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Marketing – 522 Productions
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Promote Your Financial Services Through Video

In general, financial services have a hard time connecting with younger audiences.. Video can be used as a means to bridge the gap between the two, offering audio and visuals to engage the audience, and also provide a way to build transparency, explain financial offerings and services, and let your customers know more about how you help them achieve their financial goals.

In a world where attention spans get shorter and shorter, video is proven to captivate your audience and maintain engagement and Brand loyalty. For financial institutions, this is key. Companies who utilize video in their marketing strategies have seen conversion rates increase across the board – specifically when used on landing pages, we’ve seen an 80% increase in conversions, and when used in email outreaches, we’ve seen open rates increase by 19%. According to Hubspot, 90% of customers have stated that video helps them make decisions in their buying process.

So – that sounds great – but how do you get started on your financial services video? We’ve outlined some simple steps so you can get off on the right foot.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title=”1. Start with Questions.” tab_id=”1603132046680-aaaf5389-23f1″][vc_column_text]Before you determine your concept & distribution plan, you’ll need to understand your goals, primary objectives as well as your audience and their mindset. If your video isn’t strategic, it probably won’t garner the results you’re looking to achieve. So, begin by asking yourself some questions and defining your goals. Here are some questions/areas of information to get started.

  • What do your customers care about when looking for a financial service?
  • Who are your customers? Understand their demographics.
  • What do your customers want & need from a financial service provider?
  • What do you want your customers to know about you?
  • Why are you creating a video?
  • What message do you want to convey?
  • Are you selling something? Explaining something? Welcoming new customers?
  • What do you want a video to sound like? Look like? Feel like?
  • What kinds of videos have you seen that resonate with you most?
  • What channels do your customers interact with most? Your website? Socials? An app? Email?
  • What are you willing to spend?

These are just a few questions to start out with to determine the key factors for your video and ensure it will resonate with your customers or audiences.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”2. Time to Plan!” tab_id=”1603132046730-92840c2b-a320″][vc_column_text]The next step is to outline your video production plan, as well as your video marketing plan. How often will you create/promote new videos? The most important thing will be to remain realistic and to establish cadence that makes sense for your organization. Maybe it’s once a month – maybe it’s once every 2 months – as long as it makes sense for you.

A great way to get started on your video production plan(besides contacting your video production partner) is to think about all of the materials and steps it’ll take to create your video. Will you need to schedule a production? Actors? Filming equipment? Or is this an animated video that requires a motionographer? Speaking of video types – you should consider what kind of video makes the most sense. Here are some examples of video types that work well for financial services:

  1. About Us – About Us videos can tell your customer a lot about your history, your business functions, and your values. Because trust is a huge part of a relationship between financial service and customer, providing this insight is extremely important.
  2. Explainer – There are a lot of complexities when it comes to offerings from a financial institution. Sharing this information in a clear, easily digestible format is a great way to engage your customers and ensure that they understand how your services help them achieve their goals.
  3. Testimonial – Like we said, trust is a huge part of the relationship between financial service and customer. Hearing from someone who’s already worked with you is a great way to build that trust.

It’s important to detail the necessary elements to create your video ahead of time to understand the timeline and budget of your project. You may also want to consider hiring a video production agency to help you in the process. Sometimes, it’s better to spend money on a partner who can provide not only a high-quality final product, but help you determine your strategy and distribution as well. Hey…that reminds us….we do that! Give us a call!

Something to help you lay out your video marketing plan in terms of frequency is to plot your potential videos on a calendar, so you’re aware of what needs to be created and when it needs to be distributed. To determine how many videos, how often, and what topics you’ll want to focus on, ask your customers! Gathering information through surveys is an easy way to capture data about your audience to help figure out your video strategy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”3. Create, Publish & Promote.” tab_id=”1603132299729-df764208-d6e5″][vc_column_text]Now that you’ve determined your topic, your video type, your production plan, and distribution – it’s time to execute. Have fun with the process and remember your goals. Once your video(s) is complete, it’s time to distribute across your preferred channels to reach your customers. Post on your website, promote on your organization’s Instagram, or embed the video in your next email outreach. Make sure it reaches your customers – and here’s the most important step – listen to what they say about it!

A good video marketing strategy is flexible. Testing strategies and adapting them based on feedback from your audience is the best way to maximize results and continue to build relationships with your customers. Make sure you’re continuously monitoring how your video performs using a few metrics: engagement, conversion rate, shares, and play time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]At the end of the day, if you’re a financial institution, video marketing is something that can be extremely beneficial for your organization. It can build trust, bridge the gap between yourself and younger audiences, explain your offerings and services, and showcase your organization’s history & values to connect, communicate and engage with your customers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How TikTok Can Work For Brands

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What a year it’s been for marketers around the world. As consumers rapidly change their behaviors, marketers have had to adjust (and continue to adjust) their strategies to not only reach their audiences, but engage. Brands will come out of their shell and show their true colors to their audiences, with hopes to attract consumers who align with their values, initiatives, and offerings. Needless to say… 2020 has changed everything.

