7 Things To Know Before You Hire A Video Production Company
Video is the most effective form of 1 to many communication. A high quality video can deliver a professional and persuasive sales message to millions of customers, inspire employees for increased efficiency, or pave the way for a successful sales presentation. The right video from the right video production company will make and/or save you a ton of money.
Here are 10 things you need to know about video marketing and your business before you hire a video production company
#1 Know The Different Types of Videos & Decide Which is Best For Your Business
Your business would likely benefit from multiple videos all serving different purposes, but it’s good to prioritize in order to maximize time and budget. Here is a general list of the types of videos businesses tend to hire a video production company to create.
Marketing & Advertising
The purpose of marketing and advertising videos is to proactively spread the word about your brand to potential customers.
The most classic form of a marketing and advertising video is a TV commercial. TV commercials have the ability to reach millions of viewers and give your business the credibility of “being on TV.”
However, if you are a small to medium sized business owner, it is likely more beneficial to create advertisements that will be shown to potential customers online via social media platforms.
Social Media platforms enable businesses to hone in on a specific type of video viewer, choose their ad spend and then directly measure the ROI of their video marketing campaign.
Utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube, small businesses can create a video ad that will be seen by millions of people who fit their target demographic. If your business is not running video advertising on social media, we suggest you try it out ASAP. It’s incredible how detailed you can get with your targeting. You could be missing out on massive sales gains.
Below are a few examples of online advertisement videos that we have made to drive ticket sales, send customers to a specific landing page, and showcase a mobile app.
Educational Video / Landing Page Video
Educate your customers with a video that succinctly tells the story of your company and mission.
Delight anyone who visits one of your web properties to learn more about your company with a professional video that gets across the key points about your business.
Whether it is on your home page, in an email, on social media or elsewhere, educating visitors with a professional explainer video will make them more likely to convert into customers and build long term brand loyalty.
Here are a few videos we have made for companies to help explain their mission to interested website visitors or media outlets.
Case Study / Testimonials / Sales Collateral
Want to set the stage before you deliver your impactful speech or sales pitch? Kick things off with a professional video.
A video can tell of an incredible case study or story and prep an audience or client to be more receptive to your message.
Testimonial videos let your customers do the selling for you. Rave reviews are even more impactful if you can capture them on video.
Create an impactful and emotionally engaging video to give your sales team the professional collateral they need to close a deal or your executives the rallying cry to win over a room.
Here are a few case study and testimonial videos we have shot for clients in the past.
Whether you are throwing an event or attending one it is great to highlight your company’s presence.
Event videos can run before an event to sell tickets, after event to showcase how much fun it was, or even during an event (behind you at a booth or up on stage.)
Particulalry if you are an event organzier, you are going to want to capture footage of the event so that you can highlight it’s successes and announcements in order to build up buzz for the next one.
Here are a few videos we have run before events to drive ticket sales, after events to recap, and to recap internal company retreats.
Training, On-boarding & Internal Comms
Does your business need to deliver a powerful and effective message to employees and other stakeholders? If so, video is a great way to make a more memorable impression than just another company email.
Internal communication videos are particularly effective at large companies, where new employees are on-boarded regularly, and current employees don’t get to interact with C-level executives in their day to day.
Putting your mission statement on video will not only deliver it more effectively to the team it will also allow them to feel the passion and enthusiasm that drives the company forward.
2. Know How Much Of Your Budget You Can Allocate To Video Production
The best way to decide how much you should spend on a particular video production service is to assign a measurable outcome to the video.
This practice can be relatively straightforward for a facebook ad video or a sales video, or it can be a bit more abstract for something like an internal communications video. Either way, you should do your best to estimate a return.
By adhering a specific measurable result to a video, even if it is not exact, you can estimate how much “income” or “savings” that video will generate and then can invest accordingly.
Some examples of measurable results could be “how many sales do you realistically expect the video to generate?” “Do you think you’ll see a 1% boost in productivity for the next 2 weeks if you send out an internal comms video? If so, how much will that drop your COGS?”
Make sure that what you are spending is less than the value your new video will create. An ideal video should have a 3x or more ROI.
3. Know How Much Video Production Costs
The price range of video production services is wide and variable. Once you have an idea of what you could spend on a video, you’ll need to survey the market and see what is out there. This article on video production services helps to give you some general price ranges.
