Have you ever wondered what keeps the waste from seeping into the soil at landfills? Or what keeps the drinking water clean at reservoirs? Thanks to companies that install lining systems in these kinds of containments, our environment is protected—and all of us who live in it.
Hallaton Environmental Linings, Inc., based in Sparks, Maryland, specializes in installing these lining systems. They needed a way to show their audience the details of their work, instead of just telling them about it. One of their challenges was collaborating with engineers who rarely came onsite to understand the nuances of their work. Another challenge was helping clients understand how Hallaton’s expertise distinguishes them from other environmental lining installers.
Big Screen Media for Big Impact
To fully demonstrate Hallaton’s skillful work, we used a combination of photography and videography:
Drone video & photography
360 video camera
The videos provided Hallaton with benefits like these:
We featured different Hallaton personnel in the videos. As you see key staff at the jobsite and hear them talk about it in their own voice, the projects and company come to life. This personal approach helps Hallaton build credibility with their audience.
Bringing customers into inaccessible places.
It’s not always easy to bring clients into a live construction site. And once Hallaton’s lining systems have been covered by waste, soil, or water, you can’t see their work anymore. So we rolled the cameras as Hallaton rolled out their liners, capturing their work while it was still visible. This enables Hallaton to showcase their expertise at anytime to anyone.
Showing a bigger perspective.
Hallaton’s jobsites can be as expansive as 15–40 acres. Properly showing such an expanse is challenging, or sometimes impossible, using a conventional camera. By using a drone we revealed the full breadth of their projects. We also added overlaying labels to educate the audience about the entire lining installation process in a single view. Hallaton now has assets that demonstrate their scope of work, in ways that only aerial footage can provide.
Now Hallaton has videos they can show to their engineers, collaborators, and customers that demonstrate exactly how lining systems get installed in the field. These videos provide the attention to detail that sets Hallaton apart from their competitors.
Have you considered creating your own podcast? It’s a fun and effective way to regularly reach an audience with your message.
Podcasts can be audio or video. The advantage of audio is that listeners can be doing something else with their eyes and bodies while enjoying the podcast. The advantage of video podcasts is their ability to illustrate and show what they are talking about.
The nice thing about a podcast is that you can keep it casual in tone, and that makes it different from other kinds of marketing. You can make it feel like people get to eavesdrop on your coffee conversation. They can learn from your business expertise—and hopefully laugh at your jokes. The dialogue is what makes the message engaging and accessible.“Conversational” describes the tone of our own podcast, WorkWise. Most episodes are a dialogue with Ken and Mike, but sometimes we mix it up with a guest.
Fresh content automatically
Subscribers conveniently get your podcast right on their phones, and they can listen whenever they want. This is your chance to get in front of them on a regular basis. They want to hear from you.
What do people usually do while they’re driving, exercising, or doing chores? Chances are they’re listening to something. With audio content, you’re giving them the opportunity to enrich their time with your message.
The production cost for a podcast is relatively low because you’re just recording a conversation. All you need are standard tools like computers and microphones, and you can self-publish a podcast. One of our clients produces Leading in the City by just getting a few people in a room with some microphones.
Repurpose other content
There’s no need to create something from scratch for a podcast. For example, you could make a podcast from audio versions of your articles, like we did for Clinical Laboratory Sales Training. Or you can use recordings from events, like STORY Podcast does.
A podcast gives you a platform to get your unique voice heard. As with any form of marketing communication, think about what style is best to connect with your audience. Make sure your podcast feels like you.
According to Naresh Vissa, author of Podcastnomics, “Podcasting is now entering into its true golden age of mass adoption.” Many companies, such as our client Maroon PR, use podcasts as part of their marketing strategy. Similar to blogging, podcasting is another way to regularly create fresh, value-added content. You can make it available on your website and/or other platforms like iTunes to reach more people.
Later this year, Apple’s iTunes will be making it easier to track analytics for your podcast, so you can tell how many people are listening and how much of each episode they played.
Some companies are using podcasts primarily for internal purposes, to educate their own team. It can be hard to schedule time for the experts in the company to train other staff. But if you record a series of their presentations or interviews, then you can use it to educate anyone at any time. For example, our client Inolex is creating an internally published podcast to educate their sales team on their technologies and sales strategies.
If you’re interested in starting a podcast, get in touch with us. We have the professional equipment and experience, and we can help you craft a podcast that projects your unique style.
MNS Group, a managed IT service provider, has been a courageous adventurer in the land of creative marketing. They’ve scouted out different opportunities to convey their message in unique ways. And we’ve tried to be their “fairy godmother” to make their ideas reality.
