The Blog


Is your financial institution struggling to connect with your customers, especially when it comes to the younger generation? Traditional marketing by itself isn’t get ting the job done. If you don’t believe me, read the statistics on digital marketing here.

Video has quickly become one of the most effective forms of content. Why? It’s simple really, people today prefer to watch video over reading big blocks of text. Video helps companies build and increase brand awareness, boost engagement, and in turn increase ROI.

How can financial marketers use video marketing to improve their customers experience and increase brand awareness?

In this article, we are sharing different types of videos to spark some inspiration.

1. Client Testimonials

Your clients are your best advocates, use them to your advantage with client testimonial pieces. By marketing your client testimonials, it lets your audience hear how people just like them are using your product or service. This helps build trust. 

2. Company Culture

It’s safe to say, no one knows what goes on behind the scenes, unless you open your doors and show them. Company culture pieces make your business more relatable. By showcasing how your employees interact with each other and hearing about how much they love working for your business — it personalizes your brand. 

3. Giving Back

Creating video content that shows your organization giving back can result in building connection and like-ability with your audience. A good example is with Barclays Life Skills campaign. This campaign promotes a two way dialogue. It focuses on the younger generation and helping them build their financial knowledge. 

Showing your customers and focusing on their stories helps to make an emotional connection with your audience. The end result is delivering content your customers value and need. Then distribute these videos everywhere, on your website, social channels, etc. Chances are you’ll get positive reactions from a campaign similar to this. 

4. Company Values

Similar to a company culture piece, company values can also open the door to showcasing your brand’s personality. What are your company values?

In this example, Square created a campaign on one of their values. It concentrates on the stories of women who lead in “Build Her Up”. Remain authentic, on brand, and most importantly … inspiring. You have the opportunity to show the world what your company truly values.

View our work, here.

The goal of video storytelling is to produce a compelling piece that impacts the viewer. What is the best way to accomplish that? Pick a singular character to focus on.

Recently, we partnered with Read Charlotte to follow one such character. Mary provides the main voice in the piece to express why volunteers are important to Read Charlotte and how they can leave a lasting impact on a child’s life.

Read Charlotte is a ten-year (2015-2025) initiative that unites children, educators and partners to improve children’s literacy from an early age through third grade. Their goal is to double the percentage of third graders reading on grade level from 39% in 2015 to 80% by 2025.

Creative Specialist Austin Huddy joins Co-Founder Jarod Latch to share the thinking and execution behind the video.

The Idea

Austin’s goal was to tell the story and express emotion by eliminating sound in the first 30 seconds of the
piece. This was done to captivate the audience and leave them wanting more. What is Mary’s role in this organization? Why is everyone greeting her while smiling ear to ear?

By having an introduction that allows the viewer’s mind to wonder is an effective way to strike up interest right off the bat. On the flip side, having the message be too direct out the gate can squash this curiosity. In the case of Read Charlotte, we wanted to create the opposite. We wanted to arouse curiosity not only about the organization, but also have the viewer ask — how can I help?

The Execution

The success of this particular project stems from the time spent on pre-production. Austin met with the Read Charlotte team and the main character, Mary Bowman.  The presence of the main character, who is speaking and driving the video, in the creative meetings really helped set the tone for the project.

Why is pre-production a critical piece in the puzzle?

  • Meet the key characters and understand their purpose
  • Creative gets to know interviewee and vice versa, creating comfortability between all parties
  • Establish the tone and emotion that will be driving the project

What our Partners are Saying:

“There are lots of video storytelling companies out there but there just isn’t anyone who does it quite like Spiracle. I knew this latest piece would be great but (as usual) Austin and team exceeded all of my expectations. It’s the perfect example of how they are able to capture something that easily could have turned out sort of ordinary — tutors, kids in a school, etc– and make it extremely powerful. It has moved every single person who has watched it thus far.

The process of working with Spiracle is always collaborative and they truly listen to what we think we want out of it, but I also believe giving them the freedom to be creative is what takes it to the next level. That’s when the Spiracle magic really happens.”

