Importance of Project Planning for Video Production in St. Paul, MN

There are many factors that go into a successful marketing campaign, but one of the most engaging and effective tools you can use is video content. Video media immediately captures the attention of your audience, conveying a lot of information quickly and in an appealing way. Additionally, video media has proven to have better retention and long-term recall than any other type of content. This means videos are some of the best ways to instill your brand and mission into the minds of users. While video content is so powerful, it’s also one of the most time-consuming and expensive types of marketing media to make. It often requires special equipment, software, and skill sets that smaller companies might not have in their budget yet. Because of the unique requirements of quality video production, many brands can benefit from outsourcing that content creation to a third-party marketing firm. At MLT Group LLC, we work with many different types of brands to generate video marketing media that improves their audience engagement and grows their online presence. We offer comprehensive video production in St. Paul, MN, including video design, scripting, on-location and studio filming, audio recording, talent casting, graphics, animation, music, and more.


MLT Group’s video production team has access to all the technology needed for any kind of project, including cameras, filming and editing software, lighting, 4K aerial drone systems, and more.


While the technology and equipment available to professional videographers and even for home movies has increased exponentially over the years, there are also several aspects of publishing online media that complicate any video project. Not only do you now have to cultivate an SEO and social media system in order to trend on the right algorithms and appear in user searches, you also have to create video formats that fit multiple display sizes, as users could be looking at your site on anything from a smartphone to a television screen.

Video Marketing

Another difficulty that video marketing poses is the frequency of content publishing that’s often required to successfully stay relevant. About 14% of marketers using multifaceted campaigns publish videos daily, and around 36% of marketers publish videos weekly. Meeting all those dem日本藤素
ands for SEO, formatting, and frequency on top of the challenge of creating quality content is impossible for most brands. If you believe you’re up to the task and want to start with a small video project for your brand’s marketing, one of the most important parts of the production process is the planning.

From full-feature films to ten-second commercials, preproduction steps will always be necessary. Film preproduction varies slightly depending on the type of video being made, but there is almost always room for the following stages.

Most Important Preproduction Stages

Creative outline:

Before you can start any other parts of your video making process, you need to know exactly what it will be about. Chances are, if you’re working with a vague idea or lofty concept, that won’t be enough to generate good content. Take the time to write a full creative outline of your movie that will serve as the foundation for all other decisions made down the production road. This outline should set the tone, aesthetics, and purpose of your finished video. It will also help you decide your target audience, which may be different from your usual marketing outreach goals. Determine how this video will fit into your marketing flow and what your projected return on investment (ROI) will be. These broad strokes can be worked into your budget later with more details.


A video can take a long time to produce, and the work can quickly get off schedule without a dedicated timeline. If you’re shooting a live video, find out how long it will take to set up, shoot, and take down each shot. You’ll also have to work in extra time for talent to go through hair and makeup, general motions, and more. When it comes to live filming, keep in mind that everything will take longer in real time than on paper, even with a quick crew. For animations and other non-live videos, the time is spent on animating, drawing, and the overall creation of artwork. Rushed animations can quickly lose their visual appeal and even their meaning. Give your team enough time to perfect the editing of their work and put together a cohesive story. Once you have established your projected timeline, you can begin to work out your budget.


Videos can get expensive. Not only will you potentially spend money on equipment, travel to new locations, sets, talent, and software, but you could also have a few unexpected expenses along the way. Animations can also be quite pricey. You should be paying artists enough for their work and time, and you may even have to cover costs for animation programs and software. While it’s certainly possible to make a video that fits your budget, it’s still important to consider what costs will come from where and prepare to spend the money you can allocate to your video marketing budget effectively.


A script or screenplay is also an important part of any video. Scripts will convey the information you want to use to introduce your brand, a product or service, or other marketing goals. Live action videos, voice overs, voice-acted animations, and even off-the-cuff casual videos all require scripts to succeed. Those scripts can be written to an exact screenplay or include some talking points for something less formal. Scripts are also necessary for videos that don’t have dialogue, lines, or any spoken words. The underlying purpose of a script is to have a written format of the chronological order of your video. This order includes everything from lighting changes to moving objects and more. It’s okay if your script doesn’t follow the “style” or presentation of a movie script or a professional screenplay. It just has to be easy to follow, clear, and comprehensive for every step that will occur in the video.


