If you’re new to the game of online video production and you’re thinking of outsourcing the video to a third-party production company, wading the waters can be tricky. Given that there are literally hundreds of companies to choose from, the difficulty lies not in the number of available options, but in the selection process. How do you know which company to go with?
Here are 5 oh-so-helpful tips to get you started.
THEY SHOULD HAVE AN UPDATED PORTFOLIO
A lot of video production companies will have a demo reel on their homepage – a minute-long video that showcases some of their best work, all neatly cut, spliced together, and set to kick-ass music to really seal the deal. It’s meant to impress and, when done right, it usually does.
But you can’t base your decision on a demo reel. Always check their online portfolio and look at their most recent works. Anything dating back to six months should give you a general idea of their editing style, production services, and so on.
If they don’t have an updated portfolio – or a portfolio at all – consider looking for a video production company that has no problem posting their work publicly.
THEIR COMPANY CULTURE SHOULD COMPLEMENT YOURS
While conflicting opinions can lead to healthy discussions, you really don’t want to have to go through all that trouble when it comes to something as simple as requesting a video. Different production companies have different cultures and a different system of doing things. Some have a very clean-cut, straight-to-the-point attitude, others like to stick to what’s tried and tested, and still others pride themselves on being out-of-the-box thinkers.
If all you need is 30-second introduction video polished to look professional, choosing a company that believes that it takes time to make a masterpiece might not be in your best interest.
THEY SHOULD GIVE YOU A TIMELINE OF COMPLETION
Time is money – especially in this generation of want-it-now mentalities. Regardless of what your project needs – a 60-second whiteboard animation or a 3-minute introduction video – a good video production company should offer you a timeline of completion.
Something as specific as “we’ll have it ready by this day” or as general as “should be done within three weeks” works well enough. At the very least, it can help you adjust your campaign timeline. Giving a timeline of completion without being prompted is a good indicator that you’re working with people who understand the importance of resources.
THEY SHOULD HAVE DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR YOU
If you haven’t made up your mind as to what video you’d like to use, a good company should have options for you to choose from. Any from explainer videos to whiteboard animation projects, Kickstarter video production to product demo videos. Rarely will you find good video production companies that specialize in just one type of video.
THE SHOULD BE VERY CLEAR WITH WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T EXPECT FROM THEM
Will they write the script? Will they be providing the images/clipart? Will they use their own stock music or will they be buying it off from somewhere and then charging you the price?
So many first-timers fall prey to miscommunication and end up either a. cancelling their contract (and wasting money) or b. moving their marketing campaign back by months. Freelance video editors are often notorious for hidden fees, extra service charges, and other unwarranted costs. The whole reason you’re shopping around for a reputable video production company is to avoid this headache.
If the company you’re looking at is not forthcoming with their deliverables, you’re better off looking for something else.