How to Choose a Video Production Company
I won’t lie to you. Choosing a video production company does require some grunt work, but the entire selection process can be divided into a few stages to help you get through the process and come out on top.
Stage 1: Let me Google that for you
Let’s say you’ve done the marketing research and you know how your business will benefit from having its own explainer video. You know why you need one and you probably have a basic idea of what you want. Now it’s time to find a good production company to turn your vision into reality. You can either get an assistant to do this next part for you, or you can just do it yourself.
Google is your best friend now because you need to come up with a list of explainer video production companies. Depending on how organized you are, you can go beyond just collecting the names of production companies and create a table which will also contain the links, pricing, and notes about anything else you might feel is relevant. You can use this table as a score card. Having all this information in one place can be helpful if you don’t have enough time to do all of your research in one go and have to come back to it another day.
Stage 2: Site hopping
Now that you have that list, it’s time to visit each of the companies’ websites. If there is a video production company on your list that doesn’t have a website, that’s a red flag.
Take a close look at the website and how well it is organized. Although it’s not a direct reflection of your future project manager, it can give you an idea of the kind of people you will be working with. If the website appears to be professional, you’ll probably get the sense that you’ll be dealing with professionals.
Look for a portfolio on the website. The absence of one is a definite red flag. Go through the portfolio and if the videos are organized by when they were added, compare the more recent videos with the older ones. A slight difference in quality between them is okay, but not if the older ones appear to be better. Check if videos are made using stock assets or if the illustrations are custom made.
There are a plethora of video production companies out there and after a while everything can start to look and sound the same. If a company’s videos look “same old” to you, you can bet your customers will have the same impression. Try to find a company with fresh and creative ideas that strives to create high quality and truly unique work.
Stage 3: Talk to me, baby
Before you schedule a call, you can also learn a lot about a company by reading their blog and taking a look at what they post on social media. Do they seem like people you could hang out with? Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to a few companies, go ahead and schedule a call.
The initial consultation may tell you if the company has a similar approach to business. This is the time to learn more about the production process of the company, as well as their pricing packages. Make sure to find out how many revisions you get per production stage and what the additional charges are if you exceed this number.
If you haven’t seen any testimonials on the company’s website, you can ask the person you’re talking to for references. You definitely want to know if they’ve made their past clients happy. Video production companies with impressive portfolios and a long list of satisfied customers are usually a safe bet.
Do not forget to ask who owns the footage. In the majority of agreements, the production company owns raw footage and the client owns the finished video. Make sure you have this piece of information ahead of time to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Stage 4: Go with your gut
When you’ve finished all of your research and even talked to some companies, it’s time to summarize your impressions.
Be sure to choose the company that not only had the most impressive portfolio, but also made you feel good. Go for the one that asked relevant, specific questions about your company and the purpose of your video. If they don’t treat you with genuine interest, but just as another lead, you might not feel so reassured. You want to work with people that are developing a project with you that they, too, will be proud of. You want people who are going to be invested and passionate about your project.
Another important factor to consider is their ability to communicate well. Trust me, good communication between the project manager and the client is the key to a successful project. Your project manager needs to be able to update you about different stages of production in a timely manner, but you also need to be sure you tell them when you like something, and more importantly when you don’t. If you don’t tell them that you don’t like something, they won’t know that they need to change it.
At the end of the day, what we all want is to get more bang for our buck. When selecting your video production company, be sure to ask the right questions and do the necessary research before you commit. The company you choose might end up turning into your long-term partner.
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If you’d like to learn more about explainer videos, go ahead and download our ebook!