Video is used everywhere nowadays. Long gone are the days when it was a medium just for the television. Which is a good thing because small companies can now use video technology to promote their business in creative ways instead of wasting a small fortune on TV advertising.
Sure TV advertising might be worth something for a huge company like Procter & Gamble (who spent 4.5 billion on TV advertising in 2014) but most small companies don't have a budget of a country, which is basically what it costs to produce a television spot and buy the air time as well. The companies that rely on television advertising are quickly disillusioned by the questionable demographics Nielsen provides and the low return on investment the spot actually delivers. That's why P&G cut their TV ad spend over $500 million in 2015 and shifted that to a digital marketing spend...simply because it believes online ads deliver a higher return on investment than TV or print.
Internet video is a game changer for small businesses. If your company is thinking about using video then here are five considerations to take into account when trying to find a Philadelphia video producer.
1. They Provide Strategic Consultation
Making a video just to make a video is a mistake. Producing a video without having a broader marketing strategy and distribution plan will result in failure. Video is part of a larger marketing and branding strategy. You must know why you are making the video, who it is intended for and what the desired outcome is after the video is complete. How and where are you going to show and share this video? What tools are you going to use to measure the success and ROI of the video?
Hiring a video company that is comprised of technical, creative and smart people who have been in the video production business for years is great. But is that skill set enough in this consumer driven internet culture? Probably not.
A video production company needs to go beyond production and provide strategic guidance on the big picture with video. Yes, they can produce a video for you and hand it over, but what then? How are you going to use this video? Where are you going to put this video? How are you going to distribute the video and reach the audience you NEED to reach.
Video is a long term strategic play in marketing your company. Is one video going to be enough? Highly unlikely. Video (particularly web video) has expanded so much in the past years that it compromises more than just video. It dives into content marketing, social media, SEO, video optimization, lead generation and customer conversions.
Here's an example. You’re a manufacturing facility looking for video and marketing help. You contract a Philadelphia video production company , and they deliver a brilliant looking, technically sound video. They hand it over and you put it on your website. Life is good, right?
Maybe. Is that video converting visitors? Has your conversion rate changed? Has your revenue gone up since you hired them? What analytic and tracking tool did the video company provide you to measure the success of your video?
If your video production agency is silent on these issues, you have reason to question their legitimacy.
I know what you're thinking. A video company that knows about marketing and strategy is unheard of. In this day and age, not really. Marketing and video go hand in hand today. The take away, you should look to work with a digital/marketing agency that does video production in house.
2. They are Masters of Video Marketing, Video SEO and Video Production
Both video SEO and video marketing is the most important aspect of getting your videos seen by potential customers across the web. Having the chops to produce, market, distribute, broadcast and push your content across the web is going to make all the difference in who and how many people see your video. After all, marketing your video is just as important as producing it.
Video marketing, video SEO, video optimization for search engines, YouTube optimization and tiered networks: all things that can and should be mastered when producing video for the web. And that is just the beginning. Your video should also be promoted to all social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at the peak viewing times.
YouTube is a outlet with almost limitless potential. It's the second largest search engine. There’s only one problem: with more than 100 hours of video being uploaded every minute, it's an extremely crowded outlet. With the barrage of content you have to compete against, how do you get people to watch your video over the millions of others? Video SEO.
Don't believe the hype that one commercial or video is enough to reach your audience. The promotion of your business, even with video, is a forever ongoing process. You'll need to consistently keep producing and marketing your videos to really get people excited enough to buy your product or service.
The take away: Work with an agency who are masters at video SEO and YouTube optimization as well as video production. The choices might be few but having an agency that understands the big picture in the online digital "YouTube" marketing world will only benefit your business. If you want to know more about video marketing you can download our report.
3. They Bring Their Clients Success
Don’t get dazzled by a demo reel. Understand what counts when it comes to video. More customers, money in your pocket, growing your business, lead generation, business development, higher revenues - that's the bottom line.
If these sound like elements not usually addressed by video production companies. They are. You can eliminate 85% of the video production agencies just by analyzing them through these metrics. Most video producers are creatively and technically inclined, but very few will have the business acumen to help you grow your business as well.
A demo reel (a necessary evil for a video production company) takes the best segments of each video and compiles them into a montage of clips - add some pumping music to it and wa-la. That's great to demonstrate knowledge and creativity of the production tools, but it is no measure of success for clients.
Video production tools and equipment are so affordable and accessible that Just about anyone can buy a camera, download free editing software, buy peripherals (music, motion graphics, 3d animation, video templates) and make a great looking video with little or no training. By digging deeper into the company you'll be able to see if they were actually able to help their customers grow their business or create leads.
Obviously you don't want to hire the local wedding videographer to shoot your commercial or corporate videos if all they do is weddings. Some video companies only work in a specific niches and if you can find one that works in or close to yours, it's a good sign they'll bring you success.
