Video Storytelling in the Manufacturing Industry

by WordWrite Staff, on Feb. 1, 2013

Could the ancient art of storytelling (in video form) change outdated perceptions?

When you think of a typical manufacturing job, does a middle-aged man wearing overalls with dust on his face holding a blow torch come to mind? Yes? Well, then, you aren’t alone. A study last year, commissioned by Latrobe, PA-based metal and tools manufacturer, Kennametal, found that 71 percent of Americans would not recommend a career in manufacturing to their children. Most cited reasons were safety concerns and lack of available jobs. The reality is that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry and not enough skilled workers to fill them. And, the shop floor is nothing like images of the past—you’re more likely to see khaki pants and polo shirts than overalls. 

Manufacturing and storytelling -- a necessary pair.So, what can companies in this industry do to turn negative thinking around? Tell their story, of course. In fact, I would recommend telling it using video. As Phil Johnson wrote in a Forbes Magazine piece on the topic, “in an environment where you don’t stand a chance to win anybody’s attention without some magic, a good story might save you and your brand from oblivion.” 

As the manufacturing industry becomes more automated, jobs are changing, but they aren’t going away. Shop floors aren’t the same either. Safety and cleanliness are top priorities. Skilled technicians are often behind the machines doing the work, in some form or another. Wages are higher too, with an average annual salary of $50,000, according to SimplyHired.  

A well-told, short video story that evokes emotion by taking viewers on a personal journey of someone working in manufacturing today is exactly what the industry needs. Video can more quickly and easily show things words can’t. By incorporating sound, words, and images on video, you offer an experience for the viewer—drawing them in while leaving a lasting impression. Additionally, the time and financial investment is well worth it—videos are shared 12x more than text and links combined on social media sites. See this awesome infographic for more details on the topic. 

In today’s ultra-fast communications environment, video doesn’t have to be long. Just two weeks ago Twitter released its new Vine video-sharing application. Now, videos no longer than six seconds can be shared with your Twitter followers. Think that isn’t enough time to get a message across? Think again. At one time we all wondered if 140 characters was enough but now Twitter is among the top social networks for spreading news. Time will only tell what creative marketers and everyday social media users will come up with using this new application. 

Visual storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication today. Manufacturers should consider this tool when communicating with potential employees and others who need to see how this industry has transformed itself in the last decade and the incredible future that lies ahead. 

Hollie Geitner-wordwrite-headshot-1
Hollie Geitner
Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador

Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieG.



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