Sharing & Winning” Using Aerial Photography and Video

I was on a photo shoot recently at an area school. Our team shot photos and video of a recently finished building which was designed by an impressive architectural firm and completed by an established construction company. We were hired to capture exterior and interior images of some of the more unique features that comprise what has become a state-of-the-art, top-to-bottom, all-new, high school in both design and concept.

The designers were tasked with creating not just a functional school with classrooms and offices, but a progressive center for today's youth to become tomorrow's experts in a wide range of areas. This new school building comes complete with an impressive performing arts center, a restaurant, and career tech labs where students can learn everything from CAD (computer-aided design and drafting software) to welding, to automotive technology.

From a photography standpoint, the building itself was exciting to shoot. The many lines, decorative waves, and unique features made for some impressive footage.

Shooting the gym, the media center, the courtyards, the student dining room, and other areas really showcased the design; and because we had the drone, we were privy to views not otherwise enjoyed by the students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community – until, of course, we edited and shared the footage with them.

These “birds-eye” views are what the design firm and the construction company paid us to capture. Spending money on aerial images is actually a smart investment – from both a marketing perspective and a budgeting standpoint. Not sure it's in your budget? Try a marketing co-operation. 

Marketing Co-Operations – Smart Marketing

Marketing co-operations allow companies to share in the cost of innovative promotional methods which may be otherwise outside of their budget. In this case, the architectural firm that designed the building will be able to use this collection of images in all of its marketing, on its website, in social media, etc. It will also be able to present these impressive shots to prospective clients. Although the interior and exterior images captured are beautiful representations of the firm's talent, the aerial images truly showcase the capabilities and creativity of this firm's designers.

Likewise, the construction company will be able to use the aerial images for its own marketing, to showcase its capabilities in producing a state-of-the-art structure to spec. The images could help to position it “on top of” the competition when under consideration for future projects.

Working together and sharing in the fees when hiring drones means these marketing co-operations allow the users (in this case the architectural firm and the construction company) to not only stretch their marketing dollars, but to also specify the use of the images and negotiate the appropriate licensing for them.

You could postpone investing in the rights to use the images until after they've been produced and you've had a chance to see them... but you'll pay more – at least 25% more, and there may be limitations placed on how you can use them. This is because once the images have been produced, you are now looking to purchase commercial rights, or permission to use the images in a certain way for a specific period of time; and the price and use available to you may vary greatly, depending on the original agreement made between the drone company and the business that contracted it.

How Can I Form a Marketing Co-Operation?

Well, let's use the example described above. What else was involved in the creation of this school and its grounds? Which businesses could have shared in the cost of the drone and benefited from these aerial images?

The images could also be used by the landscapers to sell their services; by the company that created the parking lot; by the lighting company that provided the spotlights around the building and parking areas; by the HVAC company, or the roofing company... you see where I'm going – the list goes on and on.

The point is, going over the top (pun intended) presents some creative and great cost-sharing opportunities for marketing co-operations. A company can go from asking, “Can we afford a drone?” – to saying, “Aerial images will be a big part of our marketing strategy, but only a small part of our marketing budget.”

And getting the maximum from your marketing budget is always a good thing.

We thought we'd wrap up this article with some of the impressive images that we captured on our shoot:

The building is made up of three structures that sit on a 30-acre site – there are enclosed walkways that protect the students from the elements as they travel to their destinations.

Courtyards feature walkways and benches for study or socializing.

One building houses the cafeteria, gym and media center; the center building is used for academics; and the third building holds career, technical and performing arts areas.

A number of the school's facilities - such as the restaurant, a community college, a sports hall of fame, the performing arts center, the gym, and a community learning center - are open to the public.

Schools and other new developments are just a few of the areas where aerial photography enhances marketing. Ready to include your own aerial images? Drones can heighten your marketing message, help you to better convey your story, and set you apart from your competition. By thinking “top down,” and perhaps creating your own marketing co-operation, you won't have to break your budget to include them.


About the author

Barbara Barclay is the marketing strategist at Aerial Agents, a Cleveland, Ohio-based FAA Approved, commercial drone aerial photography & videography media production company. In the birthplace of aviation, Aerial Agents is established as the foremost experienced, professional and licensed expert in UAS (unmanned aerial systems) or "drone" piloting. Drone aerial imagery has multiple applications in a wide variety of areas including sales, marketing, education, entertainment, real estate, travel, hospitality, information, instruction, insurance, news and even court cases.