We’ve seen how one successful creative marketing concept can lead to another one, like what recently happened for MNS. We turned an action figure illustration for a blog post into a baseball mascot’s costume for a promotional video.
Starts with an Illustration
A few months ago, MNS asked us to illustrate an armored man in action for them, to be used for a blog post on network security. We created a character, dubbed Security Man, and his attacker. The pieces of armor on Security Man represent various layers of network security MNS suggests for their clients. This metaphor for protecting a computer network became a launch pad for another creative marketing presentation.
Opportunity Comes Knocking
As a sponsor for Ripken Baseball, MNS Group had a great marketing opportunity—they could get a short video to be shown on the big screen at Ripken Stadium. How could they use what they already had and adapt it for a video at a baseball stadium?
Collaborating as creatives with MNS, we brainstormed ideas. We decided to use the IronBirds’ lovable mascot, Ferrous, to act as Security Man in a video shoot the following week. This meant we had a few days to create a suit of armor for Ferrous to wear and wield.
Creating a Mascot’s Costume
How could we turn an illustrated suit of armor for a human into an actual costume for an oversized bird? For one, we needed to make sure it would fit the mascot’s exaggerated features. We also needed to make sure it was functional. Ferrous would be running around the bases wearing the armor, so it needed to be lightweight and secure. And of course, we also wanted it to look professionally produced. Our design process and material selection took all this into account. Here’s a video to show how we did it.
This breastplate for Ferrous is lightweight, flexible, and stays on even when he runs.
We created the helmet to fit snugly around Ferrous’ head, even allowing his crest feather to stick through.
A sturdy shield helps Ferrous ward off attackers.
A sword completes the Security Man costume.
When we delivered the mascot’s costume to MNS Group, they loved it. Their response—“Awesome!”
Taking Creative Risks
It can be risky coming up with new ideas to promote your business. We were asking questions like, “Can the illustration function as a mascot’s costume?” and “Can the video deliver this message?” Kudos to MNS Group for standing out in a crowd and putting their trust in our team and the Ripken Baseball performers and producers.
MNS has already seen the rewards of investing into special marketing messages. Their Security Man illustration was repurposed to resonate with baseball fans. MNS has developed a consistent branded message both online and on the sports field.
Our creative process helped MNS maximize the potential for their marketing video opportunity by using the illustrated concept they already had. Are you ready to try something new and fun? With professional creatives by your side, you can be courageous and pioneering to make your message memorable.
We’re ready to take on any challenge to help your business succeed. Whether it means illustrating or designing mascot costumes or creating something else yet to be dreamed of, our team will collaborate with you to make it happen. Contact us, and let’s embark on a creative marketing adventure together.
Robert Fielder specializes in conflict resolution, but his company, Resolution Resources, was experiencing its own kind of conflict—in marketing communications. His story reveals essential lessons for marketers and business owners.
One thing a website doesn’t tell you is how well it resonates with the target audience. For this, you need feedback from people. When Robert talked to trusted people in his network, he realized he had a communication problem.
They thought of him as a resource for specific situations such as contract negotiation and mediation. But what they didn’t perceive was how helpful he could be with the big picture, the strategic planning and facilitation that address systemic issues in organizations.
The irony is that this strategic level is where Robert offers the best value, but even people close to him didn’t understand that he offered this. Though he described all the services included in this category, the words “strategic planning and facilitation” were not prominently listed on his website!
A Branding Problem
This kind of communication breakdown really bothers us. He was losing business not because he wasn’t the man for the job, but because the marketing message wasn’t a true reflection of his services. We partnered with him to fix this.
How often have you checked with your market to see how well your message is landing? Is it time to look at your service menu and refine the message?
We decided to restructure the services he provides, simplifying the menu into just three categories. Then we created a new page for this higher-level service (strategic facilitation) and he started writing some content for it.
Motion and Light: A New Video
After Robert drafted the strategic facilitation content, he had the same idea that we did. It sounded like a video script! “Your writing sounds like your speaking,” observed Ken. Agreeing that this message would be more compelling when spoken, Robert wanted to make a video for his redesigned website.
Speaking in front of the camera can sometimes be stressful. Before the video shoot, Robert felt pressure to perform and get it just right. But once he got in front of the camera, he realized it felt just like public speaking, which he already knew how to do.
In the end, Robert was pleased with how the video turned out. “It was a good way to take advantage of my presentation skills,” he observed. “It brought motion and light to my message.” We think it’s smart to engage customers in a way that text alone can’t.
