Author: JarodLatch

Quality and price have always gone hand-in-hand. You can cut corners in some areas and sometimes you have to because the money just isn’t there. That’s reality.

When it comes to producing video content, there are plenty of talented freelancers and yes, even Uncle Tony has a new camera that he has been playing with. They might be a great fit for capturing an event or working on a one off project, but not for telling the story of your brand.

As a business, you need more than that. You need a team that’s going to have sufficient time to evaluate and capture the essence of what and who you are. As video continues to influence customer actions, the quality of storytelling and presentation matters. Better video has a longer shelf life and creates a stronger impact. Bringing the consistency of your messaging to video is critical.

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This isn’t our hobby, it’s what we do. I think that stigma still exists out there for many of those making the decisions. They look at video as a complete add-on rather than a necessary part of marketing. On the other hand, there are plenty of businesses that get it and we work with a number of them. YMCA of Greater Charlotte and EverFi to name a few.

We lean on a team of two for our location shoots. This isn’t done so we can add to the price, but to enhance the end product. It’s that much better with a second camera and second shooter/producer. There are plenty of things that need to be done at the office, but this is how we choose to deploy our resources.

Quality vs. SavePrice points have always been a painful topic internally, but we are confident that we fall in the sweet spot where quality of content and cost marry together. I get it. Cost matters. It matters to us when we hire a new employee or purchase new equipment. But as my pap used to say, “it only costs a nickel more to go first class.” Well, it costs a little more than that now, but the point is still the same. Saving a few hundred dollars in this case could come back to haunt you.

Spiracle Media provides experience, partnership and maximum effort on every project. That’s naturally part of the deal. It’s contained in the fabric of who we are and who we choose to be. At the end of the day, whether it’s with us or someone else, you get what you pay for and that one’s on you.

Last month, Spiracle Media spent the day in Virginia Beach taking part in what turned out to be a really cool event spearheaded by client EverFi and enjoyed by over 800 attendees. The job included capturing Pharrell Williams and the announcement of a partnership between the singer/producer’s charity, From One Hand to AnOTHER and EverFi.

Our background in television played an important role in documenting the event as we felt right at home in the fast paced environment. After spending the morning and early afternoon shooting scene setters around the school, the next few hours were a blur following the arrival of Pharrell at his alma mater, Princess Anne High School.

And yes…we did ask for a pic.






There have been plenty of “necessary” tools that have made their way into the process of marketing over the last few years and have coincided with the continual evolution of how people communicate online. A few of the necessary tools of yesteryear that have become essential to your online presence are your website and social media efforts. Having a clean and functional website has been a no-brainer for a long time while social media is no longer the new kid on the block.

Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves that social media doesn’t just include Facebook and Twitter. Merriam-Webster defines it as such: forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos). It’s the last point of emphasis in that definition that I want to expound upon, VIDEO.

Video is now in the necessary category when it comes to communicating with customers, employees, donors and just about anyone you’re looking to connect on a deeper level. It activates emotion and helps promote action. The days of pondering video are long gone, it’s no longer optional. Feeding the consumer’s desire for visual stimulation is at the forefront.

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Montezuma Creek, UT

Storytelling is a great way to connect the viewer to human emotion while spotlighting your brand in the process. At Spiracle Media, we know that storytelling is our bread and butter. Every member of our current staff has spent at least a decade writing, shooting, editing and telling stories. There is certainly still a need for long form pieces, but you can also tell a great story in a minute to a minute and a half. After all, attention spans are at an all-time low.

Just as critical as telling a great story is having goals going into the process. Make sure to identify the right message and map out how you plan to use the finished product. By establishing goals, you can maximize the use and shareability of what you produce. Think shelf life and the maximization of your investment.

There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to the goal and type of video. Video can be used to reach an internal or external audience. We have all seen testimonials that connect a viewer with a particular brand or experience. The storytelling piece that encourages donations or an event recap that helps to line up sponsors for next year.




Two words of advice, start simple. Simple is usually the best method of attack. Let the story stand by itself. At the end of the day, video has a place and use for every business and brand. It’s hands down the best way to emotionally connect to an audience.

I’m sure that most marketers are consistently posing the question: what are we missing? I know that we are. It might just be the video.

An excerpt from the about section of Comcast/NBC’s “The More you Know” website reads: For more than two decades, NBCUniversal’s Emmy award-winning The More You Know public service campaign has given viewers easy-to-use, concrete, manageable steps to help set realistic change in motion.