– Elise Esasky, Communications Manager at Read Charlotte

We like to think that everything we do at Spiracle Media is done intentionally. We work toward the intended result by putting the necessary building blocks in place. At least we hope that’s the case. There is a prominent “why” in how we have assembled our team. It’s this “why” that supports our collective belief that we’re better than most when it comes to telling stories.

We’re a video content agency built to tell stories by using our journalistic background. The word “journalistic” is the differentiator. Our team is comprised of a number of former journalists and media minds, 6 of our 14 team members to be exact. Those that haven’t walked that treacherous path themselves have been empowered and influenced by that experience.

Let me clarify, we don’t just hire anyone with a TV background. We hire former journalists, news reporters, etc that understand the process of storytelling and shoot cinematically. Here are five reasons why former journalists, and specifically our team, excel in the storytelling environment.

Ask The Right Questions

Most video storytelling pieces are driven by real people. Real interviews. It is imperative in those settings that you ask the right questions that support the story. So often, interviewers spend a bulk of the time asking about points that have no chance of making it into the video. Pick 3-4 focal points and build around that. Keep it simple.

Follow the Story

Sometimes the best story is yet to be uncovered, but you have to be willing to follow the story. A good journalist looks for hints and when they see something that might enhance the piece, they poke and prod (in a polite way of course.) This can lead to emotional and compelling content that would have been left hidden.

Adaptability in the Field

Most people don’t like change. Former journalists thrive in a fast-paced and ever changing environment. This promotes a sense of peace with our partners when adversity enters the picture. It also allows us to keep an open mind. BTW – crunch time doesn’t bother us either.

Building a Story

A number of companies and individuals can shoot beautiful video, but they struggle to tell a story using what they’ve captured. It’s common these days to see something that resembles a music video with little or no narrative attached. Former journalists have the ability to select the right sound bites and add the rest of the elements in a way that brings forth emotion and personality.

Standing Out

Quality of storytelling matters more than ever. Everyone is adding video to the mix and they should. With that being the case, it’s time to trust those that tell the story best. A background in journalism mixed with a thorough understanding of the storytelling process, plenty of experience and strong dose of cinematography is a winning combination.

See more of our work here.

Do you often wonder how to maximize your investment in content marketing? Queens University is a prime example of getting the most bang for their buck, especially when it comes to video. After listening to this conversation, you are bound to learn a few tips and tricks on how to best leverage your content.

Welcome Whitney Combs to the Hive Life podcast. Whitney is a seasoned marketing professional with years of experience in the agency world. She is currently working on the client side as the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications at Queens University in Charlotte.

We sat down with Whitney to discuss the mixed use of storytelling for higher education, from long-form singular student stories to short-form content for advertising purposes. Video has played a pivotal role in showcasing the impact Queens University is making on its students.

The results of their marketing campaigns that include video have exceeded their expectations. It’s fascinating to learn the different avenues Queens has been using their video content, from admissions to fundraising events to advertising.

Thank you for joining us Whitney and giving a lot of quality information to our listeners.

Listen to the full conversation below or click here to download the podcast on iTunes!

On this episode:

Jarod Latch, Co-Founder & Director of Creative Content
Tim Baier, Co-Founder & Director of Business Development
Whitney Combs, Executive Director of Marketing Communications at Queens University of Charlotte

Meet our entire team.

When you first start considering working with a video content agency, you may have a ton of questions. Understandable! There are many variables that go into making a video. Partnering with a professional agency makes adding video content to your marketing plan a breeze.

Whether you’re thinking about a video to tell your brand story or a commercial feature, having a process from the beginning is the key to success.  Take a look at how we breakdown the production process.

1. Planning + Creative Meeting

Congrats! You’ve made the important decision to move forward with your video needs. At this point, you most likely have an idea of what you want your video to focus on and who your target audience will be.

When you have the core idea down, the next step is to meet with our creative team. Brainstorm, throw ideas back and forth, brainstorm some more, and continue to get the creative juices flowing.

The planning meeting is crucial – this is the time to pinpoint all the video details. The look, feel, messaging, etc. Finalize the details of your vision in the creative meeting.

2. Pre-Production

Once the creative meeting is over, the timeline and shoot schedule will be confirmed. Shoot days are locked in. Everything discussed in the planning and creative meetings will be executed in pre-production.

