The Blog


At one time or another, we have battled the urge to be a procrastinator. People have told us “don’t wait until the last minute.” Despite the warning, some of us naturally wait until the 11th hour to spring into action. I am not that guy, but I have certainly been a poster child for the practice in the past. During this season of my life, prioritization is a necessity for survival. If you wait until the last minute, you’re cheating whatever you’re a part of.

The same is true when it comes to last minute video requests and in general, not allowing enough time for what the project deserves. Creating effective content takes a great effort and by great I mean focused. If you rush the process, chances are that you are overwhelmed by something else at the same time.

Can you give optimal focus in that scenario? Let me answer that for you. Not likely. You’re cheating your team and potentially limiting the possibilities of the content. Here are a few things that can lead to “cheating” the process.

Have Your Information Organized

Easier said than done. Last minute requests happen for a variety of reasons. Some are warranted because of factors outside of your control, but most are a result of disjointed priorities that turn into a lack of think time. If quality video content is important, treat it as such. Make time to map out what you want. Ask a few basic questions. What will it take to execute? Who is the audience? How long is the video? If this request came from the top, be a polite pest and get those individuals involved at each stage of the game.

Urgency is Reciprocal

If you do have a quick turn request and a video agency decides to take it on, respect the timeline. Your urgency is now their urgency. Workflows have been interrupted. The worst thing you can do is not meet deadlines in terms of delivering aggregate feedback. Make sure that your team is aligned and that “ALL” key stakeholders have a voice when it comes to revisions. This will maximize the small window in play. If your comments are late, that can definitely cause the timeline to slide. Accountability is a two-way street.

 

Respect the Ask

This is a tough one especially if you are new to creating videos. Do your best to understand what you’re asking for especially if the turnaround is tight. It’s one thing to deploy a vendor or partner to capture an event. It’s a totally different ballgame to request a three minute feature that requires trips to three cities and needs edited in two days. Is what you’re asking realistic? Huddle with a trusted and experienced video team. They’ll be able to quickly walk you through multiple scenarios because they’ve been there — done that. Plus a trusted agency always has maximum value top of mind.

Be an Active Participant

This point is relevant to the shoot day especially if you have rushed to get to this moment. Take a breath to thoroughly consider what video(s) you are producing. Do you want shorter cut-downs for social media? Are these pieces general or specific? A common request after the fact is for very “specific” sound to support a very “specific” theme. Hint: If you didn’t ask a direct question that addresses that very “specific” theme — that sound doesn’t exist.

Make sure you bring your “A” game so that you’re an active listener on shoot day while interviews are in progress. If your attention is better served elsewhere, assign a member of your team to this support role.

Plan Ahead

This is a “do your best” scenario. We all know what busy feels like, but let’s circle back to priorities. Video storytelling isn’t new and you plan all other aspects of your marketing. Video doesn’t live in a separate world. It needs to live in harmony so that it contributes to the impact of the whole. Consult with a video agency and have a brainstorm. Outline the opportunities for the next several months so that you can better prepare and diagnose opportunities.

The goal of everything we do should be to bring value to the people around us and the audience we’re trying to reach. It makes everything better. For the love of video storytelling and the sanity of all-involved, don’t cheat the process.

Find out more about our team or visit our Vimeo channel to view our latest work.

Benefits of Capturing Your Event on Video

Hosting an event is a massive undertaking! It takes months of work for one single day or weekend. You are responsible for researching venues, finding speakers, planning the event timeline, months of correspondence, finalizing the guest list, and the list goes on and on. 

Creating content for yourself tends to be an afterthought – but it shouldn’t be.

In the beginning stages of event planning, consider hiring a videographer or team. Capture content for your own business that you can use for months after with potential to reach a much larger audience. Here are some ideas on how you can use your event coverage for both external and internal use. 

External use 

Event overview

Create an overview video showcasing the best moments from your event. This can be a long or short form piece, depending on who you are sharing this with and why. Go above and beyond by also highlighting what goes into creating an event. This piece of content needs to be planned well in advance, as the clips will include behind-the-scenes planning, meetings, and day of coordination. 

An overview video can be shared with current clients, individuals that didn’t attend, or those you hope will attend next time around. Extend your event and reach for months beyond. 

