7 tips to hire a video production company

When it comes time to hire a video production company, there are a few things to keep in mind that will ensure not only a great experience before and after the production process, but also stronger returns on your investment.

1) Get your message and strategy straight.

Who you are, what are your goals, and how you are going to achieve them is key to any company and brand. If your strategy, brand positioning or message is ill-defined, it will be that much more difficult for your video production company to come up with creative ideas and visuals that fit in.

At contrary, having a strong brand positioning along with a clear strategy will ensure that your video production partner has something they can amplify, magnify, and ultimately deliver on.

2) Define your audience(s), demographics and channels.

I’ve had too many clients who invest a lot into their video only to post it to their website and forget about it. It makes me feel like I’ve wasted my time and eventually it makes them feel like they wasted their money.

Video marketing starts ahead of making the video.

Knowing what the audience(s), demographics and distribution channels are before even starting to write a script will influence the style, format, and overall type of video(s) you create. You should not do the same video if you advertise on FB to millennials or Linkdin to an older professional crowd, on your website or on TV.

3) Prepare a pitch and gather examples

A lot of producers and creatives are ninjas when it comes to understanding an industry or product quickly and efficiently, but at the end of the day, you are the Sensei. You know your product and service better than any outsiders and have probably seen what works and doesn’t within your industry.
If you don’t have any idea of what you want to produce, research it and provide your video production company with a comprehensive pitch that includes any marketing material and background information: on your product/service, on the industry as a whole, and on your strategy to market. If you can, include video references from competitors or examples of styles and format you’ve seen perform well.

Visual ideas are better conveyed…visually. And doing so will ensure that everyone is on the same page, speak the same language, and ready to produce a killer video that is on brand and on message.

4) Understand what a video production company does (and doesn’t do)

A lot of video production companies brand themselves as full service. What this means is that they will take care of the whole production process. This usually includes:

-Creative direction

-Scriptwriting

-Casting and location scout

-Identifying and providing the right talents for the shoot (Directors, Director of Photography, Producer, Camera assistant, Sound Engineer, Make up, Stylist etc…)

– Identifying and providing the right equipment. (camera, lighting, grip, sound)

-Editing

-Animation and VFX

-Sound mix and Music

-Insurances, permits

-Accounting for the project

etc…

Basically, a “full service” production company will take your brief and turn it into a finish video ready to be promoted on the web or TV. The only thing you should have to do in the process is say yes or no to the idea proposed and sign a check at the end.

A production company is not a marketing agency however. If you don’t know how to go about defining items 1) and 2), there are plenty of awesome agencies out there who can help you out.

5)Put your money where your (video) is.

More often than not, the price you pay will reflect the resources and talents used. In turn, this will be reflected in the quality you get.

As you’ll probably find out when you start researching your options to produce a video, there is a ton of different offers out there, with varying price tags. Between the solo videographer a friend recommended and the 50+ employees production powerhouse whose videos you love on instagram, you may sometimes find a 10x quote difference for a similar brief. That’s because video production is usually not priced in terms of length or style but based on the resources needed, such as crew, equipment, talents, locations etc…

And you may think: “who cares? What I want to make sure of is that the quality of the deliverables, not how many people worked on set.!” You would be right. But keep in mind that there is probably a good reason for the bigger company to use that bigger crew and the better equipment. They know that each one of these people or piece of equipment will bring an added value to your project and show on screen.

6) Get detailed estimates and research past work

That said, even within a same category, prices do vary and some production companies may have more overhead, or simply be more greedy. So do not hesitate each time you ask for an estimate to demand details on how they got to this number. Looking at quotes like this will not only inform you on how they price each items such as crew members or equipment pieces, but also what each producer thinks your project will take in terms of resources.

According to Forrester, watching a minute of video is worth 1.8 Million words. That’s true for the video you’re trying to make to boost your brand. That’s also true when looking for a video partner. Watching several of their past work both on their website and vimeo/youtube page will give you a good idea of their quality standard (and therefore what you can expect) as well as the types of videos or style they’re really good at.

