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Kirk Loftin

What Kind of Video Do You Need?

Often, bosses will come in with an idea: let’s make a video! And...that’s it. That’s the end of their idea, but there’s so much more to it. Knowing precisely what kind of video you need helps tremendously to actually get it done. Not every video is equal. If you want proof of this, just look at the filmography of John Travolta (sorry Mr. Travolta).


What do you want your video to do?

Do you want to show off your new office building? Do you want to explain your complicated new software so anyone can understand it? Do you want to tell a story about a mouse who burned down a coffee shop? Sure, these can all be videos, but they’re all very different videos. Knowing what you want your video to say will help you shape which kind of video to pick from. Interview-style videos, animated demos, explainer videos, VR tours, narrative videos, and how-to videos are all great options, just figure out what you want your video to do and which fits that goal the best. 


What resources do you have access to?

Planning to create a massive CGI-effect heavy video doesn’t make sense if you don’t have a budget. How much research needs to be done? Do you need a writer to write a script? Do you need animation? Do you need video equipment? Sound equipment? Do you need to buy lunch for your crew? Do you need to schedule times for interviews? Who is available to work on the project? Are you hiring an outside video company or doing it in-house? Knowing what tools/people you have access to will help you know what’s actually accomplishable. Too often projects start with grand ideas and poor planning, and honestly, do you want a disaster? Because that’s how you get Super Mario Bros.: The Movie.


Who is your video for?

A super fast, kinetic video set to DJ Khaled is not going to be appropriate for your “Welcome to Pokey Oaks Nursing Home” video. You have to consider your audience while you’re planning your video out. Are you trying to get a kid’s attention (“Buy this toy!”), or a CEO’s attention (“Buy this service!”)? Tone, rhythm, volume, cuts, colors, music, voiceover, script, animation or live-action are all different things to consider when looking at potential audience for your video. Also consider the size of your audience. A personalized video is an incredible tool to keep people feeling connected, but that’s a heck of a lot easier to do with ten investors than ten thousand. 


The key here is planning. I know you’re super excited about your idea, but take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and think for a moment. If you don’t think through your process before you start, you’re going to make your project blow up in size (including heart palpitation-causing jumps in costs). Having a road map and plan for exactly what you want for your video helps everyone involved understand what’s expected, what’s wanted, and what can be done. With any creative work, planning as much as possible frees up those creative people to do their best work as stress-free as possible. Hubspot has a great resource about the basics. And don’t want to lose your bonus because of poor planning.

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What Kind of Video Do You Need?

Often, bosses will come in with an idea: let’s make a video! And...that’s it. That’s the end of their idea, but there’s so much more to it. Knowing precisely what kind of video you need helps tremendously to actually get it done. Not every video is equal. If you want proof of this, just look at the filmography of John Travolta (sorry Mr. Travolta).

How to Start a Project

We’ve all been there: staring at the blank sheet of paper with no idea how to start. There’s a massive project, but where do you even begin? Sure, twirling in your chair eating Goldfish crackers for an hour was a nice distraction, but that doesn’t mean you’re any closer to the project being done. I’m going to use writing as my main example, but the concepts can be applied to almost any kind of project. 

Should You Include Audio in Your Video?

Videos are made up of two main components: the visuals and the audio. But, in a time where auto-play videos are muted on social media, what’s the best way to effectively use audio in your videos so that your message isn’t lost on mute, but is improved when included? How do you know which options are right for you to use for audio in your video content?

Don't Be a Jerk or: Ethics in the Workplace

It can be tricky sometimes to navigate the business world and stay completely ethical. Maybe you found out a piece of information no one else knows that you can use to your advantage. Maybe you don’t correct your boss’s incorrect assumption about a co-worker who’s also up for a promotion you’re trying to get. Maybe you stay on the clock after you’re done with work to answer Facebook messages. Keeping a strong sense of personal ethics is more than just not stealing from the company (which is also a no-no), it’s about being honest and doing what’s right in all aspects of business.

The Universal Appeal of Video

What makes video such a powerful medium? Why is it that even small toddlers natively understand videos? Why are “how-to” videos more popular than “how-to” books? Why are movies and television more popular than radio or novels? They’re easy for any human to comprehend, even children that can barely talk seem to just absorb Elmo videos (over and over and over and over again). Every single day, 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube.