Video crew preparation

More specifically, pre-production is the time when the video team is selected. This team will be onsite for the video shoot and editing all the videos.

Schedules

Lots of coordinating and due diligence during pre-production. There will be schedules and timelines to keep everyone on task and more importantly on time, from the shoot day schedule to the overall project timeline.

Scripting, Storyboards, Actors?

All coordinated, scheduled and approved during the pre-production phase. Communication is key in the planning and pre-production meetings to ensure smooth sailing for the remainder of the project.

3. Production

Lights, camera, action! Okay, maybe we don’t really say that, BUT this is the time to get the cameras rolling.

The shoot schedule is already locked in to make the production process that much easier for everyone involved. The production team will capture b-roll, interviews, record audio, and any additional shots needed for the project.

Every video project is different – production can last anywhere from a half day to a full week of production.

4. Post Production

The shoot days are complete and it’s time to edit the videos. This part of the process is the most time consuming. Post Production consists of the following:

  • Import and backup shoot footage
  • A-roll the story (A-roll refers to the media that tells the story)
  • Review all interviews for sound bites
  • Select background music
  • Add in b-roll (B-roll consists of supplemental footage that supports the story)
  • Additional color corrections and clean audio
  • Insert additional graphics and lower thirds

Once you get the first cut of your video, review it with your team. It is crucial to get feedback from everyone on your team that has a say in the video project. Share your notes with the video team so they can get to the next round of edits.

This process may go back and forth one or two more times.

5. Final Delivery

Once the video has been approved and everyone is happy with the final outcome. Your team will receive the final videos for distribution.


We are here to answer any of those pressing questions you may have! Contact us if you’re considering adding video content to your marketing plan. Our award-winning team of video content professionals is here to help.

Meet our team!

Has the thought of becoming an entrepreneur ever crossed your mind? Do you have thousands of questions running through your head – where to begin, what if I fail, how do I get my new business noticed?

If you’re thinking of starting your own business – this podcast is a must listen!

Mac Lackey joins us in the latest episode of the Hive Life. Mac is a native Charlottean who has successfully built and sold five of his companies. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to starting a business and during this episode he gives listeners constructive advice during our Q&A.

We discuss what the Charlotte entrepreneurial landscape looks like in this banking focused city. During our conversation, we also dive into why Mac finds video content and social media so important to his brand.

Listen to the full conversation below or click here to download the podcast on iTunes!

On this episode:

Jarod Latch, Co-Founder & Director of Creative Content
Tim Baier, Co-Founder & Director of Business Development
Mac Lackey, Entrepreneur & Investor

Meet our entire team.

A majority of marketers are guilty of creating content for the sole purpose of promotion. Using purposeful content to showcase your personality and connect with your audience on a deeper level can be extremely effective. Consider adding one of these five storytelling ideas to one of your upcoming content marketing campaigns. 

“Story is the greatest weapon we have to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.”

– “Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller

Your Brand Story

Likely you have told your partners and prospective clients what you do and where you work countless times. But have you described your brand through a storytelling point of view? Build a story around your brand that resonates with your audience. Similar to a movie, map out the narrative, characters, and any challenges along the way.

What is your brand all about? What makes you different from your competitors? Tell the story of how your business began to where it is now.

Go into detail or keep it simple. 

We created this piece to capture both the story and impact EVERFI has made over its first 10 years in business. 

Behind the Scenes

Who doesn’t want to see what goes on behind the scenes? There is a reason at the end of a movie, there are clips of bloopers and behind the scenes antics. When giving your audience a look at what goes on in the background, it makes your company more human, more personable, and hopefully your customer likes you more for allowing them to go inside the ropes.

Make it funny, entertaining, or knowledgeable.

The employees at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery explain just how their beer is brewed, why they chose Charlotte as their home base, and much more during this laid back conversation.

Focus on The Customer

Focusing on your customer 9 times out of 10 will be in your favor. Your audience wants to know what you can do for them, success stories, and feel good content. This is a classic problem and solution approach. Your customer has a problem and you are the hero with the solution.

Build a story that focuses on how your customer can benefit from working with your company.

