If producing an online video is part of your marketing strategy this year, one of the most difficult decisions you’re going to have to make is who to work with. There are literally hundreds of production companies out there, and finding the perfect fit can feel like a full-time job.
Your instinct may be to watch a few sample videos and make a decision, but instead, you should take the time to thoughtfully consider what an ideal video partner might look like. Sure, production quality is important, but so are communication, creativity, and culture fit. The last thing you want to do is make a big investment (both in money and time) only to find out that the final product doesn’t accurately reflect your brand or tell your story.
While we can’t find the perfect fit for you, we can help push you in the right direction. Here are 5 simple questions to ask yourself before making your selection.
1. Do they care about my company?
Never make a decision without speaking to someone at the company first. You’ll get a pretty good idea within the first couple of minutes how much they care about you and your business versus just your money.
Do they ask relevant, specific questions about your company and how it works? Are they genuinely interested in what you do, or does it seem like you’re just another lead? You want to make sure that the company you decide to work with is going to be passionate about your project and invested in making your video a success.
2. Do they have fresh and creative ideas?
With so many video production companies out there, everything can start to look and sound the same after a while (especially if you’re looking at more than a few portfolios). And if it looks “same old” to you, chances are it will look that way to your customers.
Try to find a production company that strives to create truly unique work. It will make your video more memorable and help it stand out from the pack. If you’re not sure, ask the company to pitch you a few ideas first. This simple exercise will probably show you if they have the ability to come up with something special or not.
3. Is there a culture fit?
This is typically a question you should ask when making a full-time hire, but it also applies to hiring a video production company. You can learn a lot about a company by reading their blog, reviewing their work, talking on the phone, and ideally, meeting them in person.
Are these people you could hang out with? Do they share similar philosophies when it comes to doing business? If not, they may not be the right company to accurately represent you and your culture.
4. How is the production quality?
This is a loaded question, but also one of the most important questions to ask. Do the videos look and sound professional? If it’s live action, does it look like it was shot in an unlit bathroom? How about the sound quality? If it’s animated, does it use stock assets or custom illustration? Is the animation fluid and creative?
At the end of the day, there are no right or wrong answers; all that really matters is whether or not you like their work. Oh, and if you’re not the boss, make sure he or she has buy-in. It’s critical to have all of the decision makers on board and excited about the company you select.
5. Do they fit my budget?
Video production can be expensive, but it can also be the first (and sometimes only) thing people associate with your brand and your business, so you want to make sure you do it right. You’ll most likely find prices all over the map, but if you’re looking for a breakdown of what’s involved in the production process and what you might expect to pay, check out this post on live action videos or this one on animated explainer videos. Price is always going to be a consideration, but hopefully it doesn’t have to be the most important one.
By thinking through these questions before selecting a video production company, you can save yourself loads of time, money, and frustration. The company you select may end up turning into a long-term partner, so ask the right questions and do the necessary legwork up-front. You won’t regret it. Good luck!