A platform that has exploded though this 2020 shift has been… you guessed it: TikTok – a short-form video sharing app that allows users to share and create content instantly. Users are able to add things like animated icons and text-based graphics to enhance their content. Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a drastic increase in the amount of users and daily activity. According to Hootsuite, it’s become the “social media sensation of lockdown”, helping users overcome boredom as they stay indoors.

Brands have started to catch on to the trending platform, utilizing the ease of shareability and hyper-engaged user base for advertising. Over the past few months, we’ve received A TON of questions about the value of TikTok, so we thought we’d share some insights to consider before jumping on the bandwagon.

Currently, there are three main ways Brands can utilize TikTok for marketing efforts:

  1. Use TikTok influencers to reach a larger audience
  2. Create a channel for your brand and upload tailored content
  3. Promote your videos using paid advertising on the platform

While we have seenBrands find success with marketing on the platform, it’s important to remember that it’s not a one size fits all. The majority of TikTok users range from 16-24, and not all Brands cater to that demographic. But if that age range does fall within your Brand’s target audience – here are some ways you can utilize TikTok for your marketing initiatives & why it will work.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title=”1. Mobile Video” tab_id=”1603131314739-2b545649-63ab”][vc_column_text]TikTok videos seamlessly combine text, videos, audio and images specifically made for mobile which differs from other mediums that marketers historically rely on for communication with their audiences. As more and more consumers view video content from their phones, video marketers need to adjust their content to suit mobile devices. According to SocialMedia Today, videos are a really great way to authentically connect with your audience and showcase the ‘human’ behind your brand.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”2. Community Building” tab_id=”1603131314824-c0d46ab6-8b98″][vc_column_text]We’ll say it again… Brands that align with interests of Gen Z can utilize TikTok to reach hyper engaged audiences within that target. For some organizations, building communities within their audiences is extremely important. If marketers can move their audience into an online community and shape their experiences, they’ll be golden. We’ve seen a major upward trend in consumer’s desire to see Brands create communities for their audiences, which validates our constant effort to inform marketers about the need for authenticity in their marketing initiatives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”3. They’re Not Just Ads … They’re TikToks” tab_id=”1603131425291-aa1c8841-85cb”][vc_column_text]For the Brands that know their audiences utilize TikTok & want to start reaching them through that channel, they’ll need to keep in mind that they’re not creating ads…they’re creating TikToks. Marketers will need to find ways to tailor their content to the TikTok video style – potentially including TikTok influencers – to further attract and engage with audiences. If Brands think posting ads created for Instagram or YouTube will cut it…think again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”TikTok For All Video Types” tab_id=”1603131475491-3469a3f0-2c23″][vc_column_text]Brands have been utilizing the platform for all kinds of video types, for all kinds of initiatives. For example, we’ve seen Brands utilize TikTok for training videos, creating clear and engaging step-by-step how-to videos to train their audiences on new products and services. We’ve also seen education institutions create TikTok videos that speak to their potential students – showcasing things like sports, daily student life, and unique facts about their institutions to attract high school grads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: When utilized correctly and purposefully, TikTok can be a great channel for Brands to connect with their audiences. Recently, Levi’s partnered with TikTok to not only allow customers to purchase items through links on the platform, but also engage with big-name TikTok influencers to further their reach. Influencers began posting videos, showcasing how they customized their Levi’s, and offering their thoughts on the product. We’re big fans of user-generated content when done purposefully, and TikTok provides the perfect platform for it.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

@iameverettwilliamsGUYS! I designed a pair of jeans for @levis and I am obsessed! These are available now! Link in my bio! ? ##ad♬ Monster kill – Tik Tok Assistant


Video Marketing Tips for Financial Institutions

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Because financial institutions offer interactive and hyper-personalized services, it only makes sense to include video in their marketing strategy. Video offers an effective way to authentically engage audiences, even more so than written text and other traditional advertising mediums. Connecting audio & visuals provides an immersive experience for the viewer, eliciting emotional connection, deeper understanding of messaging, and has proven to increase viewer engagement across mediums.

So, how can financial institutions revamp their marketing efforts by adding video? We’ve listed some tips below. Check it out! [/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title=”1. Build Customer Loyalty Through Thank You Videos” tab_id=”1603130736031-a712e8dc-c17c”][vc_column_text]Customers love to be appreciated – especially for continuing to provide their business to your organization over a period of time. Sharing a short & sweet thank you video with your customers to tell them how much you value them instills positive associations between your bank and your customers. It’s a really great way to humanize your institution and keep folks coming back.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”2. Share Your History & Tell Stories” tab_id=”1603130736143-54b097ab-948d”][vc_column_text]Financial institutions typically have really compelling origin stories. Customers love to know the history of the organizations they work with, and how that history has impacted the current functions, values, and initiatives of the organization. Telling stories is also an effective way to illustrate the foundations of your financial institution, especially when you relate those stories directly to your customer experiences.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”3. Personalize Your Outreach” tab_id=”1603130822708-0681d788-29af”][vc_column_text]Personalization is KEY for building loyalty and increasing engagement rates across marketing channels for organizations. Because financial institutions offer hyper personalized services, it only makes sense that their marketing efforts do the same. One way to do so is to create overview videos, specifically made to educate customers about their personal financial standings, or perhaps how they can customize their financial plans to achieve their personal dreams.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]Connecting with customers has never been more important. Financial institutions need to show their audiences they understand their personal financial needs, and that they’re there to help them achieve their goals – every step of the way.

