July 10, 2013

Prepping your Business for Video Production

Questions-about-Video-ProductionYour company has decided to move forward and grow their business using video.

Now what?

The idea of producing a video can seem overwhelming, but teaming up with a good video production company can make the process smooth and even fun! And in the end you’ll have a great video that will help expand your business. Before you start looking for a video production company, here’s just a few questions that you can keep in mind that will help give you a better understanding on what kind of video your company needs.

Who’s your audience?
One of the first questions that you need to ask yourself on why your business needs a video produced is, “who is your business’s demographic?”. This is an easy question because you interact with them everyday, they’re your customers! You’ve already seen what kind of person engages with your business, whether they are middle-aged homeowners, college students or senior citizens. Understanding your customer is paramount when creating a video, it helps you to understand what they are looking for and how you can give your message in a way that they can identify with.

What’s the ‘Call to Action’?
So a viewer has just finished watching your new video. Do they know what to do next? The whole reason that you should want a video is to help your business grow. Grow by getting more customers in the door or grow by training a new employee to work more efficiently and help the overall quality of your business increase or even just to grow your business’s brand awareness. The ‘call to action’ of a video is it’s most important part. If you want the viewer after they’ve watched your video to get more information about your business, the video should prominently display your website or phone number. Or if you want them to buy your product, tell them where they can find it or how to order it. Determining the ‘call to action’ will be the cornerstone in developing what kind of video your business needs.

Where will viewers see the video?
This is a question that sometimes can be overlooked. Some may think that the video can just be released into the aether and then the phones will start ringing off the hook. That sounds nice, and I wished it worked that way but how your video will be delivered requires a lot of planning and tact. You want to make sure that your defined demo is targeted.

TV commercials can reach a broad range, and with proper placement, it can hone in on a specific audience. But airing on broadcast can be expensive, and if you don’t have the proper funds to make sure that you have a high frequency, you might as well be throwing your money out of the window.

The Internet naturally has become a great option. It’s virtually free to get the video out there and the reach is worldwide. That poses the question, how far does your reach need to be? If you’re, let’s say, a restaurant in Melbourne, Florida, do you need someone in Asia to see your video? And with literally hundreds of millions of videos floating on the web, how can you keep your video from getting lost in the mix? This is where planning comes in. Building a localized campaign combining SEO and social media to focus on your demographic in your area will help you see a solid ROI from your video.

There are other options for getting your video seen. You may find that your audience might be more tactile and would appreciate a more direct approach. Delivering on a DVD or Blu-ray disc is always a great option. People give more respect to something that they can hold and are more likely to keep a disc rather than quickly closing a video tab in their web browser.

What’s your budget?
If you’ve never worked on a video production before, determining how much it will cost can be daunting. Every video is different and many factors have to be considered before a quote is given:

Are there actors involved?
How many crew members are needed?
How much time is needed to shoot?

These are all questions that you can go over with the representative of the video production company when you have your first meeting. The length of the video is a big factor, but not necessarily how you’d might imagine. A thirty second commercial is short, but in most cases needs to have many quick shots to give it a fast pace to quickly sell the message. Many quick shots means many camera set ups and that means time, and time means money. On the other hand, you might want a one to three minute interview video for your website that gives a testimony of a customer or a message from your CEO that only requires a single set up with a few supplemental B-roll shots. In most cases, that video would cost the same as or even less than the production cost of the 30 second commercial.

Depending on which production company that you go with, the cost of producing short videos like these can range from the hundreds to the thousands. When choosing a video production company, be sure to see samples of their work to make sure that the quality of their work meets your expectations.

Someone might promise a low price but the quality of the video may suffer. But that also holds true for the other end of the spectrum, if a production company gives you a high quote, that doesn’t mean that they’re quality matches that price point. Bottom line, the proof is in the pudding, make sure you see their demo reel or samples of their past work to be sure that it’s up to you and your business’s standards.

These are just a few subjects that will help get you and your company on the right track to making great videos for your business. Remember, a video should be entertaining, informative and engaging to be an effective addition to your companies marketing campaign. If you have any questions about video production that you’d like to ask, drop a line in the comments and I’d be happy to get you an answer.