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Video: The Unsung Hero


Video: The Unsung Hero

By Mack Hawthorne

Suppose you’re trying to convey a message to somebody. You could draft a text or email, sure, but the adage is true – “Some things are best told in person.” It’s easy enough to apply this rule to our more personal relationships, and most businesses already know the value of meeting their clients in person. What you may not have considered, is that this rule applies to engagement you aren’t even taking part in.

The Downfall of Television

Fast forward to the mid-2000s. The internet has been well-established, and as social media booms and reaches one of the biggest audiences ever, marketing suddenly becomes easy – post some content on Facebook, and fill your website with some buzzwords to make Google happy, and your business was on easy street… A little too easy. The web market was so simple then that pictures and text ruled the roost, and with television’s decline for advertising effectiveness, video became isolated to only those most passionate about it. After all, why pay some money to get a video shot when you can just throw some words into a post and reach the same audience for a fifth the cost?

One word: complacency.

When social media was new and thriving, engagement was high and consistent – everyone wanted to explore the market, and when it was suddenly easy to find a business near you that had what you needed (no more Yellow Pages!), it didn’t really matter how good of quality their content was, so long as it conveyed the message right, but that time has passed. Your customer base is now aware of how easy it is to find a business near them, and with social media full of injected ads from the big boys who paid Meta directly, few people want to engage with a company that only advertises its services. Google, too, has completely changed its algorithm – there are still words that make it happy, but you can no longer shoot to the top of search results just by posting some text and nothing more.

Here’s the skinny of it – your website isn’t fun. Your Facebook page isn’t fun. And thanks to faux-personable content from big businesses, people are resisting aggressive salesmanship more than ever before. What, then, can crack the seal – what can convey your company’s core message to gain you new customers, while being fun enough to break through the veil of resistance social media has ingrained into many people?

The Text Blurb Trap

In the glorious future world of 2023, the internet has taken the reins when it comes to direct marketing, but it’s easy to recall a world just a few short decades ago. Let’s take a step back to 1989. How would a company market itself then? Some methods are universal – taking out print ads in newspapers, billboards, and more remains an option. Giving a phone call to each customer is a time-consuming process, but one that still holds a lot of value if you put in the effort. But the king back then, bar none, was the airwaves; invisible video and audio signals constantly careening over our heads, beaming their way to radios and televisions. When the TV (cable or otherwise) was the eye candy of choice, a video spot on a locally available channel that got some good viewership was the most straightforward way to get customers aware of what your business had to offer. 30 seconds of commercial showing you, your business, your location and more could convey more information about you than that two inches of space on a diner placemat ever could.

In the age of the internet, this has changed… Kind of. Television still has its diehard fans, but with the way most modern hookups work, local channels aren’t available or even of interest to most people. The TV ad is now subject to a harsh compromise – get your ad on a local or other low-interest channel, and it won’t reach that many people, meaning the money you spent won’t go to much use at all. But get your ad on a major network, and you’ll find that, in addition to the significantly greater sum of money you just dropped, you’re also reaching people who would never patronize your business to begin with – with the way network affiliation works, the ad will be shown over a wide enough area that the majority of potential customers who even see it will be well outside of driving distance.

TV’s commercial marketplace has become mostly a hotbed of personality pieces for companies that are already well-established – you know who Geico is, everybody does, so they focus on making funnier commercials with the same thin message… When you’re as big as Geico, you don’t need to make people aware you exist; you just need to remind them. This works on the scale of business they operate at, but for a small business, the message can’t be that thin and still succeed. You need a video that directly showcases what makes your business great, and you need it to reach people.

The Great Video Trick

Video is inherently fun.

Suddenly, those pictures of your company’s building have become a walkthrough tour. Suddenly, that mugshot of your employee in front of a wall has become an interview where their personality is able to shine through. Suddenly, that text post about your business that was too long for anyone to want to read has become a voiceover, which people pay attention to as the video on screen backs up what you’re saying! Video is still the greatest way to reach people and fill them in on what you have to offer.

