If you’re looking to create a large amount of branded video content for your business or company, chances are good you are wondering what kind of characteristics you should look for and factors you should consider while vetting potential companies.
You likely have a vision when it comes to your soon-to-be made video content. Chances are good you have an idea of how you want it to look, how you want it to make people feel and what you want it to accomplish. You probably also have a pretty good idea of how much you want it to cost.
The very first step to figuring out if you and a given video production company share the same vision is to sit down with them for a pitch meeting. While a pitch is one of the most important parts of you and your company’s decision-making process, there are some other incredibly important and shockingly simple ways that you should look for in any video production company that you are thinking about working with.
Research their brand reputation
Before you even invite a given company in for a pitch meeting, you may want to do some preliminary research regarding the reputation of their brand. Doing a quick Google search is a good start, but what you really want to be able to do is contact some of the brands that they have worked with in the past and question them about their experience. Now, if they have worked with a competitor, it is likely that they might remain somewhat tight-lipped, but specifically seeking out a brand that is somewhat similar to yours – or sought to achieve a similar project in terms of scale or goals – is certainly the kind of company to focus on.
There is no question that the very best way to feel confident in your decision is through word-of-mouth recommendations. Ask friends, colleagues and clients in your industry to see if they have any producers in mind that could help you.
Search for similar work to what you want
Brand reputation is undeniably important, but another one of the very best ways to make sure that you will be happy with the work that a production company does for you is to seek out work similar to what you want. After that, all it takes is a quick bit of research to find out what video production company did that work and reach out to them. Surely, you’ll have to make sure that their price point and timeline matches your own, but it is a very good place to start.
Make sure they are both personable and professional
As a client, you want to be sure that when you are speaking with a representative of a brand, that you are able to connect with them on both a personal and professional level. One thing that smart clients always look for is the ability to connect with, solve problems with and ultimately create fantastic and effective work with. As a client, you should make sure to look for a company that isn’t simply tossing off your work to sub-contractors so that they can focus on netting their next client. Make sure that you are confident that a company values their relationship with you and wants to succeed together.
They should offer a consistent point of contact
Another great thing to look out for either before or just after your pitch meeting with a given video production company is to gauge how timely and effective they are when it comes to their responses to any questions or concerns you may have. This is especially true if you are planning on creating more than just a one-off video with them and are instead hoping to find a company that you can develop and roll out an entire campaign with.
For these reasons, you should be sure that you are given a clear point of contact within the company who is timely and effective when it comes to communication.
This of course does not mean that healthy boundaries should not be established or expected. Just as it is important that they respect your needs in a timely manner, it is important that you respect their time as well. Don’t expect to hear back from companies if you are contacting late at night or before office hours.
The primary things to look for is that they respond in a timely manner, keep you up-to-date on upcoming meetings or phone calls, and are able to offer you both information and support when you need it.
The easier a company makes your life and job in the early stages of a working relationship, the easier they will likely make your life down the line when your are rounding third base in terms of a campaign rollout.
They are clear and upfront when it comes to finances and timelines
If you’ve ever been on the client side of things, you know that no matter the size or success of a client, they want to get upfront and honest information when it comes to some very key factors.
The most important thing that you need to make sure a given company is upfront about is how much your project will cost. Ultimately, making sure that they are given you a realistic number will make both sides happy as there will not be any discussions about the cost sometime in the future. You might be wondering how you can make sure that a video production company is offering you an honest price point. Perhaps the best way to be sure is to contact some of their previous clients and without asking about specifics, just ask them generally if the price they offered in the pitch meeting ended up being the price the client actually paid.
The same can be said about timing. You may or may not have a specific time when you need you project to be completed, there’s no doubt that you have a loose idea of how long you want the project to take. Make sure that the timing a company offers is realistic and works with your goals as well.
They are results driven and consider your success to be their success
When you first reach out to potential options for a video production company to work with, you are certainly not looking for a robotic, manufactured product that seems to be made more from a equation than actual video artists.
What you want to be looking for is a creative partner and a consultant who will only consider their work to be a success if the campaign itself is a success.
Make sure that every company you meet with is giving you the time you need to really understand what you are going for, what problem you and your business is trying to solve, and how they can help you improve your business to the very best of their abilities.
In the end, what you are looking for is not just a company you are happy to work with now, but a company that you would be happy to work with again in the future.
This may be a bit of a nuanced thing to look out for, but one good way to make sure that a company will be able to offer an artistic and human touch to their work with you is to look through their portfolio and see if they are all genuine and unique, or formulaic and stale. Even if a video looks shiny and fantastically produced, if it does not appeal to a viewers’ human side, it will likely fall quite flat.
Do they offer any of the “little things”
Finally, there is no doubt that as a client, you like to be treated well, you like to be pampered! There is nothing wrong with that, and sometimes it is just finding the right company that offers you the right things. Some of the very best companies know exactly what can make a client happy.
Someone coming to greet you and let you in before your meetings, a small gift, or even a well-detailed wrap-up email could ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to which production company you end up going with. While these things should not make you choose a company when the rest of their work isn’t all that great, there is nothing wrong with going with your gut and choosing to work with the company that just makes you feel the most valued.
In the end, the task of choosing the right video production company for your business can be hard and quite stressful. Hopefully, these several tips will help you and your colleagues as you continue exploring different companies in your area. Through the entire process, never forget what you want your final product to look like and what you want it to achieve. If you do not lose sight of that, you will be sure to get something both you and your target audience love.