Here is an example of an overview from a Google event that highlights key speakers, new software and gadgets they’ve been working on, and b-roll of attendees.

Use it to promote your next event

Excite your potential attendees with a promotional video. By capturing b-roll of your event the previous year, you can input snippets of speakers and what your guests should expect when attending your event. Video is the perfect way to promote and showcase your event. 

Once you create a promotional video highlighting the previous experience, you can then share it with the world. Share the content with other thought leaders and potential speakers. Create social cut-downs to distribute on your social media accounts. Publish the video on your upcoming events main page. 

Thank you for attending

Create a short event recap and includes a thank you message for those who attended.

The thank you message can be captured during the event with event hosts thanking the guests or a text-driven thank you message over the video. What a perfect way to show your appreciation to the speakers, special guests, and overall attendees. This is a great way to gain support, with added potential for your guests to share the message with others. 

Internal use 

Event Overview for Employees  

Create an event overview for your employees, especially those that couldn’t be there. Does your company have multiple office locations? Maybe not every employee is able to attend your events. Share the event coverage with those employees that were unable to attend. You can take it to the next level and livestream the event!

Here is an example of an event we captured using live-streaming capabilities with EVERFI Union.

You can also show these videos to new hires or potential employees as well. This provides insight into what your events look like, what they will be attending, or how they might be assisting in the future.

Review the event for changes/improvements to make for the next event

Now the event is over, you can relax for a short while until you have to begin preparing for the next event. Lucky for you, you hired a production team to capture the whole event beginning to end. The day-of is always hectic and for those overseeing an event, it’s difficult to really know how the overall experience was, from the food, to speakers, to what the tables looked like. 

Review the event with the video captured. This will help you evaluate which areas you might want to tweak, overall improvements for the next event, and areas of success you want to build on. 

Excite your employees for the next event/hype video

Similar to the overview and promotional videos for external use, this option is meant to excite your employees instead. Switch the narrative in the video to more of an internal focus. 

When you put so much time and money into an event, make sure you’re benefiting in more ways than one. Capturing your event will reap the benefits for months to come and reach a wider audience than simply those who attended. 

Check out more of our work, here.

Live streaming an event is extremely beneficial in expanding your reach beyond only the attendees. There are many benefits, but the most important aspect is audience engagement. By capturing your event on video, your content is accessible to a much broader audience.

In this project recap, AJ Chodora and Thomas Wilson join Jarod Latch to discuss the potential for live streaming events. They also talk through how events provide an opportunity to capture various types of content. In particular with the recent EVERFI UNION event, our team spent multiple days shooting and delivering multiple types of video. Some of this content was edited into recaps that were showcased the following morning.

UNION is EVERFI’s company-wide event that brings together all 550 employees from across North America. Through a series of keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking events. UNION allows employees to come together to strategize, celebrate, and focus on the future of EVERFI.

Listen to the project recap below:

Click the video to watch the event overview we created for EVERFI.

On this project recap episode:

Jarod Latch, Co-Founder & COO
AJ Chodora, Creative Video Specialist
Thomas Wilson, Director of Drone Operations & Creative Video Specialist

Meet our entire team.

Podcasts have become a useful vehicle when it comes to entertaining, educating and sharing information. People love to watch and listen. Podcasts take care of the latter and sometimes the former. Recently, Spiracle Media partnered with Nexagy Education, led by our friend and teammate Cassmer Ward, to develop a video series that features entrepreneurs and their respective stories. These interview driven segments are plentiful with advice, practical knowledge and real stories of failure that led to success.

To accompany the video segments, we have developed a podcast series that provides a behind-the-scenes conversation about each entrepreneurial case study. Cass, Tim Baier and myself (Jarod Latch) dissect each interview in order to extract additional information that might be helpful whether you’re seasoned or have just been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. We also share personal stories about our own journey.

Our first two podcast episodes include “Behind the Series” and “Enventys Partners” featuring Louis Foreman.

Stay tuned for additional podcasts to feature the following: David Campbell (Boxman Studios), Seth Gibson (Ex Gratia Brewing), Kathi Alexander (Sugar Handmade Gourmet Donuts), Chris Elmore (AvidXchange), Diona Kidd (Knowmad), Henry Rock (City Startup Labs), Hugh, John, Joe Gaither (Feetures), Landon & Kat Eckles (Clean Juice) and yours truly, Jarod Latch & Tim Baier (Spiracle Media).

