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.

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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.

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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.

 

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