Robert also experienced the benefits of collaborating with a creative team. Take the video script, for example. “If we had taped what I originally wrote, the video would have lasted 20 minutes,” Robert observed. “But you helped me get it down to 3 minutes, without losing the passion.”
Robert knew that as the subject matter expert, he played a key role in the process. Even though it seemed overwhelming at first, his job was to start generating content.
“What made it easier was realizing I already had parts of the content in various places. I just needed to find it,” mentioned Robert. He started looking for the messages he had already written—buried in emails, brochures, and letters. Simply copying and pasting from those sources got the ball rolling.
Robert’s early drafts were rough, but his objective was just to get all the stuff out. “I realized my writing didn’t have to be perfect,” reflected Robert. “Writing a first draft is mud on the wall. It’s a mind dump. It’s more important to be comprehensive than refined.”
“I wasn’t surrendering control by collaborating,” shared Robert. “I was really being freed up to just focus on what I wanted to say, not getting distracted about how I was saying it.”
Collaborating with a Coach
Robert also pointed out the advantages of working on a website with a professional coach. “Creating content for a website is an introspective exercise,” said Robert. “It’s not easy. But working with a coach, who is trained in listening skills and asking good questions, helped me uncover what I really needed to communicate.”
Ready for Opportunity
“What’s the return on investment with a website redesign? It can be challenging to determine,” said Robert. “There’s no guarantee it will attract new customers.” But making the investment, he realized how well it prepared him for new opportunities. In fact, just a few weeks after the website launch, one such opportunity emerged.
“I had the chance to become a preferred provider for a statewide healthcare organization,” Robert recounted. “As I was being evaluated, having the website and video ready added real substance and strengthened the case for my selection.”
Sharing what he learned about marketing communication, Robert explained, “You have to continue to look at your website with a critical eye—what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.” The key was listening to his network and adjusting his marketing message based on their feedback.
And with a wise word to other business owners, Robert advises, “Prepare for success before the opportunity comes!”
Improve Your Marketing Message
If you’re thinking about how to market your business more effectively, our team is ready to help. Whether it means creating a video, editing your early drafts, redesigning a website, or even re-thinking the entire marketing strategy, we enjoy the challenge of resolving communication problems and growing your business.
MNS Group, an IT service provider, wanted to give the clarion call to businesses—protect your data! To properly protect their networks from hackers, mistakes, and acts of God, businesses today need a layered approach. These threats are more than a typical in-house IT department can handle.
MNS Group asked us to communicate this message to a non-technical audience: their potential customers.
We brainstormed and collaborated with MNS Group—until a creative idea came trotting along like a knight in shining armor! What if we thought of a business as a medieval castle, where the data was like treasure they were trying to protect? And how about those network security threats? Virus attacks that breached firewalls could be represented by flame-breathing dragons. Hackers would sneak around like hooded bandits. And the way those marketers target businesses? Just like archers.
Drawing Up Plans
Video was the perfect medium for a message so imaginative and visual. So we decided to try a story telling technique that was new for us—hand-sketched art. First we developed a script and a series of sketches. After more collaboration with MNS Group, we then moved on to video production with voiceover. After editing, the finished video was ready to engage business leaders about network security.
Creativity Leads to Victory
MNS Group liked the video so much, they featured it on their new homepage. Other clients were also impressed at how this drawing video enlivens the message. Making this video was a creative, effective way to help MNS Group draw in their business audience. Here’s a look at the published video:
If you are looking for a way to expand your marketing message or engage your audience in a fresh way, let us know. We’ll bring our Sharpie.
Our creative team just put the finishing touches on a new video on creativity coaching. In the video, a team of improvising artists illustrate the value of coaching for bringing more creativity into your business, play, and life. It features Harpejji, electronic piano, percussion, photography, drawing, dance, a 1967 Ford 4000 tractor, and lots of free play.
What better way to sell videos online than to show previews? Coach Troy has a growing collection of workout and instructional videos that help athletes prepare for the big race. Along with this DVD introduction, Accent created the online presence and streaming video content that race sales right past the competition.
DVD introduction excites athletes about exercise
Video and audio quality are maximized for online viewing
Streaming allows for viewing during download
Accent Interactive provides a high quality service that is timely and professional. I trust them for all of my graphic design and website development needs.
Update: Coach Troy now has a YouTube channel to promote his training series.
Eldercare consulting firm JSR Associates came to Accent Interactive for help creating a video series to educate designers across the nation. The result is a video that makes the most of screen space by creatively integrating many graphical elements.
Seamless integration of video footage, photography, and text
Cover design echoes the video’s look and feel
We produced music for video transitions
Video counts for CEU credits for industry professionals