7 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs Video

In 2005, three men started a video-sharing website. In 2006 Google bought it from them. Eleven years later, YouTube has more than 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. And if that isn’t staggering enough consider these additional statistics:

As a frontrunner in an ever-evolving digital community, video changes the way companies are engaging with target audiences. From formal studio productions and ‘garage band’ tapings, drone videography, 3D animation, and 6-second bumper ads, businesses are leveraging the power of video as a critical component in marketing strategies. With Cisco predicting that video will account for 80% of web traffic by 2019, there are multiple reasons why your business needs video now.

Company Connection – Video makes a business human. Through words spoken, tone of voice, and visual expression, potential customers get to know business owners and employees. This perceived development of a relationship creates a connection that builds trust and confidence in the company.

Efficient and Effective – Consumers are busier than ever before. Short on time, living in a fast-paced, multi-tasking world, video can respond to a question more quickly than a written explanation. When time is a crunch or attention-span is limited, a 3-minute video can sell a product more thoroughly than a 4-page written document.

Product Demonstration – Video is a user-friendly way to sell a product. It can visually compare features against a competition, showcase benefits, clear up ambiguous assembly instructions, and demonstrate usage. Video can be paused and replayed as needed, making it a quick resource available with a simple click of the mouse.

Testimonials– A powerful way for people to see and hear firsthand from other clients or customers how great the product or service was for them. While a five-star rating on Google and Facebook is great, video shows the users face, projects their emotions through tone, and generates feelings that what is being said is truthful.

Search Engine Optimization – As a form of rich media, video can increase the quality of SEO and ranking. In addition to hosting video on the company website, the same media can be hosted on other platforms including YouTube and Wistia. Video can be recycled for use in backlinks, blogs, and articles, all the while increasing consumer engagement and length of time spent on your site.

Sales Conversion – Seeing is believing and that is a key function of video. Online and offline, the product market is saturated with choices. Video supports functionality, features and benefits, and quality. A visual sales pitch, 64% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a related video first.

Social Shares – Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest tools for lead generation. A well-informed or entertaining, engaging and relatable video is likely to garner more social shares than a simple written article. As one qualified target audience shares content, the opportunity for increased awareness is significantly and positively impacted.

 

Video has broad-reach capability to get in front of potential customers without investing extra time or manpower. It can make the smallest company seem large, a large corporation seem approachable, a simplistic product unique, and a complicated product easy to understand.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 1,000,000. Optimize your digital presence by including video as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Contact us today.

 

Guest Blog provided by: Larry Goldstick. Larry is the principal owner of Capture Digital Marketing. Capture Digital Marketing is a full service digital marketing agency based in Jupiter, Florida. For more information contact Larry at 561-630-3699 or larry@capturedm.com

How to Disrupt Your Industry Using Video

Set of 5 doors all with gray door and one red

You’ve heard it before, whether from your web developer or from a marketer… “You need video for your website.” While it’s true, video helps, video isn’t always the only answer. BUT, if done correctly, video can be the difference maker in standing out in a crowd of competitors. Let’s dig into a few stats and reasons why this is so.

First, think about the last time you purchased something online. Did the product page have information about the product? Of course it did.  Did the product page have photos of the product? Most likely. If the page didn’t have photos, would you have purchased the item? Most people we ask say they would not purchase an item online that didn’t have a photo to see the product. Did the product page contain a video? If it did, do you remember the video? Do you remember what or how they educated you on the product? Did they show you how to set it up, highlight certain features, or show it being used? Most likely, if the product page had a video and you connected with the product and video, you purchased the product.

Therein lies the effectiveness in video.

The video was effective in helping you process and retain information about the product so you can make better decisions. In fact, it has been shown that people are somewhere between 65% and 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video than having not viewed a video about a product or service.

According to Eyeview, a video marketing agency, by including a video on the landing page, conversion increases by 80%. Even Hubspot Blog Post states that “54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) and social media images (41%).”

