What Manufacturers Can Learn from CAT About YouTube Marketing

Mackenzie | May 25, 2021 | Manufacturer Marketing

YouTube is often referred to as the 2nd largest search engine, and it's no surprise why. People love video. Why read a blog or a webpage if you can have someone walk you step-by-step through a process in HD? 


For manufacturers in particular, YouTube is a huge, untapped resource. In this blog, we're going to take a look at a specific YouTube campaign that's launched by Cat. 


What Can Manufacturers Learn from Cat's YouTube Marketing Strategy?

Let's start by taking a look at Cat Products' YouTube page: 

Cat YouTube Company Page

They're crushing it, right? From product demos to employee highlights to this badass ninja-warrior-esque Cat Trial 10 competition for qualified technicians, Cat has something for everyone. 


And it's working. While 20k views might not sound like much if you're comparing to a content creator, for the niche world of industrial construction that's a ton of viewers. 



A Close Look at One Manufacturing YouTube Campaign

I want to focus on this Cat Trial thing for this post. It's no secret that the industrial manufacturing world is having trouble finding and retaining skilled labor. This competition is a smart move by Cat. It's bringing awareness to their brand, sure, but it's doing more work by:


  1. Celebrating those skilled technicians

  2. Promoting their brand and company culture

  3. Showing other skilled laborers and trades why it might be great to become a Cat qualified tech 

CAT YouTube Front Page

And it does it all by packaging their brand in the format of a fun, mid-to-high-production game show or competition that's also enjoyable to watch, especially if you're familiar with the industry. It's a targeted, well-produced social media marketing strategy that's working for them. 



How Can Your Manufacturing Company Apply These Strategies to Your YouTube Marketing Efforts?

While you don't have to create your own game show to make a mark on YouTube, you can take some helpful tips and pointers from what Cat is doing. 


01. Identify your goals for your YouTube Channel

From the look of it, I'd say the goal of that Cat Trial 10 campaign is to pull in more skilled technicians (which aligns with their goal of filling more than 1,600 open technician positions in 2021). What are your goals? 


  • Do you want to promote your brand?
  • Promote your company culture?
  • Educate your followers?
  • Highlight industry experts?


Figure out what you want to accomplish on YouTube, and put some numbers to it. Don't just say you want to get more followers or more comments. 


How many followers? How many comments per video?


02. Create a strategy around that goal

Cat's strategy was to show how much they appreciate, support, and invest in their skilled technicians by creating this game show that also helps to raise awareness for their brand, and draw attention to the benefits of becoming a qualified Cat technician. 

Cat Trials Facebook Post

  • If your plan was to educate your followers and industry members, develop a strategy that aligns around that goal. 
    • Identify key areas where you'd like to start educating — maybe your manufacturing process, unknown benefits of your product, how to use your product properly, etc. 
    • Identify your audience — who wants to watch these videos? Why? 


This is the part where you figure out a strategy that gets you to your goal. But, it's important to keep your ideal audience in mind while you develop that strategy. 


Who are you marketing to? And what kind of content will be most effective for that particular audience?


03. Schedule content development and deployment

This campaign wouldn't have been successful if Cat hadn't completed a series of these videos. Just one video wouldn't have had the impact they were looking for or helped them reach their goals for this project. 


They wanted to make it clear that they were investing in their technicians, and they did so by creating an entire, dedicated campaign that celebrated their achievements and abilities. 

CAT Trial 10 Playlist

This strategy does double-duty by raising brand awareness and promoting a company culture that's sure to draw in other qualified or aspiring technicians. 


Apply this strategy to your own campaign by creating a content development, deployment, and promotion schedule that aligns with the goals you've set for this project. 

  • Identify exactly what content you're going to create, when you're going to create it, and what the due dates for each piece are. 
  • Based on that calendar, now you can create a deployment schedule. How often will you post videos? Once a week? Once a month? Daily?
  • And finally, what content can you release alongside this campaign? Are there blogs that go along with your videos? Additional education resources like study guides or checklists? 



04. Promote, promote, promote

Take a look at Cat's campaign again. The Cat Trials live on YouTube, but you'll find mention of them anywhere you find the Cat brand online. Facebook, LinkedIn, their website, and even Twitter all reference and promote this campaign according to the rules of each platform and audience. 

CAT Trial Instagram Post

CAT Trials CTA from WebsiteHere's how you can apply this promotion strategy to your own YouTube marketing campaign:

  • If it's a big enough goal for you to create a video campaign around it, it's big enough to take up space everywhere your brand exists on the web. 
  • Your website should have space for these videos
  • You should be promoting your new YouTube campaign across channels
  • And don't be afraid to come up with creative ways to repurpose content you already have for greater reach!


We get that using social media can be tough for manufacturing, commercial construction, and other heavy-duty industrial applications. But, there's a lot we can all use and learn from key industry players like Caterpillar. 



What Manufacturers (and really, everyone) Can Learn From Cat About YouTube Marketing

It's okay if you don't have the budget or the manpower to develop something as big as an 'American-Ninja-Warrior' style competition for your qualified technicians. 

Caterpillar Inc Cat Trials Linkedin

What's important is that you can notice what Cat has done really well with this campaign, and apply some of those principles to your own social media marketing strategy: 


  • Social media platforms like YouTube do work for manufacturers and industrial construction companies. 
  • By identifying your goals, structuring a social media marketing campaign around those goals, and setting key metrics to track your progress, you can see with real numbers how your social media strategy is impacting company growth. 
  • You can develop social media marketing campaigns that not only boost intangibles like brand awareness, but that directly contribute to your overall company goals, from hiring more skilled technicians like Cat to drawing in more of the right leads from a video education campaign. 


Social media isn't easy to get started on, especially for manufacturers. If you're feeling a little intimidated by YouTube, or any social media platform, for that matter, the Evenbound team would be happy to help. 

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