If you're not sure where to start with video, are short on time or want to create professional videos, you need to talk to a video production company.
It can be tough finding the right company for you, so I've created a guide of things to look for in a video production company.
Develop a Project Brief
Before you even talk to a video production company, you need to know your project brief. Not only will a project brief help you to visualise and understand what you want to achieve, but it will also ensure the video production company is on the same page as you are.
So, what do you include in a project brief?
Here are some key questions you need to ask yourself.
- Who is your target audience? – Look in-depth at who the video will be aimed at. An excellent tool for identifying your target audience is customer personas - check out the resources section of the video academy for a free download.
- What are your key messages? – You need to have a rough idea of what you want to say in your video and the key messages/points.
- What type of video do you want to create? – There are many different types of videos you could create, from documentaries to talking heads, so try and identify which type of video will help you achieve your goals and tell your story.
- Do you have a deadline? – Deadlines are a great way to set expectations. They enable both parties to understand what will be expected to be delivered and by when. It will also help you plan your marketing strategy.
- What is your budget? - Even if you don't know what you'd pay for a video, having a budget in mind is a good starting point for a video production company to tell you what is possible.
Do Your Research
If you're looking to create something specific, like documentaries or videos incorporating drone footage, research companies that specialise in those things.
But how do you know if they are specialists?
1. Look at Their Portfolio
One of the easiest ways to get an idea of the type of videos a particular company creates is by looking through its portfolio.
Most companies have a portfolio page on their website, or you can always ask to see some examples of past work.
Watching videos they've created for other companies will give you a deeper understanding of what they can do for you. Look at their style, the type of videos they have created, production quality and whether the story is clear.
2. Read Client Testimonials
Another great way to understand how a company works and whether their work is good is by reading real testimonials from past clients.
Again, most companies have testimonials on their website, but make sure to look at reviews left on Google and social media. These reviews are more likely to be 'unfiltered', giving you a more realistic overview of the client experience.
Ask the Right Questions
If you find a video production company that you think is the right fit for you, arrange a meeting, either over the phone, video call or face to face.
Once you talk to them, you'll better understand what they do and how they can help, but you need to be asking the right questions.
Here's a run-down of critical questions you should be asking the video production company in your meeting.
Run Through the Project Brief
The first thing you should do is run through the project brief.
Tell them about the type of video you want to create, who you're targeting etc. This should help everyone in the meeting get on the same page.
Ask them if they understand what you're trying to achieve or whether the brief needs more detail.
Do You Help with the Strategy and Marketing, or just Content Creation?
So you've created a kick-ass video, now what?
It's worth finding out whether they can help you with marketing as well as content creation. If they can't, you may need to approach a third-party marketing company which could affect your budget.
Having a strategy behind every video is vital to its success.
How Will the Project be Managed?
Every video project needs to have a clear plan in place and someone who will take control of the production schedule.
There's nothing worse than editing a video, only to realise essential shots haven't been captured. This will waste both time and money.
Finding out how they will manage your project can be a genuine reassurance that you're in safe hands.
How Does Your Revision Process Work?
You must be able to make tweaks and changes to your video if you're not happy with the final result; this is called the revision process.
Every revision process is slightly different for every video production company, which is why it's essential to clarify how theirs works.
Do they limit the number of revisions you can request? Will you be charged extra for revisions, or is that all included in the price?
These are the types of questions you should be asking to ensure you don't get hit by any unexpected costs and get the final version you want.
What Suggestions Do They Have?
You've explained what you want, but why not ask them whether they have any suggestions? After all, they're the experts.
A video production company with good knowledge and experience will advise you on the best course of action to create a video that gets you results.
What Would the Timeline Look Like?
The type of video you want to create will determine the timeline of your project.
Most video production companies will give you a rough idea of time scales, including when they can start shooting and how many hours of shooting will be required.
This can help you better plan your marketing strategies and logistics for shooting, especially if it involves interviewing critical team members or using your office as the shooting location.