Common Types of Video (and we have done all of these):

  • Product Demo videos showing how to use the product, how to set up the product, or just why you should buy the product.
  • How-To videos
  • Testimonial videos … who better than your clients to tell potential customers why you’re awesome!
  • Explainer videos that show the viewer why they need your product or service and what you can do for them.
  • Expert Interviews
  • Event Videos
  • …the list can go on and on.

Now you know why it’s important, how does it help you become a disruptor? Great question. One of the things we hear is that after creating the video and posting it (or several), they become viewed as an expert in their field. Our clients know a lot about their subject and can demonstrate that with authority on a video. Viewers can feel and sense this experience when watching. When they do, the viewer will feel confident in calling or buying.

Being a disruptor means you have to do more than know your subject matter. Being a disruptor means you have been doing what you’re doing for so long (or with enough outside experiences) to see an opportunity in the marketplace. Imagine that you have been doing your job for 15 years, you know it inside and out, and realize there is a gap in services or processes that might be taken advantage of. Imagine the expert talking about how to use this opportunity to help the consumer. Bam! Disruption begins. The person on camera suddenly becomes a person to be reckoned with.

The next time you see an opportunity in the marketplace that you can solve or fix, this might be the time to create a video and highlight your strengths! Let us know if we can help in any way.

Why Multi-media Works

Photo from a Plum Productions Shoot

Why Multi-media Works

There are several reasons why you should use multimedia on your website. In this post we’ll cover the reasons to use multimedia, what effect it has on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), how it affects branding, and the various types of multimedia available for use on your website.

Branding

From a broader sense, we recommend using various forms of media to strengthen your brand. This doesn’t mean add media just to add media, rather add media with purpose. If you are going to add a photo, why are you adding it? What purpose does it serve and how does it improve or amplify your branding message. The more styles you use (not necessarily on the same page) the better your branding can become.

Types of Multimedia

There are several types of multimedia you can use on your website.

  • First up are images. Whether its free stock photos, photos you’ve purchased, or photos you’ve taken yourself, photos add to your story. If you add images, there are a few rules you should follow and we’ll get to that later in the SEO section. Another form of multimedia are slideshows.
  • Slideshows that are embedded from Slideshare or other web slideshow sites can enhance your image by providing multiple images in a very compact space.
  • Videos. We obviously have a lot to say about video, but here are some things you may not have known. Videos are more likely to show up on the first page of a search engine results that that of photos. Think about that. What’s the value of having your information on the first page of search results? Video isn’t the only thing that can or will get you there, but it is more likely than a photo. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post photos. This post would suggest it is a mix of multi-media types that is important. Are you going to click on the video below? Probably. Will it keep you on our site for at least 3 more seconds? More than likely.
  • Audio. Podcasts, streams, etc. Audio plays an important role to some. Some people are more audible than visual. Those audibles love to listen to things (podcasts, music, etc.). Give them what they need every once in a while. Plus, this additional form of media will only help your brand if done correctly.

Time on Your Site

hourglass measuring timeOne of the benefits of having multiple forms of media on your website is that you keep people on your site longer. Longer is better in terms of SEO. Google and the like feel that the longer one spends on your website, the more informative and important it is to the visitor. If every visitor stays on your site for a minute and a half, this would suggest there was a reason for doing so. That’s where the “crawlers” and “bots” come in. They comb the website looking for reasons people stay on the site. When they find several forms of media (including video), the report back that the site is informative.

Optimizing SEO

Image of Storyboard Script SketchOne step we would recommend you take is to optimize your website as much as possible. All that means is that you tell the “bots” what they’re finding. You’re giving them a road map and overlay of your site. For example, if you’re placing a photo on the page, you should include alt text. Alt text is what should show up on the page if the photo cannot load. So if you are posting a photo of a child on a swing on a playground, the alt text might read, “Child on swing at a playground.” This applies to embedded video as well. You should also name the file (audio, video, image) with terms and words that match what it is. Google is getting smarter and smarter, and they can now process a photo and know what it is. If the name doesn’t match, it may throw out the photo or the website. Make sure the name of the file is relevant. Also, include an image description if possible. Finally, there are several other things you can do to your website to help with SEO, such as, keywording, title tags, H1 Tags, descriptions, etc. All of this is too much to get into on this post, and probably needs an SEO specialist to help you. (We know a good one if you need).