HEAR FROM OUR CLIENTS. This year, we partnered with Andrews Federal Credit Union to help them send a message to their customers about what they’re doing to keep their institutions clean & safe during the pandemic. It was used to inform customers and helped their audiences feel comfortable & connected during such a turbulent, uncertain time. Check out the final product![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]If you’re a financial institution looking to do that, give us a ring. We’re here to help.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Animation for Healthcare

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In the era of COVID-19, communication and education has never been more important to healthcare organizations. Offering important information to employees & the public regarding organizational change, virus alerts, and new processes is critical to keep functions running and people safe. But…how do you ensure the information reaches them? And how do you explain complex (and maybe dry) ideas in a way that is both engaging and digestible?


Animation gives companies the ability to explain complex ideas in an engaging way – combining the endless possibilities of animated video with supporting voiceover, or maybe just text on screen depending on your goals. For healthcare organizations, animated explainer videos can be key to rolling out new policies and informing the public about new, important information that would otherwise be drafted on a white paper that may go unread. Especially as we see attention spans becoming increasingly shorter online, compressing the information into one or a series of 60 or 90-second video(s) with engaging graphics is more likely to achieve your goals than, lets say, a live action 5-minute video.

Here at 522, we’ve partnered with healthcare and public health organizations to create some kickass animated explainer videos. Check out just a few of these examples![/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title=”Mercatus Center – Medicare Price 101″ tab_id=”1603128845757-8e1c31b2-f846″][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]In this healthcare explainer, we helped the Mercatus Center explain how medicare pricing works – in the simplest way possible. Using icons and text on screen, we developed an engaging way to inform viewers about the processes and intricacies of Medicare pricing. Check it![/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”CDCF – Hi-5 Video” tab_id=”1603128845952-6ff6a9a0-c247″][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]In this video created for the CDCF’s Hi-5 initiative, we broke down why the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) is an effective anti-poverty policy that helps working families put money back in their pockets. We utilized colorful scenery, characters, text on screen and icons to break down the complexities of the policy, giving viewers a simplistic explanation of how it works and why it’s beneficial.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AASLD – Liver Meeting 2019″ tab_id=”1603129102952-ab4404f6-0d30″][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]Now, this isn’t an explainer…but it is a promo video for the AASLD Annual Liver Meeting. To promote the meeting, we used two characters that are used to excite the audience and inform them about the agenda, what’s new this year, and why they should attend. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]Animation can be used to explain complex ideas across industries, and is especially useful for healthcare organizations to break down the intricacies of processes and inform the public about healthcare policies. If you’re a healthcare organization looking for some assistance with video, give us a call.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Digital Selling is Key to Winning B2B in COVID-19

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The sudden move to remote working across organizations due to COVID-19 has thrust B2B sales personnel into action – making adjustments to the way they sell as B2B buyers ‘consumerize’, and as digital buying becomes an even more necessary function.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen B2B buyers accelerate the shift their buying preferences towards a streamlined, digital experience that allows them to place an order, inquiry, or purchase seamlessly online. It’s evident that B2B sales fundamentals at their core will be different after the pandemic, and companies are having to quickly adapt to align with new customer behaviors.

You may be asking yourself how exactly B2B sales personnel are shifting their tactics to improve their customer’s digital sales experience. Here are three tips we’ve found helpful as we do the same here at 522:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title=”1. Provide a Seamless Online Purchasing or Inquiry Experience.” tab_id=”1602001332709-f8bfae80-09aa”][vc_column_text]According to Mckinsey, digital interactions are twice as important now than they were before COVID. This means, the places on your website that inform about your offerings or past work, review your pricing, and call on your customers to make a decision or inquire about your services, need to be both readily accessible and provide an uninterrupted experience. Buyers are not willing to accept a lesser experience as B2B purchasers than as B2C consumers. Vendors who provide an excellent digital purchasing experience are twice as likely to become the preferred vendor. An excellent digital buying experience should focus on speed, transparency, and expertise. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”2. Utilize Digital Tools for Sales Enablement.” tab_id=”1602001332769-75095dec-0c8b”][vc_column_text]Tools like Discovery.Org and Salesforce have helped sales teams become more effective and efficient, providing immediate data and allowing sales personnel to engage with entire teams – not just one lead. These tools help strengthen and elongate customer relationships and help sales teams execute outreaches more successfully. They also provide sales teams with the information necessary to offer customers specific, data-driven solutions – targeting tools or functions the organization may be missing, or are actively searching.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”3. Don’t Forget the Human Touch.” tab_id=”1603128356363-3dd00581-c24e”][vc_column_text]B2B buyers aren’t looking for a fully automated process with no advisory or conversation about the decision they’re about to make – they need the combination of digital self-service and the seller’s guidance. Sales personnel should be used to ‘finesse’ the deal, and offer purchasing support, product or service information, and provide answers to the buyer’s questions.

