“Unlock the piano”
Some of the most powerful stories have a very simple beginning.
As a middle school music teacher in East Saint Louis, Rosalind Rogers was surprised to find the piano in the school’s music room screwed shut.
Watch her 2022 Arts and Education Council Art Educator of the Year Honoree Video to see how she’s transformed the district’s music department – a story launched on her first day when her students unlocked the piano and started making some music.
Three heads can be better than one . . .
When it comes to creating a marketing communications piece, video should absolutely be at the top of your HOW list. If you want to include multiple locations, characters, and scenes, animation can be a great way to a) create challenging scenes, and b) control your budget.
And when it comes to the WHAT of your marketing communications video, it’s important to remember the value of collaboration.
Today’s easy access to video tools (you can carry everything you need in your pocket!) gives a single individual the ability to do what it used to take a full film crew to accomplish. And that’s great – for certain applications. But when you want to convey a complex idea, product, or service in a simple, visual, and engaging way, putting heads together is the best way to go.
Our long time collaborators Spoke Marketing teamed up with their client Spartech to lay out a storyboard for this animation. The Solstice team then created a graphic look that played off of the Spartech logo and branding (also created by Spoke) and could handle the story demands of the storyboard on time and on budget. The result?
Watch the video and tell us what you think . . .
“An Engineer looks like me”
When you spend a lot of time, like we do, in the A/E/C industry you notice the trends, the challenges, and the aspirations not only of the individuals and companies whose stories you help to tell, but also of the industry as a whole.
Over the past decade, we’ve heard “diversity” in every project launch meeting. More than buzzwords, diversity and inclusion have become the handholds for innovating your company, for attracting the best and brightest of the new pool of talent, and for setting up your firm for growth and future success. And, as it rightly should, diversity and inclusion comes in a wide variety of colors, and itself is only one of values that makes a company great to work with (and great to work for).
One of the greatest pleasures is when we get a chance to work with a growing company that has D+I at its core and share that story on the small screen. Thank you, the team at Ardmore Roderick, for trusting us to tell the story of all your core values, and for celebrating the beautiful variety of what an engineer can look like.
Before there is a business, there is a sequence of choices to be made:
What are we going to sell? To whom? What will set this business apart from any other company that also offers X, Y, or Z product or service? What will we charge?
Before there is a video, a similar set of choices need to be made:
Do we film, or use animation? What’s the tone of voice (serious, fun, inspiring, innovative, etc)? What do we want to accomplish? What is our budget?
And before there is dinner, we must ask ourselves: Pizza? Or tacos? Until now . . .
We had a lot of fun telling the “origin story” of Muerto’s Pizza, and we hope you have fun watching it!
The best businesses and the best videos come as a result of making some strategic choices along the way. The best dinners? Well, sometimes that can be left up to chance.
Born on Saturday . . .
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Tony Thompson of KWAME Building Group first started his now 30 year old construction management firm by working on the weekends before leaving his previous employer. The origin story is such a vital part of his company that he named it KWAME, which means “Born on Saturday”.
We are often asked to help companies celebrate milestones with a legacy video. We love crafting these stories! While we create legacy videos in many styles, we always keep these goals in mind:
- RELATABILITY – Focusing on elements of the story that other business owners can relate to helps to create a feeling of familiarity. Stories are most effective when other people can see themselves in the “hero”.
- INDIVIDUALITY – While many business owners share a number of traits, challenges, and inspirations, every business has a story that makes them uniquely them. These are those things that help your story, and your company, memorable, and the things that your clients love about you.
- LONGEVITY – Ideally, a legacy video remains a viable part of your marketing toolbox for years to come (until you’re ready to make your next milestone video, at least). Focusing on how this amazing foundation sets you up for future success is a great way to structure a story that will continue to be relevant as you move forward.
When you’re ready to celebrate your next milestone, let us know! We’re here to help.
Your brand is more than just a logo.
It’s your culture. Your mission. Your vision. The way you present your business to the world.
A branding video tells the story of your brand in ways that your logo can only dream of.
Let your brand out of the box. Call us to begin crafting your branding video.
You know that moment.
That moment when all of your careful planning, all the decisions that you’ve made that have led up to this place, this product, this service, or this video all come together and you get to sit back and see it all in action.
One of the most basic tenets of effective storytelling, and effective video production, is “Show, Don’t Tell”. When you give an audience the opportunity to experience your product, service, or other offering through a truly visual, and visceral, technique, you heighten your chances that your audience will remember your brand, your story, and most importantly for business owners, your offer (which leads to three of our favorite letters: ROI).
80% of an audience will remember a well crafted video ad up to a month after viewing it, and 40% will take action.
So how do you “Show, Don’t Tell”?
Be honest and authentic. What are the selling points of your product or your service? What are the ways in which those selling points add value to your customer base? Where will they use this, what impact will it have? What scenarios can you play out that will demonstrate those selling points in action?
Humor never hurts. (Side note: No skateboarders or trash receptacles were harmed in the making of this video). If you can get a laugh out of your audience, your video becomes that much more memorable. Just be sure that any moments of humor also honor tip #1, and that you stay honest to your brand.
If you can show it, you don’t have to say it as well. A lot of video makers fall into the trap of stating everything that is seen onscreen. Use as few words as possible, and let the action speak for itself. Trust us, it does anyway (Actions do Speak Louder than Words, it’s not just something your mother told you).
Keep it simple. One video, one message. Your audience should be able to tell someone else about the video, the product or service, or the offer in less than one sentence.
Want some help Showing (not telling) how your prospect base will benefit from your business, your product, or your service? Give us a call!
Build insight, trust, and relationship 60 to 120 seconds at a time.
As a multi-generational family business, Aschinger Electric knows that the best way to build a strong business to build strong relationships. And that relationship building in 2021 looks a little, ok, A LOT, different than it did over 100 years ago when the founder rode the streets of St. Louis on a trolley car.
You can reach so many more people in the digital environment than you could ever hope to in pre-internet days. But “reach” does not mean “connect with”, let alone “build a relationship with.”
A smart video campaign can help move a contact to a customer in an organic way, building insight, trust, and relationship 60 to 120 seconds at a time, so that when your business development team calls they get a warm reception instead of a cold brush off.
A few tips:
Keep it short. Think of each video as building on another piece of your story, or as adding another brick onto the structure of your newly developing relationship.
Be authentic. When you showcase your real people working on a real project for a real customer, it’s easier for prospects to trust you with their real needs.
Be inviting. A video should be a lead-in to a great conversation, not a replacement for that conversation. Give your prospects a reason to want to learn more.
For more tips on putting video to work building your business relationships give us a call . . .
One of the most effective tools in your video tool belt is the customer testimonial.
These work on so many levels it’s surprising that not everyone has one (or three, or a dozen, or a hundred) of these essential videos yet.
Why? Let’s break this down:
1) You give the people you like, trust, and respect a chance to share their stories
2) You feature their business or expertise in some fashion in the video (a title, an image, a brand identity)
3) By working with a seasoned video company, you ensure that your clients and their businesses will look and sound amazing (and have a great experience doing it. SO much easier to talk to a good producer than to write a letter or other testimonial)
4) You give them the opportunity to connect with you and your business on a deeper level (people feel good about giving. Can we sing Kumbaya yet?)
And best of all, well messaged customer testimonial videos will give YOU qualified leads, controlled word of mouth messaging, and convert prospects into buyers.
Are you in the giving mood? Call us and we’ll help you spread the word!