Corporate Video Services are not all the same. Things to know before hiring a production crew.
Your small business needs to outsource a video production team to create a professional-looking video to market your company, brand, and website to the masses. Seriously, you need video as part of your marketing plan. That’s not what this article is about, though, so if you need proof, Vidyard will provide you with 14 Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses.
Still, hiring a corporate video service is not something you’ve ever been tasked with before. A Google search will offer plenty of companies that make corporate videos. However, hiring the right video production company is essential as they will become a pivotal extension of your team. It will seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
What to have in order before you begin your search
- VISION FOR YOUR VIDEO
- Do you have a script, treatment, or storyboards, or will you need the production team to provide these? At the very least, an example video is always helpful. Not sure where to start? Wistia offers some great advice on what types of videos small businesses should consider. We also offer free consultation if you’re in the Midwest or around Chicago and want to get started on your corporate video.
- Be realistic about your project and what your needs are based on your budget. Be sure you know how to communicate these needs to the prospective video production company effectively.
- What’s the personality of your business you want to convey? It may be helpful to think of the character traits of your business as if it were a real person.
- The less you know of your vision and ability to communicate it, the more likely you are to hear that dreaded response of “it depends” when asking for pricing.
- Your budget goes hand in hand with being realistic about your vision. If your idea revolves around a car chase and explosions, expect to pay for these costly items.
- Again, the clearer your vision is, the better suited the production team will be to provide you with a more accurate picture of cost.
- What do you hope to accomplish with this video? Do you want to promote a particular product or service, your brand?
- Where will it be seen: On your website, at a conference, on people’s phones? What is your timeline?
- Do you need the video tomorrow, next week, next month, by the end of the year?
- Who is your target audience?
- EXPECTATIONS FROM A PRODUCTION CREW
- Don’t be afraid to be direct about what your needs and timeline are. It will set a precedent for the rest of the relationship. Visit our video production page to see how we at 2 East 8th generally operate.
- If it’s not you, make it clear who they will be primarily working with during each step of the process. If there are multiple people involved, introduce those people, and be specific about what their role will be.
- Generally, the more people involved, the slower the process is. So keep that in mind.
- In turn, don’t forget to ask the video production team what their expectations will be for you. This will ensure you get the conversation and relationship going in a positive and productive direction.
You don’t need to know everything. That’s why you’re hiring the professionals. Hopefully, they will even be able to guide you through some of this process. But again, the clearer your vision, budget, goals, and expectations are, the more likely you are to end up with a finished product that meets your needs.
As for the content of your message, Video Brewery has a great article on Why Corporate Videos Fail.
What To Look For in the Perfect Collaborative Video Production Company
- Referrals are almost always the safest bet when hiring a video production company, especially when it comes from someone you trust and respect.
- DEMO REEL
- A demo reel or showreel can be thought of as a resume or visual representation of a company’s previous video work. By starting here, you’re just watching videos, which feels like less work since you’re being (or should be) entertained. You’ll quickly see what types of work jump out to you and what misses the mark stylistically. This is especially true if you already have an example video in mind, as we previously mentioned.
- A demo reel should feel good while you’re watching it. The entire purpose is to inspire and instill confidence in a potential buyer. So if you’re not feeling it from that demo reel thirty seconds in, you can probably move on to the next.
- Our current demo reel was made to appeal directly to a certain kind of audience, looking to achieve a cinematic style of narrative content. A prospective production team should also have a consistently updated reel, specifically featuring all of the corporate, interview-style work they do.
If you’re providing an example video, you’ll want to keep that video in mind when going through potential production crews. Their reel should mirror the quality, content, style, and tone that you are seeking. If you want to produce a video with quality interviews and b-roll, but the reel you’re watching shows only live-action or sporting events, they may not be the best fit.
Don’t spend an excessive amount of time on the demo reels, as they will quickly begin to blend. 3 to 5 that feel “right” should be sufficient enough for you to start reaching out. While it is always good to schedule a phone conversation or in-person meeting at some point down the line, the first contact is almost always made via email. Be friendly and provide as much information (vision, budget, goals, expectations) as you can to gauge their interest and availability for your desired timeline.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Response
Your first interaction with a filmmaker may feel pretty alien. You won’t speak the same language or shorthand, and you won’t know what equipment they’re referring to when they start asking about camera model numbers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
When responding to you, the prospective video production company should be efficient, effective, and energetic.
- They should take no longer than 24 hours to respond. They should be efficient and respectful of the use of your time because you’re busy.
- Just like you need to be effective in communicating your needs, they need to be effective in delivering their desire and ability to work with you on bringing your vision to life.
- There should be some energy and personality to their response. With so many options, any corporate production service should be excited that you chose them. Filmmaking is and should be fun for everyone involved.
Create a partnership with a video production team
The video production team you choose will be an extension of your company. Creative partnerships can be challenging to navigate and rely heavily on respect, communication, and trust. Quite simply, it’s like beginning any type of relationship.
So, ask yourself, is this someone I like and want to work with? The actual shoot may only be a day or two, but if they’re also involved in pre-production and post-production, you will be in contact with them long before and after the filming takes place. It’s especially true if you’re fortunate enough to form a long-standing relationship with that team, as is often the case in this industry. Statistics vary, but generally anywhere from 50 – 65% of video production revenue comes from repeat clients. So it’s certainly in the interest of both parties to keep each other around.
- It creates revenue for them (and should for your company as well)
- It increases the likelihood of your next video going more smoothly because you get a feel for each other’s workflow, style, and personalities.
- And it all but guarantees you that “friends and family” discount on your next project. *Wink Wink*
Hiring a corporate video service for your production should be like hiring staff. You want someone skilled who can share your vision and further the goals of your business. Like any hiring, do your homework and come prepared to ask questions. While you’re here, check out our services page and let us know what you think.