 

 

Sources: https://www.cincopa.com/blog/why-multimedia-content-is-so-good-for-your-website-and-blog/

How to Use Drone Video In Your Business Video

Aerial photography has become almost a must have for modern marketing videos. The easiest and least expensive way to get these types of shots today is by using a drone. Recently it has become less and less expensive to achieve drone shots for videos. However, drones can still be quite intimidating for first time users.

The toughest part is usually figuring out what kind of shots you might want to include in your next marketing video. If you are lost on where to start, here are four ideas to get you started.

The first is a group shot. A group shot using a regular camera is a good way to get everyone in the company in one shot. But a group shot using a drone is a good way to get everyone in one shot, plus the office, plus the neighborhood surrounding the office. It can also be a good way for your employees to let out some energy. Have them jump around, wave, or make silly faces as the drone races higher into the sky.

The second way a drone can be useful is for super steady moving shots. One of the best things drone manufacturers included was the stabilizer. The stabilizer is what makes drone footage look so smooth, even if the operator is jerky with the controls. Because of this stabilizer, the drone can be used as a handheld steadicam! We’ve used a steadicam in this video. See if you can spot it!

Steadicam rigs can be expensive, but if you already have the drone, why not use it for more than just aerial shots? It is especially good for quick shots that have to be mobile and where there is little time to set up a steadicam rig.

The third kind of shot is the “reveal.” What is a reveal you may ask? A reveal shot is when you start close to a subject and then zoom out to expose the surroundings. You can also perform this shot the opposite way…but with a drone, this shot can be taken to the next level. Because a drone can be flown so high, and so far away, you can reveal much more than you could with a simple zoom out from a traditional camera. You can zoom out to reveal an entire city, or zoom in to reveal a tiny flower hidden in the middle of an industrial park.

The fourth and final shot is the neighborhood view. This shot is great for showing off the location of your office. It is a great way to show customers where you are located within a bigger city or town. Just be careful about those FAA regulations that prohibit flight in certain areas. Just a few years ago these types of shots would have been impossible for smaller companies to achieve, but thanks to modern technology anything is possible! Using a drone can give you unique shots that cannot be achieved with any other equipment…well, maybe a helicopter, but who has a budget for that? Here’s a neighborhood reveal at about the 15 second mark:

Use a drone for your next marketing video, and take it to the next level!
If you’re not certified to fly a drone, or want someone to take care of it for you, give us a call. We’re Part 107 Certified with many hours of flight time. Drone shots are a cool addition to stellar video; don’t be fooled by those who use drone shots as the primary visual in the video…drone video should be used to accentuate and add value.

What Type of Video Should My Business Have in 2018?

What video should you have on your business website? That is a great question. One that depends on what you want to do with it. Many of our clients tell us they want to create a video to tell their story. But, telling the story isn’t what they really want. What they really want is to increase the number of incoming calls or increase sales. That’s what they really want. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients and have found the best way to get what they really want is to ask a lot of questions.

One of the questions we like to ask is, “Why are you making this video?” It helps us understand the purpose and end goal of the video. If you are looking for more phone calls or purchases on a website, a direct call to action must be present. If you are looking for a feel good piece that shows the world some of the good you do, a call to action does not fit.
Another question we ask is, “How will you measure success once this video is complete?” This helps us understand some of why we are doing this and what will qualify as a success or failure. We want to work toward success and know what a failure looks like before we start.

So, what types of video should you have for your business in 2018? There are several types we’d recommend, but each business needs to identify which video needs to be created first and why. This list doesn’t mean you have to do all of them, rather, pick the ones that make the most sense for your business. That said, these are the business videos we are being asked to create for most businesses and the trends that match.

