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An integral part of success in your marketing strategy is reaching consumers. Producing an online marketing video or videos can help you take a big step in the right direction, but with that approach comes the process of selecting the right company for the job. Here’s a few tips to ask the right questions to get the most from your Video Production Company.

Is the investment worth it?

You don’t want this to be a one time video connection. Forming a relationship should be a goal so you don’t find yourself looking for another company every time you need a new video. Look for someone who communicates well and exhibits a solid grasp on the company goals you have in mind. The quality might be amazing, but if there is nothing to back up that quality, all you have is a good video with no additional connection. Make sure to ask how they plan to present your story and personalize your company.

What is your budget?

How big is your Video Production budget?

Decide how much you want to spend on video marketing. Remember videos will be the first thing consumers associate with your business so it is okay to spend a little more if you can. Being tight with your video budget can leave you with a lackluster video that has a short shelf life. Ask about how the video production company breaks down each of the costs and decide if it makes sense. Most companies are flexible, allowing them to produce a package that fits your needs.

Do they follow changing trends of video production?

Marketing videos grow and change as the trends grow and change. The point of video is to help you stand out and express your own unique message, not blend in with the other millions of videos. You can only stand out if you have fresh ideas that captivate consumers. A professional looking video with a clearly defined message and an element of creativity can be a winning combination.

Do the videos seem cheesy or professional?

You don’t want your consumers to feel they are being solicited or bombarded with your company rhetoric. Clarity in the audio as well as the colors and overall picture quality is essential. Viewers need to have a clear path to getting engaged and soaking in the message. Lesser quality can lead to an unneeded distraction. The more you engage the consumer, the more excited they’ll become about your product. Everything needs to flow in order to keep the attention of your viewers.

Do they truly care?

The video production company may look great on paper and video, but find out who they really are. Speak with people at the company and decide their business ethics. They need to ask you about your company and your goals. If they are not interested in your projects and your finish line, then they might not be the right fit for you. Their passion combined with your love for the business will make the video a success.

Is this a right fit?

Do your research by looking over their website, past experience, reading their blogs, client reviews and asking them direct questions. Companies or individuals with a background in television or broadcasting can be big plus when it comes to telling your story. There is no substitute for experience. Clearly define the point person and roles for all those involved in the process.

Success comes from working together for the greater good. A high quality video that reaches potential consumers will help you grow your business and connect on a deeper level. It will also formulate a relationship with the production company that can prove beneficial going forward. Once you answer all of these questions about your video production company, sit back and let the professionals present your message.

A Rebuttal to USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan

I’ve always highly respected Christine Brennan. She’s rightfully won a handful of journalism awards while paving the way for women in the industry. But a piece she wrote this week titled “Too Much Made of Twitter Rants on Athletes” badly missed the mark about sports social media trolls. Fieldhouse Media founder Kevin DeShazo already wrote a solid response, but I can’t help feeling the need to share some thoughts as well.

The Women's Sports Foundation Presents The Billies - ShowBrennan argues that we should essentially just ignore trolls who attack athletes on Twitter. Since most of them have small followings, it’s not like many people are
seeing their venom. She then quotes Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University, who says, “What amazes me is how much attention the professional journalistic establishment pays to a lot of this stuff … Twitter is being covered now as though it’s the most important thing in the world.”

As Twitter-obsessed as I am, I do agree many of us heavy users are often guilty of exaggerating its significance. It’s always important to remember the majority of America still doesn’t use Twitter – including Thompson. Well, he may look at it, but he doesn’t have an active account. So while he’s right to ask us to keep Twitter’s importance in perspective, I’m not sure a man who doesn’t actively use the service is the best voice to use as the sole quote in Brennan’s piece. To me, Thompson and Brennan (who does have an active Twitter account) are guilty of putting their heads in the sand.

