Does it feel like every other business is doing video but you? If you're inexperienced but itching to jump into the video pool, finding the right video production company to partner with is key.
Unfortunately, many businesses rush into video production without thinking it through. But a rash decision without a clear plan or set goal will lead to disappointment, and waste your time and money.
How can you avoid this outcome and be happy with your next video project? These 9 strategies can help you produce an effective video without a lot of headaches.
1. Begin with the end in mind. Don't just make a video because it's the trend right now. Instead, think about what you want your video to accomplish for your business. Is your goal to increase business? Educate your viewer? Train your employees? Determine your goal first, then work with a company that understands the scope of your needs and can consult with you to achieve your goals.
2. Cheap video comes at a premium. Be wary when a production company offers its services at a rate that seems too good to be true—the production team may just shoot from the back of the room on a tripod and call it a day. But it’s more expensive to do it wrong the first time and have to redo it. So find out what's included in the total package: Are edits included? What about music licensing? Or travel expenses? Watch out for those additional costs that can be thrown in at the end and bust your budget.
3. Value accountability and reliability. Some companies will over-promise to land a client then under-deliver when it comes to the end product. Can the company ensure on-time delivery? Does it have the resources to do so? If you don’t receive the final version until a month or more after filming, will the content still be valuable? Get a guarantee that you'll have a team dedicated to your project that won’t quit until your video is the embodiment of your vision.
4. Consider your audience. Prospects and customers who see your video will immediately form an opinion about your business—it affects their perception of your brand. And what could be more important than how potential clients perceive you before they meet you? Think about your target audience and what elements are important to them, then be sure to create a video that reflects that. If you're including testimonials from clients, be sure they're reflective of your target audience. Otherwise, you risk alienating your current client-base.
5. Work with experts in your industry. When choosing a production company, work with someone who already knows what works and what doesn’t by looking to those who specialize in video content for your industry. Experienced vendors have an eye for details you may miss. Don't forget to get references and sample videos before signing a contract.
6. Consider the value of your time. How much is your time worth? For example, a retail store owner should be concerned with store sales, not managing a video project. Work with a company that doesn’t require any micro-managing on your part.
7. Choose someone who's up on video industry standards. This includes optimizing videos for HD and mobile devices. Make sure your partner creates videos that can be readily accessed in social media, on your website, and anywhere your video might be viewed.
8. Be careful when hiring friends or family. It may seem convenient to hire Uncle Bob or a longtime client, but it might be more costly to your relationship if the quality of their work doesn’t add up and, in the end, you have to do the job again.
9. Expect stewardship. Your relationship with the production company shouldn’t end after filming. Choose a production team who can advise you on future projects and provide ongoing, fresh content for your business year after year.
Video is increasingly present in strong marketing strategies. It's time to add it to yours.
Michael Mogill's company, Crisp Video Group, has produced video content for major international brands, including Coca-Cola, Verizon and Red Bull, and has carved out a successful niche in the medical and dental industries. He's also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.
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