The Why of Marketing

If there’s one universal truth about marketers, it’s this: we’re all trying to sell something. It might be a shiny new product, a service to a business, or a political candidate, but it’s all about sales, right? Not quite, because marketers need to understand it’s not just about selling something. Understanding what your audiences really want is vital to your success. 

Avoiding Some Common Writing Mistakes

Not everyone in the business world studied English in college. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume most didn’t. Unless you’re a writer, editor, or just have a random passion for grammar, it’s likely that once you slogged your way through Macbeth and To Kill a Mockingbird (or at least watched the movie versions or skimmed the Sparknotes), you felt free. Because of this, the professional world is rife with grammatical errors, misspellings, and other things that make English teachers’ brains twitch.

Welcoming New Employees

Adding a new employee to a company can be an awesome, exciting event. It can also be an awkward nightmare. There’s a fine line between a good and bad experience for a new hire, and balance is absolutely vital to welcoming the newcomer while not scaring them away either.

Staying Healthy While at Work

Celebrities love to post pictures of their healthy meals and videos of them working out with their personal trainers in the middle of the day on Instagram. It’s easier to stay healthy when you have the time and resources of a celebrity. But what about the rest of us? How do we stay healthy while typing on our computers for hours and sitting through way too long meetings? How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in an office?

Dressing for Success at Work

Keeping up with the latest and greatest fashion trends is exhausting (not to mention prohibitively expensive for those of us that don’t have our own line of rocket ships). Luckily, in a workplace setting, we’re not being judged on the same level as if we’re walking a runway in Milan. Still though, you don’t want to be known as the office slob, so here are some super easy, basic tips for dressing professionally and looking good at work.

From Research to Release

Usually, when people hear the word “animation,’ they think of cartoons. When we talk about animations, especially for businesses, we mean so much more than just cartoons. Animation can be 2D, 3D, a blend of both 2D/3D, or things like motion graphics. Animations can be used to announce products or services, explain complicated processes, tell stories, or even just to make a fun, lively showcase for whatever message you’re trying to share with the world.

The Password is...Safe

With the increases in identity theft, cyber crime, and hacking these days, it’s best to keep yourself as protected as possible. Although sentences like these are usually followed by ads for expensive anti-virus or online protection services,

Increasing Your Productivity

You may have heard the oft-quoted statistic that when Google made their doodle a playable version of Pac-Man, the US economy lost an estimated $120 million in productivity (although that number has been criticized). That’s a loss of productivity on a massive scale. How do you address your own productivity, and make it better?

The Importance of Letting Go

At work we’re surrounded by people we may not have necessarily chosen to be around, which makes it easy to feel like we lose control of our environment. The good news is that we do have control over how we respond to it.

Personal Finances and Work

When it comes to our personal finances, other than our paychecks, we often consider it a completely separate issue from our work. However, it’s not that simple. Your personal finances and professional life at work...

Marketing the Unmarketable

Imagine Don Draper standing in his office. He was just shown the film Spring Breakers. He downs his scotch and thinks, “how am I supposed to market this?” Although this is a silly hypothetical ...

Meme, Inc.: When Businesses Try to Meme

It’s pretty apparent that the majority of 21st century marketing has been taken over by social media . As consumers get younger and younger, marketing tactics need to reflect this demographic change.

How to Treat Partner Companies

It’s hard to fathom a business that won’t at least occasionally work with other businesses. It’s an inevitable, sometimes stressful part of professional life.

Avoiding Burnout

Burnout isn’t just a great Green Day song, it’s increasingly a real problem in the professional world. While American workers’ productivity climbs, so does the prevalence of burnout. More than just being tired, burnout is a condition of feeling emptied, exhausted beyond function.

Honesty in Advertising or: Those Lying Movie Trailers

Ads need to be honest. Of course, ads tend to be selective (making the good sound great while ignoring the downsides), but unless you want to get hit with negative buzz about “false advertising” (or possible lawsuits), you must ensure that you’re being honest in your ads.