You can listen on SoundCloud, iTunes or by visiting the home page of our website.

Spiracle Media has recently played a role in helping partner EVERFI showcase their partnership with the Premier League.

EVERFI and the Premier League have joined forces to bring the Primary Stars USA program to more than 100 schools in the United States.  The initiative is based on the Premier League Primary Stars, which was launched in the United Kingdom in 2017. Resources for the Premier League Primary Stars USA include digital learning programs and soccer-themed student engagement activities in elementary schools.

The Spiracle team has been on site to capture multiple events in the following cities: Washington DC, San Diego, Boston and NYC (Brooklyn). Along with recap and launch videos, shorter versions were produced for social media consumption.

What We Did:

  • Film and Produce
  • On-Camera Interviews
  • Video Editing
  • Graphical Treatment
  • Color Correct & Grade

One of those shorter versions included the event in Boston where representatives from Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC were on hand. Click below to view the video.

Check out more of our work or visit our Vimeo page.

When Instagram first debuted, the app was mainly pictures with editing features. Now, almost 10 years later, the app is still photo-oriented but video has become just as popular. 

Video can be shared in your Instagram feed, in stories, and through ad campaigns. Video is one of the best ways to engage with your customers digitally. It enables social sharing, creates conversation, and is more effective when used in social ads. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a case study done by Facebook Business insights on Rareform, a company that advertises on Facebook and Instagram. 

Instagram recently reported that there are at least 1 million advertisers on Instagram, so how do you get your business to stand out among the crowd? 

Some tips for effective video marketing on Instagram:

  • Keep it short and sweet, under 1 minute
  • Grab your viewers attention in the first 8 seconds
  • Make your videos visually beautiful
  • Change up your content frequently to reduce fatigue
  • Don’t rely on audio – Videos are auto played without sound, use your caption to your advantage

Do Remember:

  • Blend your video ads into user’s feeds for more of a natural, organic feel. Making your content too pushy and sales oriented could push your audience away before they even know who you are.
  • Apply the same color themes and consistency used in your photos, in your videos. Don’t confuse your audience with a new look. 

In this article, we are sharing some creative content ideas to use on your Instagram feed and in social ad campaigns. 

Product Video

Show, don’t tell. Instead of telling your audience what you can do or what your product does in writing, show them with a video. Ring is a perfect example of showing how their product works. 

Advertise and target a new demographic or a lookalike audience. Get your brand out in front of a new market. Product videos are promotional, should be visually appealing, and straight to the point. 

User-Generated Content (UGC)

People buy from people, not from companies. Putting your customer in the spotlight creates more of a conversation and a personal connection with your brand. On the flip side, as a business, you get a ton of extra content without using your resources. In addition, an increase in ROI and customer engagement.

Create a specific hashtag then have your customers use the hashtag when posting about your content. This makes it an easy way to track what people are saying about you. Collect all the UGC and create a video. Post it on your social media, through digital ads, on your website, and in newsletters. A few companies that are using UGC to their advantage are GoPro and Burt’s Bees.

Informational Content

Send your audience to your site with helpful content. Answer your customers questions. Here is a fun video answering customer questions, done by Rothys. Rothys incorporated graphics and user comments to questions I am sure many customers have about their shoes.

How-To Videos

Adobe has a full video library of how-to content. Here is one example on how to create an animated gif using a real time product demo. Adobe makes the process look seamless and easy, by only showcasing the areas of the software they’ll be using to make a gif.

How-to videos are the type of content getting a ton of re-shares and multiple replays. The best examples are the cooking how-to videos done by Tasty.

Behind the Scenes + Bloopers

Video is your chance to really help your target audience get to know you. Examples of this could be showing a behind the scenes of how your product is made. If you offer a service, then show a behind the scenes of what your team does. Trulia created a piece that goes behind the scenes with their marketing team, showing how they created one of their campaigns, Trulia Neighborhoods

Share these types of video in your main video, rather than through advertisements. This type of relationship building content is where you want people to comment, like, and reshare. Using fun videos such as behind the scenes and blooper reels makes for good conversation and likability.