  1. Corporate About Us. Every business should have an About Us video. Here’s why. The first thing people do when searching for a business is research. That’s why Google will return information about a business or topic the first time you search. After that, Google assumes you want some more details and may return other sites that are more granular. During the research phase, your customers want to know who you are, can they trust you, and feel compelled to pick up the phone to call you. The About Us video answers the following questions:  (a) Who is this company, (b) Can I feel comfortable working with them, (c) Can I trust them, and, (d) What experience do they have? Here’s an example.
  2. Testimonials. No one can tell your potential customers that you do a great job better than your existing customers. If you tell them, the potential customer will most likely think, “Yes, that’s what you want me to believe” or “Yes, that’s nice, but you’re trying to sell me on your services.” But, if your existing customer is on your website telling a potential customer how good of a job your business did for them, they’re more likely to believe it. Whether you create one video with several different people giving testimonials or several videos with one testimonial in each, your existing customer should be telling this story. Here’s a different way to share your client testimonials. 
  3. Video Blogs. Also known as a vlog, a video blog is a way to show potential clients that you are professional, understand your business and how it helps your clients, and positions you as an expert. Pick topics that you know and title each video with a question or include terms that potential clients would search related to your business. For example, if one was looking to find a sales trainer, the potential client might search, “How do I improve my sales process?” If they search this and the title of your video is the same, you have a greater chance of showing up in the results than someone who posted the video titled, “Sales Information.”  Here’s an example.
  4. Promotional Pieces. Promotional pieces are just that…a video to promote your business. More than that, a promotional video will provide a visual as to what you do. For example, if you are a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, you might consider a video that highlights the showroom (see video below). The promotional piece is the standard video you see on television, websites, and ads that run on YouTube, etc. These are expected by consumers, but don’t always make the difference in making the sale.

This would be our recommendation for the top 4 videos you should have for your business in 2018. If you were to ask us what other videos you could create, we would have a much longer list. Event videos, tour videos, product videos, animations, …and the list goes on. These are the minimum 3 or 4 every business should have.

Product Videos: How Much Can They Really Impact Marketing?

Product videos have become an essential aspect to any marketing strategy. Videos appear in 70% of the top 100 search results, and viewers are at least 50% more likely to buy a product after watching a video for it. The business community is learning the importance of this for their marketing…and they are getting smarter and more creative to boot.  The best part, this leads to more interesting ads for consumers to watch. Not a bad thing!

Online video is so popular because people would much rather watch a video about a product than read about it…and video manages to span every demographic. Even if someone can’t read, they can still get the information a company wants to give them from a video.

Companies that normally only sell parts are posting how-to videos to their websites to attract customers, and to show them how to use the parts that they have bought. Here’s the cool part, people who start watching these types of video tend to stay on the site a little longer (maybe to the end of the video). Goole likes that. This tell Google that people are interested in the stuff on this website and therefore gives that site a bit more ‘search engine juice.’  Add to that, the ability to share the video to multiple social media sites further increases the reach, and the affect of a marketing video.

You should know, however, simply uploading a video to a company’s website or YouTube channel doesn’t always work. Increasingly, creative companies are making their videos interactive, so that customers can click on something in the video that takes them to a corresponding web page. This is usually done on YouTube to bring the viewer to their site.  Some companies are even using Facebook Live to capture potential client’s attention.  It’s critical that any of the services you use work on mobile devices as well, since many customers do most of their ad viewing on their cell phones or tablets.

One of the important things we do when making video is to incorporate the needs and wants of the client in the video. Novel idea, right? So many production companies try to bulldoze their way to create the video they want, but why can’t we just create what the clients wants? That’s our philosophy. When the client gets to add their needs into the video, they’re more likely to share it and show it off! That’s good for us…and good for them. Does it convert to product sales? Many times it does. When the video does a great job of highlighting why someone needs the product and clearly explains the result of using the product, more units will sell.

With product videos, placement is the key. Our clients currently place their videos on endcaps in retailers nationwide in order to catch prospective buyers in the moment of buying. When using video online, the best part is that one can now customize who sees the video based on their location, demographic, and recent purchases or items they’ve viewed online. This increases sales because the type of individual who might need the product will see the video, making it a relevant item to them. To simplify, doing this makes their videos more relevant to the people who live in an area, fit a demographic and have already researched similar items. That’s effective!

