Visioned Media founders Alex Scharg and Scott Wasserman share easy video marketing and production tips for small businesses and organizations.
By Eden Lichterman
Business partners and friends Alex Scharg, 26, and Scott Wasserman, 23, have a few things in common. They both root for the Spartans, have a knack for video production and want to help local businesses reach their marketing goals. After creating videos together part-time for two years, the pair officially joined forces in September 2016 and formed Visioned Media, a video marketing and production company based in Troy.
“We want to show businesses and organizations some really powerful tools to help market themselves better,” says Scharg, a Huntington Woods resident. “Whether it’s reaching new customers, growing fundraising goals or spreading awareness of a message, we want to give people a really creative solution how to do that.”
The four-person Visioned Media team guides businesses, nonprofits and schools through the entire video creation process. The partnership begins with pre-production, where the team helps an organization conceptualize how it wants to convey its message with video. Next, they delve into the production stage and film the content. During post-production, the team edits the clips together and shows the organization how to promote the finished product.
Depending on the goals of the business or organization, measuring the success of a video varies. “Some people are judging that based on views, some people are judging that based on sales or fundraising dollars raised. And others may be showing it at events where in-person attendee engagement is key,” says Wasserman, a West Bloomfield resident.
Scharg and Wasserman have worked with over 50 Michigan clients, such as Michigan State University, Hillel Day School, Level One Bank, Tamarack Camps and SEEN. These entrepreneurs provide businesses with high quality, affordable videos.
In September, the company plans to expand their services to New York and New Jersey, adding another full-time employee to the team.
As the digital world continues to change, Scharg and Wasserman remain committed to creating compelling and marketable videos. “Even though there’s plenty of different digital channels now, I think content is still king,” Scharg says. “And it always will be.”
Scharg and Wasserman share a few of their video marketing tips:
1. Stick to the basics.
According to these two video gurus, it’s not necessary to buy expensive video equipment right off the bat. “Don’t worry about the gear you have. Your phone is great,” Wasserman says. Scharg adds, “You can also have good quality sound by simply just recording in a closet or recording in an enclosed space on your iPhone.” Once you record, you can use iMovie, or a different editing app, on your phone to add text, Wasserman says.
2. Record live video.
If you’re interested in video marketing, but don’t know where to start, simply use the live video feature on Facebook or Instagram. “Any video is good video, whether it’s a live stream of yourself (or) you’re broadcasting your event,” Scharg says. Wasserman emphasizes the accessibility and affordability of live video. “You can use your phone and there’s no editing involved,” he says. “You click record, and you start talking. And if you mess up, you just move on.”
3. Use natural light.
Whether you’re recording live or for a future film, the subject of the video should face a window. “Everyone looks best in front of natural light,” Wasserman says. Scharg continues that natural light or even fluorescent bulbs in your office perform well on camera. “You can use natural light without investing in equipment to make your videos look somewhat professional,” Scharg says.
4. Be authentic.
Both founders stress the importance of genuinely conveying your message off script. “Since the digital world is connecting a lot of people, it’s important more than ever to be truthful and authentic,” Scharg says. Wasserman adds videos humanize the members of an organization, allowing viewers to get a sense of who they are. “It’s like meeting someone for the first time before even meeting them,” Wasserman says.
5. Get on social media.
Wasserman says businesses must develop a presence on Facebook and Instagram to remain relevant. “You’re going to be forgotten if you aren’t on those platforms,” he says. However, Scharg warns against posting YouTube links on Facebook, as the two channels compete. “Facebook’s going to move that down in terms of what they promote, since they control your newsfeed,” Scharg says. He says it’s important to post videos on your existing channels, such as email newsletters or a website.
6. Know your demographic.
Once you film a video and are ready to post it, or want to begin a live video, it’s important to factor in your target demographic to get the most views. “Around lunch time is a really good time for people who are working or who are older. Also, earlier in the morning.” Scharg says. “Millennials, I’d say like early evening … but that’s always changing.”
7. Create a content calendar.
To ensure you consistently upload videos on your different channels, Wasserman suggests planning in advance. “If you’re looking to get more invested in it, create a mini content calendar to make sure that you are posting,” he says.