DIY Video Production – Time + Equipment + Software
DIY video production is using the personnel and equipment you already have to create an engaging video. If you have the time and desire to learn how to create videos, this is a great way to go. Truth is, you don’t even need professional equipment. You likely already have what you need to create a video on your own.
Creating a video with your iPhone and using a free editing software like iMovie may not yield Hollywood results, but it can often lead to the most authentic (and effective) advertising.
Furthermore, if you are creating videos on your own – you can move fast on current trends and news topics. Allowing you to capitalize on opportunities quickly and economically.
If you have interest in creating videos yourself please go for it. Expect a few hurdles and frustrations along the way, but you may find you enjoy the process tremendously.
There are tons of excellent services out there as well for novice video creators that can yield professional results. A great video service for creating facebook ads quickly is Animoto.
With animoto you can easily create business and marketing videos with text overlays, import stock photos & videos directly into your project and much more.
If you are interested in trying Animoto. Click below for a 30 day free trial.
If you plan to personally create a lot of media over a long period of time, then the Adobe Creative cloud is the way to go. Any program in the creative cloud has a learning curve, but with Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and more, you’ll have every tool you can possibly need to create A+ media.
Fiverr & Low Tiered Services – $40 – $1000
If you’re a small business owner with no time to learn to create your own videos and aren’t looking to invest into anything to snazzy yet in terms of media, I highly recommend you browse Fiverr.
I personally have found Fiverr to be an excellent resource when I want something straight forward done.
For instance, I’ve created multiple lyric videos or kinetic text ads using Fiverr. Anything that is relatively simple to achieve you should use Fiverr. (ex: have the words “Don’t Miss This Deal” flash over stock images of people at a BBQ).
I personally like Fiverr over the Upwork and Freelancer platform, because rather than write out a job description and wait for anyone and everyone to apply, you can actively browse freelance portfolios filled with video examples and specific prices. By browsing the styles that are out there you start to get ideas and then can hire someone directly, at an exact price package advertised.
I’ve gotten some really amazing videos done for under $100 on Fiverr. Furthermore, if you want to ensure quality and work with some amazing professionals, you can check out the Fiverr Pro options. Fiverr Pro is a bit more expensive but only recommends vetted freelancers.
Freelancers – $1,000- $20,000
Perhaps you don’t want to be restricted to a mass market freelancer platform like Fiverr and instead want to form a lasting relationship with a creative professional. If that is the case, working with freelancers is one of the best and most cost effective ways to produce videos (and even run your entire business).
My main recommendation when working with freelancers is to find one or two good ones that you can stick with over the long haul. Like anything, the first couple times collaborating with a freelancer will have some bumps here and there as you get used to each other’s work style and process. However, once you develop a work flow and mutual understanding, working with a trusted freelancer is an easy and cost effective way to get quality videos produced.
Like myself, many freelancers are former agency workers who realized that they can make more money and work more closely with clients if they go it alone. Many freelancers have, or have access too, 10’s of thousands of dollars of equipment and a creative network that they can leverage to scale up and down depending on the job. You get all of this without having to pay the overhead of agency prices.
Peer Through Media is somewhere between a freelancer and an agency. I, Mark, am the owner and a video professional for over 10 years. I shoot, edit and animate videos, but also have a network of incredibly talented freelancers who I work with on a day to day basis. That way, we can put together a team of experts to handle large scale projects, but not worry about the overhead of salaries.
If you are interested in working together, please check out my video portfolio and email me (email@example.com) for a free creative consultation. We’ll review your business and propose some video solutions to move forward.
Agencies and Above $10000+
Agencies are the least risky option to go with. A good agency has 1000s of projects under it’s belt and an excellent work process. With an agency, if one person drops the ball on your project there are plenty of other people to pick up the slack.
You’ll get multiple minds and opinions on your project. Agencies are great, but costly.
I worked for an agency for a while. I learned a lot about setting up a nice process and workflow. But ultimately, with so many middlemen/account managers between the client and end creative (me), I thought it was more efficient and cost effective for everyone to move to a small team, freelance structure.
In house – $50K – $250k a year
If you’re churning out tons of videos, photos and other media, it can be cost effective to hire an in house team or employee. When hiring an in house production person, you should consider what will benefit you more:
- A more junior hire who will actually shoot and edit videos/photos themselves. Please be aware, that even if you hire a full time person they can only do so much. Most video projects are handled by medium to large teams with experts for each stage in the production process.
