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Actually Useful Videos

November 18, 2009

I always get a bit flummoxed when someone asks me what I do for a living. Unless you’re in the industry, my job isn’t the sort that lends itself to easy explanation. I’m sure there’s a happy medium between telling people I’m a writer and telling them I’m an associate creative director at a social media marketing company that specializes in branded online communities, but with my tendencies toward social anxiety, the answer usually comes out sounding all garbled and retarded.

But, basically, my job is to help make people smarter, and to help brands communicate with consumers in a way that is helpful, rather than intrusive. The content my team creates isn’t advertising or marketing content. For the most part, it’s educational content…how to take better pictures, how to set up a home theater…that kind of thing. To that end, we create articles, long-form courses, interactive flash tutorials, and videos.

The thing with videos, though, is that they’re expensive. A brand-quality video, complete with a studio, high-quality camera, sound, and lighting gear, professional talent, and high-end animation…well…it can get real pricey, real fast.

So earlier this year, we were issued a challenge to produce three videos in-house, on a shoestring budget. The goal was to see if we could produce solid, educational videos that look better than your typical YouTube fare, but for a lot less than a brand-quality video. To that end, we used our own cameras to shoot. We used our own houses as locations. We built our own lighting gear. We even used ourselves as talent.

Working in fits and starts in between day-to-day client work, we made it happen. And, earlier this week, we launched our new YouTube channel – Actually Useful Video. The first two videos are up now, with the third following by the end of the year.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier. More than maybe any other project I’ve worked on, I feel these videos stand as a testament to the talent and ingenuity of everyone on our team. To my mind, they prove beyond a doubt that you don’t need a $10,000 camera and glitzy computer animations to make an actually useful video.

And without further adieu, here they are:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 10:03 pm

    Beautiful. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Go us!

  2. November 21, 2009 10:32 pm

    Very nice! Great job!!


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