So … you’ve decided to commission a professional video to promote what you do, but how to do you choose a video production that will deliver the results you’re after?
Whether you’re a business who hopes to sell more products, a charity who needs to raise money, a hotel who wants more paying guests or a university who must attract better prospective students, it’s crucial that you work with a video production company who’ll deliver the results you’re after. Choosing the wrong video production company won’t just be a waste of money, an unwise choice could even damage your hard-earned industry reputation.
But with several thousand video production companies currently operating in the UK, how do you find and choose an organisation to work with? How do you find a video production company that understands your requirements, a company who can deliver a video on time and on budget, and a video production company that truly understands business marketing in 2010, not just the art of filmmaking?
Here are five things you should always consider when choosing a production
1. Clients & Reviews
A production company’s client list is usually a pretty good indictor of the breadth and depth of their video marketing work. If a video production company has been commissioned to produce films and videos by a variety or organisation, across a range of industries, this clearly demonstrates they understand how to adapt to an organisation’s specific needs and more often than not, they are also used to working with a variety of budgets.
The client list should always be accompanied by positive reviews, testimonials and case studies, with accompanying video samples. Beware though, client reviews on a company’s website are of course controlled and moderated to present the desired image. However, if the company is using a third–party website such as Free Index to collect client reviews, you can be much more sure that the comments are genuine.
Testimonials and case studies are of course very helpful, but a company that really understands video marketing should be able to demonstrate that the films they produce gets results, which go beyond anecdotal evidence. Video production companies should be able to provide facts, figures and statistics that back up their own marketing claims.
While a good video production company should be able to produce films for almost any industry, you should always find out if they have produced films for a similar industry or delivered a video project with similar budgetary or creative requirements. If they have, they should be able to provide evidence of this, including video samples.
Every video production project is completely different, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a company who has worked on something exactly the same as yours, but if they’ve worked in the same or a similar industry, it’s likely they’ll be able to really understand your requirements and the commercial environment you’re operating in.
Location / Facilities
Some video production “companies” will have a great looking website, but they could very well be a one-man-band operating out of his or her bedroom, with a semi-professional or second hand video camera, pulling the film together with a free piece of editing software. That’s not to say there are not any talented people out there operating very small video production businesses, but a larger organisation can draw upon a much bigger wealth of creative resources, will understand how to operate a successful business itself and will be able to provide better guarantees, ensuring that your money is not wasted.
The IVCA is the video production industry body and most decent production will be a member.
Working with suppliers who have good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) credentials is often an integral aspect of securing higher-value tenders. The film and video industry is notoriously wasteful, but increasing numbers of companies implement CSR policies, involving the reduction of waste, recycling and supporting worthwhile projects in their local communities.
The Creative Team
Commissioning a promotional video often means spending a considerable amount of time with the creative team you’re working with. Like any business relationship, it’s important that you’re able to relate to them as people. You’ll sometimes find team videos on production company websites and a few even offer video profiles of individual team members. These are definitely worth checking out, because the style, tone and production values of the videos will often tell you much more than pages of copy on a website. Follow these simple guidelines and the chances that you’ll create a fantastic promotional video that produces real results will be greatly enhanced.