Working With a Video Production Company From Start to Finish
With all the advantages of video content, from dominating 80% of web traffic to influencing 90% of consumers to make a purchase, it’s understandable why you’re ready to begin working with video and reaping its benefits.
However, deciding on the right production company and the steps involved to choosing a video company can be daunting. We've put together this guide on what it's like working with a video production from start to finish, covering things from the benefits of working with a video production company to how to convince your boss to spend money on video.
Keep reading to learn more:
- 5 Benefits of Working With a Video Production Company
- How Video Fits in Your Strategy
- How to Convince Your Boss to Spend Money on Video
- 7 Things Video Companies Need To Know To Quote Your Video Project
- How to Make the Right Company Video for Your Business
The question is, who are you going to be working with? While some companies support an in-house film crew, many choose to collaborate with video production companies. Why? Well, these five benefits of working with a video production company are pretty persuasive:
- You Receive Accurate Estimates
Living and breathing video — it’s what video production companies do. When you share your ideas for your campaign, they can consider the necessary equipment, lighting props, sets, and crew that would be needed to bring your vision to life.
With those considerations, they can provide an accurate estimate.
- You Avoid In-House Production Expenses
Did you see the budget on the latest Star Wars film? A lot of money goes into filmmaking. While having your in-house team is convenient, it does come at a price. Not only do you have to invest in the necessary film equipment, but you also provide salary and benefits to each member of your film crew.
In-house costs like those inflate your typical costs of video production, plus they don’t even include the expense of purchasing props or upgrading equipment. With a video production company, they already have the necessary hardware.
- You Get a Professional Touch
When you launch your video marketing campaign, the last thing you want is for it to look unprofessional. Working with video can seem easy when you’re watching behind-the-scenes clips, but the truth is that it’s challenging. You’re managing a crew and actors as well as lighting, equipment, and shots that may be time-sensitive.
That’s why the professional touch of video production companies is one of their biggest benefits. You can oversee the creative development process without worrying about shooting schedules or the quality of the final product. Instead, you can trust them to deliver a professional, high-quality video.
- You Have Access to a Team of Film Experts
Collaborating with a team of all-stars opens a lot of doors. Whether you’re interested in filming a live event, commercial, promotional video, or an animated video, you can accomplish it with an outside video production company.
With a specialty in marketing videos, you can also receive advice for building out your marketing idea. Video production companies can help you define your message, create an engaging story, build a microsite, and then upload it to various platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
- You Make Deadlines Without Hassle
Missed deadlines burn — especially if your company’s been advertising your upcoming video. No one likes falling behind, but it can happen for in-house teams when they get over burdened.
Video production companies ensure your deadline is met, even when they’re tight. Our team, for instance, has stayed up late into the night to create recaps that’ll air the next day for an event’s closing ceremonies. It’s just what we do — after all, we live and breathe video!
Now that you know the benefits of working with a video production company, how do you decide on the best type of video that fits your strategy?
As a fellow marketing and communications professional, we know that you’re always looking for new ways to strengthen your communications plan. And at LAI Video, our team of talented producers and animators are focused on telling the right story to the right audience, in a way that makes an emotional or intellectual connection to strengthen your brand or message.
Throughout the years, we have had great success partnering with all different kinds of companies and organizations who have used video to add an extra punch or sizzle to their branding and messaging to make it sticky and impactful.
Here are three types of videos that have made a big difference to our clients:
- Identity/Branding Piece — Bolster the opinion of your industry and strengthen your brand
- Motion Graphics Animation — Share your message in an engaging way
- Case Study — Tug at heart strings and add life to your story
While your marketing strategy for video content may rely on other techniques, we’ve found there’s a strategy for every type of budget and industry. And today, we’re sharing our tips for adding video into your business strategy so you can not only reach more viewers but also reap the likes, retweets, and shares you deserve.
