Guide to Hiring the right video production company
Erin's a producer, writer and content lover. She's worked with MediaBoss since 2008. In 2010, she quit her marketing and freelance writing jobs and came on to lead MediaBoss full-time.
Congrats! You’ve got the go ahead to produce an awesome video for your company! That’s great news. But now that the high from that win is wearing off you may be wondering, “OK. What now? How do I choose the right video production company?"
If you’re unfamiliar with the process of selecting a video production partner, then this guide is for you! We created this guide because our experience has brought us face to face with many clients who picked the wrong partner, only to seek us out in desperation. While we appreciate the business, it’s better for everyone when people can make informed decisions.
Google “Video Production Company” in any market and you’ll be inundated by a bunch of seemingly great matches, with highly produced sizzle reels. But…how can you know if they’re really the right partner for your company?
There’s a lot to consider when selecting a video production relationship.
Here are 5 things you should consider.
It might sound obvious, but is their quality of work up to your company’s standards? Does it reflect the type of production levels you see in your competitors work?
You should expect their sizzle or demo reel to look amazing, but it’s not really an indicator of their long form storytelling or consistency. Although a sizzle reel is a great way to show off work in a fun, creative way, it’s also a great way to hide mistakes that appear in the original videos. And, some companies make use of stock video footage in reels.
So, ‘looks’ are one thing, but how is the audio? Is it clear, present and mixed well?
How are the graphics? Are they custom made by a motion artist or do they appear overly simple and static?
The next thing to review is the music. Does it match the video? Does it sound outdated? Is it copyrighted? Some companies cut corners by using music from long outdated music catalogs and that can lower the impact of your video.
Check out their facility, meet the staff, take a tour and you will feel much more confident in your decision when you finally make it.
Beware of cookie cutter video production companies. When you look at their portfolio, do the videos look the same?
Do they use the same concepts, graphics, music and locations for every video? Style is one thing, limited resources are something else - especially when you are trying to create impact on a tight budget. Make sure you have a creative vision with your production company. And if they suggest a ‘parody’ of an existing commercial or video as a concept for your company, you might want to continue your search.
You can pay people to work, but you can’t pay people to care. Every manager knows this. If your neck is on the line to make something great, make sure you are with people who care about your mission and make it their own. If they don’t’, no budget has the power to change that. Is your production partner creative? Do they suggest multiple solutions? Do they give you the sense that they will do whatever they can to make the product work for you?
You’re probably scratching your head at this one, but trust us: It’s important to like the company you are doing business with.
Production is stressful, and creative work requires a unique blend of vision and trust. Depending on the complexity of the project, you may be working closely with them over the next few months, so getting along is more than just convenient: it makes good sense and could have a great impact on the quality of your product.
The relationship should have room for great creative discussions. You should feel comfortable knowing that your ideas will be listened to and you should trust that the people you are working with have your best interests in mind when they suggest ideas.
Ask for a testimonial or to speak to a current client to help gauge your comfort.
We put this last because it’s not the first thing you should consider. If you are looking for cheap, you’ll find it. And the results will speak for themselves. Good production costs money (see items 1-4), but the value can continue for years after the video is created.
Simply stated, a good video is worth more than it costs and bad video cost too much.
However, pinching pennies on a video that’s meant to highlight your company isn’t a good idea. For instance, if you are making a video to market something that generates hundreds of thousands of dollars of income for your company and you don’t want to spend $10,000 on a video, you might be setting yourself up for disappointing results. Have a realistic expectation of the goal of the video to decide the budget, and if it meets those expectations, you should feel comfortable pushing for more video products.
We hope this helps you on your search. If you’re looking for a more nitty gritty list of points you should ask when interviewing potential partners, download the following checklist:
And as always, feel free to connect with us directly with any questions you might have.