- A more experienced person who can coordinate tons of large scale productions, essentially acting as the project manager/point of contact for multiple freelancers. This person is more like a content strategist and works with a budget to manage a high volume of quality work. (This is what I did at ConsenSys, and eventually ended up building out a 7 person media team).
4. Know What To Look For In A Video Production Company
As we’ve covered earlier in this article, there are a few things you need to know on your end: the purpose of your video, assign the video a measurable goal, and your general budget.
From there, what should you look for on the side of the video production company?
The most important things are story, process, and style.
No matter the purpose of your video it has to tell a compelling story to keep people engaged so that your message is heard. I will take a well thought out story and message shot on an iPhone, over a weak narrative shot on Hollywood cameras 100 times out of 100.
To gauge the storytelling skills of your potential contractor/agency look at their portfolio and simple talk to them. Do they seem like a bright individual? Are they connecting the dots when they hear about your product and back story? They shouldn’t, and likely won’t, have an idea right there on the phone, but you should be able to get a gauge for their thinking process.
Make sure they understand your product and goals and that their creative ideas are expanding and adding value to your business.
Making videos is a creative process. There are infinite options and infinite variables. It’s impossible for one person to exactly explain their imagination to someone else.
You need to work with someone who has a sound process to make it through all the hurdles. Someone who will get sign off at the right points in the process so that no one is caught off guard by the outcome.
Find an agency or freelancer with a process that sounds like it will keep you involved enough so that you receive a satisfactory end product but also won’t take up all your time requiring you to micro manage.
Creatives all have their own artistic style. Usually, they can morph and mimic to meet your brand or example videos you want to emulate.
To gauge the style of a freelancer or agency, look at their video production portfolio. See if you like it. If they don’t have a specific style you’re looking for, it may only be because they haven’t been hired to make something like that before. It’s great to send them example videos and ask if they can create that style. Most people will answer honestly if they can pull it off or not.
5. Know How Long Video Production Services Takes
You should leave a minimum of 4 weeks for video production unless you want to pay rush charges. It also isn’t just about the price of rush charges.
You want to leave enough time for planning to get the best result. In the pre production stage, the idea needs to be formulated and then everything needs to be lined up in order to execute that idea come production.
Once everything is shot, or approved to animate, animation and editing takes time. File sizes are large. A lot of the story is created in post production. You want to give creatives time in order to get the best possible product.
6. What Are The Main Steps In The Video Production Process?
The video production process can be broken down into 3 main phases: pre-production, production and post production. There are then sub stages and milestones within those 3 stages that should require client sign off before moving forward.
Pre-production is where you identify goals and solidify creative ideas and strategies to reach those goals.
Pre-production generally starts with the client telling the video professional all the necessary information around the project.
From there, the video production company sends back some broad ideas and directions. Once a direction is decided upon the video professional can formulate the script.
The script is perhaps the most important element to the video production process. So the major stakeholders need to sign off on the script before moving forward.
From there the video production company will create a storyboard and some basic graphics to give a feel for the end style.
Th rest of the work in pre-production revolves around casting, locations, putting together the team, timeline and equipment to execute the idea on production day.
If it is a live action shoot, this is the day(s) where you are on set filming. Capturing all the magic and directing the talent.
Post production is where you take the footage and cut it into a story. So much of the story is created in post production. Post production usually starts with a few rough cuts to nail down the story arc and then the video is further refined with music, color correction and pacing to deliver an excellent final product.
7. Do I need To Hire A Video Production Company Near Me?
You don’t need to hire a video production company near you. Even if you require someone to film on site. I have contracted shoots in places as remote as the island nation of Vanuatu. Video professionals love to travel. Also, I, and most reputable freelancers/agencies, am connected with someone in almost every American city that can help film the footage and send it back my way to really put the story together in editing.
Furthermore if you are going for an animated video or simply need editing services, there is no reason to hire a videographer near you. There may be some added benefits to going local, but you might as well try and hire the top talent you can afford no matter where they are located.
Video Production Conclusion
Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in creating videos for your company or project. I love helping entrepreneurs and artists create videos and then further market those videos using facebook and google ads.
If you would like to collaborate please e-mail me and we can set up a time to discuss how video can help advance your goals. firstname.lastname@example.org