Google and Meta sure seem to think so, too; having videos on your website and social media pages creates that diversity of content that the algorithm loves to see, boosting your SEO and getting you in front of that base you wanted to reach all along!

Video succeeds in cracking the veil in a way that no other marketing method does. Video has heart. You can make a great website with all the necessary information about your business, and this does help a lot in convincing your audience, but you need a hook, something to get people in the door and tell them outright why you may be the perfect solution for them. Video is that hook.

Video is personable without being in-person. It tells a story, and it doesn’t need to be attached to an official corporate blog or published and distributed in a book to do it.

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The Power of Style Guides


The Power of Style Guides

In the dynamic world of business, creating a memorable and consistent brand identity is essential. Think about the golden arches of McDonald’s, the iconic apple of Apple Inc., or the swoosh of Nike. These symbols are instantly recognizable, and they all have one thing in common: a well-crafted style guide, also known as a brand manual.

So, what exactly is a style guide or brand manual, and why should companies have one? Let’s dive into the world of brand identity and discover the importance of this invaluable tool.

What is a Style Guide/Brand Manual?

A style guide, often referred to as a brand manual or brand guidelines, is like a roadmap for your company’s visual and verbal identity. It’s a comprehensive document that outlines the rules and guidelines for using various elements of your brand, such as logos, colors, typography, and messaging. In essence, it’s a user manual for your brand identity.

Why is it Important?

You might wonder, why go through all the trouble of creating a style guide? Here are some compelling reasons:

1. Consistency is Key:  

In a world flooded with information, consistency helps your brand stand out. A style guide ensures that your logo, colors, fonts, and messaging remain uniform across all platforms, whether it’s your website, social media, print materials, or advertisements. Consistency fosters trust and recognition among your audience.

2. Professionalism:

A well-crafted style guide exudes professionalism. It shows that your company pays attention to detail and is serious about its brand identity. This can leave a positive impression on customers and potential partners.

3. Efficiency:

With a style guide in place, your marketing and design teams and any other vendors have clear guidelines to follow. This reduces guesswork, speeds up the design process, and ensures that all brand elements are used correctly. It’s a time-saver and can prevent costly mistakes.

4. Adaptability:

As your company grows and evolves, so does your brand. A style guide allows for flexibility and adaptability while maintaining core brand values. This means you can seamlessly introduce new products, services, or campaigns without diluting your brand’s essence.

5. Brand Loyalty:

A consistent and visually appealing brand identity can foster loyalty among your customers. When they see your brand elements consistently and are impressed by your professionalism, they are more likely to stick around and become repeat customers.

Now that you understand the importance of a style guide, you might be wondering where to find a reliable partner to help create one. Look no further than Five Towers Media.

Five Towers Media: Your Style Guide Experts

Five Towers Media is a creative powerhouse that creates stunning style guides and brand manuals. With our expertise, we can help your company achieve a brand identity that not only stands out but also speaks to your target audience.

Our team of skilled designers and content creators will work closely with you to understand your brand’s unique personality, values, and goals. We will then translate these insights into a comprehensive style guide that encompasses everything from logo usage and color palettes to tone of voice guidelines.

We will also ask you seemingly silly questions like, “if your logo could talk, what would it say?” Why? Because, our in depth process, and the answers we receive will guide us to the true heart and soul of your company’s image.

With Five Towers Media by your side, you can rest assured that your brand identity will be in good hands. Our attention to detail and commitment to excellence will ensure that your style guide is nothing short of exceptional.

Click Here to Download our Sample Style Guide

Example of a Style Guide that we can create for you:

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Jr. Creative Director


Jr. Creative Director

Are you a creative visionary with a passion for graphic design and website development? Do you have a keen eye for aesthetics and the ability to transform ideas into compelling visual experiences? If so, we invite you to join Five Towers Media as a Junior Creative Director and play a vital role in shaping our clients’ brand identities and online presence.