A great concept when it comes to the world of PSA’s that has certainly been impactful. You are probably thinking already where is this going. Well, I want you to apply that same concept to yourself when it comes to your role of creating content especially video. It’s time to address “The More you Know.” How much do you know that’s actually helping to spark improvement? Is your knowledge helping the company reach its goals of quality and relevancy?

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Over the past 13 years, I have been fortunate to work in broadcasting and media in various capacities. I have been a part of the digital evolution of the internet and the changing landscape when it comes to how things are created and shared. Something that’s hard to summarize when you’ve lived it.

I can look back with certainty and come to the conclusion that it has put me in the position I hold today — Co-Founder of a company that specializes in social media and video production. Our strong suit is visual storytelling, something that is supported by 11 years in television and a handful of years doing freelance video projects. Would I have guessed I would be where I am three years ago? Not at all. Did I ever plan to work in TV? Nope, but it has been an exciting journey.

When I started in television, the idea of posting stories to the internet was a new concept and that wasn’t even that long ago. When I left, whole broadcasts were available online.  Now, station websites and social channels are a source of 24/7 news and information. My first exposure to populating content to a website took place in 2003 during my first full-time job. From there, things took off in multiple directions.

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I was pretty much self-educated when it comes to shooting video after absorbing tips from a few senior photographers at the station. I will be forever be in debt to them for giving me a solid foundation when it comes to the fundamentals. I of course enjoyed writing stories and being on-air, but the job demanded much more than that.

Over the years since, I have strengthened my skills when it comes to visual composition, editing, writing, shooting and on-air delivery. Reps are a big part of growing, but you still need to critique, observe and indulge in different areas of the process. I have been a yes man most of my life and that has led to competence editing on four different editing platforms and exposed me to different types of situations. A mentor told me a long time ago, say yes and go figure it out. That might be scary, but it’s a great way to promote personal growth. Hint: it should be something you already understand a little.

You might say well you were forced to do all these different things. There is a yes and no aspect to that question. The yes is that I was forced to add different tasks and aspects to my plate. The no pertains to the fact that I didn’t have do it well and could have probably slid by just fine doing a mediocre job for the immediate future.  However if I would have ultimately settled for the status quo, I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t be in a position to lead a company that is growing in so many areas. It doesn’t make it any less challenging, but it does add a sense of peace in truly believing in what you’re doing for clients. It’s a confidence that I can carry into a conversation every time I look a client in the eye. I relish the ability to see things from a 360 degree view when it comes to video.

Staying relevant is part of the game and because I accepted the challenge of learning new things, I continued to be a valuable ingredient in somebody’s plan. I became versatile.

My goal of this blog wasn’t to share all the things I’ve done — but rather share the positive of learning multiple skills well. I am a proponent that you should specialize in one thing, but there is no reason that you can’t be really strong in other related areas. It may take time, but don’t frown on the idea of picking up something new. Having a complete view of the process is critical when it comes to being a consummate team player. You’ll also have a greater appreciation for what others are doing. It will keep your stock high within the company and add credibility when dealing with clients. Bringing a 360 degree view is immeasurable. Start working on developing yours.


Google Adwords originally was developed to share “sponsored links,” but many businesses are missing out on the valuable addition of using video with AdWords. Using video ads allows you to engage and entertain possible customers on websites that partner with Google. It’s a “pay per click” system, meaning you only pay when someone clicks your ad as a result of a related search within their search engine.

While there is a lot to learn about Google Adwords, here’s some information about how this service could benefit your company in 2014.

It’s easy to get started!

It’s simple. All you have to do is create an account, upload your video ad, choose the target audience that’s right for you and you’re already targeting new customers!


When you consider that YouTube is the #1 video website and the second largest search engine in the world, it’s safe to say the audience is there. They’re already watching these videos, and currently other people’s ads! Why not yours? Find the exact customers you want by targeting them specifically by keywords, demographics or topics.


You can customize your ad to fit your personal needs. AdWords works with TrueView which provides multiple formats for you to pick from.

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One of the most attractive features -which we mentioned earlier- is the pay per click system. This means your never throwing money at advertising and crossing your fingers that people will see it. You ONLY pay when your targeted audience chooses to watch your ad. Another great aspect is those who aren’t interested can save you money by skipping your ad instead of sitting through it.

Advantage of video

Video has proven to be one the best ways to capture an audience by delivering a more engaging experience. AdWords gives you the option to be authentic and personable with your customer base. After all, who knows your business better than you? Describing or demonstrating your product or service is much more effective than detailing it in a paragraph.

