Video production has become an essential for any company who hopes to have any kind of online presence. The facts and figures all point to video production being the future of content marketing so it begs the question, what should you look for when choosing a video production company?
If you’re reading this article, no doubt you have either had videos produced in the past and want more from a new company, or you are currently considering commissioning your first video project.
The good news is that video has endless benefits for your company/brand. Did you know that including a video on your website homepage alone can increase conversions by 80%?
The somewhat bad news is that with the proliferation of video content, the industry has become rather saturated with video production companies and freelancers.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of top quality video production companies and freelancers. However, with higher numbers of creators it’s inevitable that there are an equal number of poor ones who will waste your money, time and patience.
Here we’ll give you 5 things to look out for when choosing a video production company so that you can get all the good and none of the bad!
First things first, look at their current portfolio.
Are they producing creative content? What are their latest videos? Do you feel confident they could handle your project?
Make sure the company you are looking at has evidence of producing the kind of videos that you want. If they haven’t and you’re still interested, contact the company directly to ask if they have any examples elsewhere. Be particularly hesitant if they have never produced a video similar to what you’re asking for. It might be time to look elsewhere.
Remember, it’s quality over quantity here. You’d be better off getting a video produced by a company with 3 solid videos on show than a company with over a 100 poor ones.
Studying the portfolio is probably the most important thing you can do with any creative company you come across. The portfolio is always the true tell of quality - no amount of words or slogans can mask a poor portfolio.
Does the company strike you as creative?
Oftentimes, the homepage of their website can tell you that much.
The proof will be within the videos. If their content doesn’t strike you as creative then it might be time to move on. In the current climate, creativity is essential to have any hope of being truly engaging. Nobody wants a “just another” video. There are plenty of creative companies too so don’t be discouraged if you find a few that aren’t.
If you want to get really nitpicky on how creative a company is, just have a look around their business as a whole along with viewing their content. What are their social media posts like? How do they approach their website content? Did their video keep you engaged? You’ll quickly get a feel of how you rate their creativity levels.
Okay, you’ve probably seen phrases like “results driven” and “results focused” on your searches and for good reason.
Yes, it may be an attempt by some to sound clever but the best companies really are focused on getting results.
We all want a good looking video but when push comes to shove what we all really want is a well performing video. You can have the most creative, cinematic video in the world but if nobody sees it then it’s worthless. Especially with business and brand videos. It all comes down to numbers.
Now, reputable companies will usually have case studies on their websites to showcase their task and how they overcame it. So it will usually look something like - “we were challenged to do xyz so we did xyz and reached over 1 million people” (they may not be as well articulated as my example). If they haven’t and you go ahead and contact them, always ask about their video performance and relevant case studies to see if they are the real deal.
It’s common for amateurs to use these phrases too so be careful, although usually having a thorough look on their website will expose the frauds and show the successors.
The final point here to echo what we’ve gone through - always trust their performance over their testimonials. I’ve personally known someone who once used a character reference from a lecturer years ago as a “client testimonial”.
Numbers don’t lie.
This is where the fun begins.
Whatever company you choose, before you go forward with anything, make sure you both understand the pricing and finances perfectly. There’s absolutely nothing worse than hidden charges, surprise fees and “administrative costs” that seem like nothing more than a way to suck more money out of you.
Now it’s not unusual for extra charges to arise during the process of creating a video. Changing your mind, wanting more adding in, needing extra shots - it’s all part of the job. That’s not the worrying part because this will always be agreed and accepted at the beginning of the project.
What you want to avoid here is companies who pluck prices out of thin air and can’t explain why they’re charging what they are.
The most reputable companies will be able to give you a full breakdown of their pricing and have different packages for different jobs depending upon your requirements.
The final thing to look for in a video production company or freelancer is professionalism.
This may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve seen people complain because a company has acted out of turn.
When we say professional, we aren’t talking about if they wear a suit or speak with a corporate vernacular. We’re talking about actual communication, time keeping, sticking to a plan and meeting deadlines.
This is something you’ll spot instantly once you open communication with a company. How long does it take for them to respond? What is the tone of their emails/calls? Do they instill confidence in their ability to complete your project?
Request a meeting with them and then go from there. It will become quickly noticeable from the outset if the person/people you’re meeting with are serious about their business.
We’ve just gone over 5 things that you should look for when choosing a video production company.
No doubt there are more subtle indicators to look for too but these are 5 of the most important ones.
If a company fails on any of these points, it may be time to look elsewhere. Remember, this is a big decision. Yes, video is an amazing marketing tool for any company but it has to be done correctly to be able to perform.
Taking the time to look for these 5 things will save you money and time and ultimately link you up with a production company that can propel your business forward.