Apply Now

  • Saratoga Springs, New York


  • 20-40 Hours
    Monday — Friday


  • $17.50 – $19.50
    per hour



As a Junior Creative Director, you will collaborate closely with our team of talented designers, developers, and marketers to conceive and execute creative strategies that captivate audiences and drive results. You’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, from branding campaigns to web design, and contribute to our clients’ success stories.


  • Assist in leading the creative direction of projects, ensuring alignment with client goals and brand identities.

  • Participate in brainstorming sessions, offering fresh and innovative ideas that push creative boundaries.

  • Translate concepts into compelling visual designs for both digital and print mediums.

  • Collaborate with designers, developers, and content creators to ensure seamless integration of design elements.

  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of brand guidelines and design standards.

  • Stay current with design trends, emerging technologies, and industry best practices to bring innovative ideas to the table.

  • Provide constructive feedback to team members to foster growth and development.

  • Assist in client presentations, effectively communicating design concepts and strategies.


  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in Graphic Design, Visual Arts, or related field (or equivalent experience).

  • Strong portfolio showcasing a range of design projects, including web design, branding, and print materials.

  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.).

  • Understanding of web design principles and technologies (WordPress, etc.).

  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to present ideas clearly.

  • Creative thinking with a knack for problem-solving and innovation.

  • Strong attention to detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality work.

  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively within a team environment.

  • Previous experience in a design or creative role is a plus.

Benefits & Pay

  • $17.50 – $19.50 per hour

  • Commission pay

  • Flexible schedule

Why Five Towers Media?

  • Join a dynamic and passionate team that values creativity and innovation.

  • Opportunity to work on diverse projects for a wide range of clients.

  • Collaborative and supportive work environment that fosters professional growth.

  • Chance to contribute to the growth and direction of a rapidly expanding agency.

If you’re ready to embark on an exciting journey and make your mark in the world of creative design and marketing, we want to hear from you. Please submit your resume, cover letter, and portfolio showcasing your best work to

We look forward to reviewing your application and discovering how you could be the next Junior Creative Director at Five Towers Media.

Apply Now

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Junior Graphic Designer


Junior Graphic Designer

Our Agency is looking for our next Junior Designer to work with our team on day to day projects. This role will start part time and grow into a full time role quickly. Life here is pretty fast paced and applicants should be ready to jump right in.

Apply Now

  • Saratoga Springs, New York


  • Start Part-time
    Monday — Friday


  • From
    $15 per hour



Our Agency is looking for our next Junior Designer to work with our team on day to day projects. This role will start part time and grow into a full time role quickly. Life here is pretty fast paced and applicants should be ready to jump right in.


  • Social Media Posts

  • Logo Creation and Brand Style Guides

  • Digital and Print Ad Design

  • Print Design including Newspapers and Magazines

  • Website Design and Builds

  • Graphics for Video, Podcasts, and other Media

  • Email Campaigns

  • Marketing Automation

  • Some others that may come up!

Benefits & Pay

From $15.00 per hour

Apply Now

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Social Media Has Left the Building

Social Media

Social Media Has Left the Building

By Michael Nelson

One of the most common conversations I have with clients and potential clients is about whether it makes sense to pay us or any other company to handle their social media for them. The challenge is there aren’t many upsides to social media at this point, if any. Here are my top 3 reasons why social media is no longer the goliath it used to be. For those of you searching and hoping for a reason to stay on social media just skip past these and head on down to the conclusion.

