Christian County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month

This article first appeared on the Christian County Chamber of Commerce website in the month of March, 2013.

Hudge Media LLC is a multi-media design and creative strategy company with a focus on designing unique and effective marketing tools for their clients. So, what exactly does that mean?

Hudge Media creates:

  • Award-winning Video – Video is one of the most powerful tools in marketing today. Hudge Media specializes in creating videos for use on the web, television, fundraising premiers…the possibilities are endless. And they do it so well, the video industry has noticed. Hudge Media won two Telly Awards and two Communicator Awards for recent video projects.
  • Web Design and SEM (Search Engine Marketing)  – Whether it’s a site facelift or creating a new site from scratch, Hudge Media works closely with each client to build an attractive, easy-to-use site. They specialize in customizing content, from professional photos to original copy, all with a focus on SEO strategy, a vital part of competing on the web.
  • Graphic Design, Brand Development and Color Printing  – From logos to brochures, business cards, and print ads, Hudge Media helps each client put his best face forward. Through questionnaires and one-one-one interviews, Hudge Media creates products that reflect each client’s personal style.

“We have a hard time just doing one thing for clients,” said Hudge Media owner Drew Hudgins. “We become so invested in a project; we’ve learned – just like you might learn with a hobby, say tinkering with cars – that in order to do one thing, like changing the oil, it’s a really essential to do all these other things, too. At that point, you feel the best when you’ve done things yourself … you know it’s done right.

“That was us getting into the web.”

Essentials of Effective Web Sites

Hudgins said the company noticed an early trend with its web design clients. “We were putting a great new face on these sites, but they often lacked great content. That’s a vital part of competing in today’s internet search-driven world. People need great stuff to read, Google needs great stuff to find. Great-looking sites can still get slammed by search engines if they don’t have unique and relevant content.”

Hudge Media has discovered some key ingredients to effective web sites. “I tell everyone that sites are essentially three ingredients: good design, great photos and words. And we can bundle all of those things for our clients.”

There’s a fourth ingredient that is becoming more and more essential.

“You really get to blow the competition away once you add video,” Hudgins said. “And it’s becoming less and less ‘icing on the cake’ and more and more necessary. It’s 2013. Internet users expect good video, too.”

 

What Makes Hudge Media Unique?

Hudge Media is more than just a company. It’s a creative team of people who pool their resources on a client-by-client basis. Hudge Media’s video director and producer, Hudgins studied art, music and film at Ohio University, with an emphasis on film and music composition in graduate school. His previous work credits include documentaries that continue to air on KET and music scores for “Welcome to Macintosh,” as seen on CNBC and a top-seller on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix.

“My strength is capturing emotion,” Hudgins said, “storytelling through film. I love it when something I’ve put together elicits a some moist eyes or I see someone holding their heart as they watch.”

In addition to Hudgins, Hudge Media’s creative team includes Jimmey LeBlanc, senior print and web designer; Robin Stevens, SEO strategist and copywriter; David Scribner of Nashville, SEO consultant and intern, Caleb Brown, photojournalism student at WKU. Others on stand-by depending on project demands include artists like Chris Reed in Columbus, Ohio; musical composer Nealle Diapollo of Chicago; and Jason Frye who runs Teakettle Junction, a creative writing agency out of Wilmington, North Carolina.

An advisory board rounds out the team.

 

A New Direction

“We’ve passed the three-year mark,” Hudgins said. “We’ve come a long way, but last year was that moment when we felt established enough to stand back and take inventory. We asked ourselves, ‘Just what is it we’re really good at? Who are the clients we serve best?’ We had our answer and we’ve been retooling to head in that direction.

“We knew that direction was healthcare, but it’s even more than that.  It’s places that change lives, places that save lives.  Creating products – web, print, video – for those companies, that’s now our primary focus.”  The company has even revamped their own logo. “We’re updating everything. Our new logo is certainly more organic, more elegant and vibrant! ” A new website of their own is also scheduled to launch in the beginning of March.

The first clue to that new direction was a video, “Marcy’s Story,” created for the Trigg County Hospital Foundation. The video is an emotional short about the importance of early cancer detection when it comes to saving lives.

“There’s four solid seconds of black screen in that video,” Hudgins said. “You could have heard a pin drop in that packed venue when it premiered.”

The emotional impact of the video was nice, but, more importantly, it had the desired outcome. The Foundation raised thirty-three percent more than its goal at that premier.

“We create videos that focus on hitting emotions, on telling stories that are timeless,” Hudgins said. “That’s where I feel we’re so strong: digging in and discovering the powerful thing to say and how to say it – where viewers can relate to, and connect with, the organization that hired us.  Seeing isn’t believing.  Feeling is believing.”

“We recently produced a TV spot for Pennyroyal Hospice they can take anywhere and air it for years to come.”

And the versatility of video can spin off into other products, like radio spots for Trigg County Hospital. “The heart behind films can often be re-worked to leave out the visual aspects and focus on the audio.”

Hudge Media is also using its strengths working with a local ministry with great ambitions. Hudgins announced, “We’re in production on a hard-hitting fundraiser-focused video with the goal of bringing the resources to help an orphanage in Bon Repos, Haiti.”

Strong Sense of Community

Although Hudge Media’s creative team members come from all over the country, the company is deeply rooted in the local region. Hudgins relocated to Cadiz from Ohio to be near his wife’s family in Princeton, and this is definitely the place he and his wife want to raise their son.

“I love the lakes and this small-town region, because it’s so similar to the Greenbrier Valley and Lewisburg, West Virginia, where I grew up,” Hudgins said.

Hudgins took an immediate interest in promoting and growing local businesses by volunteering with civic organizations. He has taught workshops on internet business practices and is the founder of Family First Fridays, a series of marketing events designed to promote Cadiz businesses in Summer 2012. As a result of Hudgins’ involvement at the local level, Hudge Media was awarded the Trigg County Chamber’s Horizon Award in its second year of operation.

You can expect to hear more of the firm in the future as they continue to develop their current web and video marketing strategies and connections with Google.

Hudgins adds, “I’m fine with slow and steady progress. I’m not interested in building a big company as much as I’m interested in building a good company.  It’s in my personal mission statement to get to create. That’s what we’re doing here and that’s how we benefit others.”

To see Hudge Media’s work for yourself, go to hudgemedia.com or join the likers on facebook