While the world is full of people who know how to press the red “record” button on a video camera and point it at whatever moves, the world is far less populated with people who know the right thing to produce in the first place. Choosing the right video production company can mean the difference between moving into the corner office and moving into your parent’s basement.
Here are 5 key things to look for in a video production company…
- Awesome portfolio. First and foremost, you have to be sure they do great work. Not only does their portfolio or reel indicate their experience and style, it shows you that they can also edit, add music, and massage footage into a world-class production. So in addition to looking for quality, look for a sense of style that matches your brand and/or the flexibility to match it should it not be a perfect match. You’ll want to look for things that may not be very obvious like their ability to produce video storytelling, whether it’s a corporate video or a brand video, or a video that’s typically used just in advertising.
- Breadth of work. While a portfolio should give you a good idea of the quality of a company’s work, you need to also consider the type of work in that portfolio. In other words, is their portfolio or reel entirely made up of talking head interviews while you need action shots? Is it all luscious landscapes but you really need is detailed how-to footage? If you have a particular need in mind, make sure they have produced that kind of work.
- Depth of experience. Even if you like the work you see from a potential video production consultant’s portfolio or reel, you should look at how long they’ve been in business, how many clients they have, and whether or not those clients are happy with their work. I often carefully read LinkedIn profiles just to be sure they really do have the experience they claim on their web site. One time, a candidate told me they had been in business for x years. But their LinkedIn profile revealed that most of their experience—and much of their reel—were built up while working on-staff for another production company. Sure, they had the experience, but I wasn’t sure how deep it was, and I lost a bit of trust in them in the process. You should confirm exactly what they’re going to bring to the table. Do you just need a cameraman but are also getting a producer and editor? If they can’t provide a customized set of contributors, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Variety of solutions. In addition to just live actor camera work, you should also consider whether or not the company you are considering can also produce content that does not require a camera. For instance, your marketing goals might be better achieved with a cartoon or whiteboard animation, which can often times cost a lot less than a camera crew. The right video marketing consulting company will focus on your needs first, and then help you decide the best route to achieve them, regardless of their own capabilities.
- Industry alignment. If your business is highly specialized, such as the medical industry or financial services that are highly regulated, you might want to look for companies with experience in your particular industry. That might severely limit your options so if you have trouble finding such an outfit, you might just plan to teach them a bit about some of the nuances of your business.
So before you pull the trigger on a video production company for your next marketing project, make sure they produce great work, approach each project individually, have lots of experience, and can provide whatever solution your business needs. If you’re still stumped, a video marketing consultant might be the best path to help find the right solution for you. The last thing you need is to pay for a video that won’t improve your situation. And the last thing we want is to hear that you’re crashed out at your parent’s house waiting for the laundry to finish.