Whether your video is going to be shot in multiple locations or just take place in your building, you need to dedicate time to location scouting and planning. The purpose of location planning is to determine the angles of the shots, the best lighting for the scene, the props and set components you will need, and the equipment you’ll need to set up to film. Finding out your locations ahead of time will also help you plan how long it will take to move from spot to spot, which will be important for editing your timeline. Even if you only have one location for your video, take time to plan the shot list and make any alterations to the background, props, and lighting you need to make it perfect.

Storyboard/Shot List:

Setting up a storyboard or shot list is a critical step to making your filming process run smoothly. Storyboard cards or a written list of shots are one of the most important preproduction tools you can use to stick to your timeline and budget. Filming interesting shots that convey your story actually takes more planning than most novice videographers realize. A bullet point list of chronological shots paired with the completed script or a full picture storyboard with rough images from shot to shot can help eliminate unnecessary reshoots, reduce post-production editing time, and make your video more professional overall.


Who works on your video is just as important as the video content and the finished work. Your crew may only include a few staff members, or it can grow to include actors, lighting technicians, sound technicians, directors, camera operators, animators, designers, and more. No matter how big or small your crew is, you need to make sure that each member of the team knows their role, responsibilities, and how the video making process will unfold. Without a reliable crew, it can be impossible to produce a quality video of any kind.

Video Production

Making any type of video, live action or animation, short or long, is a fully involved process that likely won’t succeed without the right preproduction steps. If you are in need of a high-quality, well-produced video for your company but don’t have the time, skills, or desire to go through the difficult process of making it yourself, the help of a marketing company can be priceless.

To learn more about our services and experience with video production in St. Paul, MN, contact MLT Group at (507) 281-3490,, or online today.

Implementing Contradictory, but Effective Strategies for SEO/Marketing in Minneapolis, MN

Digital marketing is a complicated landscape with techniques and tools that vary in effectiveness depending on the format of brands, products, audiences, and more. There are marketing 101 strategies that generally work with some success across the board. However, when you’re cultivating a marketing system unique to your brand, it’s important to focus on which exact tools may be better than others, rather than relying solely on industry standards. Because marketing strategies can be so complex and difficult to devote time to figuring out and implementing, many organizations and companies of all sizes take advantage of the services a third-party digital marketing firm provides. MLT Group offers complete services for SEO/marketing in Minneapolis, MN, including web design, SEO systems, social media tools, graphic design, and video production with 4K technology.

Marketing Online

Marketing online and offline is all about driving the customer to action. That action can mean many things, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, following your brand on social media, reviewing a product or service, or even commenting on a post. The long-term goal of marketing is to generate profitable customer action, but there are many other purposes marketing tools serve along the way to that goal.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) use online systems to get the right kind of attention from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, as well as their potential customer base. This means you’re balancing communication lines between both the search engine platform and the user. There are many ways to improve your website’s placement on a search engine results page (SERP) that follow recommended marketing practices (we cover many SEO tools in this blog), but there are always ways to communicate with your audience, enrich that brand-to-user relationship, and grow a community.

SEO/Marketing Strategies

Some SEO/marketing strategies aimed at audience growth and outreach make sense. Those strategies are marketing basics targeted at the largest audience possible in the fastest and most impactful amount of time. Yet, for many online brands, some counterintuitive strategies may be more effective with greater diversity for positive results than many standardized digital marketing tools. Generic marketing advice only goes so far in generating customer action. Expanding beyond beginner marketing techniques requires some understanding of your brand and audience as unique entities.

Research Needed

While some research may be needed to get a foothold in determining what multifaceted, functional marketing techniques should be tailored specifically to your brand, there are a few contradictory marketing methods that can initiate continual audience growth and profitable customer action for many kinds of companies with an online presence.

Enrich your brand community with one-on-one interactions.