We work to ensure “authenticity” in all of our work and messaging. No one wants to be “sold to,” we want to be informed and guided through meaningful and relevant experiences. Authenticity can shine through conversations with sales personnel, personalized outreaches during the sales cycle, and … VIDEO! Showing buyers not only the features and benefits of your services or products, but also your company’s values and personality can provide necessary insight for prospective buyers in their search for preferred vendors.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”5533″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]In a nutshell, B2B sales personnel should be thinking like their buyers as organizations continue to process the aggressive shift towards digital buying and the need for frictionless purchasing experiences online. But these shifts cannot forgo the human touch – it’s even more critical to the selling process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Benefits of Repurposing Branded Material in 2020

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you’ve spent the time, money, and effort it takes to produce a branded video, you want to make sure it reaches as many viewers as possible – especially now when budgets are uncertain and video is imperative to your overall marketing strategies. A great way to accomplish this goal is through repurposing. Leveraging your existing content in new ways can not only maximize the ROI for those specific content pieces and/or campaigns but it can also push your brand forward as you navigate the new market challenges in 2020.

Double Down on Your Video Content

While we know that budgets remain a top concern for many brands, leveraging video and strategic video marketing campaigns is imperative in 2020 and beyond. Especially during these times where the market is constantly changing and adapting to new challenges in our communities, we need to stay engaged through proven methods of communication that build and maintain trust, help you stay connected to your audiences, and motivate action.

The Facts:

  • 60% of marketers will call a vendor after viewing a video
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
  • 87% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool
  • 52% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support
  • 73% of consumers claim that they have been influenced by a brand’s social media presence when making a decision
  • 8 out of 10 people have purchased a piece of software or app after watching a brand’s video
  • In 2022, 82% of the global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads

For more insights on navigating the new market in 2020, check out our webinar series here.

So while we know that video and video marketing will have a tremendous impact on your current campaigns, the overall investment that you make will determine your organization’s success year over year.

Especially now, leveraging your social channels, email campaigns, and ongoing events to stay engaged with your audience is crucial but with a tight(er) budget, it may be difficult to devise a new plan to move forward.

Our advice: Repurpose your branded content.

Especially with videos, you can leverage your content to create new resources, new campaigns, and new exposure for your brand that will lead to new success in 2020.

Looking for tips on repurposing your content? Check out Mine for Gold in Your Existing Content next.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to Use Authenticity to Make Your Video Stand Out


When you look at the videos produced by your competition and others in your industry, what do you see? What do they look like? Do yours look the same? Say the same things? Do you truly stand out?

Just like a bad website design is enough to turn you off from buying a product or service, a bad video can be enough to turn off a potential consumer from choosing your brand over another. More than half of the buyer’s decision is made up before they ever even reach out to you. Therefore, it’s essential that your video leaves your audience with a positive feeling about your brand.

Authenticity is the key to creating any video that inspires your audience to take action. Just think of all the cheesy corporate videos you’ve seen out there. The ones that you’re more likely to make fun of than to reach out to anyone. You know the ones – the Mission videos that stay so high-level that they say nothing at all; the corporate videos that use so much industry speak that you have no idea what they are actually trying to say; or the case study videos that create scenarios so unrealistic, you immediately call bullshit.

But how exactly do you actually create authentic videos? Here are a few suggestions, for a variety of videos.

Mission Videos + Vision Videos + Overview Videos

Whatever you want to call it, the video that sets forth your company’s reason for being is the video that you want to be the most genuine and authentic in. This is the video that’s going to explain why your company exists and why someone should choose to engage with your product or service. Speak to your audience in real terms. Interview your team, especially those on the front lines. Let them explain who you are and what you do. And don’t put words in their mouths. Odds are any script read by employees will be written by a conglomerate of people with a variety of opinions… none of which express how that individual actually feels. Be bold enough to trust your employees to vocalize your company’s mission. And don’t have them recite the mission statement core values… unless yours is a company where those values are engrained in your DNA. Otherwise, they’ll look wildly uncomfortable doing so and that’s the last visual you want.

Real Life Case Studies + Customer Testimonials + Product Videos

You know you smell bullshit a mile away when you watch a commercial where it’s clear the actor has never actually used the product their hawking. Or how commercials fail when they awkwardly cram the company name or show the product far too often. These types of videos create a negative feeling and turn consumers away. This is where branded documentaries are so effective. These are micro- or mini-docs that tell positive stories about a product or service in a manner that’s more about what the product or company stands for than about the specific product itself. Yeti has done a fantastic job over the years crafting stories that resonate with consumers because they touch on feelings and emotions that they can relate to. Branded documentaries simply connect on a different level. They create a positive emotional connection with your brand, and from a sales and marketing perspective, those folks are far more likely to reach out to you.