4. They Produce Video in House
Digital agencies that advertise video production services may not actually do video production themselves. They might already have an established relationship or partnership with a Philadelphia video production company. It's not a bad thing but this can make the process convoluted, messy and more expensive. You'll have to communicate through the agency, which then has to communicate to the production company and back again. Eliminate the middle man. Working with an provider that does it in house streamlines the process from marketing goals to digital strategy to video production to video distribution. Using an agency that goes outside to get video produced only drives your costs up because both parties have to make money on your project.
When both parties have to make money on the deal, they have to mark the price up. Even when the price goes up, there's no guarantee the work will be better. In fact the opposite may be true. If both parties need to make money there's a lower profit margin for each party. They have to split it. How motivated will they be to do a good job if they're not getting paid what they're worth. It will be more like let's just get this done and move on.
5. DO NOT Base Your Decision on Price
The bitterness of low quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price wears off...Benjamin Franklin
You really do get what you pay for. Never assume the lowest price equals the best value, especially in video production. These days, anyone with $485.00 can buy a video camera and call himself a video producer. This doesn’t mean they know how to tell a story, communicate a message or invoke emotion in your audience. They might lack creative, technical, business and marketing know-how and have little or no experience collaborating and working with industry specific businesses and niche companies.
The number one question every video production company gets: How much does a video cost? You'll never get a straight answer and if you do, walk away. The reason you'll never get a straight answer is because there are so many variables involved with video. Let's, for a minute, think of video as a car. We want a new car but there are many choices and options within those choices to choose from. You can buy a Ford Fiesta (a reliable, affordable general purpose car) or you can buy a Rolls Royce Phantom (a very powerful, super expensive, ultra luxurious car) or perhaps you might need a Ford 350 Pickup (a heavy duty pickup used for specific purposes).
A video is the same way because there are different purposes for a video and many different elements involved in producing video. The pickup truck might be a trade show video which is used for that one and very specific purpose: to get someone's attention at the booth. The video will deliver for that specific purpose but if you try and use it for something other than that purpose, it may not work.
The Ford Fiesta might a social media video about your company, which sadly may only deliver a few likes, shares or views. The Rolls Royce video might be your series of product or service explainer videos. These videos will be produced with a high polish finished look including broadcast network worthy graphics, professional talent and sales driven copy. This video is more likely to get a lot of views, look great and get you results.
With so many various uses for video everything is a toss up until you know what the strategic play of the video is. If you need another example try this: You could hire your nephew to shoot a video on his iPhone (who would probably hold it the wrong way) or you could hire James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) to make it for you. Sure, your nephew might do it for close to nothing but you'll be the joke in your industry once someone sees that video. Hiring James Cameron on the other hand will give you a beautiful, groundbreaking, money making, epic story remembered throughout history, but it will cost you a million or two upfront.
The point being, the cost of the video is the last thing you should base your decision on because there is such a wide dynamic. Doing it on the cheap is not the solution and making a blockbuster may not be an option. It will be up to you to find the middle ground, one that meets your long-term strategic goals and your budget.
Additional considerations when choosing a Philadelphia production company.
-Length- have a conversation about the length of your video. If it's going online then most production companies should know what the optimal length for a video is. With so many uses for video it is critical to find that sweet spot length for maximum engagement. Too long and people will lose interest and click off the video - too short and you'll leave them guessing. Never assume the new agency on the block, your intern, or even a wedding videographer knows how to create a powerful business video that has a strategic advantages and moves the sales needle.
-Film. There is a difference between film and video. Be aware of companies making the claim "we make films" or "we film your event". They really aren't making a film or filming your event. They're making videos and recording your event on digital media. "Film" is actually shot on film (that roll of stuff you use to put in cameras before VHS, Beta, digital cameras or cell phones). Though still used by some outfits, it is highly unlikely any production shop will show up at your event with a true film camera, rolls of film and film crew. Yes, the line is blurred a lot these days with technology, but they should know the difference between these two mediums and if they don't, they haven't been schooled in the industry.
-The latest in technology. Probably a saying you hear a lot. But that saying should go without saying. Everyone uses the latest technology. You have to or you get left behind. Things change so rapidly and technology is so cheap these days you can't not use the latest and greatest. Don't be impressed with someone claiming to use the latest technology...that should be a given, especially in this industry.
-Legal considerations. When talking with a video production company they should be aware and make you aware of any legal ramifications you might possibly run into. This will include any copyright issues that you might run into as well, such as photo or video licensing, along with the big one, music licensing. They should guide you away from making any false statements on video and provide proper release forms if you're using professional talent.
Until a few year ago, the entry barrier into professional video production was much too expensive for small sized companies to consider as a marketing tool. Though the prices have dropped, it is still an expertise that requires specialized skills and many years of training and or actually doing. Plus, with technology moving as fast as it does, a business can get overwhelmed when trying to navigate the waters of online video. But we are also fortunate. Because of these factors any business or individual can take advantage of using video to market their business. The tools are better than ever, the price is in reach for everybody and the talent is out there producing video is top notch.
With online video being so popular the question business owners need to ask themselves is: When am I going to start my video project? Luckily, if you want to get started sooner rather than later, our video production battle plan will help you get started.