Building a Successful Business Video Strategy
Developing a video business strategy often depends on your company’s size and budget. While larger companies may have more funds for their marketing department, that doesn’t mean yours can’t create a viral hit that people will be watching on repeat. To start your marketing strategy for video content, consider these points:
- Limit Self-Promotion: While it’s great to share a few details about your business, oversharing is a turnoff—your content becomes more about you and less about what your audience wants. Create a balance between you and your product to show some of your advantages as well as the benefits of your services or products.
- Know Your Audience: Understanding who makes up your audience, from their gender and age group to their product interests, helps you build a video business strategy that appeals to your biggest market. And more than half of all marketers conduct research at least once a month, so join the masses!
- Partner With Influencers: If you can collaborate with an influencer, whether by having them represent your product in your video or promoting it after it's been filmed, take advantage of the opportunity. Engagement for user-generated content that highlights a product or brand is much higher—seven times higher!—than content generated by a company.
- Build A Promotion Strategy: Decide early how you want to promote your video content. In addition to taking advantages of partnerships with influencers on social media platforms, you can also consider collaborating with businesses that support your products, as well as building a microsite to track your campaign’s performance.
And now that you have decided on the best video that fits your strategy, how do you convince your boss to spend money on video?
If you are responsible for supporting your organization’s marketing efforts, then you know that there are countless marketing methods from which to choose. With so many options, how can you possibly convince your boss that video is a worthy investment?
At LAI Video, we’ve analyzed the many reasons that our clients seek our help with their digital communications needs. Here are five of the most prominent ways that video has helped to achieve our clients’ marketing goals:
- Video builds brands
- Video supports an omni-channel approach
- Video is evergreen
- Video is shareable
- Video transforms opinions
Video can provide your audience with a clear understanding of your organization’s brand. These videos, which we refer to as “identity videos,” can communicate your organization’s mission, the value of its products or services, its vision for the future, how an event or initiative relates to its vision, and more.
While these are some of the fundamental features of strong identity videos, it’s the finer details that really make them resonate. Our team uses a number of strategies to ensure that these videos convey a consistent and powerful brand message. These strategies include considerations around cinematography, typography, tone, music, and narrative story, just to name a few.
One example of a strong identity video is Real News for Real Americans, which we produced for The Washington Times. Helping to define the paper’s new slogan, this video emphasizes The Washington Times’ objective methodology through a beautiful black and white treatment—while including “pops” of its signature crimson to create a cohesive palette for the series.
Our Standing Ovation Awards series produced for the DC Education Fund provide other examples of powerful brand-building videos. While the series was created to support an awards show, it has also led the spotlighting of education excellence to become an essential part of DC Public Schools’ identity. Video has the power to not only reinforce existing brand but also to bring them to new heights.
Video can be played across a variety of platforms and channels, allowing you to amplify your message in ways that would not be possible through other mediums. For instance, a short video created for a gala or banquet can also easily be shared on a website, via a newsletter, or on social media.
For video to be most effective across a variety of channels, it must be created with appropriate strategies. Sometimes, this requires creating a script that can be cut into shorter, standalone scenes. For the Certified Financial Planner Board’s “I Am a CFP Pro” series, our team created 15- and 30-second versions of each video, resulting in additional assets for social media.
At other times, it requires coming up with a video motif so engaging or good-humored that it can supercharge an entire campaign. For CropLife America’s #GiveaCrop campaign, our team developed the Pest mascot’s character in a way that not only supported the production of videos but also GIFs, graphics, memes, and an entire campaign microsite. By incorporating video into your marketing strategy, you can engage your audience across channels in ways that would otherwise not be possible.
Video provides a tremendous opportunity to create content that will resonate well beyond a specific event or initiative. In fact, “evergreen” video content can support your organization’s marketing objectives for as long as your organization exists!
One method for creating evergreen content that is particularly effective when trying to explain complex concepts is the use of animation. When we worked with the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) on its ITI Decodes campaign, we decided to use animations to translate technical jargon into easy-to-understand language. In doing so, we created a series of assets that allow ITI to communicate with global leaders, policymakers, and the general public without requiring the assistance of an expert technical communicator.