Culture Videos + Recruitment Videos

Authentic culture videos are crucial to the sniff test. I know it sounds crazy, but to be authentic, tell true stories. Put your biggest brand advocates on camera – the one who can tell a story about how your in-depth mentor program changed the way they see financing. Or tell the story about the new employee who initiated your company’s recycling program. Culture videos are where you shouldn’t hold anything back. Let your people shine. If you have a crazy team, and you want to attract crazy people – show that. Get your team talking about how they feel, or translate their feelings into a tightly written script (under 300 words, please!). But whatever you do, don’t start saying you’re something you’re not, because you won’t be able to fake it. If you’re saying that you have a fun, laid-back atmosphere, that better be the case. Have the visuals support those claims with team members involved in a heated ping pong match or ribbing one another in the lunchroom. Don’t cut to a silent library of a common area where employees eat in silence or shame.

At the end of the day, whatever the style of video, authenticity is going to make it stand out from the crowd. If you want your viewer to care (which is the whole reason you’re willing to spend a lot of time and money developing them) then you must be authentic.

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About the Author

Chad Vossen, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder

Chad Vossen is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder at 522. Chad’s combination of documentary filmmaking and marketing skills allows him to have a unique approach when connecting a client with what matters to their audience. Outside of work, Chad loves reading, writing, and finding cool new videos, in addition to spending time with his two daughters and his wife, Alisa.


The Pros And Cons Of Outsourcing Video For Your Marketing Agency: Q&A with Chad Vossen of 522 Productions


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Interviewer: What we’re talking about today is the pros and cons of outsourcing video for your marketing agency. Let’s start with pros, what would be the biggest pro to outsourcing?

Chad Vossen: In the context of building an in-house video department themselves or outsourcing, one of the biggest pros is flexibility. A lot of issues with marketing teams or agencies is they have a variety of different clients who may have a variety of different needs which means they might have a need for a variety of different types of videos. One of their clients might need animated video, one of their clients might need a recruitment video and one of their clients might need a voiceover with stock footage, or whatever.

So the biggest piece of building and scaling a team when there’s a variety of different needs is that you need to understand your clients’ needs. The ability to outsource to a video production company, allows you to maintain that flexibility. You can go to an animated video production company or you can go to a company like ours where we do both, live action and animated.

Outsourcing video as an agency gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility and ability to best tailor a video for your client’s specific need. I think that’s the biggest pro. When it comes to cost, there’s a pro and a con because you’re going to pay a premium for that since you’re hiring specific talent to execute a specific need, but when you build an in-house team, you have to pay for them whether or not you’re working on a video project. In that case, you just have to hope that all of your clients need video and you have to hope that they all need the same type of video.

That’s something we found in talking with a variety of digital marketing companies, that they’ll hire somebody or they’ll try to build an in-house team then that person either gets swamped or is bored. They hear from their clients, “Oh, I need video”, but then it doesn’t go anywhere in the long run. They don’t really stop and think about what it is that they actually need in their strategy. They’re just looking at the short term. I have these six projects, but once those projects are done, what’s happening in the future?

Interviewer: Would you say that a pro to outsourcing would also be that it allows you, as an agency, to have more consistent delivery of content because of all the constant needs and changes? It seems like if you have an in-house team or person they get pulled in a thousand different directions all the time.

Chad Vossen: Yup, if you have the right relationships I think that’s an interesting point. If you can build a couple of relationships, you go with a video production company and then an animator or with a freelancer when you need to. So it does give you flexibility if you get inundated with work. You’re not piling it all on this one independent person.

When companies or larger marketing departments start building their in-house team, everybody goes to this person and a lot of times they just feel like a whirling dervish because they’re getting directions from a marketing person, the recruitment person, this person, that person, and they’re trying to feel everything and they don’t have the proper structure in place to be able to manage all these things and everybody’s a priority and it gets really complicated to field all of those requests.

I think with internal marketing departments trying to build out their own video production team, they really need to think that through. What is the hierarchy? How are they being utilized? Who is assigning the tasks and who’s ultimately responsible for saying “No recruitment team, you’re not getting a recruitment video.”? We have these ten requests over here that are due for this conference or whatever the case is.

Interviewer: So, would you also build a case for outsourcing even if you do have an in-house team in your agency?

CV: Yes. And that’s a good question because we’ve often gotten pulled into those exact situations where internal marketing or production teams are overworked or they don’t have the skill set that we do to be able to tell a cinematic documentary or create an animated video. Some of their in-house people might not understand animation. Being able to outsource gives you that flexibility. You may already have an internal team, but you may still need to outsource.

IN: Can you think of any other major pros to doing that? We’ve covered flexibility, cost, consistency of content creation, production support in general. Anything else?

