Hiring a production company to create professional videos for your organization can be scary, especially if you don’t know what you need or what to look for from the video company. But you don’t have to go into the vetting process blind. There are internal and external considerations that will help you eliminate companies that don’t match your needs, ask the right questions, and ultimately, vet the companies you are considering. But what are those questions you need to ask? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of 7 things you need to consider before hiring a professional videographer:
The Internal Considerations (What You Need to Ask of Your Company)
1. What are the goals your are trying to accomplish with your video?
We talk with far too many companies that “just want to create a video for their website.” Make sure that you have a clear vision of what story you are trying to tell with your video. Are you trying to introduce your team? Are you trying to establish that you are a reputable company? Are you trying to drive new business? Or maybe you want to train employees? Or raise money for your non-profit?
The more clearly you can define what your goal is for the video, the more focused you will be able to be. This will help you when deciding what company will be the best partner for the job. Even more importantly, it will also help you keep your team focused on which message is most important to convey.
2. How will you know if you video is successful?
Video can be a really powerful way to create real results for your company, but many companies stop at measuring the views of a video. And while you can’t have a successful video if you have zero views, measuring views for a video is a given — we all want views. Instead, figure out real metrics that your video can influence. Do you want to decrease your bounce rate? Or would you rather increase conversion rate? How about drive new donations? These are all really great measurement metrics that will help you put a real ROI on your video projects.
3. How are you going to distribute the video when it’s finished?
Everyone assumes that YouTube is the only way to distribute your video and you wouldn’t be completely wrong. YouTube is essential part of any video strategy, since YouTube is the second largest search engine. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to distribute your video. In fact, we recommend using a custom video player to host the primary copy of the video on your site, and putting another copy on YouTube to make sure you don’t miss-out on the power of the YouTube search bar.
Here at StoryTeller, we are huge proponents of Wistia, but there are some very clear advantages of hosting your website videos on a custom video player. Here are a couple of advantages to think about:
- SEO benefits of video content attributed to your site instead of YouTube
- Distraction-Free player that doesn’t suggest videos that lead the user away from your content
- Advanced analytics
- Integrated calls-to-action
- Video chaptering
- And more!
4. How can you maximize your video shoot to get the most bang for your buck?
Sometimes, we get so focused on our one deliverable that we miss potential efficiencies. If you are going to go through the effort of hiring a professional videographer, gathering your team together, and getting your content ready, can you extend your shoot time and get a few extra videos to use other places on your website?
Here are a few thoughts about videos you could add on to get the most out of your shoot:
- Short video blogs
- 30-second testimonials
- Landing page videos
- Short success stories
- Bio videos of your team
The External Considerations (Questions to Answer About the Professional Videographer)
5. Have you watched more than the sizzle reel?
Videographers call these sizzle reels for a reasons. These are flashy, fast-paced videos that feature the most beautiful, well-crafted shots that can be found in their whole library. Make sure that you don’t get blinded by the quick cuts and upbeat music.
Look for full-length projects that you can watch to get a feel of what a project looks like from start to finish. When you get to the point of having a few companies in mind, make sure to have them send other videos that are similar to your project.
6. How will this company/video help you tell a story?
Storytelling is a difficult craft. Finding a company that can shoot beautiful looking footage is easy, but finding a company that will help you identify your compelling stories isn’t quite as simple. Look for a company that has a proven track record of telling really compelling stories.
Ask them if they have a process to help you identify the best stories and take note of how stories are presented in the videos you watch on their site.
7. Is this company a good fit for my project?
There are a lot of different kinds of professional videographers. Some focus on full length movies, some shorter stories, some explainer videos, some documentaries. Some produce commercials and product videos, while others shoot movies. Yet they are all (accurately) called “videographers.”
It’s important to identify a company that has a proven track record creating the kind of video you are looking to create. We’ve created a video production scorecard that will help vet potential companies to identify which one is the best for you. Download it now!
We are consuming more video than ever, so it has become an essential part of the marketing toolbox. Hopefully, these considerations will help you create exceptional videos.
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