Made in Mankato teams with Otto Media Group to offer content creation collective

OK, so, let’s say you’ve been paying attention to the media landscape over the past few years and you’ve come to understand some universal truths.

One, video is a powerful tool for messaging.

Two, podcasting is definitely a thing that’s here to stay.

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Jordan Powers of Made in Mankato mans his video cameras while Cate DeBates interviews a subject for the YWCA at Powers’ studio on Tuesday. Powers’ studio is one of five businesses in the newly opened Otto Media Group location on North Riverfront Drive. Photo by Jackson Forderer

Three, great writing and graphic design can take a mediocre project and make it great.

And four … you can’t do any of these things.

“We can do all of those things for people,” says Jordan Powers, owner of Made in Mankato, who together with the Otto Media Group and a trio of freelancers — all under one brand new roof — has compiled a content creation collective group. “We want to be able to have something to serve everyone.”

So, this isn’t a business story. If it were, you’d be reading it in the business section. It’s here, on the Arts and Culture day of our so-called Currents section, because this collection of content creation personnel can help you get creative.

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Jordan Powers (left) of Made in Mankato works with Wesley Otto (right) and Mike Sargent about long-term goals for his business in a conference room at the newly opened Otto Media Group. Photo by Jackson Forderer

You may recall those Made in Mankato videos popping up on people’s Facebook feeds a few years ago. That was the work of Powers. He focused on a few locally grown businesses and created professional, slick videos that told their origin stories.

Today, he’s offering his services — in a new business location on North Riverfront Drive, second floor of the Hatanpa Insurance building — in helping clients produce video projects. The level of his involvement can vary from full-on producing/directing to showing clients how to use the cameras and letting them go crazy. All services, of course, come with a fee.

If a client also needs writing or marketing help, enter the Otto Media Group. Led by Wes Otto and Mike Sargent, the Otto Media Group (which intentionally now goes by the nifty acronym “OMG,”) can help with script writing for videos, or draw up a social media strategy that’s certain to maximize the number of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users that can see your … whatever you’re doing.

This strategy worked out well for a Realtor who recently sought their services. George Massad wanted a video for his business. He came in with a script, which OMG helped him tweak for maximum impact. Powers then coached him a bit on camera presence and bedazzled the final product with appropriately chosen and timed graphics. Now it’s visible on Facebook and has been viewed more than 4,000 times.

“We look at this (collective) as kind of like an agency,” Wes Otto said.

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Wesley Otto (left) and Mike Sargent (right) of the newly opened Otto Media Group. The newly renovated space at 1609 North Riverfront Drive houses five different content creation businesses. Photo by Jackson Forderer

Or, take the group of women who came in to do a podcast recently. They came in, Powers set up the recording station for them, and, well, just pretty much let them go. He’ll edit the audio a bit for them, email it back to them, and that’s it. Now they’ve got a high-quality audio recording that can quickly be added to iTunes or any other podcast service (after all the appropriate applications have been completed and hoops have been jumped through, of course.)

So, there’s also the issue of the elephant in the room, the one that travels around in everyone’s pockets and lets them know when their latest Instagram post has new “likes.”

Smartphones can now handle video creation. You can record, edit and upload a podcast while watching Netflix on your couch — if that’s how you roll.

How does Powers respond to that?

“People should be doing more video on their phones,” he says. But — and it’s a big “but” — “there comes a time when you have limited resources (to purchase video recording or editing equipment), limited knowledge (of how all that stuff works best), and limited time (to do it all.)”

That’s where Powers, with his fully decked out studio complete with green screen, can help.

“All the equipment is here and paid for,” he said. “Just takes my time and experience to run it.”

You’re probably wondering about money. Powers says he can envision a bare-bones scenario where, if you already knew what you wanted and the project was smallish, you could get something done for about $150. Throw in higher production values and time project length, prices obviously go up. It’s all based on hours worked.

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