if you don't do it. It doesn't really help you that much, but it hurts you if you don't.

Jason Zenger: Okay. So just make sure you put something in there.

Chris Fox: You have to make sure that you have, and then you have to be relevant. You can't tag the Kardashians if you're trying to sell machine tools.

Jason Zenger: Right, so much like when you're tagging a social post with a hashtag, the hashtag has to be relevant to the content of the post. When you're tagging a video in YouTube, the tags need to be relevant to the YouTube content.

Chris Fox: Absolutely. And then you can't be overzealous with the tags either. If you do too many and then it starts to get too broad.

Jason Zenger: Is there a number, should it be less than 12, should it be less than 20?

Chris Fox: I mean, there's many different schools of thought on that. In all honesty, as long as they're relevant, you're fine.

Jason Zenger: Okay.

Chris Fox: And again, like I said, as long as you create them, you're not getting hurt by them for the most part. Like I said, as long as they're relevant and you're doing them, that's where the value is.

Jim Carr: Great.

Jason Zenger: Well, looks like we're just about out of time and it's great that the Metal Working Nation got to meet you and we finally got this episode done, and I know we've postponed it for a while. Chris has been with us now for quite a few months and it's good that the Metal Working Nation finally got to hear what you're about, hear what you're passionate about, and how we can help them in the future if they ever need any videos made or marketing-

Jim Carr: Content marketing strategy or anything like that.

Jason Zenger: Absolutely.

Jim Carr: I mean, we basically do everything from start to finish for manufacturing leaders as far as marketing goes. So Chris, thank you for being on the show. I feel like I don't even have to thank you. I mean, we see you all the time, it's not like we're saying goodbye to you or anything like that. You know what I mean? You're on the team and everything now. But thank you for being a guest.

Chris Fox: Yeah. Well, and all I got to say is make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel because there's a-

Jim Carr: And how do they subscribe?

Chris Fox: To the YouTube channel? You got to go to YouTube and hit subscribe.

Jim Carr: Okay.

Chris Fox: Well, if I could be more specific, you go to youtube.com/MakingChips.

Jason Zenger: Yes.

Chris Fox: Yeah, 100%. I mean on all our social channels as well as on our website. I mean we've got, YouTube is spread across the board and really my goal is to be bigger than you guys for MakingChips, so yeah, good luck.

Jason Zenger: So Jim, I know you and I we do our content marketing through MakingChips-

Jim Carr: We do.

Jason Zenger: ... as we mentioned before. But I mean have you thought about doing video or marketing or anything like that for specifically Carr Machine & tool?

Jim Carr: Yeah, I mean when I have any opportunity I try to do that. We have an Instagram, we have a LinkedIn, we have a Facebook page and I'm pushing-

Jason Zenger: But I mean something specifically that is providing value for your clients.

Jim Carr: I have not done that yet.

Jason Zenger: Maybe you and I, maybe we could bet some ideas back and forth because I haven't either and maybe we both can figure out how to do that.

Jim Carr: Yeah. Well, Chris enlightened me a little bit more today. You're always learning, you're always learning tips and tricks and I have to admit that there was a good takeaway today.

Jason Zenger: Which is what?

Jim Carr: Well, the tagging, the length of the video, the frequency is important, the stuffing is not important. The content really has to be relevant to what you're talking about and it's all about audience building, it's not about selling to them, it's about giving them information. Well, it's about equipping and inspiring just what we're doing right now on this episode and what we've been doing for five years now with the podcast.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, and I would say that for the manufacturing leaders out there, if you do have more questions about content marketing, we would love to hear your questions and if you just email us at info@makingchips.com, ask us anything and we'll respond, we'll give you an answer and maybe we'll even talk about that question on the show in the future, because if somebody has a question out there, there's probably 10 other people at least that have-

Jim Carr: 100%, because if you're not making video-

Jason Zenger: You're not making money. Bam.

Jim Carr: Bam.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the MakingChips podcast. Jim and Jason knew that the Metal Working Nation, the community of world-class makers, needed to commit to a new way of leading to stay ahead of the competition. So MakingChips was created to fill that void. To give you advice from other manufacturing leaders, who can push you to take action. Your manufacturing challenges have a solution, and many of them are at makingchips.com.

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