Track your progress

You can easily track your success by using the provided analytics to see views, clicks, costs and more. With this powerful information, you can make decisions on which video ads are the most successful and which ones you may want to pull.  Contact us here at Spiracle Media if you have any more questions about Google AdWords with Video and if you need help producing a video.

During the initial phase of a new job or onset of a significant task, treating it like a rookie is a natural and essential part of the process. It’s a time where you’re exposed to new people and ways of doing what you may or may not have been exposed to in the past. Your ambition and willingness to learn is a strong indicator of how well you will succeed.

More than ever, the ability to adapt is crucial when it comes to succeeding with technology. At Spiracle Media, we’re always looking to stay ahead of the game when it comes to online tools, video and strategy that lead to phenomenal results when reaching the target audience. That’s where continual evaluation comes into play. The ways of yesterday may be extinct tomorrow or at the least lose their shine. It’s an obvious concept, but one that takes focused effort to combat.


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First, don’t get stuck in your ways. There are always new pieces to add to the puzzle that will assist in reaching the goal. It’s critical to evaluate and  re-evaluate on a consistent basis. Make it part of the routine. Understand why things happen and realize that your ways are not always the best ways despite getting the desired result.  The bar of evaluation should be unreachable.

Second, social media and video are introducing new tools every day. Some are relevant, while most probably won’t make a difference in what you’re trying to accomplish. However, having a basic idea that those things are out there is a must. What’s in demand? Who is using them? Is there a correlation between these tools and our efforts? After that, you can weigh whether it makes enough sense to slightly change direction.

This all ties back to the attitude of a rookie, but not just any rookie. A rookie that takes pride in further education and consuming information that doesn’t completely consume, but adds to your productive knowledge base. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can throw out there is don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Easier said than done especially when things are working fine. I get complacent just like the next person and stubborn to new ideas once and while. But overall, I am up for a learning experience. It should be an exciting process as the things you are testing today will be in play before you know it.

Treating it like a rookie will keep your ideas and your actions fresh. You will naturally want to learn and that’s a powerful thing. Don’t get complacent in who you are and what you are doing. Remain productive at all times.  A good summation of that concept is found in this quote by John P. Kotter, “A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state of complacency is virtually absent.” Complacency might not lead to ultimate failure, but it will certainly be a failure in utilizing your talents and abilities to maximum capacity. Treat everything like a rookie!


I’m sure you’ve seen it. It seems like everyone’s seen it.

The marketing masterpiece put forth by Westjet airline right before Christmas.


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Their new ad shows a virtual Santa wishing families a merry christmas as well as taking gift requests from kids and parents. While it’s apparent most adults interact with the system for the smiles brought to their little ones faces, they still reveal some significant presents they would enjoy.





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You learn later that Westjet employees are listening to all the requests and making their best efforts to grant the wishes of the their customers. The truly magical part happens when the travelers are standing around the conveyer belt expecting to pick up their luggage and are shocked when the very presents they wished for just a few hours previous are circling the belt, perfectly wrapped, addressed specifically to them.

So why did this work so well? Why did everyone want to share this on their news feeds which in turn propelled the video to over 30 million views?

They did 3 things right.

Tugged on heartstrings

Videos containing people’s reactions toward unexpected gestures will always be popular. It’s proven time after time when a love story with a twist happy ending enters the theaters or when a well thought out proposal video is posted on youtube. People want to watch them because these videos emotionally grab them and draw them into the story. More importantly though, they want to SHARE it with others who they know will enjoy it as much as they did.

 Be as creative as possible

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When you take an unexpected gesture and add in an innovative creative touch, you’re well on your way to making people smile. Thinking outside the box is a crucial element Westjet considered when creating something special for their customers. Chances are that most people who watched their video had never seen an airline make christmas wishes come true the same way Westjet did. This may be the hardest part of the whole process. Coming up with something new, creative, and heart-warming is no easy task.

 Don’t set your expectations too high

It’s pretty safe to say Westjet didn’t expect this video to reach 34 million views. I’m sure they considered the potential for this video to go viral when creating this experience, however they stuck to a smaller scale. They chose a small select group of their customers to surprise in order to provide them with a larger and more generous experience. They also strategically sent the video out to their customers announcing they would donate flights to the Ronald McDonald House once the video hit 200,000 views. 200,000- that’s was the goal. It’s a hefty number for most videos on Youtube, but it’s not a viral number by any means.

