Reaching Audiences Through Visual Storytelling
OUTdrive Episode 50 with T.J. Kilian
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with audiences in today’s digital world. It enables companies to connect with viewers through powerful storytelling. In this episode of OUTdrive, Cliff visits with T.J. Kilian about effective video marketing.
T.J. is the founder, president and executive producer of KJO Media, a full service video production company. T.J. discovered his passion for visual storytelling in high school, when he was moved by the journalism coverage of the Gulf War. He earned a bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism and gained experience throughout the industry before starting his own company. Today, he leads the KJO Media team to help clients tell their best stories through visual and video content.
Keep reading to learn about the components of powerful and effective video marketing, how to connect with audiences through visual storytelling and the prominence of video marketing today.
Why Video has Become An Integral Part of Life
Video continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness, with over one billion videos watched on YouTube each day. Video is unique because it enables companies to connect with their customers through visual storytelling. It can be leveraged across a variety of platforms and can be customized to strategically tell your brand’s story.
Video allows you to showcase your brand’s personality and is easy to consume. While traditional methods are still effective, video content engages viewers and can be leveraged to reach specific audiences through detailed targeting across a variety of platforms.
Video Marketing Trends in 2021
Video has grown in popularity and continues to be utilized in a variety of ways. As it becomes more relevant, the industry continues to change. T.J. has a variety of experience in the field and has seen many changes take place over the years.
“I would say the biggest change has been the weight of the equipment,” says T.J. “Now we’re shooting on cameras that are much smaller and have much higher capabilities, resolutions and features. It really helps us create a much better product. But in all honesty, our people and their skill sets really make up the vast majority of the success with any video that we produce.”
The KJO Media team also works hard to stay on top of industry trends and demands. Video is being utilized in content marketing, social media, television and other platforms to tell a variety of stories. T.J. shares insights into how he sees video growing and being used in new ways.
“The volume of video needs I’ve seen, especially within the last year, [has increased],” says T.J. “I would say that companies are finding more ways to utilize video. In the industry itself, there’s a lot of great companies out there that are really pushing the envelope with motion graphics, and what they can create in that space. And it’s truly been amazing to watch that.”
Many companies recognize the value of video marketing and are finding creative ways to use it like employee training or short films to tell their brand’s story. Video production companies such as KJO are adapting to the increased demand and discovering new techniques to improve video quality and quantity.
What Makes a Great Video?
To get the strongest return on your investment, your video must stand out from the crowd to leave a lasting impression on viewers. Motion graphics and other techniques help create an engaging video, but there are many other things that contribute to making a great video, which T.J. expands on.
“Anytime we produce a video, we want our client to feel like they just told their best story, and I think good storytelling is what makes a good video,” says T.J. “Storytelling can kind of be a cliche way of describing video production, but I honestly believe that powerful storytelling is how you reach people. You know, there’s one thing that people are going to continue to do forever and ever and that’s tell stories. And video is such a great medium to do that.”
There are many things you can do ahead of time to ensure that your team creates the best video content possible. Communication throughout the process is the most important thing. Whether you have a clear vision of the final product in your mind or aren’t sure where to start, marketing teams and video partners can work with you to bring your story to life.
“Coordinating with the location and the people involved, and with our schedule is one of the more difficult things to figure out, especially depending on the deadline for the project,” says T.J. “So figuring out what we’re going to do, what storytelling vehicle we’re going to use for that video, and then how we’re going to approach the production part of it are the first steps that we would take.”
Tips for Running a Successful Business
A great video starts in the planning stages, and it is a collaborative effort between your marketing team and video production crew. Years of strategically planning video shoots prepared T.J. for the challenges of running his own business. He shares his personal tips for taking the leap and starting your own business.
“Know that it’s going to be hard at the beginning and that you’re going to have to work really hard and make some sacrifices,” says T.J. “You have to believe in yourself and get out there. Have a very solid plan and start to work it.”
T.J. founded KJO media 18 years ago and continues to operate off of a solid plan. Today, his role in the company may look a little different, but his passion for his team and work are stronger than ever.
“A few years ago, I went back to business school to take some business courses, because I’d been running this company for maybe 15 years just off a journalism degree,” says T.J. “I knew that in order for us to take the next step, I needed to expand my horizons a little bit. So I went back to business school and I’ve been utilizing that experience to figure out what’s next for us. We have a five and 10 year plan that we’re following.”
Strategically planning for business expansion and planning for a video shoot share many common themes. They both require passion, hard work, strong communication and a drive to succeed. If you’re looking for new ways to reach audiences and expand your business, consider incorporating video into your marketing plan. The industry is continuing to grow and companies will continue to see strong results by telling their stories in unique and engaging ways through video.