CV: It enables you to deliver across a broad range of requirements. And I don’t know how to best boil that together, but somebody could come to you for a high-end, 30-second television commercial or event coverage and if you’re outsourcing, it gives you the capability to manage all of those types of requests. Where if you have an internal team, a 30-second national television commercial might be totally out of the wheelhouse. Or, if you have somebody that strongly prefers executing high-level concepts, they’re not going to want to go do event coverage. It goes both ways. It gives you flexibility in terms of the deliverables.

IN: How about some cons. What would some of the challenges of outsourcing video be?

CV: You don’t have a direct connection. You don’t have all the trust. Trust is the most important thing. You’ve got to take time and take your bumps and take your bruises. You have to find the right partner and experiment on certain things because it doesn’t take much for a video to go wrong. It’s one of those situations where it’s a well-oiled machine and if one of those cogs comes out, say, if you hire bad talent the video could fall apart. If somebody is late to a shoot, the video could fall apart. If there’s dirt on the lens… the video could fall apart.

So there are so many different intricate details in video production that you need to make sure that you trust and have faith in whoever you’re outsourcing with that they’re going to deliver on time, on budget, and that they understand what it is that you’re trying to achieve. A lot of video production companies just show up and shoot. They’re ‘Executioners’. They might make it look nice, but at the end of the day, they don’t really care. They’re not the ones with the relationship with the client. They’re just there to execute a task. So you want to make sure that whoever it is vested and has an interest in this video performing the way that your client wants them to perform.

IN: We talked about the flexibility as a pro, are there any cons related to the flexibility that comes with outsourcing?

CV: Yes, let’s say you do find that partner, and they’re awesome. If they’re awesome…  they can also get busy, they can get booked. You may have an in-house or you may have your go-to animator, but maybe he goes on vacation for two weeks and you’re like, “Damn, I really need that video for the conference.” For example, we’re talking with a marketing agency who has a large Fortune-100 client. They were working with an independent freelancer who got too busy and swamped and couldn’t handle the workloads. That provided us an opportunity because we have a more robust team. We’re 14 people, so we’re not just one person.

There’s a con to that if you go on a smaller scale, you don’t have that sort of scalability.

I think it also goes to the fact that most of our successful videos can take a while to understand. We had one government relations consultant-client who we had gotten to know and took the time to get to understand who they are and what their culture is and all those types of things. It takes a while to develop that rapport and be able to create a video that captures their personality. When we went back and did a second video, that video was that much more smooth because we understand who they are and we have that intimate relationship.

If you put a marketing company in-between us, the marketing company, rightfully so, typically gets protective about their relationship with their clients. They don’t want us necessarily going first and talking with their clients directly because they want to they want to manage that relationship. So, when we don’t get that intimacy with the end-client, it’s harder for us to wrap our heads around who they are, what they’re like, sometimes we don’t even meet some of the end clients until the day to shoot. So, we don’t have that relationship, we don’t have that rapport and it just makes it that much more challenging to have that come across in the video.

IN: Do you have any tips on overcoming some of those cons? Are there any communication tips that you could recommend or anything like that?

CV: Yes, with the marketing company and the video production company developing a relationship of trust, it all comes down to the importance of trust between the marketing company and the video production company. The more the marketing company is able to develop that relationship and trust with the video production company, that they can trust them talking with their clients. That’s fine if they always want to be there and be involved, from our perspective, we would certainly encourage that because they’re the ones who have the relationship with their client.

But it’s really sort of developing that relationship of trust and being able to provide and being open and transparent about the information about the clients themselves and the nuances of relationships, what the company is like and what the goals and objectives of the project are. And really just working together in a team to be able to execute the video that they need.

IN: You mentioned earlier that cost can be a pro and a con. Is there anything you want to say about that as a con?

CV:I think, when you’re outsourcing, the pro obviously gives you that flexibility. It’s sort of on-demand, you’re not paying for it unless you need it. But then the con to that is you’re paying the premium for it. You’re already paying premium rates for that outsourced resource because they’re not salary on your team. It’s going to take them a little longer to understand who the client is and understand things of that nature.

You’re going to have to rent equipment. You’re paying for the luxury, if you will, of not having a full-time staff at your department and you’re paying for that premium of the ad hoc performance.

IN: That’s a good point there. Would you say that overall with the cost still works out in your favor? The costs by not staffing a full in-house team and owning equipment and all of those things?

CV: That’s a great question and honestly one of the more difficult one for a marketing company to understand because if they have a lot of consistent work and not just a couple projects upfront, but, “Hey we have clients that need to do a series.” Or clients that really want to develop video plans rather than, “Hey, I just need this one off project.” Then yes, it makes sense to potentially build an internal team.

But if you’re building an internal team to execute a couple of short-term projects, then it doesn’t really make sense. From our perspective, our clients are unpredictable, we’re very project-driven and that makes it hard for us to foresee things in the future. In a way, we’re an outsource marketing video production department for a variety of marketing companies. From that perspective, we’re waiting for the phone to ring, which is no different than a marketing company would be unless they’re sitting there and promoting their strategic video plan with their direct clients.