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An expert like John-Kurt Pliniussen, associate professor of marketing and innovation say this campaign wont wont increase the airlines sales much, but the brand will benefit overall. Pliniussen says, “Typically we shop, when we travel, on price – as opposed to brand,” said Pliniussen. “What they’re trying to do is say, ‘Look, if you travel, also consider the brand. Go to the WestJet site.’”

While there’s no formula for a viral video, learning from those who’ve accomplished it will make you more likely to succeed in your next endeavors. Whether your intent is to make a name for your brand and become more successful or just to get a laugh out of people, strategic thinking is important when trying to leave your mark and doing it right.

Author’s Bio: Craig Robinson is a professional writer for Qwaya, a technology company specializing in Facebook marketing. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Craig on Twitter

A lot of marketers hear talk about constructing Facebook communities, and their minds instantly gravitate toward groups. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that groups and communities are different things. With a Facebook community, you’re looking at a wide and varied range of users, from fans and customers to everyday visitors and even critics.

Creating a community atmosphere will not only help you extend your Facebook footprint, but it will also help you keep a line of communication open with these many different individuals. The importance of a community cannot be oversold here. You’re not the head of it; you’re not in charge of it. It’s simply an organic community built using your brand’s openness and willingness, wherein channels remain open and healthy relationships are fostered.

Constructing such a community is a long and ongoing process for any brand. But, of course, one must get started somewhere if one hopes to be a participant in such a community.


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Community-Building Tips for Facebook Marketers

1: Be Open to a Community

The first thing you have to do is actually be open to the idea of participating in a community. Not every business finds this appealing. Some just want to sit behind their computer screens, playing the big boss, and dictating terms to their fans and customers through material they release. Others, however, want to participate in the social experience and want their brands to grow and spread. Being open to the idea of a community is the first step in making this a reality.

2: Be an Open Brand Presence

Approaching Facebook from a technical standpoint, you undoubtedly have some Facebook software, a few analytics hubs, and a good idea about how to approach your advertising and your posting habits. But as a brand, you need more than technical know-how to achieve a real community. You need to be open as a brand to the idea of letting people get a look at the person/people behind the screen.

Posting photos of events, providing some personal information, speaking with people informally, mixing in personal and humorous material with your business-specific stuff – this all helps to foster the community atmosphere. It works to build a real social network and not simply a one-way advertising service.


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 A community in this context is completely voluntary and completely organic. It’s not like you ask people to join a community; it’s more or less a feeling of comfort and trust with open lines of communication. For this, you should be willing to reach out to people. Let your fans know that you’re open to communication by speaking directly to them. You can create specific material that thanks your fans. You can consistently ask people if they have any problems or need any issues addressed. You can ask for suggestions about how to improve your page and your overall brand. Being the one to reach out to people puts the ball in their court.

4: Be Engaging 

Any Facebook marketing strategy worth its salt is going to require a lot of engagement. You shouldn’t only engage with people in order to increase your fans and profits. You should do so to build your community. Running a sweepstakes might be a great way to attract a lot of new fans and leads, but posting questions, puzzles, tests, and other interactive items is a great way to keep people hanging around your page for fun.

When people are enticed enough to spend time on your page, they start to spread the word around. Being the proverbial hangout, if only for a few minutes a day, creates much more of a communal atmosphere.

5: Be Creative Yet Focused 

It takes a little bit of craftiness to build a community while still marketing the way you want. After all, you’re not in this for sport. You want the community to serve multiple purposes. You want to build brand trust and overall loyalty, but you also want fans to stay fans and to become customers. So this is where your creativity comes into play. You need to stay focused on your business goals while being innovative enough to launch noninvasive promotions and ads to lure people in.

In other words, you want to advertise to people and get them into your sales funnel without making it seem overt. Mixing in a contest and building leads from members of the community will help you separate your business, so to speak. Off-site, you will communicate via email and/or mobile messaging with leads. On-site, you can keep things social and not so much in the business realm.

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6: Be Cordial 

Politeness is truly a virtue on Facebook. You’re going to encounter people who are brash and rude. You’ll run into people who just want to spam other members via the comments section of a post. And you’ll inevitably find that some people want to trash you and your brand.

Never engage with these people at all, unless you’re being polite. “Please” and “thank you” are words that you need to keep on the ready. And when things start to get too out of control, remove people for the good of the community. Yes, it’s a little dictatorial, but you have to operate a polite atmosphere.

7: Be Patient

It’s impossible for a great community to be built overnight. It’s going to take some time. The best thing you can do is stick with your engagement tactics, your quality posts, your ad campaign, and be a cordial, inviting, personal brand. It may sound trite to say that the rest will take care of itself, but as long as you’re walking that line and doing things correctly, the community really will grow itself.