Cost of Audience Development

Not long ago, businesses had it made. If they wanted to get their brand in front of people and engage with their audience, it was as simple as creating a business page and posting content. Sometimes the content did not even need to be good. You could garner likes, shares, and followers with just a few clicks—and it was 100% free. It seemed like every post gained a new follower and every offer attracted a new client. What a time to be alive! Until suddenly it wasn’t. It was like watching the lights go out after you flip the switch. All at once, brands that used to get hundreds or thousands of likes went down to maybe 3. Brands that saw dozens of new followers a day went down to zero– unless you wanted to pay. What used to happen for free now has a price tag and it rarely offers a sensible ROI. By some estimates, a new Facebook or Instagram follower costs as high as $2-$4. When it comes to scaling, the math isn’t difficult. You could easily be thousands of dollars into audience development on marketing channels that have limits on who sees your posts based on…The Algorithm.

The Algorithm

Over the last few years, the word algorithm has been everywhere. In the social media world, The Algorithm is the boogeyman that decides which posts live and die. Which posts are seen by millions… or by none. The Algorithm and its complexities have spawned a whole new industry of people who claim to know and understand it. They promise to optimize your posts, increase engagement, and generally outsmart The Algorithm. A promise that likely won’t be kept. By our estimates, organic (i.e. unpaid) posts are seen by less than 4% of your total audience because of The Algorithm. LESS than 4%. Now let’s run those numbers: at a new follower cost of $2 (the low side), gaining 10,000 followers would cost $20,000. Of those 10,000 followers, only 400 would see the post. How many of those will even interact, let alone make a purchase? Don’t take my word for it though. A quick look at major brands like Pepsi, Nike, or even Black Rifle Coffee (who used to create great content in this author’s opinion) will bring home the point. To check their engagement rate, just add up their engagements from a recent organic post, then divide that number by their total followers. The result will be surprising. I know it would surprise me, but that’s also because I haven’t looked at my social accounts in over a year. Truthfully, I’m just tired of social media. And I’m not alone.

Social Fatigue

Some say it’s information overload, too much data, or that the media overall is the problem. The Social Media companies claim it’s a myth because their overall user count keeps rising. What they don’t address is the number of accounts that are either fake (“bots”) or duplicate. They rarely address how many of these accounts are actively engaging and they never address how many active accounts are under management. I personally have an active Facebook account that I never access because my team manages it. We have an office full of marketing professionals, writers, and creators who will openly profess their disdain for social media. They’re still on it, but not nearly as much as even a few years ago. Most real humans we speak to say something similar. In fact, I’ve been hard pressed to find someone that speaks positively about social media. Most complain about the toxicity, the politics, the opinions, the fake news, and the censorship. These items create a fatigue in users until they no longer engage, post, or even log in anymore. They’re tired. Can you blame them?


There are still uses for social media, but they may not come with a dependable ROI. Our current guidance is to use social media as a communications channel. It’s no longer where customers are finding you, but it’s helpful for building credibility in a brand. We suggest companies do their own social media and focus marketing budgets on more effective strategies. For those of you that are still hoping for results like it’s 2016, social media has left the building.

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Unlock the Power of Streaming TV Ads

TV ad

Unlock the Power of Streaming TV Ads: How They Can Revolutionize Your Advertising Strategy

By Adam Mason

July 2022 was the first time ever more people watched streaming TV than cable. This jump in viewership to internet based TV viewing is going to revolutionize your businesses advertising strategy and here’s why.

OTT Advertising

OTT ads stand for “Over-The-Top” advertising. It is delivered to viewers of internet-connected devices that stream TV content on smart TVs, streaming boxes, and mobile devices. OTT advertising offers many advantages over traditional TV advertising. Targeting options include the ability to reach specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behavior, and type of device they use to stream TV content. OTT advertising is now evolving to include the ability to track your audience on your website using tracking pixels that collect data on your website visitors. This info optimizes your advertising campaigns. These tracking pixels have become commonplace to use if you are advertising on platforms from the likes of Meta (Facebook) and Google.

The Advantage

The advantage of OTT ads for your business includes targeting, engagement, reach and measurement. Targeting a specific audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior will increase engagement and brand recall. Reach larger audiences because streaming content is consumed on many different devices, including TVs, computers, mobile devices, and tablets connecting you to users anywhere, anytime. OTT ads also offer robust measurement and analytic tools compared to traditional TV advertising to helping the performance of your ad campaigns. 