First of all, while Thompson sloughs off Twitter, I’d hope one of the most highly regarded pop culture professors in the world is aware that ESPN and Yahoo just locked in new partnerships with the social media giant. I’m guessing Thompson also knows that much of the talk at this week’s TV Upfronts involved Twitter’s expanding role on our television sets. Sure, Thompson’s somewhat accurate when he says a Twitter story in the news isn’t “what everybody’s thinking … It’s what people who are tweeting are thinking,” but I’d hate to bet against Twitter further ingraining itself in our culture.

Brennan, meanwhile, makes a good point that when the media covers sports social media trolls, all that really does is give them the attention they so desire. But she also misses this point – while many don’t see what the trolls spew, there are people on the other side of the messages that are well aware of what’s being written. Believe it or not, most athletes do check their Twitter mentions. So unless we think all athletes are cold, money-hungry, emotionless robots, I’m not sure the solution is for the rest of us to turn away from this kind of online abuse.

An Example

With his hot streak in the NBA Playoffs, Spiracle Media client Stephen Curry continued to inch closer to superstardom. But with that, came the other side. While his postseason play helped him eclipse a combined one-million followers on Twitter and Facebook, all the attention he received was like honey to the always-starving trolls. So while Curry’s popularity grew worldwide, some “fans” weren’t all that concerned about his oft-injured ankles.

Of course, the example above is mild compared to some of the venom Curry receives on his social media sites. While monitoring Curry’s mentions over the past couple years, I’ve actually found that Facebook users are much more trollish than Twitter users.

So why does Twitter always get named in stories about sports social media trolls? There’s a few reasons, including the fact that most athletes enjoy using Twitter over Facebook, plus Twitter timelines and alerts are easier for them to catch up on their mentions. But give Facebook credit for this – it at least has a profanity filter, something Twitter lacks.

So What Can We Do About Sports Social Media Trolls?

While I clearly don’t think Brennan’s advice of ignoring trolls is a good option, I’m also not sure of a solid solution. All I know is we have to figure out something. Racial attacks and death threats via social media were once a story, now they’re commonplace. I’m not willing to just put my arms up and say, “Who’s really paying attention to these people anyway?”

And don’t think athletes and celebrities are the only people dealing with this nonsense. Bringing back in Curry for an example again, after he had a brief exchange with a fan during the Warriors first round playoff series, this is what a troll tweeted to his wife:

The “fan” who wrote the above tweet was just getting started. He wound up mentioning Curry’s wife in 43 more angry and caustic tweets. That’s harassment of an athlete’s family member, and it’s not something we should ignore. Something has to be done to slow down the trolls.

Yes, the more media coverage they get, the more they’ll feel empowered. So maybe Twitter itself has to lead the way. It’s not the only social network, but it’s the most popular among athletes. In my opinion, trolls are the biggest threat to Twitter’s entire existence. Athletes and celebrities helped make the service the superpower it is today, but if they continue to be subjected to growing online abuse, how many of them will eventually have enough and sign-off like NFL kicker David Akers?

Or maybe someone with a strong voice and large platform like Christine Brennan would be able to make a difference. She’s tackled many societal issues in her career. Perhaps, instead of hoping this one just goes away, she could help find a much needed solution.

Stephen Curry has already achieved a number of milestones in his short NBA career. As a Golden State Warrior, he set a league record for most three-pointers made in the 2012-13 season. Curry’s accolades also include an NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2011, along with winning the NBA Skills Challenge that same year. As a highly talented player, Curry is also very active on the NBA social media scene. In fact, he interacts with fans on a daily basis, while sponsoring monthly contests on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. As a media and sports icon, Curry was recently nominated for 3 NBA Social Media awards.

Curry’s nominations have generated a huge buzz within the NBA and online sports communities. In fact, fans can easily vote for Curry by visiting the NBA Social Media Awards site now. The NBA is the first professional sports league to televise their social media awards. According to NBA officials, the awards are designed to honor several NBA players that made huge social media headlines this year. It also gives the fans a chance to vote for their favorite players within a fun and interactive environment. The event is set to air on June 12th, 2013, at 8pm on TNT.

If you, like Spiracle Media, are a Stephen Curry fan, let’s help him take home the Snap Shot and Social MVP Awards. Cast your vote for Steph today at the NBA SM Awards site.