What type of video works best for your project?

When we sit down with clients to talk about a video project, they typically already understand the need for video as part of their online presence. Few businesses, however, are aware of the different kinds of videos we can produce and how different types work best to meet different goals. We’ve put together this overview to help clients understand the possibilities.

A Film Production

Shooting footage, whether in the studio or on location, is a great way to tell a story. A film production is still the most effective medium for generating a strong emotional response or for bringing a human face to a company.

On-location film production 

When you need your customer to see your location or see your product in a particular setting, on-location film is the gold standard. Usually it requires a crew of at least three people. The commercial shown here required a crew of ten with a variety of skills and expertise, and was filmed with a high-end motion picture camera. On-location film production is a highly staged, controlled process with professional actors. This is the most premium type of video and is appropriate for a client looking for a very high return on investment.


Studio film production 

While location filming is a great tool, too often businesses assume it’s the only way to sell their product. That’s not the case. Studio film production is a good choice when you want the power of film, but the setting is immaterial. Studio production works very well for testimonial-style videos and for recreating generic settings such as a doctor’s office or a classroom. Studio production can usually be accomplished with fewer crew members and so is less expensive.



Motion Graphics video

Motion graphics videos come in a variety of types. These videos are typically produced by a digital designer and are less cost-intensive than film. Unlike most film footage, motion graphics videos are not strictly character-driven or story-based. They are often visually exciting and imaginative. They work well for explaining abstract concepts, and they can be used to lend a youthful, tech-savvy image to your brand. Here are some different styles and applications of motion graphics videos:

Motion graphics video with 2D animation  

2D motion graphics can be a great choice for explainer videos and product introductions. This type of video is easier and less expensive to produce than film, and in the right application it can be just as effective.


Motion graphics video with 3D animation, aka “3D fly through” video  

Sometimes you need to show your customer finer detail or walk them through a process. 3D animation, sometimes called a “3D fly through” video, can be effective and economical in these applications. It’s also a good choice when you have a new product in development and you need to bring it to life for potential investors. Another good use of a 3D fly through video is real estate projects that are yet to be completed.


Motion graphics video with photos  

When you want your customer to see beautiful, lifelike images of your product but film is not in your budget, consider a photography-based motion graphics video. This type of video can be surprisingly dynamic and also very economical.


A Mix of All of the Above

It’s common to mix all of the above in coming up with a video that’s right for client. Here are some of the most typical mixes we see:

  • Filmed videos often include a mix of location and studio shots. For example, in a recent commercial we shot for a university, we were able to reduce their costs by shooting “classroom” footage in our studio in Virginia, mixed with outdoor footage shot on-location at their campus.
  • Marketing videos often include a mix of film and still photography. For example, in this video we combined on-location footage of the client’s manufacturing facilities and employees with still photography examples of some of their completed projects. The video also includes 2D motion graphics throughout, as well as some time-lapse footage.


If you have a video project in mind, give us a call today. We can help you make the best use of your budget by designing a video with the right techniques to accomplish your goal.

Customer feedback is important to your brand

We recently went through a very challenging, humbling and valuable exercise: We sat down with a few of our beloved clients and had a conversation. We sat down with them and pried into their experiences with us. We covered the challenges we helped them overcome, how they prefer to communicate with us, what value we brought to them in 2016 and so on. In some cases, we totally anticipated what the responses would be. In others, there were some surprises.

What made this exercise so valuable is that it helped us to further hone our buyer persona and it helped educate us on how to better serve our customers in 2017.

Here are a few questions to ask your customers, if you want to receive your own feedback:

  • What problem, challenge or need did you have when we first began working together?
  • Were we able to offer a solution?
  • How are we at communication? Do we communicate too much? Not enough?
  • Did you feel like we brought value to you in 2016? Did we help you learn something new this year?
  • What are some characteristics about our team that stood out to you? What are some that may need improving?

Why Buyer Personas are crucial for your marketing plan

If you’ve ever partnered with us, you’ve probably heard the term “buyer persona”…a lot. The truth is, we love them. Buyer personas aren’t just a clever marketing term; they’re used to give a comprehensive snapshot of who a target customer (or existing customer) is.

So, why does that matter?

Imagine going to a bookstore searching for a cookbook. You walk over to the cookbook section and realize there are no differentiating covers on the books—they all look the same. So, you pick one up thinking that it must contain exactly what you’re looking for and you make a purchase. Then, you get home and you realize that the recipes are all expert level and all contain bacon as the star ingredient. The only problem? You’re a novice in the kitchen. And a vegan.

In the simplest terms, buyer personas make sure you don’t give expert bacon recipes to novice vegans. They put a cover and a face to your customer so you know exactly what they need and exactly how to deliver it to them.

Have you ever developed a buyer persona? We’ve developed a buyer persona template to help! Click here!

What to consider when creating your annual marketing plan

If you’re anything like the rest of the United States, 2016 felt like a blur of confusion and last minute decisions. If you approached your 2017 marketing plan in the same way—with confusion and last minute decisions—we’re here to help you clear the air and start 2017 off with a marketing plan that is truly solid.

Here’s what you should consider when creating your annual marketing plan:

  1. How effective was your 2016 marketing plan? Be truthful. Start with a complete copy of your 2016 marketing plan and work from there.
  2. What should you keep from your 2016 marketing plan and what should be removed due to lack of results? Keep what was working, remove what wasn’t and note changes on what could have worked had you put in a little more effort, marketing dollars or resources into it.
  3. What’s your brand’s overall situation? When was the last time you performed a brand audit or a brand refresh? If it’s been a while, start 2017 off with one.
  4. What are your sales goals for 2017? What sort of percentage increase is required to meet those goals? Put that goal at the end of your marketing plan, and note incremental increases every quarter. It will keep you on task.
  5. What are the marketing trends emerging from the end of 2016? A new social media platform? A new design trend? If it makes sense for your industry, business and client-base, note the upgrade and schedule it for early in the year.
  6. What is work you should always be doing, each and every month? Think about social media activity, thought leadership, sales touch points. This is work that should be ongoing throughout the year. Don’t assume you’ll stay on task. Note it over and over and over in your marketing plan.
  7. What events do you have coming up this year? Note everything from holidays to tradeshows to internal development meetings. Executables will either be required in preparation for those events or will come out of those events. Make sure you have bandwidth allotted for them.