Combining a tracking pixel on your company’s website with the power of OTT ads will supercharge your audience segmentation and retargeting capabilities of your advertising strategies. The data you can collect from OTT ads and website pixels allow advertisers to segment audiences to tailor advertising to specific groups which in turn increase the delivery of more relevant, personalized, and effective messages to their targeted audience. Additional savings can be had by using tracking pixels to retarget users who have visited your website. By showing relevant ads to users who have already expressed an interest in your brand, product, or service advertisers can improve their click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall campaign performance which results in lower costs. 

Case Studies

Nielsen Media Group and The Hershey Company have found OTT Ads and website tracking pixels to be a benefit in their marketing strategies. Nielsen found that OTT advertising was effective in increasing brand recall for a healthcare brand by 20%. The Hershey Company was able to achieve a 50% increase in online sales when using website pixels to retarget users who have already expressed an interest in their brand. 

At Five Towers Media we encourage our clients to include OTT Advertising and Website Tracking Pixels in their marketing strategy to make significant improvements in their own advertising campaigns. Book a call today with a marketing strategist.

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A Case for Stock Video

Stock Images and Video

A Case for Stock Video

By Michael Nelson

As a content creator and videographer, I really want to tell you that your video inbound marketing efforts need only custom video creation. As a business owner, I definitely want to tell you that you need custom video creation. The thing is, that is not always the case. On some occasions, stock video is the perfect solution, regardless if it is for television, social media, YouTube or your website. Let me lay out the pros and cons for you. Let’s use the video above as an example. 


    You can possibly save a ton of time.

    In the video above, we had a limited amount of time to shoot, edit and deliver the product. Finding the right actors, choosing locations, scheduling and all the myriad details that go into producing footage can sometimes take weeks or months. By using stock footage, we were able to forgo all of that and get right to finding clips and editing. 

    You can save a ton of money.

    In the world of video, time equals money. If we had to shoot custom footage to line up with what we had for stock video clips, it would have cost thousands of dollars. When I say thousands, I mean closer to ten than two. 

    You have many options.

    There are so many clips available that you can cover almost every scenario imaginable. In some cases, you are able to find clips that you could not create without considerable time and cost. Stock video clips give you seemingly never-ending possibilities. Need a drone shot of Norway or footage like the one below but don’t want to expend resources to get one? No problem. Stock video is here. Don’t want to wait for a solar eclipse but want one in your video? Stock video is the answer. 

    I am sure there are other points we can make for the use of stock video, but I think you get the gist. 


    The stock video clips are not unique to your video.

    Because everyone has access to them, there is a very good chance that you may see some of the clips in your repertoire in other people’s videos. 

    You lose social engagement.

    If you are using these videos for social media or television and you and your people are not in the video, you will possibly miss out on engagement. As people recognize you, they begin to comment, share and discuss. This is exactly what you want to help gain traction organically, especially with inbound marketing. Using stock video can drastically reduce this prospect and have a negative effect on your marketing efforts.

    Sometimes there just are not stock videos clips that line up with your message the way you would want.

    This is one of the times that stock video is limiting, and the only thing you can do is shoot custom video unique to your situation. 

    As you can see, there are some reasons for and some reasons against using stock video clips. There are situations in which you will absolutely want to use stock video for your top-of-the-funnel marketing assets. This does not mean you should automatically go for stock videos that you just throw your logo on. There are also situations in which you will want to create custom videos perfectly suited to your needs—lead-generating machines that will give you an amazing ROI. Not sure when to use them and when not to? Shoot us an email, and we can help you figure it out.

    Looking to take your marketing to the next level?

    Sign up for our DIY Marketing Newsletter and join our community of solo-preneurs, marketing managers, social media managers, and small business owners who are ready to supercharge their own marketing strategies, and grow their business!

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    Why Do I Need a Podcast?