IN: Yes. That makes a lot of sense. So doing something in-house, the benefit there would only be if you have a specific situation? Maybe you decide that with all of your clients, part of your contract is that you do a 30-second trailer or two social videos a month for example. Then you have a minimal setup and one person who is in charge of that. But that doesn’t get you anywhere near what you really need for true video production. So there’s a little bit of a compromise there. So then maybe you don’t have to outsource all those little things and you can have both ways?

CV: And then I think another thing that a marketing company should consider, is the temperament and the type of person and the type of role that you’re going to add to your video department. An issue that a lot of the marketing companies would have is they’re going to hire this guy and he’s just going to want to go out and take pretty pictures and make That person… he’s a creative or she’s a creative. They’re not necessarily thinking about the end product the same way the rest of the more… shall we say, practically-minded right brainers.  Creative need wrangling. It’s a left brain, right brain thing.

So when hiring someone to start an internal video department, their temperament has to be considered. If you’re going to put them in a monotonous, repetitive herky-jerk situation or fast turnarounds or things like that, you really need to consider the temperament of the person that you’re hiring for this position. You also need to think about how they interact with folks. Is this somebody that can talk effectively with clients and deliver on what they’re going to say? Yes, they take a lot of pretty pictures, yes, their reel looks great, but there’s more to it than just that. While there are certainly a lot of outgoing Creatives… there are probably more introverted ones who prefer working in isolation.

Think about their response times. Their ability to manage multiple projects. Their ability to effectively communicate with clients. Their ability to convey the project’s vision to the clients so they understand what’s happening throughout the entire process. That’s all those nuances why project managers or producers are so important. You need somebody who can have all of those skill sets that project managers do and still execute and deliver a creative and compelling video.

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About the Author

Chad Vossen, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder

Chad Vossen is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder at 522. Chad’s combination of documentary filmmaking and marketing skills allows him to have a unique approach when connecting a client with what matters to their audience. Outside of work, Chad loves reading, writing, and finding cool new videos, in addition to spending time with his two daughters and his wife, Alisa.


How Can YouTube Impact Your Marketing Agency’s Strategy?


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Recently, Google expanded the capabilities of its search-advertising tools on popular video-sharing platform YouTube. The news was announced at this year’s Advertising Week in early October and has represented a major shift in the way that Google relates to and enables YouTube.

As YouTube becomes more popular (the platform now pulls more than 1.8 billion users monthly, and said users upload 300 hours of video each minute), Google has found new ways to target YouTube frequenters and extend value to your marketing agency in creative, innovative ways.

Why Google Wants to Expand the Ad Business

Google’s ad business is one of its largest breadwinners, and one of the primary ways the search engine giant avoids competition by companies like Facebook and Amazon, both of which have created product-based ad businesses worth millions.

While Google currently makes almost $100 billion annually, much of which comes from advertisements, most of that ad volume comes from Google’s AdWords and AdSense technologies. To continue growing and expanding, Google has realized that it needs to find a way to monetize customer behavior and expand its ad business in a way that can help provide more targeted ads. That’s right – they’ve set their sites on YouTube.

Why YouTube, Why Now?

YouTube is currently the second most widely-used search engine in America, behind only Google. It’s also the country’s single most popular video site and is the perfect place for advertisers to create a unique new type of search engine marketing that takes individual user habits into consideration.

Since video is such a large part of the customer journey, YouTube offers a truly exciting opportunity for marketers who want to use the platform to drive business outcomes and increase ROI. YouTube is also an effective way for marketers to get better at storytelling and make their funnels more customer-centric and interesting.

YouTube’s New Ad Features

To support these efforts, YouTube has unleashed two new features for its video ads. These include the following:

Extensions for Video Ads

Historically, it’s been a bit tough for YouTube viewers to take action on an ad. With the help of YouTube ad extensions, though, this is all about to change.

Similar to the extensions commonly seen on search ads, YouTube ad extensions add additional information (such as location and forms) to a display ad, making it possible for the viewer to take action in a smooth and streamlined way.

The new extension also makes it possible for the viewer to book a trip, find movie showtimes, and download apps from right inside the YouTube platform.

When you are creating video ads for your clients now, you can utilize Extensions to implement a solid call to action encouraging the user to engage with your product or service!

Brand Lift Measurement

Brand Lift Measurement is Google’s other new feature. Allowing advertisers to measure their funnel metrics more effectively, Brand Lift Management integrates directly with Google Ads. Agencies who use the service will be able to create and view complex ad metrics and reports, and see, in real-time, how their client’s video ads are influencing viewer perception.

