What to Look for When Hiring a Video Production Company

What to Look for When Hiring a Video Production Company

Regardless of whether you are a private school, a business, or a nonprofit, if you’re considering hiring a video production company that doesn’t have a lot of reviews or a substantial portfolio, hit the pause button. You might have been thinking that you can find a recent college graduate or a startup that might do videos for free or lost cost in exchange for “exposure.” Sure, they’ll carry out the task as requested and leave you to market the rest, but remind yourself why you’re hiring a videographer in the first place. Can this company or individual really deliver a quality product that saves you valuable time and, most importantly, generates results? Maybe they can (and trust me, we’ve been in that place) but that makes it even more important to vet them out.

To help you avoid the common mistakes that organizations make when choosing a video production company, we’ve put together a list of values, skills, and services that are essential to find in a partner. If you can’t check off most of these boxes, it’s fair to say they might not be a great fit and you’ll be wasting your marketing budget.

Your Video Partner Understands Overall Marketing Strategy

It goes without saying that you need a company that can prove high-quality production capability, but what about one with marketing experience? Marketing and communications professionals can put together a plan and try to direct the video production themselves, but they shouldn’t have to. 

When hiring a partner for your video project, you shouldn’t have to micromanage. A good video production company will fully understand marketing principles and how video content fits into marketing strategy. Videos are not just fancy pieces of content, and they should not be filmed and produced without consideration for the rest of your content strategy and goals.

An experienced video production company will sit down with you to get to know your brand and your marketing goals. They’ll ask about your values, target audience, what’s currently working and what’s not working, your unique value proposition, and of course the goal that they want the video(s) to produce. By the end of the first meeting, you should be confident in their ability to frame your videos as a part of your marketing strategy.

They Offer More than Just One Video

“Tequila” by The Champs. “I’m Gonna Be” by The Proclaimers. “Hooked On a Feeling” by Blue Swede. These are all one-hit-wonders. While these songs are iconic in their own right, have you ever bothered to look further at the album? How often has the band stayed on your mind? 

One-hit-wonders may propel a group to fame, but the record deal proves to be a costly bet when the rest of the music doesn’t live up to the hype. It’s similar for businesses, schools, and nonprofits that put up just one video, hoping to jump sales by 500%, yet don’t support their hit with a cohesive video marketing plan and other engaging content.

A good video production company should advise against putting all your eggs in one basket. One video is truly not enough when you’re carrying out a marketing plan. Surely, you want each video to knock it out of the park, but you’ll need a steady flow of content to connect with your target audience and build loyalty.

You want to work with a video production company that doesn’t lose sight of results. Your target audience should be compelled to seek more content and keep discovering information about your brand, value, and points of differentiation. By producing more than one video, you can build a better relationship with your audience and increase conversions. A great example might be a private school in the Philadelphia area who has a great general admissions video, but also has multiple videos about the programs they offer, how they handle tuition assistance, and any extracurriculars. These are just some examples of how a school can use multiple videos to propel their value to prospective families.

They Set You Up for Success

Hiring a video production company shouldn’t mean just exchanging money for a finished product; rather, your investment shouldn’t stop at posting the video. As stated previously, find a video production company that sets you up for success by helping you maximize on your new content for months, even years (and that will help you save money and time in the long run). 

You should be confident your video partner can provide:

  •     Evergreen content that can be repurposed
  •     Educational resources and marketing guidance
  •     Advertising distribution services that boost the reach of your new videos (or they know of someone who can help with distribution)
  •     A long-term partnership, built on trust and communication, that keeps your future efforts in mind
  •     An actionable plan with strategies to get measurable results 

It helps when your video production company asks, “What does success look like for you?” Based on your response, they should lay out a plan with actionable steps to achieve success. Clearly communicating goals and working together for results is the hallmark of a strong partnership that will be poised to meet your marketing goals and hopefully exceed them. 

Find Your Ideal Video Production Partner

Knowing what to look for in a video production company is essential when choosing a partner. You need to be confident that the money you invest converts to results now and in the future. Monzo Media Productions holds steadfast to these values and services, underscoring the importance of a well-rounded marketing plan and the high-quality videos that play an important role in your content strategy.