    Why Do I Need a Podcast?

    By Michael Nelson

    I don’t want to spend too much time on the issue of “how to.” There are plenty of articles and blogs out there on how to create and publish podcasts. Here is a link to a great one that I think spells it out pretty clearly.

    This blog can help you go from zero to hero in no time at all.

    What I want to focus on is the why. Why would you want to have a podcast? Here are four reasons:

      1. It can position you as an expert and leader in your field. 
      2. It is a great top-of-the-funnel asset for inbound marketing efforts.
      3. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services.
      4. It can be an amazing way to open doors for sales opportunities. 

      Let’s take a quick look at each item.

      Having your own podcast can position you as an expert and leader in your field.

      To clarify: I am not advocating the whole “fake it till you make it” thing. I am not saying that it will position you as an expert and leader if you are not already that. What I am saying is that currently you are an expert and leader in your field, but no one knows this because you are not providing them that information. You need to move from where you are—unrecognized and unknown—to someone who is recognized and known. People you have never heard of will know who you are—that is what I mean by positioning. A podcast is a great way to introduce content to the marketplace that helps move you from unknown to known.

      Podcasts make for great content that can be used as top-of-the-funnel assets for inbound marketing.

      Here’s the deal: A podcast episode does not give you just one piece of content. At a minimum, it should give you three pieces of content. There is the podcast itself, the blog you write about the podcast (or, at the very least, a written description listed on your website), and then the video of the podcast. That makes three pieces of content that can be key pieces of your inbound marketing strategy. They can be used on social media, your website and in your email campaigns. And the video, of course, can be uploaded to YouTube. If tagged properly and with the right description, that video can help boost your organic SEO as well as help get more views natively on YouTube. 

      A podcast gives you an opportunity to showcase your products and services. 

      I don’t mean that each podcast should be a commercial, but you can organically work into the conversation different points about what you do. This helps define your expertise and why people should listen. You also have the opportunity to throw in something at the beginning and ending of the production that can serve as a 30-60-second commercial about your business. Listeners will not be turned off by this. 

      Podcasts, depending on the format, can be a great way to open up dialogue with potential sales prospects and begin a relationship that could very well win business.

      You have to be very careful with this, so let me explain a little more in depth. Let’s pretend you own a business whose target market is retail stores in your downtown area. That is something we have a lot of in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Rather than kicking down doors looking for sales opportunities, why not create a podcast that tells the story of downtown Saratoga Springs and how it has changed over the years? You invite guests such as city leaders, real estate agents and—you guessed it!—downtown business owners in Saratoga Springs. You must remember that this is not a sales call or a sales opportunity. This is simply a chance to meet someone who represents your target market by taking the first step in forming a relationship. Don’t get me wrong: It very well may lead to business opportunities. But don’t force it.  All you need to worry about is having an interesting show, helping the business owners highlight what they do and how amazing their stores are, and then waiting for things to blossom. It’s a no-pressure strategy that can pay big dividends if done correctly. Don’t screw it up by trying to get into a sales conversation. If done correctly, when the participants are ready, they will reach out to you. After all, now they know you and (probably) like you, and you have had the chance to build some trust. 

      This, hopefully, has shed some light on why you should have a podcast. I am sure you have questions, and I would be glad to chat. To do so, just shoot me an email. 

      Wondering how you should start a podcast? Contact us.

      Looking to take your marketing to the next level?

      Sign up for our DIY Marketing Newsletter and join our community of solo-preneurs, marketing managers, social media managers, and small business owners who are ready to supercharge their own marketing strategies, and grow their business!

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      DIY Video Shooter

      DIY Video

      DIY Video Shooter

      By Michael Nelson

      As someone who shoots a significant amount of video for clients every week, I really want to make this point: Put down your cell phone and hire us to produce your video. Two years ago, there was little thought given to cell phone videos if you wanted to use them for anything other than Facebook. Today, however, given the improvements in cell phone cameras, it simply is not the case. So instead of telling you to stop shooting video on your cell phone, I say, “Go ahead and do itbut hire us to do the editing instead.” Editing is where the artistic part comes in, and it is the difference between a good video and a great one. 

