Choosing the Right Video Partner: When it Costs More to Spend Less
Any Breaking Bad aficionado will attest that Saul Goodman is the master of atrocious advertising. But the inescapable reality is we have good reason for finding his late night mock-mercials so entertaining- it’s funny because it’s true.
Why is it that we still see so many Saul-esque promo videos pervading the airwaves? Haven’t consumers evolved beyond the cheap gimmicks? How do we feed potential patrons hungry for quality video advertising?
In today’s video marketing industry, where virtually everyone has a license to film via YouTube on their smartphones, there is a flood of options in choosing a production partner. Often businesses rush into a decision and expectations are not met. Here are 10 tips for choosing a partner suited to your needs:
1. Begin with the end in mind.
Are you just making a video to make a video or do you have a goal in mind? Is your goal to increase business? Educate your viewer? Train your employees? Don’t just hire someone to film your office- 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 services at a rate that seems to-good-to-be-true. They may just shoot from the back of the room on a tripod and call it a day. It’s more expensive to do it wrong the first time and have to re-do it. We work with many clients who, unfortunately, have had to find this out the hard way- and we’ve had to re-shoot everything. Find out what is included in the total package: do they include any edits? Music licensing? Travel expenses? Watch out for any additional costs that can be thrown in at the end.
3. Value accountability and reliability.
Some companies will over-promise to land a client and under-deliver when it comes to the end product. Can they ensure delivery on time? Do they have the resources to do so? If you don’t receive the final version until a month after filming, is the content still valuable? Get a guarantee that you will have a team dedicated to your project that won’t quit until your video is the embodiment of your vision.
4. Cheap video reflects cheap business.
Your video quality will reflect the quality of your business. What could be more important than how potential clients perceive you before they meet you? It all effects brand perception. Who is your target audience? If your optimal clientele have been arrested for possession of a tiger, then maybe Saul’s production company is the way to go. If instead, you are looking to attract the CEO of a big corporation, a cheap video won’t cut it. Remember to also provide testimonials from clients who are reflective of your target audience. Otherwise, you risk alienating your current client-base.
5. Work with experts in your industry.
Does your partner specialize in video content for your industry? Do they have an eye for details that you may have missed? Get references and sample videos before signing a contract. Work with someone who already knows what works and what doesn’t.
6. Consider the value of your time.
How much is your time worth? For example, a doctor should be treating patients, not managing a video project. Work with a company that doesn’t require much micro-managing on your part.
7. Go with someone who is up on industry standards.
This includes optimizing video for HD and mobile devices. Make sure your partner creates videos that are readily accessible in social media, 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 long-time 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. Cut corners on daily blogs.
If you have content that won’t be relevant in a few weeks, this is the place to DIY. For a company overview or any video with a long shelf life, leave it to the professionals to do it right.
10. Expect stewardship.
Your relationship with the production company shouldn’t end after the filming. Pick a production team who can advise you on future projects and provide ongoing, fresh content for new offerings at your business.
Michael Mogill, President of 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.