Video marketing is a powerful tool when trying to capture the attention of your audience, especially when you’re targeting the younger generation.

According to the 2017 Social Admissions Report, 4 out of 5 students have watched a video while conducting their college search. 1 out of every 3 students use social media to research colleges before applying. It’s clear students decisions are largely based on a school’s digital marketing efforts and social media presence.

Give prospective students a visual representation for what your school is really like by highlighting your campus, student life, and academic programs. Not only is video good for students, but it’s very beneficial for parents to see where they are sending their children. Below are some video content ideas you can utilize to market your school.

Website Videos

Website banner videos are becoming increasingly popular. It’s understandable! When students are considering a college to apply to, not everyone has the luxury of visiting all the schools of their choice. Aerial video is the perfect tool to show students the campus and surrounding areas. Include campus beauty shots, athletics, student life, etc. in one video making it much more effective than photos scattered all over the website.

Here are a two great examples of video content to use on your website from Cornell and University of Virginia.

Athletics

There are a variety of creative ways to promote your athletic programs through video.

– Excite potential and current students through school spirit. Capture highlights from sporting events and games. Show the fans cheering, mascot dancing, and action shots. Hype videos are perfect for sharing on social media. Students will replay over and over again and also re-share on their social accounts.

– Follow a day in the life of a select few athletes. What is it really like to be a full time student and athlete? Begin from waking up in the dorm room, rushing to class, running to practice, and finishing the video studying with friends. A look into what life is like juggling both class and sports, while also highlighting other areas of campus.

Areas of Study

There are many students who are unsure of what area of study to focus on when enrolling in college courses. They begin school with an undeclared major or switch to a different focus later in their college career.

Creating videos that focus on certain areas of study could potentially help students better decide on their major. For example, what does the engineering major consist of? What type of classes are offered? Is it a hands on program? This video will better answer all the student questions that may arise, by envisioning themselves there.

Have Your Students Talk For You

What better way to market your school than having current and past students talk about their experience? Hearing what students are saying about their student life, classes, and extra curricular activities could hit a cord with those looking to apply to your institution. Capture student testimonials, a day in the life, walk around campus, etc.

Here a few examples of colleges that have enrolled students to speak on their behalf, University of South Carolina and University of Delaware.

Focus on Individual Student Achievements

Provide your audience with an inspirational look at how their students are succeeding. It’s a great way to highlight your school, with an uplifting, storytelling piece. You have a school full of inspiring kids, who face challenges, and have come from a variety of backgrounds. There are so many stories just waiting to be told.

University of Pennsylvania has created an array of video content focusing on their students achievements. This example is from one of their Presidential prize winners for Innovation.

Want to know more or discuss your video marketing ideas? Click here to schedule a consultation with our team!

We are a video content agency built to tell your story. We form meaningful relationships with our partners so we can really capture the essence of their story and consequently bring it to life. Our expertise in video design has led to Clutch listing Spiracle Media as one of the top video production companies in the country.

Clutch is a B2B ratings and review agency located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Clutch works to provide a platform for vendors and clients to connect.

Clutch analysts do this by assigning two scores to vendors and then ranking them according to location and industry. The Focus score is determined by successes and accomplishments of vendors and the Ability to Deliver score is determined by a vendor’s clients, reviews, market presence, and work experience. Analysts assign these two scores after holding personal interviews with vendor’s previous clients. These interviews are very important to guaranteeing accurate and unbiased reviews.

After interviews with our partners, Clutch has given us a score of 5 stars! Here are a couple quotes from our partner reviews:

“Their best ability is to listen to ideas and deliver and exceed those expectations. They know how to create a story—a message—that captivates.” -CEO, Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas

“They’re our one-stop shop. They can do all the creative execution, voiceover, and production. They’re excellent at creating powerful stories, editing, graphics, and design. Their quality is higher than many other vendors we’ve previously used. Their technical skill and insight are exceptional.” -Director of Marketing, EVERFI

In addition to Clutch’s platform, our company’s work is also featured on two sister sites of Clutch. The Manifest posts business summaries, reviews, pricing, and work experience. They have also honored Spiracle Media by declaring our company as one of top video production companies.

Contact us today for more information on our video services!