      After constantly wincing as we viewed DIY shooters make some pretty basic mistakes, we put together a simple “cheat sheet” to help you shoot video we can edit. 

      For my videographer friends, obviously there are exceptions to everything stated here.

      For the DIY shooters, here are some simple tips to keep in mind while capturing video on your cell phone: 


      • Shoot with the phone horizontal. The exception to this is if you are shooting TikTok or Instagram stories.
      • Upload footage directly from the device or SD card to Google Drive. Emailing, texting, and using AirDrop degrades footage and images.
      • Shoot in 4K.
      • Shoot interviews at 24 FPS (frames per second).
      • Shoot B-roll footage at 60 FPS (this allows you to use the slow-motion feature).
      • Shoot interviews with the subject looking off camera (instead of into it).


      • Device. You should shoot with a newer phone, such as an iPhone 10 or newer model (the iPhone 12 is best right now) or any of the Samsung Galaxy phones produced in the last couple of years. The rule of thumb: If it is older than a 2018 model, it’s probably not the right device. 
      • Tripod. Interview videos should be shot from a tripod, if you have one, to produce stable footage.
      • Stabilization. B-roll footage should use some sort of stabilization. (Those handheld stabilizers for phones are so inexpensive, it is ridiculous.)
      • Distance. Get closer to your subject, especially when taking B-roll footage. 
      • Planning. Shoot to edit. It is very easy to overshoot, which adds additional time to the editing process.
      • Aspect ratio. Use 16:9, not 4:3.


      Audio quality is probably more important than video quality when it comes to interviews. You need to either upgrade sound equipment, shoot somewhere very quiet, or both. Sound pollution will ruin your video, making it unwatchable, and you will have wasted a lot of time. 

      For conducting interviews, shotgun mics are OK, but a lapel mic is best. You’ll need to do a little research to find the best audio-capture device for your phone.

      Final thoughts:

      These are not all the issues, but for most of you who are shooting videos for your website or social profiles, it should help. 

      The two biggest sins I see are incorrect orientation (holding your phone vertical when it should be horizontal) and audio problems. Audio is so important. People will watch a video that has shaky footage, but audio that is muffled, has a ton of hum, or is nonexistent will lead to instant click-aways. 

      Have a question or comment? Shoot us an email. If you want to download this little cheat sheet, click below. 

      Download Cheat Sheet

      Looking to take your marketing to the next level?

      Sign up for our DIY Marketing Newsletter and join our community of solo-preneurs, marketing managers, social media managers, and small business owners who are ready to supercharge their own marketing strategies, and grow their business!

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      4 Must-Have Top-of-the-Funnel Videos

      4 Must-Have Top-of-the-Funnel Videos

      4 Must-Have Top-of-the-Funnel Videos

      By Michael Nelson

      The conversation I constantly have with most business owners, marketing managers and salespeople is that they are struggling with one of three problems—and sometimes all three.

      The first problem is that they are struggling to find ways to fill the top of their sales and marketing funnel. They want to connect with prospects that are not just tire kicking, but actually interested in making a buying decision. They are frustrated with traditional methods of prospecting such as cold calls and networking, finding the results are not what they used to be. Many of them are spending time, money and resources on organic social media or paid ads, only to be disappointed with conversion rates.

      This leads to thin pipelines, desperate salespeople and saying yes to the wrong customers at the wrong price point.

      What they want are ways for folks who are actively going through the buying process to find them, to be at least somewhat aware of their brand, and to make a buying decision. It’s this last one that has them scratching their heads or throwing their hands up in frustration.