Key Takeaway: Remember when considering making a marketing video for a product: Hire a professional! They are there for a reason. Local video production companies are the best for this. They know the area well and how to maximize locations, spaces, and how to show off your product in just the right manner. They should show the product from several angles while highlighting the product’s best features! You might even try to include people who know a lot about the product, such as current customers.

Video marketing is fast becoming an essential tool to a good marketing campaign. Take advantage of it now, before any competition does!

Do We Have to be on Camera? Why People are the MOST Important Part!

Human brains are hardwired to recognize faces. When a video has a person talking in it, customers are more likely to connect with the video. When the audience can see the human behind the voice, they are more likely to trust what you are telling them. Speech is perceived by more than just auditory cues, we take in visual ones as well.

As a species, we are hardwired to be judgmental. Many people do not trust the information they read online. A study done in 2009 found that rather than trusting the people with the most expertise in a subject, people are more likely to trust those they believe have their best interests at heart. Psychologists at Princeton discovered that in only a tenth of a second, we form impressions of strangers from their faces alone, and our brain then responds based on how trustworthy we find their face to be.

In video, it is important to note that just having a trust worthy looking person is not going to make your audience listen to the message presented in your video. Remember, speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues. The combination of both a great speech and a trustworthy face, among other things, is what will make your video the most compelling.

So, how can you get people to want to listen to your video? There are a few items that are critical to building the trust you deserve. First, you must be authentic. Be you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you look, sound, or feel uncomfortable, it will show, and many viewers will see, hear, and feel it. Second, demonstrate your integrity by showing us how much you believe in what you are saying. Again, if you come across as fake or phony, it will show. A good analogy is a dog’s behavior when certain people walk into the room. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and the dog can sense it immediately. We humans have learned to do something similar…to sniff out false and bogus people. Some are better at it than others are, but we all have this ability. Third, people don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. If you are genuine in caring about your viewer, they will sense it and feel a higher level of comfort in listening to you speak. Finally, speak the truth. Don’t sugarcoat or exaggerate…these all come across counter to the previous three and will completely destroy your credibility.

This can be applied to all parts of speaking, but with video, you need to be aware of more than just your speech. Your background shouldn’t distract from your message. You are what they should be paying attention to, not the bookshelf of what’s happening outside the window behind you. Add text to the screen to help reinforce what you are saying. It also focuses the viewer on what you are saying and subtly tells them, “This is important!” Have confidence and be positive while on camera and use transitions when speaking. It helps the viewer follow along when you say things like, “Now that I’ve covered XYZ, let’s move on to ABC.” This transition tells the viewer where you are and what to expect next. Sound like English class all over again? Good! It should.

Having just a trustworthy face is not enough to make people want to listen to your video; however, neither is just having a good speech. If you take the time to focus on all aspects of your video, including what’s in the background, what you’re wearing, and even the music that is playing, your video will have a much better chance of being listened to and acted upon. You want to connect to your audience, so give them what they need. Comfort, trust, integrity.

As always, we coach clients how to perform better on camera during our shoots. When we have someone who is struggling on camera, we do our best to help him or her relax and speak clearly. After all, you know the subject matter, just talk as if you’re talking to a friend. We’ll do the rest! Let us know when you’re ready to get started.

 

Source: Wistia Blog. (2017). Why Videos Featuring Humans are Easier to Trust. Retrieved from: https://wistia.com/blog/make-trustworthy-videos-with-humans on September 28, 2017. 

Video Length: It Depends on What You Measure

Video shoot with lights and camera

Some research has shown that there is a direct and consistent relationship between how long an ad is viewable and the increases in brand consideration and awareness. So the question is; how long should an ad be? Is the attention span of the potential customer shrinking down to nothing, or is it still possible to get them to willingly watch a longer ad?

For brands who are mainly focused on awareness, the shorter ad format may prove more effective and efficient than a longer video. With a shorter video, the brand stays top of mind. They are good for raising awareness and for creating signals that influence more frequent searches.

