Finding the right video production company to create videos for your business can be a challenging task. There are many choices, some surprisingly cheap and others shockingly expensive. So where do you start? We’ve listed some key tips that will help you make the right choice before you embark on your video production endeavor.
1. Align your core competencies
The rule of three applies here. According to Harvard you want to choose a business that easily plugs-in to your business so it can enhance your success. This means does your business thrive because of one of these three attributes: quality, service, or price? Do you want the quality of a Ferrari? Or high service that makes your life easier? Or just a product that has little quality and little service? Video production is one of the least understood businesses in terms of the work that goes into the whole process. Maybe because everyone is so used to seeing great looking footage everywhere on the internet. Over the many years of Shakespeare’s professional experience we often have customers come to us with stories where they were promised the world for a cheap price and then were let down. The whole production becomes a sunk cost.
Maybe it was with good intentions but because of many factors (and some of what we hear are): a lack of experience; failure of delivery; and/or corporate videographer value. In the end the client is the loser; they pay more money and take more time to get the job done properly.
At Shakespeare Media we strive to focus on giving incredible service with great quality at a very reasonable price. Meaning that we are with our clients every step of the way. We are flexible and can meet their needs. We are responsive and meet deadlines. Most of all, building long-term relationships are very important to us. We are not just in business because we love what we do but also believe in the long game and not short-term gains. Wins for everyone; your success is our success.
2. Define your priorities
What’s the purpose of your video and what are the key outcomes you’re after? If your marketing strategy for the video dictates high production value with beautiful cinematography and stylish editing, choose a company who reflects this style of work in their portfolio. If you’re looking for basic level testimonial videos on a low budget choose a company that has decent looking work in this category with a reasonable price tag attached to it. When you know what’s most important for your brand, you can choose a company that offers the best result for this goal at the right budget. A great place to start when defining your priorities is to consider your audience and what they need to see and experience in order to make a decision after watching your final video.
3. Pick up the phone or meet in person
Choose a video production company is a very people-dependent process. Being able to speak to a producer at the production company and ask them important questions you have will give you great insights into who you’ll be potentially working with over the next weeks or months or even years should your company need ongoing videos.
Most often we’ve found that our clients want their needs to be understood and then translate them into an effective video. They also place high importance on meeting deadlines and attaining great results. From experience, you’ll find this depends on what people are doing behind the scenes and how they perform during the video production process. By asking questions and listening to their responses you’ll get a feeling for if it’s the right company for you. We suggest you compile a list of questions to prepare you for the call.
4. What is your required timeline, can they meet it?
If you have a hard deadline like a product launch, an event or other scenarios that requires your video to be ready for a specific date, make sure you get full commitment from the producer up front. Production houses can get suddenly very busy around the time of your deadline and if your video requires last minute changes it may cause the production company to miss your deadline. Make sure you state your expectations clearly up front, why it is important to you and ask them how they will ensure that the video will be delivered on time.
Even the most well-meaning producer might get snowed under on the day before delivery and slip on certain tasks but if you’ve agreed on a solid process, clarified details and communicate closely chances are you’ll be able to hit the play button on time during your live event or upload it in time for your product launch. If the person you speak to during your screening process doesn’t give you confidence around this topic you’d better move on to the next candidate.
5. Cheap video comes at a premium
We all have a budget to consider and of course, it’s never big enough! It may be tempting to gravitate towards the cheapest offer you get. The only risk with that is that you may end up paying more for it in the end. Even if their portfolio looks good there might be other loopholes in their process. There might be other hidden traps that don’t show up on first encounter.
It would certainly be more expensive to do it wrong the first time and have to redo it again. Make sure you figure out what is included in the full package. Watch out for costs that can be thrown in later and blow your budget. Again, a good chat on the phone or in person will help you gauge who you’re dealing with.
6. Look beyond the flashy demo reel
Many production companies will have a high quality demo reel on their front page. Usually, it’s a 30-90 second video clip with their most impressive cinematography edited with captivating music. The purpose is to give an instant impression of capability and build a desire to be chosen. It may also aim to prove that they’re an established company with a variety of clients.
This is all good and can be helpful for you to get a certain feeling for what style and capacity they have. But what a demo reel doesn’t show is what those finished productions really looked like. Most likely you need a video that does more than just look pretty. It has to be effective for your business and really serve the purpose you set out to achieve in the first place. Make sure you dive deeper into their website to find the actual videos they were hired to produce. You can also ask to see other videos that may not be on their website but have been produced. If you’re after a specific type, ask if they have produced any of that sort.