Having a large, strong community of solid fans participating with your brand in an open manner will help you greatly increase your reputation, your recognition, and your reach. Not only will you pick up more fans and customers, but you’ll also be able to save money on advertising and other costly methods. Building a thorough community will greatly help your brand thrive.


To put it simply, it means that the rise of mobile Internet is among us. Business Insider reports on how fast the growth in YouTube’s mobile traffic has been over the last few years. It’s at 40% by the end of 2013, and “[t]hat’s up from 25% in 2012 and only 6% in 2011.” That means there’s no stopping the trend of people reaching for their smartphones and tablets to view content instead of their laptops.

The mobile Internet phenomenon has invaded nearly every popular online space. More people than ever are using their smartphones and tablets to engage on Twitter, Facebook and even Pinterest. Since so many people share popular videos from YouTube on their social media sites, it just makes sense that people are also viewing those videos from the same devices.

Your business may already incorporate mobile marketing as part of its overall marketing strategy. You may include QR codes in print media and offer exclusive content to users who scan the code with their smartphones. Or maybe you have bought ad space on third-party apps like smartphone games and more.

If mobile marketing works for you, you should consider incorporating YouTube into your marketing strategy. Here’s what you should do:


Create a branded YouTube channel

Use YouTube’s new One Channel layout to get the most out of YouTube for your brand. With this type of branded channel, you can create an icon and incorporate other art features that make your channel another way to showcase your brand. Then, upload a trailer that non-subscribers can view when they first visit your channel. Your YouTube channel is your business’ way to display and house all your unique video content.

And YouTube channels aren’t just for entertainment companies. Even tech companies like Verizon FiOS have created a YouTube channel with an engaging layout and interesting content. For instance, their #fiosfootballgirl series on their YouTube channel highlights an adorable and funny love of sports by a cute little girl.


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Optimize videos for mobile users

Remember that the videos you post on YouTube will be viewed largely by users on their mobile devices – their smartphones and tablets. Therefore, you should make sure you create videos that will be pleasing to watch on these types of devices. Make sure you include a link back to your company’s mobile-optimized site at the end of each video with a call to action.

Your video production team should think about how screens are typically smaller on these devices, so there’s no need for super-high-definition videos on such a small screen. Also, since mobile devices are extremely portable, viewers may be watching your videos away from fast home Wi-Fi. Keep the load times short so viewers are more likely to stay and watch the whole show.


Use mobile YouTube ads

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Just like the mobile ads you may have within third-party apps, think about using YouTube mobile ads, as well. Bid on the keywords you need to make sure your YouTube ad is finding the customers you want and need.

Use YouTube’s “TrueView” mobile video ads. These ads may seem like they aren’t as beneficial since customers can choose to skip them to get to the video content they searched for. However, Business Insider reports that “YouTube’s mobile ads are 3 times more effective if people are allowed to skip them.”



Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback via email.

With a limited budget, it’s vital that every penny spent on marketing is spent wisely. Here are some tips to guide you in the right direction for the new year!

Website architecture —Yes, a well contracted website is consequential to your brand’s image. It can either draw people in or scare them away. In order to make sure you get this right, consider hiring a professional to help you design and create your prefect site.

Collaborate- Put together a group of  non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By working with each other, you can reach a whole new pool of customers because you’ll have access to a new list of contacts.

Know your market.
Your marketing strategy will never be successful if you do not have a clearly defined audience. Save money by waiting until your target audience is decided on before you spend valuable marketing dollars. If you know your product or service, you should be able to figure out your market pretty simply. Ask yourself a series of questions like, who will be most interested in your product? What is their age group?  What is their likely financial situation? As soon as you figure out who they are, it’ll be easy to know how and where to find them. Take your time during this phase of your marketing strategy. It’s crucial to give it a lot of thought if you want your marketing dollars to go far.

 Customer Loyalty– A top priority for a small business should be attempting to gain new customers. However, it’s very important to treat your existing customers with as much enthusiasm and respect as you did when you first met. Creating a sense of loyalty will make you stand out from your competitors simply from word of mouth. Invest some money into these customers by doing something thoughtful for them. A simple gesture such as a discounted rate after a period of time, a holiday card, or a happy hour on occasion will help them keep you at top of mind.

Sponsor a local event or charity. Becoming active in your community is one of the easiest ways to self promote. Not only will you gain notice, but it really does make you feel good to support your community. Plus, everyone benefits — you, your staff, your customers, the people you sponsor and, of course, the community at large.