However, with the use of more complex stories it is possible to create a more meaningful connection to the brand that is being advertised. For a brand that wishes to move beyond simple awareness or to make a deeper connection with their consumer base, a longer story may be necessary.

The most important thing a brand can do is measure and compare their results to their critical overall business goal. Is ad recall or brand favorability more important? With shorter videos, customers typically show greater ad recall, whereas with longer videos there is less ad recall but more brand favorability. Whichever is more important to your brand should dictate elements of length.

If using a longer video format, it is important to state the brand early enough in the video that the customer will see it before, and if, they decide to skip the video. Generally, only a quarter of customers who view longer ads make it all the way through to the end, even for the most compelling ads. It is important to create a story that weaves the brand throughout the ad, instead of just popping up a logo in the beginning of the video. Oddly enough, just showing the logo generally reduces the view through rate of the ad.

With all of these things to consider, it is important to remember that a great story can still grab today’s audience, even with that pesky skip button beckoning to be pressed. The pressure that the skip button presents may push companies into believing that everything has to be faster, faster, faster, but that may not be true. Shorter ads may actually lessen the attention given to the company, while longer ads take the time to connect with the viewer, and possibly even change their minds.

Deciding on video length is important based on many factors, and not only those listed above. If you want to get into a more length discussion, give us a call.

 

Don’t Think You Need to Invest In Video? Time and Again We Help Businesses Avoid These Mistakes!

kid frustrated by mistake

How is it that in 2017 video is absolutely crushing the other forms of media…and some still refuse to use it? I know, I know…Crazy right? I’m sure you’re not doing thinking these things…but just in case, let’s go through a few reasons why it’s time to invest in that website video.

  • Missing Out on Loyalty. First off, your customers love you, right? Right. We know this because of studies like this that tell us the probability of selling to an existing customer is somewhere between 60% to 70% (HelpScout)…which is so much higher than the 5% to 10% chance of selling to a brand new customer. Since your existing customers love you, why wouldn’t you give them a reason to tell others? Some clients like to create videos that are educational and entertaining…making them shareable. By posting a video, you allow your existing customers the ability to share your greatness… just remember, you don’t want to sell in this video, you’re showing your greatness a different way: giving information that’s useful.
  • Forgetting to Remove Confusion! What if you sell a product or service that is a bit more complicated? What if your product or service could easily be explained with a short video versus text? Most people are too lazy to read any more. So much so, I’m a bit surprised you’re reading this! Most people would prefer to click the video than read text. Give them something to watch! Here are couple of examples:

MicroPop

Tone-Y-Bands

 

  • Losing the SEO Game. If people are searching for you online, will they find you on Google? Google OWNS YouTube and loves video. You’ve probably already started to notice the video search results that sometimes pop up when you search for how to do something. For example, if you were to search “How do I unclog a dishwasher?” You’ll notice that the top non paid search result is a video. Hmmm. Makes you think a little, doesn’t it? What questions need answers that your potential (or existing) customers might be searching for? While video isn’t the only answer to SEO, it’s certainly a powerful one!
  • Conversion is Too Low. What’s your conversion rate? If you sell products, a video helps the viewer decide whether to buy the product. In fact, StacksandStacks.com, “an e-retailer of home storage and organizational products said that when a consumer views a product video, that consumer is 144% more likely to add that product to her cart than a consumer who watches no video”  That’s astounding!  Even our own clients have told us that their products sell out faster and need to be replenished more often when the product is displayed with a video running next to it in stores. And, if we go back to our previous point, if consumers are on a website viewing a video, they’re on the site longer…leading to better SEO. Google seems to love it when people stay on a website longer. We think it’s because Google algorithms say, “Hey, people arrive here and stay here….this site must be good!”
  • Inconsistent Training. Have you hired a new employee? When you do, do you spend hours teaching them all that boring stuff you have to go through? Here’s an opportunity to have your new employee watch something that is more engaging and useful. An on-boarding or training video will help a new employee learn about the culture of the business and review all important points in a consistent way…and you can be sure that every new employee hears and sees the same information presented in the same way. Consistency! One of the keys to Human Resources!