So, we ask: What does success look like for you? Connect with us today, and let’s work together to put your marketing plan in motion.

What is a Branding Video?

What is a Branding Video?

For only being  5 words, it’s a pretty loaded question. Branding videos can look so different in so many ways.  From the structure, purpose, and the platforms it will be used on. One would think that would be a tough question to answer. However, I like to define branding videos like the following:

“A branding video is the video that is the flagship of your brand and marketing for your organization. It showcases who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique in the marketplace by creating an emotional connection with your audience. Ultimately, it is your main video that tells your story and value proposition”

The approach you take towards your branding video may vary based on your product or service, but the definition used above shouldn’t change.

There are lots of different ways to approach your branding video:

  1. Classical Branding Video – This generally comprises interviews, testimonials, and B-roll that matches the story that is being told. Adding in some nice music and motion graphics also helps tell the story of your organization. This has the perfect blend of engaging and educating the audience in how your offer is unique. Here is an example of a branding video:

The Bridge Club

  1. Animated explainer video – This is a type of video that is often used to make sense of some abstract concepts. Sometimes trying to film these visuals aren’t the best way to tell the story in a video, so using motion graphics to enhance and showcase these visuals are a great way to get the points across and showcase your value. Here is an example of what it could look like.

My Home Inventory

  1. Voiceover video – Similar to the animated explainer video above, this type of video uses a script and a voiceover to tell the story and uses B-roll to help support the story. Rather than interviews and talking heads. This is often found in TV ads but it doesn’t mean it has to be corny. You want to make sure the script is compelling and connects with the audience on a deeper level. You will probably need more b-roll for this type of video since it will be filling the spaces where you’d have interviews in example 1.  Having a script and storyboard will help navigate you through this process. Here is an example of what a voiceover video looks like:

Portion Pro RX

These are the basic 3 types of branding videos you can implement.

The branding video is possibly the most important video to have, so make sure it is clear, concise, and is on-point with your brand and messaging. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!

 

Video Production Process: Step 4: Finalization and Marketing

Video Production Process: Step 4: Finalization and Marketing

After all the days, weeks, hours, whatever amount of time you put into your video…Congrats! You are almost done! But there are still a few more items to attend to finalize the video and start using the video for your marketing.

  1. If you haven’t yet, make sure you get your color grade on point and finalize any last-minute sound fixes (even levels) 
  2. When exporting your video you might need to export a few different versions with different codecs depending on where the video is going. Most likely it will be going on a few different platforms and some of these platforms have different codec requirements.
  3. Make sure you grab a couple of different thumbnail graphic (stills) options from the video. You can test them out to see which ones perform better.
  4. Wherever you are uploading them to the cloud make sure all the people who need access, have access to it, whether it’s dropbox or google drive or something else.

With the video all set it’s now time to start using the video for your marketing. We’ve come full circle since the initial pre-production process and most likely during that process, you had some initial ideas as to where the video is going to be used. This is where you finalize that plan and start implementing it. Consider these points:

  1. What are the best practices for uploading this video to the various platforms? Does each platform have different suggestions or requirements?
  2. Utilize captions for all of your platforms when possible. You can check out our other articles on social media video marketing to learn more about that and your options.
  3. Depending on your audience you may favor or focus on one platform over another. That’s okay!
  4. Figuring out how you are going to track the data on the video is important too. With organic options sometimes that’s a bit difficult. Using Facebook ads or other social media paid ads is a great way to not only expand your reach but get very clear numbers in how your video is performing.

You can learn more about specific video marketing tips on our blog. They range from where to put them on your website, email marketing, social media, and more! Remember video is not just a one-and-done thing. The best way to get the most out of your video for your business or organization is to have a multi-video strategy. You can check out our blog also types of videos to create for your business or organization.

Now go out there and tell your story!

Video Production Process Series

 

Video Production Process: Step 3 Editing

Video Production Process: Step 3 Editing

After all of the filming has been completed, it’s now time to get to the editing phase. This is where you take all of the footage shot, all of the interviews, and turn it into a compelling 1-3 minute video that tells the story of your organization. Sounds easy right? Well, not always. You mostly likely have hours of footage captured..how do you trim that all down to 1-3 mins?