      The second problem they are battling with is filling their hiring pipeline. It’s a common problem. They want to grow their business and need talent to do it. They are sometimes using traditional methods such as newspapers or radio, and some of them are looking to other digital strategies including recruiting websites, social media and more. Even with these New Age techniques, they are still disappointed with the results. Just like they struggle to find prospects for sales, they are also struggling to find potential new hires.

      This leads to problems such as being over capacity—unable to fill orders or perform work, and in the end watching their numbers slowly slide.

      They want talent to search them out, high employee retention and overall growth of the business because they have the best team in the business.

      The third problem is that they are confused about how to show differentiation in the market. They constantly find themselves competing on price, and they struggle to find ways to help buyers and potential hires understand why they should work with them. Their messaging sounds like that of everyone else: “We are the best. We have great customer service. We are not the cheapest, but we are worth it.” The thing is, their competitors are saying the same things and also have the reviews to prove it, just like you.

      In the end, they are forced into commodity-based selling, competing on price and often saying yes to work that is not worth it in the long run. A friend of mine used to call this suicide selling—you are slowly killing your own business by saying yes to work you shouldn’t.

      All three of these problems have similar solutions: You need a way to attract qualified buyers or attract the best talent. You need a compelling way to tell your story that helps differentiate your business. You need a way to market your business that is cost-effective and gets results.

      So here are four must-have videos for filling the top of the funnel:

      Sales/Lead-generation Video

      This video has a few different uses. It is a prospecting tool that can be sent to people or businesses that are in your target market as a way to pique their interest. It can be used as a digital leave-behind after an initial meeting or even with a networking partner to help them better understand how you help your clients and customers. It can be a top-of-the-funnel piece for marketing purposes, content for your social media and website, and even a cross-selling piece for current clients. It can be used to help new talent understand your selling propositions. It’s a short video, around 1-2 minutes in length, that not only explains what you do, but why choosing you over your competitor would be important to someone who is a qualified buyer. The amount of use you can get out of just this one video is vast and, considering the price point, extremely valuable. It, just like the other three videos we will discuss, is the Swiss Army knife of your sales, marketing and communication efforts.

      We follow a very specific format to ensure you get the right messaging. You may be asking, “Well, what is it?” That’s our “secret sauce,” so I cannot just give it to you, but I will say that it is a formula successfully used by many companies around the world. We didn’t create it; we just employ it diligently. 

      For this video, we look at three things that have been used by organizations all over the world in order to come up with the content needed to create a video that will generate results.

      About Story

      Every business has a unique story that not only details what it is but also helps prospects understand reasons outside of sales as to why its people may want to work with you. A company’s story helps make it relatable to you and your business and forms a sense of simpatico that is often missed or overlooked during the sales process. Every business owner has faced hardship and adversity; we are all very similar in that regard. Helping your prospects understand how their struggle and yours are similar can really help form a solid relationship. Again, we follow a very specific format for this video that guarantees we tell a compelling, emotional story that humanizes your business and relates a narrative beyond the technical aspects. (More secret sauce here, but let’s chat about how to tell your story.)

      Hiring/Recruiting Video

      One of the biggest challenges facing every employer is hiring and recruiting. We all struggle with finding and retaining top talent that is exactly what we need to help our businesses perform at a top level. Being able to communicate the kind of environment and culture someone would be walking into if they worked with your company is paramount. This can help you not only fill your labor force, but may also get potential rock stars reaching out to you with a desire to join your team. 

      Testimonial Video

      Nothing—and I mean nothing—sings your praises louder than when it comes from other people. Having videos of your loyal client base telling how they helped you can attract prospects and top talent as well as help make the difference in whether you close. There is no secret sauce here, just emotional-based content that engages. This goes beyond that 140-character-based review and really delves into real-world examples of who you help and how much it meant to them on a personal level. 

      If you still aren’t sure if this is possible for your business or how to make these four videos happen, we would love to chat with you. Our job is to find the story even when you think there may not be one; believe me, there is a story there. It is just a matter of asking the right questions to help peel back the layers to get from the surface to the emotion behind it.

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