The Future of YouTube

As YouTube and Google continue to work together to create ad content, the video-sharing platform will continue to become more useful and powerful for marketers of all shapes and sizes. Between the new Brand Lift Measurement features and Google’s innovative ad extensions, the YouTube platform has become more useful, more powerful, more targeted, and more comprehensive as a marketing tool for your clients who need a more customizable way to interact with their audience.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”aboutauthor”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”371″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

About the Author

Chad Vossen, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder

Chad Vossen is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder at 522. Chad’s combination of documentary filmmaking and marketing skills allows him to have a unique approach when connecting a client with what matters to their audience. Outside of work, Chad loves reading, writing, and finding cool new videos, in addition to spending time with his two daughters and his wife, Alisa.


A Few of the Best Video Production Examples We’ve Seen

Over the years we’ve seen our fair share of video productions. Everyone knows a bad video when they see one, but do you ever recognize a good one? Since we’re on a mission to rid the world of cheesy corporate videos, we thought it’d be a good idea to shine a light on great work that takes place outside the walls of 711 King St.

We chose the following video examples because they are simple, smart and authentic ways to  connect with viewers. They do more than just cram a ton of information into a short window. They craft a compelling story around the product – not necessarily about the product itself.

Blue Apron

Yes… they play a lot in Youtube pre-rolls, but these spots are extremely well put together. These do a fantastic job of humanizing today’s dining experiences. Often times meals are cooked after a long day’s work, or hastily thrown together. These spots encourage the viewer to slow down and savor the act of cooking… because Blue Apron makes it easy for you.  

Here’s a few reasons why we dig these vids:

  • Showcases food as a means to bring people together
  • The whole campaign (days of the week) does an excellent job demonstrating the practical value of their product
  • Cinematography and story makes the situations feel authentic, and makes the act of cooking an art.


Yeti is pretty much an ideal branded content developer. They have cultivated and created an entire following that grew organically from their branded documentary series that crafts authentic stories about their target audience. Yeti’s videos don’t hit the viewer over the head with their product – they simply tell unique stories that resonates with them. Stories that focus on Yeti’s core values that ultimately connect with the viewer.

Here’s why we dig these:

  • The purpose of the videos aren’t to sell products (at least not directly). Their purpose is to generate brand loyalty. Viewers see the values expressed in the videos as their own, and therefore for a bond with the brand.  
  • These stories are as authentic as it gets. Yeti cultivate stories from their loyal followers who express the same feelings that the company stands for. And it’s not by mistake that these individuals all happen to have hobbies or professions in visually stunning arenas.



A little older, but this is storytelling on another level. The Take Note team does a phenomenal job humanizing a product: stationary. The team expertly reminds the viewer that even in today’s digital world, handwritten notes are still essential in our day to day lives.  

Here’s what we liked:

  • I can’t think of a more creative way to tell a story using stationary as the driver. From first date recap to the end, the story draws you in.
  • Simple, relatable life situations (plot points) that resonate with most viewers
  • They are able to tell the story of a lifelong relationship without getting lost in any unnecessary details as far as the product is concerned, such as what they people look like, and where the events take place.

Purple Mattress

This video is about two years old, and 100% focuses on the product, but it recently resurfaced in our office Slack channel as a video that we love. It’s extremely difficult to humanize your brand while trying to sell the audience on the benefits of a product, but the team at Purple does just that. You may not watch the whole thing, but I mean… when was the last time you were interested in watching a 4-minute video about mattresses?

Here’s what else we liked:

  • This video entertains while it informs. That script is dynomite.
  • Using Goldilocks as the ‘spokesperson’ was a stroke of genius – it’s a character that everyone knows; she’s associated with sleep; demands thing to be ‘just right’; and opens the door to a world of comedic possibilities.  
  • Timing – from the tight script to the tight edits, the video is impeccably timed throughout.

These are just some examples of how you can tell a brand story. If you’re looking for more practical tips on creating videos that resonate with your audience, check out our ebook, The Fundamental Guide to B2B Video Marketing. It helps get your started on creating a video that speaks to your audience. If you don’t need something like that… then I wouldn’t download it. Then it would just clutter your desktop.

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522 made the LIST

Have you ever had that feeling where you need to be pinched because life’s too good that you must be dreaming? That’s us right now!

Every year Inc. 5000 compiles a list to rank the country’s top 5000 fastest-growing private companies. The 2017 Inc. 5000 list was released, and guess what? We made the cut. That’s right, 522 Productions is one of fastest growing private companies in the country!

It truly is an honor to be included on this list, and we couldn’t have done it without our staff, network, and of course, our clients. Thanks to our clients we are able to do what we love every day. Being trusted to tell their stories through our lenses is an honor all in itself, but we aren’t finished growing yet. We want to help more companies utilize video and we believe every organization deserves great video. Whether it’s an about us video, product demonstration, corporate or anything else you can think of, let us create it with you.

We’d like to thank the Inc. 5000 for including us on this year’s list among other notable companies, including Halo Top Creamery, Orangetheory Fitness, S’well, and Bitly. The Inc. 5000 list has included many amazing companies in the past that are now household names, such as Under Armour, GoPro, Microsoft, and Patagonia to name a few.

Take a look at the list for yourself to check out the other 4999 fastest growing private companies in the country.

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