The key is making sure you follow your story structure or script (and you can check out more on that on one of our previous blog posts). That will help you determine what is essential and what is not. The footage that doesn’t make the cut but is still good to have, you can repurpose that for something else.

Here are some other things to consider when in editing mode.

  1. Have an effective intro. This should be an eye-catching 2-5 seconds that will entice your audience to continue to watch. Most of the time organizations will start with their logo that just fades in… which is one of the biggest mistakes. A good intro should have fast cuts, unique shots, and the best shots in the overall video in the first few seconds.
  2. Having great music. Since audio is 50% of the video experience it’s important to make sure you have a good soundtrack. Luckily there are tons of websites that have royalty-free music that is cost-effective and will work with your projects. Artlist IO, Premiumbeat, sound stripe, are just a couple of great options. If you want to go above and beyond you could even get a composer to score your video.
  3. Strong Call to action- This is easy to accomplish but is often overlooked. Depending on where the video lands in your strategy depends on what your call to action is. It can be a number of things- direct call, email info, checking out the website, signing up for newsletters, scheduling an appointment, and so forth. Make sure you stick with no more than 2 CTA but one is even better. The reason being for that is because 
  4. Ditch the crossfades- For the most part, we like to use straight cuts. It helps with the flow of the video and keeps it most face-paced and less cheesy.
  5. Beware of stock footage- Stock footage can be a great resource but you must be careful with how you use it. It’s great to have if you need a shot of Philadelphia or exteriors that doesn’t make sense to travel to for one shot. But when it comes to filming people, sometimes stock footage makes the video look less authentic and cheap. So be cautious when using stock footage if you need it. We almost never use them for our projects.

Editing can be a bit tedious but when done right, this is truly where the magic happens. Ideas and concepts come to life. When it comes to revisions, make sure you and your team try to get together and review to make the revision process go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. You don’t wanna have 10 rounds of editing when a bunch of that could have been handled on the first go around.

Video Production Process: Step 2 Filming

Video Production Process: Step 2 Filming

Now that pre-production is done, it’s time to move on to filming. This is the stage where most of the fun happens (of course if you are doing a full-blown motion graphics/animation video then this step is irrelevant) and you start to film the pieces that will allow you to have the content in order to edit. Here are some of the steps that should expect to do when filming:

  1. Consolidate and organize the filming days- This is something that is touched on a bit in pre-production but the general concept is how do we stay efficient with our time that will keep the project moving. A best practice is to film your interviews and B-roll on separate days if possible, that way you don’t need to set up, break down, set up, break down and repeat that process as you’ll lose time doing that especially for interviews since they more often need more detailed setup.
  2. Shoot the interviews first- Filming the interviews first is an ideal scenario because then you get to see and hear what the subjects are actually saying. This is super important because you probably won’t have this scripted but the subject’s response will be based on interview questions that you provide. Hence their answers, while should carry the overall message you want, might add or remove elements that could be important. In the past, we have had a subject tell their story and then that soundbite could trigger some new ideas of B-roll to capture.
  3. Get a variety of angles during B-roll filming- Regardless of how the shoot is organized, you’ll want to make sure you have a variety of different b-roll shots and a variety of angles per scene. For example, if the subject is a classroom, you would want to get a variety of wide, medium, tight shots of the teacher, the classroom, the students, maybe their pencils writing down notes, smiles, etc for that whole scene. When it’s edited, you might only use a couple of seconds of it but you’ll have the wiggle room to choose what the best fit is for the scene.
  4. Always shoot more than you might need- The last sentence covers this a bit but it’s better to shoot more and trim down, than shoot less, realize you need more, then have the schedule another filming day. This is also good because if you are shooting for more than one video, you’ll have the footage you need to work on that video as well (even if it’s created and focused on at a later time). You’ll thank yourself when you start putting together the edit!
  5. Multiple takes- This is important because sometimes the first take doesn’t quite do it, whether that’s the way an interviewee described their experience, or an action happening in a b-roll shot. If you feel like it can be done better, do not hesitate to redo that shot or interview question.

I hope this gives you some insights as to what to expect during the filming process. It can be a lot of fun if prepared properly. Lastly, don’t forget that while you’ll have a gameplan, feel free to film new things that happen organically during the filming day. Sometimes those scenes end up being the best!