7) Make time to meet with them and discuss your project in depth.

Unlike other services, video production companies provide custom products that are built from the ground up with each new clients and there is a rarely a one size fits all approach. Think of it as buying an expansive car that have several dozen options that could make it either drive, fly, or go amphibious. You do want to be able to understand each options with the sales man to see what would fit your lifestyle the best (i.e your brand) and what is overkill. And you need to be able to trust that the salesman understands what you’re looking for and has your best interest in mind.

At the end of the day, finding a video production company means finding a partner who understands your brand, business, and goals so that what they create do stand out and represent who you are and what you’re trying to achieve.

First and foremost, it is a relationship that has to be built on trust.

So make time to meet with a few of your top contenders either in person or over skype. Not only will you get a better feel on the team and whether you’re likely to have a positive experience with their company, but each one of them may also have different ideas, perspective or approach that could make your next project better and/or cheaper.

——

About Helium Films USA:
Helium Films USA is a San Diego Video production company. We’re a full service video production that services businesses and brands both locally and internationally.
If you need help with your video production, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to take a look at your market and come up with cost-effective quality ideas for you!
For more information about us, visit www.heliumfilms.us
To contact us for a quote, click here.

 

Video content marketing 101

Video Content Marketing 101

For the past couple of years, content marketing has been the hot topic on every marketer’s mind. Originated from the idea that regular advertising is nowadays less effective and costly, content marketing has risen as a way to engage customers in a more efficient way.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” (Source: SmartInsights)

Along with big data, content marketing is today the main marketing strategy brands employ, gathering a projected 20.2% of the marketing budgets in 2017.

From the get go, video has been one of the most efficient medium for content marketing. And for a reason, since it is a powerful storytelling tool that tends to grab people’s attention better than regular text or photos.

WHERE TO START?

As I mentioned, the hallmark of content marketing is creating something that is valuable for your audience. While it should be connected to the product or service you’re selling, the main goal is to make it relevant to the particular audience you’re targeting.

If you are a headphone brand, your audience is surely music inclined, and a piece of content could be a mini documentary on music creation. If you’re a surfboard company, some tips on how to ride the perfect wave. If you’re a travel agent, some insights on the best spots in the world to travel to.

Recently, we worked with HGTV and the Travel Channel to create some online video content for them. The audience they were trying to reach were respectively 1) people who likes to build stuff and 2) people who like to travel. To reach these audiences, they came up with an effective content marketing strategy. They fill their social media channels with tips and hacks that empower people like this to build cool stuff out of their home or to use ingenious hacks when they travel (see ex. below). And it works.

Because that content was relevant and valuable, people took time to watch it (the Campsite breakfast hack below has over 500K views on FB), share it, and use it, which in turns built brand awareness, reinforced viewership, or created new viewers for their TV channels.

SOME TIPS:

Here are a few tips on how to grow your brand through content marketing:

Tips #1:

Identify your ideal customer, figure out what they are interested into and create content that is relevant for them. (Tips and hacks like the example above are super effective, but other types of videos like engaging documentaries can be just as good)

Tips #2:

-Don’t advertise your product in it. Content marketing is not traditional advertising. If the video you create is too “salesy”, that will most likely be a turn off. There is a different time and place for your high-end commercial.

Tips #3:

-Know your channels and format your content accordingly. Content for Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or your blog should not necessarily be the same. It be the format, or length, each platform have different viewing habits or requirements.

Tips #4:

-Be creative when it comes to the topic, or executions of your videos. If what you come up with has been put out over and over by your competitors, chance is your target viewers have seen it already.

Tips #5:

-Use a call to action. After all, you do want people to look into what you have to offer.

Tips #6:

-Post on a regular basis and offer variety in terms of the type of content you provide. At the same time, track how each video performs and emulate your champions on future videos.