If any of these items helped you make the next step toward creating a video for your business, great! If you’re not sure what your next step is, that’s ok…just fill out the form to the right. We can answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. Even if you don’t use us, we hope this helped.

 

 

Source:
Photo Source: Pixabay.com
2017, April 19. Convince and Convert website.  http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/you-need-to-invest-in-video/

Six More Questions You Should Ask a Video Production Company BEFORE Hiring Them

Video production can feel like a huge undertaking. It shouldn’t be and it won’t be if you hire the right video production company. Before you hire a company, you should know the answers to some basic questions. Each question will garner an answer that will help you determine if they are a good fit or if you need to keep searching. Here are the six questions to ask before deciding on whom to hire:

1. Can you show me some of your work? When shooting a corporate video, for a website or for TV, seeing samples is the first thing you should ask to see. During this process, the video production company should show samples from their portfolio. While you view their work, you should be thinking about their quality of work, their style, and their level of skill.

2. Do you shoot and edit something nice or do you shoot to a specific script? While most video professionals will plan the shoot out ahead of time, many do not. This question is to determine whether they are good producers, shooters, or editors. What you want is all three…whether in one person or in a couple of people. Some video pros are very good at shooting the video, but struggle to get the edit completed on time and to your liking. Other video pros are very good at editing, but miss big opportunities during the shoot to tell your story. The key is the plan before the shoot. This is what will usually make or break a project…and when we usually get calls to fix.

3. What can derail this project? This is a great question to find out what problems may arise during the course of your project. The answer you get might be a bit vague, but may lead to follow up questions. One of the biggest items that derail projects for us is change in scope…or scope creep. Any change in script after a shoot can severely change the scope. Remember, the script is the plan. Change the plan and you change a lot! There are several things that can derail a project: script changes, change of actors (or person on camera), change of shoot locations, adding of shoot locations, change of messaging…and the list goes on.

4. When has a production gone over budget? This question is meant to trick the video production company. The answer is: it shouldn’t go over budget. Keep in mind, if you have a very small budget, the video pro may not be able to do everything you want; however, the video pro should offer some insightful suggestions to get it closer to your budget. Budget should be a factor, but not the deciding factor. If the shoot is not planned and executed poorly, the final video will most likely not meet your expectations…wasting your money. A larger budget doesn’t always mean better video…but smaller budgets might. Here are some factors that can increase a budget: length of the shoot, including professional talent, professional narration, special music (non royalty free).

5. Can you do what you say you can do? Because creative work is subjective, their answer is something you need to consider. What you think is creative may be mundane to another. Be very clear about your expectations. If you have a vision for your video, your video producer should be able to clearly see your vision and describe some details about how they’ll pull it off. Sometimes it comes down to having the right equipment for what you want in your video. Sometimes it is how the story is told. If you feel the video producer understands what you’re after, you should be fine…now it comes down to whether the quality matches your expectations. This is where you should be evaluating their work. Quality means having the proper sound equipment, the proper lighting, the proper framing, and an attention to detail (such as the background) can all make an impact on the final product. Look at the samples to determine if they have what it takes.

6. Have you ever missed a deadline? What happened and why? If your project is on a time constraint, ask this question. If it isn’t and time isn’t an issue, you may consider skipping this question. We get calls (a lot) where we’ve heard, “They (their video production company) has been working on this project and edit for 6 months, and I’m fed up waiting for them to finish. Can you help us?” Six months may the right amount of time for some projects, but for some of the calls we get, six months is completely inappropriate. Several problems can come up during a video project. Believe it or not, one of which may be the producer, the client, the shoot, too much work to complete in a short amount of time. A good producer can to tell you how long the project should last and when you can expect completion. Keep in mind, even the best producer can miss a deadline in his or her life, but this should be very rare. If they say they have missed a deadline, find out how often it happens. This should be a good start to picking a good video production company. Listening to the answers to these questions should lead to closer to a decision about the level of work they can do and identify some problems that may come up. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We can answer any questions you have, even if we are not your video production company. We are here to help.

Want a few more questions? Check out Top 5 Questions to Ask a Video Production Company Before Hiring Them.