No matter how big or small your brand community is, one-on-one interactions with members are always valuable. While common marketing advice will suggest you rely more on measurable interactions, such as time-efficient, widespread messages through mailing lists or social media posts, there’s still a use for the more intangible interactions. One-on-one interactions with customers like personalized greetings, direct conversations, community tags, gifts, and more all contribute to stronger relationships with your brand. These kinds of interactions can’t be measured for ROI in the way that other marketing moves can, but they almost always generate more trust in your brand, a diverse community, and a humanizing of your company.

Personal Connections

The easiest way to start making more personal connections with your audience is to get to know the members of your community, including their interests, skills, backgrounds, locations, and other aspects. If you can collect this information without invading customer privacy, you’ll also be able to learn more about your brand’s demographic.

Provide real information to your audience.

Another piece of generic marketing advice is to keep information vague and bait the value of products and services to encourage users to make purchases. The problem with this strategy is that today’s users have unprecedented access to information. Customers are able to do more research on a product or service to inform their purchase than ever before. This level of information access has changed the way brands should provide their own information freely to users. Instead of teasing the importance of their information, brands that provide real information and tools to their users are able to build trust with their audience.

Trust is Important

The trust that’s initiated by offering real information and valuable tools to users in your brand community will also lead to return customers, an increase in word-of-mouth referrals, and greater brand authority in your industry. The simplest way to start offering real information to your audience is to publish well-written blog posts that cover in-depth, relevant topics about your brand, products, services, staff, systems, and industry. You can also provide some of the tools your own team uses, such as templates, calculators, guides, and more.

 Focus on quality of presence over quantity of presence.

Narrowing the online space occupied and focusing on quality over quantity is especially important for smaller brands without a dedicated marketing team, but it can also be a useful piece of advice for larger companies with established marketing systems. The ideal marketing system will include high-quality content published regularly on multiple platforms, including your website, blog feed, newsletters, and multiple social media sites. Producing this amount of well-made content is almost impossible for many brands. It’s time-consuming, requires a specific skill set and level of creativity, and can exhaust your marketing resources.

Quality Content

Instead of attempting to fill the many content holes that generic marketing advice digs, start with a small amount of quality content that you have the capacity and enjoyment for creating. Master a single space for content, and make sure you’re able to reliably generate quality products in that space before expanding to a new outlet. Start with a platform that fits your brand type the best. For example, a retail brand might benefit more from building a quality Instagram that showcases their products, but a publishing company would do better to focus on a well-curated blog page. Focusing on quality over quantity and starting small doesn’t mean you’ll never have the benefits that many platforms provide, but working up to those multi-faceted marketing systems will improve your tool kit and retain loyal customers on each platform as you master them.

 Don’t give up on specialty marketing ROIs.

Small or niche marketing channels may seem insignificant when compared to large-scale SEO/marketing and a generalized target audience, but those specialty spaces may have greater ROIs than you’d expect. Specialty keywords on your site help Google and other search engines find your brand for more pinpointed user inquiries and also provide space for more of a “fandom” kind of audience. Users who respond to specialty marketing and niche channels are more likely to be dedicated customers and spread word-of-mouth support.

Using niche or specialty tools when you can will also give your brand a unique, hidden treasure kind of image, especially compared to the many other websites in an oversaturated internet market.

 Create a community with other brands.

Standard marketing guidelines encourage a view of competitors in your industry as the enemy. While it’s true you compete for sales, space, and customer interactions in general, there’s something to be said for building a community with like-minded brands. If you can support brands that share your ethics, whose work you admire, or those you think could fill a need for your customers that your brand doesn’t quite meet, you’ll foster greater credibility, trustworthiness, and likeability with your customers. It’s also possible that you’ll gain the goodwill and reciprocal support of the brands you shout out and highlight on your platforms.


It may not make sense to go out of your way to show off what your competition is doing, but if there are occasions when building community between brands seems natural, it can be a great thing. Positive interactions between you and your fellow brands helps customers understand the benefits of collaboration and the community ideals of your company.

These are just a few of the many contradictory marketing techniques that are not often listed in generic marketing guidelines. If you’re considering building a new marketing campaign or expanding an existing one, our team of expert project managers, designers, writers, and optimizers can help. Contact MLT Group at (507) 281-3490,, or online today for more information about SEO/marketing in Minneapolis, MN.