Now as you surely know if you’ve produced anything video related, production can sometimes be costly, which would make it hard to follow tips #6 to post on a regular basis. It does not have to be. While producing videos will most likely cost you some money, there is ways to limit the initial investment. Some things you can do yourself with your smartphone (through FB live or periscope for instance), some others you can create in volume to lower the cost of each individual videos.

It may take a few trial and error, but with a strong strategy, the right topics and the right platform, content marketing is set to grow your brand’s audience and engage your customers.

——

About Helium Films USA:
Helium Films USA is a San Diego Video production company. We’re a full service video production that services businesses and brands both locally and internationally.
If you need help with your video production, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to take a look at your market and come up with cost-effective quality ideas for you!
For more information about us, visit www.heliumfilms.us
To contact us for a quote, click here.

 

The Rise of the “lifestyle” commercial

As consumers increasingly use a multitude of online platforms and devices for their daily errands, brands can find themselves in a hard spot, where ad dollars are stretched thin across a variety of options.

Video production is proven to be one of the most effective ways to engage an audience. But beyond merely producing video content, brands don’t always know which route to take to get the best out of their productions.

Unless the product you’re selling is completely redefining a category or so innovative that people’s mind are blown away by simply learning that it exists, features are rarely what closes a sale.

What sells is establishing a real human connection. And in that regards, lifestyle brands and lifestyle commercials have a proven track record for being effective.

“Lifestyle brands, […] differentiate based on subjective, hard to quantify things like design. Lifestyle brands are fundamentally vehicles for self-expression. They don’t play by the rules of old-school marketing. They don’t try to be all things to all people. They simply are what they are, and in a world in which we’re increasingly defined by the products we buy, they can be an important part of our lives.” (Source: Emerchant.com)

In the realm of video, lifestyle commercials can encompass a broad range of narratives and styles,  but a few features are common:

-A “realistic” shooting style that gives you the feeling of being part of the action.

-Talents that consumers can identify with.

-Scenes that reflects real-life situations

-A concept that is grounded into real world concerns.

Here is a couple examples taken from Helium Films’ portfolio:

Lifestyle Brands and lifestyle advertising has been around for decades now. Take Nike, Apple or Under armor for instance who literally became cultural phenomena thanks to their strong lifestyle positioning.

Recently however, we’ve witnessed uptick in lifestyle branding for product categories that used to advertise in a more traditional way, such as travel or technology companies.

“There are a lot of opportunities for lifestyle brands to grow in the coming years, including in new lifestyle categories such as housewares and home furnishings.” (Source: Forbes)

For these brands, using a lifestyle approach allows them to more clearly differentiate their products by focusing less on the specific features (which can be difficult to appreciate for the layman consumer) and more on the overall experience they offer. Thereby instigating a sense of recognition and, if the brands deliver on its promises, long lasting trust.

The reason why lifestyle commercials are so effective is that they create in consumers a sense of belonging. They relate to their self image and desire for self expression. If produced correctly, they can be a powerful tool to shape the perceived image of a brand into a cohesive set of symbolism, personality, and values.

Using visuals, and in particular video, is the best way to truly embody a brand’s culture and style. Video advertising can create a sense of recognition that will connect with consumers in a much more effective way than other types of marketing products.

A strong brand that conveys clear values and an image of authenticity is extremely important in today’s marketplace. It’s not enough anymore to simply push out a product, even if this product is the best on the market. What drives consumer to go out of their way to buy a new product is a feeling that the brand behind it represents their aspiration, needs, wants and that sporting their product will be a way to make a statement.

Ressources:

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kateharrison/2017/01/09/top-10-trends-that-will-transform-digital-marketing-in-2017/2/#1d73bca2713c

http://www.emerchant.com.au/blog/a-definition-of-lifestyle-marketing/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_brand

https://finchbrands.com/rwb54/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/04/01/are-lifestyle-brands-squeezing-out-luxury/2/#673c26112691

https://medium.com/@amalucky/the-rise-of-lifestyle-technology-brands-c9566ab8d3f4#.wn71kotc4

About Helium Films USA:

Helium Films USA is a San Diego Video production company. We’re a full service video production that services businesses and brands both locally and internationally. For more information about us, visit www.heliumfilms.us

To contact us for a quote, click here.