In this video example, WeWork does a fantastic job of showing what they can do for their customer. They present their value. In the end, the service they provide at WeWork makes their customers lives much easier. Don’t you see how a video like this could be beneficial for your company?

Your Vision for the Future

Expressing your vision through video gives your audience a way to understand, visualize, and map out the future of what your company is looking to achieve. Whether it’s a new product, service, or location. Video is the best way to tell the story of your future.

A perfect way to do this is to build momentum leading up to the launch. Map out the next steps, goals, and vision. Turn this into a video, infographic, or another visual to excite your customer about the future of what your company is doing.

Junior Achievement came to us to produce a video to support “Build on Opportunity.” This featured some of Charlotte’s heavy hitters in the business world and allowed them to share their thoughts on the impact that Junior Achievement will make in their a new facility.

A Company Culture Piece

Tell the story about the people behind the company. 

Giving a little insight into everyday life can make your company more relatable to potential employees and prospective clients. Take your audience on an office tour. Showcase a day in the life of a select few employees. There are many ways you can show who you are as a company from an employee perspective. 

An example of this is with our partner, EVERFI. We traveled to their Georgetown headquarters as well as miscellaneous locations across the country to craft a story about the people behind the company.

This video is used to provide background information to potential partners and employees.

We recently wrapped up our first web series, Building Charlotte, produced and distributed by Spiracle Media.

In Episode 8 of our podcast, The Hive Life, we talk through the key takeaways, successes and what we would change in the future when it comes to producing a series. It’s safe to say our team learned a lot throughout the process.

Building Charlotte is a seven episode series, highlighting the good, the bad, and the unknown surprises from building a home from the ground up. Our team was there filming every step of the way while Pike Properties was constructing a luxury home in the Cotswold neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Listen to the full conversation below or click here to download the podcast on iTunes!

On this episode:

Jarod Latch, Co-Founder & Director of Creative Content
Tim Baier, Co-Founder & Director of Business Development
David Kernodle, Director of Video Services

Meet our entire team.

We are excited to welcome our next guest to the Hive Life podcast, Danny Decker.

Danny is a speaker, author, marketer, and entrepreneur. He co-founded Spotlight Branding, a company focusing on helping lawyers better market their law firms. Recently, he sold his portion of the company to his partner.

Now, he is focusing on pursuing his other passions. One being the host of his new podcast, Marketing Simplified, where you’ll find him talking about topics like “How to Sharpen Your Marketing Message” and “Why Referrals are the Best Way to Grow“. When Danny isn’t hosting his podcast, he is actively writing, going on speaking engagements, and teaching business owners how to build and grow their businesses.

In this episode, we dive into a Q&A session with Danny who enthusiastically shares his marketing expertise. Whether it’s through video, social media, or e-newsletters, you are bound to grab a few key takeaways from our conversation.

Listen to the full discussion below or click here to download on iTunes!

On this episode:

Jarod Latch, Co-Founder & Director of Creative Content
Tim Baier, Co-Founder & Director of Business Development
Danny Decker, Entrepreneur and Speaker

Meet our entire team.

Spiracle Media is excited to announce we have been featured as a leading creative agency in Clutch’s 2018 Global Awards! The B2B ratings & reviews platform released its annual awards listings of the top service providers across the world.

As an award-winning full-service video content agency located in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have nearly 10 years of experience, creating beautiful, unique, and engaging content for partners all across the US. We produce high-quality projects for a range of small and large companies.

We love to tell our partner’s stories in a way that gains their audience’s trust and respect. Our creativity combined with our customer service earned us a spot as a leader in the 2018 Top Global Agencies on Clutch.co.

Earlier this year, we announced our inclusion as a top video production agency in Charlotte, and now we’re psyched to be featured globally among top video production agencies.

“Since they joined the platform in mid-2018, we’ve been consistently impressed by their past work and by what they’re clients have had to say,” said Clutch analyst, Katie Wonders. “Spiracle has consistently demonstrated their ability to create impactful creative work for their clients.”

Want to learn more about what we do? Check out our work, and our featured portfolio on the Manifest, Clutch’s sister-site dedicated to creating a comprehensive B2B buyers’ guide.

Thanks to all those who’ve taken the time to review our work, and here’s to an even bigger and better 2019!