Hiring quality employees is essential. It’s especially important now in this competitive hiring environment.

Put yourself in the candidates shoes – when job searching how would you research companies you want to work for? Visit websites like Glassdoor to read employee reviews, go on LinkedIn to check out their latest posts, or find the accolades on their website. All great ways to research a potential company you’d like to work for, but are they really effective?

Candidates want to see what your company culture is like, the office space where they would be working in, and find out what truly sets you apart from your competition. How do you do this? Show your personality in a video, share it on your job posts, website and social platforms.

Here are a few ways to make an effective video to help recruit quality candidates for the position.

Focus on Your Culture

How a candidate fits with your company culture could make or break the decision for both parties. A video is the perfect tool to open the doors of everyday life at your company. They can visualize themselves working there through the video. Below you will find a few ways you can do so.

Highlight your Office Space

What does your office look like? Chances are if you have an updated office with a beautiful design, it will appeal to candidates. How your office is set up, whether it’s an open concept or with closed doors, is very important to prospective employees.

A person coming from a large tech company, who is used to the many amenities and perks of working there, may not be ideal for a company that is a bit more old school. In turn, an individual that likes to get their work done in an enclosed office might not enjoy working in an open space with games next to their desk. It’s all about preference. Showing what your office looks like could help weed out candidates that in the end may not be the best fit.

What are Your Employees Saying?

Incorporate employee testimonials. Hearing from real people who work at your company can help gain trust for potential candidates. Interviewing your employees, using bloopers, and b-roll of them interacting at work shows the fun side.

In all honesty, isn’t that what candidates want to see and hear? What it’s like behind closed doors? A candidate already knows what your company does by viewing your website. Your company is on their list of places they would like to work – but why?

Let’s hear what your employees are saying! Why do they love working there? What is the company culture really like? Show your employees personalities.

Highlight What Makes you Different from your Competitors

In this example from Dropbox, they use humor and cartoon characters to showcase their office space, work perks, and what the employees love about working at Dropbox. This video is a key differentiator from what their competitors have done in the past. It shows they are creative, love the work they do and don’t always take themselves too seriously.

What makes you different? Let’s see it!


Do you ever get to the third round of interviews and then realize this might not be a good fit? This happens frequently for both candidates and interviewers. Using video to help recruit better candidates, in result, could save many hours interviewing individuals who may not be the best fit for your company. Consider video to help recruit better quality candidates for your business.

Everyone is a video storyteller! That’s a false statement although you wouldn’t know it by the amount of claims being made in the creative space. Agencies, production houses and individuals are selling themselves as experts in that area. Some of those claims are accurate, but remain vigilant. We are surrounded by imposters that hope to stake their claim and in turn, stand to tarnish the reputation of storytellers everywhere.

Storytelling, specifically when it comes to video, has moved into the buzz word category and for good reason. It’s the best way to reach and engage a specific audience. The desired takeaway is a memorable experience that creates a much deeper connection. As you head into your next project, here are a few questions to consider when selecting your video execution partner.

Who are the team members?

The make up of the team is imperative. Most likely, you will deal with multiple individuals during different phases of the project. Experience matters! A team that’s comprised of former journalists, seasoned copy writers, animators, etc. is a great start. Their experience should make you feel confident and lead to solid ideas. Hopefully solid execution as well.

Do they actually tell stories or create content?

Video storytelling and video content are two different things. Anyone can create content. Think of the short ads you see on social media, broadcast TV or the flashy clip that shows up in your instagram feed. Storytelling is different in that the characters drive the narrative rather than the product. It’s about using a number of different elements in order to create an emotional reaction.

Do they have a fine-tuned process?

Process is critical. It ensures that everything runs as smooth as possible. Communication is key whether in person, on the phone or over email. You want to make sure that your team of choice is organized and dedicated to service, not just creative. A partnership approach will yield the best results while limiting anxiety. Top notch video comes with an investment. The worst thing that can happen is for your vendor to go dark for a few weeks without a response.

Is their work high quality?

Quality matters more than ever. Within a crowed space, it serves as a differentiator. This quality applies to the clarity of the audio, music, cinematography, variety of shots and so on. The message needs to be clearly digestible while holding the attention of the viewer. Look and feel need to match the overall theme of the story.