Use Product Videos To Improve Conversion Rates [PODCAST]

People won’t buy your product if they don’t understand it. Using only text and images, even if they’re well designed, only communicates a certain amount of information. Using product videos to demonstrate your products enables visitors to learn so much more, faster and leads to great conversion results on your site. (HelpFlow)

Our CEO Thierry Denis was recently featured in this episode of eCommerceScale.com, where he shares details on how to create product videos including a done-for-you streamlined service he’s built for eCommerce stores.

Listen to the podcast and get tons of useful information and action items RIGHT HERE.

And of course, for any specifics on our Product Videos services, visit H1 Product Videos.

 

How to make your B2B brand stand out with video

The rate of change that is happening is quite high. Which means that the people who are keeping up with the change — or forcing the change and making it happen — will likely be in a really good position.”
Robert Kyncl – Chief Business Officer YouTube.

B2B organizations have a very specific set of challenges.

Where B2C businesses strive in creating content that appeal to a very broad audience, B2B sales executives usually have very narrow and specific decision maker they need to target.

Identifying and engaging the right decision maker is key. And unlike with B2C corporations, finding and selling to this one person can dramatically impact your bottom line. 
  
When it comes to leads, B2B companies therefore have to focus heavily on quality over quantity and marketing material should be catered specifically to these qualified leads. With customers being 174% more likely to buy your product after watching a video, your chances to lend this big contract are much higher if you just put this presentation/sales pitch/demo in moving images and sound!
  
Here are a couple of ways B2B companies can use videos along their sales funnel to ensure a stronger engagement and higher sales:
 

1) Homepage videos:

Getting warm leads to your online platform is already a great feat, but converting those visitors into paying customers is obviously a plus. A well crafted, short homepage video is a great way to explain what you are about in a timely manner. No one wants to scroll through your entire website in the hopes to understand what you do or sell. In fact, while 20% of web visitors will read the content of a website, a whooping 80% will watch the same content in a video
Getting all of your sales pitch and product description in a video under 2min is therefore a great way to ensure that prospective leads will contact you to chat some more. 
  

Mir3
https://vimeo.com/126197830


2) Demo videos:

Sometimes a little bit more detailed than a typical homepage video, demo videos are a great support to an in-person sales pitch. Using this carefully-produced material, your sales team can focus on the details of the sale, rather than having to explain your entire business. By streamlining your sales meeting with a strong video that already answers most of your client’s questions, half of the work is done. Please bring me a pen to sign this contract!
 

H1 Video explainer
https://vimeo.com/123229795


3) Blog and PR videos:

Giving back and helping your peers is often a great way to engage customers and improve brand recognition. By creating video content that answers industry-wide questions and that are posted on well known forums, send in newsletter, or blogged on, B2B organizations can ensure to be seen as leaders who can provide useful solutions to their key target demographic. Here again, the numbers speak for themselves, with an increase of 13% in open rate of emails that includes videos.
  

How to teach us
https://vimeo.com/131026264


4) Webinars / Training videos:

Once sold on a product or service, getting a customer to do repeat business with you is key to your growth. Webinars or training videos are a great way to do that. By providing with new information and/or by ensuring that the new functions or capabilities of your product/service are known by your current clients, you can improve brand awareness, recognition and insure that your customers come back for their next big project. 
  

Office of Emergency Services San Diego
https://vimeo.com/140101798


Not convinced yet? A recent study by Cisco is predicting that video will account for 80% of ALL web traffic by 2019, most of it being on mobile. So if you haven’t yet, jump on the bandwagon and create your next big B2B video campaign!
   

For more information or questions, contact us at Helium Films USA

E-Commerce: What’s Missing?

We’re in 2015, and who doesn’t buy online, at least from time to time? Clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, packaged goods, and the list goes on. We all go online to find the best deals, a larger choice of product, or simply take advantage of the convenience of ordering something from your couch without having to deal with lines and parking.

Those new habits tend to improve our lives for the better but also, sometimes, for the worse. Probably the number one complain from online consumers is the discrepancy between what they think they are buying, and what they actually receive.

What you see and what you get can often be disappointing...

What you see and what you get can often be disappointing…

A whole host of features such as stars, votes, reviews, FAQs or pictures from various angles, try to assess this recurrent and frustrating problem, but don’t necessarily succeed at giving buyers a good sense of what they’re about to invest in. Additionally, with the attention span of the average internet consumer getting shorter and shorter, it is absolutely imperative for sellers to convey this host of information on the product sold in a record time. Having to look around a busy page to find information on a product just does not cut it.

Bad reviews for a bag

As video production professionals, we’ve witnessed first hand how videos address these issues (here are a few that we have done). Product videos are great to understand what a product is about, what it looks like and how it is going to feel when we actually receive it, but additionally they are a proven way to increase conversion.

E-Commerce Numbers

2ProductVideosNumbers

Marketers know these numbers and it’s not a surprise that the amount of videos produced to sell products in 2015 has exploded.

But quality video production tends to be expensive. And marketers, with a limited budget to play with, tend to focus their efforts on just a few of their top-seller products, making great and effective videos for those, but resorting to the old ways (photos and extensive descriptions) for the rest of their catalog. The idea behind this strategy being that by growing those top-sellers, a trickle down effect will take place and the rest of the catalogue will benefit from it.

This strategy is great to create brand awareness and recognition, but from a purely growth standpoint may sometime seem counter-intuitive. Why focus all of your marketing efforts on products that you know are already going to be a hit and will just marginally increase their sells thanks to your marketing effort? Why not keep some of your marketing budget for other weaker products, where growth potential or margins are stronger?

Again, the answer is most often cost of video production and delivery, along with the prejudice that producing a video has to be a lengthy creative process that could not match the organic and day-to-day evolution of an entire product line.

Animoto

Our answer to this is H1 Product Videos, a new service we created specifically to produce premium product videos at a price point that allows brands to afford it for their entire catalog AND with a format that makes it super efficient to produce and deliver.

H1 product videos’ goal is to revolutionize e-commerce by helping consumers truly understand the shapes, material or features of any products, in seconds. Using videos for each of your product will therefore ensure that your customers’ purchase decision is made quickly and without 2nd thoughts, and will minimize returns and calls to your customer service. Unlike regular photos, ROI is much stronger with videos and will allow you to grow your entire catalog while making the overall buying experience much more pleasant.

The H1 process is simple and designed with e-retailers in mind. Just pick one of our packages then send us your products and specs, so we can bring them to life with premium videos. Once we’ve shot your product, we will send you the video files, and, if you choose our embed option, monthly analytic reports on views, localization, and sales. All of this done in a matter of days.

Not convinced yet? Let’s cut down the reading since we just discussed how video is so much more efficient: here is  H1 presentation video. If you have any question, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we will be glad to assist you for all your product video projects.

*H1 Product Videos: http://h1productvideos.com/

San Diego Video Production Company

Being a video production company fully equipped with the latest technological tools and highly skilled staff, coupled with a personal stroke of a small entity, Helium Films USA has fabricated its reputation as the best one-stop creative  San Diego video production company in which guarantees complete satisfaction of its clients. Just watch our portfolio or read our clients' testimonials.

Being a video production company fully equipped with the latest technological tools and highly skilled staff, coupled with a personal stroke of a small entity, Helium Films USA has fabricated its reputation as the best one-stop creative San Diego video production company in which guarantees complete satisfaction of its clients. Just watch our portfolio or read our clients’ testimonials.

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