The right video narrative will also allow you to use live-action footage in powerful ways. When we partnered with FOX Architects on its promotional video, we decided to focus on a narrative surrounding the firm’s unique design process. This narrative was particularly effective from an evergreen marketing perspective, because while the firm’s projects and partners may change, its process and principles are constant. Through video, your organization can create marketing assets that will always be relevant.
More than an email, blog, or white paper, video can deliver an emotionally resonant story that “gets at the heart” of what will move your audience. Its ability to bring key messages to life is why it so often serves as the cornerstone of successful product launches, campaigns, and other marketing initiatives.
Sometimes, it’s humor that compels an audience to share a video. In CropLife America’s #GiveaCrop campaign, our team relied on slapstick humor and innuendo to start a dialogue among consumers and policymakers about pesticide use. At other times, a video is more effective when it takes an emotional approach. In No Kid Hungry’s Clark Family Spotlight, our team captured the honest perspective of a family just on the other side of the poverty line, rallying people to support the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Still other videos rely on showcasing the unexpected to generate buzz. When LAI Video partnered with CRTV on its third episode of “The Swamp,” we captured the suspense as one of the series’ protagonists found himself in the news. As viewers become invested in a story, they are more likely to share a video and spread its underlying message.
Video allows organizations to change misconceptions, debunk myths, reposition their brands, and build movements. The transformative power of video is one of the most common reasons that our clients seek our help with their digital marketing needs. One way that video can be transformative is by featuring people who, through interviews, can share candid, first-hand accounts. When working with the National Industries for the Blind, our team interviewed people who shared how their disability is no barrier to their success, shattering perceptions of blind individuals’ capabilities.
Video can also transform by serving as the cornerstone of a larger, omnichannel campaign. When partnering with Share Our Strength on its Rethink #Hangry campaign, we created an animated video that is hosted on the campaign’s microsite and that encourages its audiences to get #hangry on social media. While the tactics used may differ from one video to another, video’s transformative power can help your organization to achieve its vision.
Video’s potential to support your organization’s marketing objectives cannot be understated.
Through video, your organization can strengthen its brand, revitalize its communications channels, reach a wider audience, create evergreen content, and alter perceptions.
Next time your boss asks for your help in developing a sound marketing strategy and tactical plan, feel free to reach out to LAI Video for ideas and inspiration, guidance, and action-oriented insights about how video can support your communications goals and achieve your marketing team's KPI metrics and your organization's goals as a whole.
So you've gotten your boss to approve your video project. What's the next step?
Every day, we receive inquires from marketers requesting quotes for their upcoming video projects. While all projects are created differently, we have a general base of questions we ask in order to provide the most accurate quote.
Here are the essential things we ask before sharing a price range:
We don’t expect you to know the technical details of video-making, but a great entry point is the video “type” – how do you want your video to look? This immediately begins to shape the necessary ingredients for your project. We can boil down most videos into three major categories:
- Live Action: Videos that are exclusively live action feature real-life talent (either people or actors).
- Animation: Fully-animated videos use design and motion graphics to illustrate complex concepts, characters and scenes.
Similar to our promotional video for The Federation of State Medical Boards', our team of creative animators transform client needs into visually appealing scenes of animated motion.
- Mixed Media: And sometimes our clients' projects require a little bit of everything, incorporating both live action and animated elements - like NHSS Scholars Day video. Perhaps visuals are composited overtop footage to point something out? Or maybe photo and video content is packaged together into a slick, highly-treated montage that connects with your audience in a more imaginative way.
Having a specific video or commercial in mind helps us know where you’re coming from. Maybe a competitor released a promotional video? Maybe you loved the opening titles to a new Netflix show? Maybe you fell in love with something on our own Portfolio? We steal – we borrow – from the best videos out there. Literally anything can be inspiration!
For live-action projects that require original filming, the location(s) can dramatically impact any budget. Are we telling the story at someone’s home in the DC suburbs or are we traveling to schools across the country? Our rates vary based on geographic location, but we may be able to plan for efficiencies, like coordinating a back-to-back shooting schedule. We will also consider travel and on-site expenses, as well as location permits and fess.
Just as locations can be a defining element for live-action projects, the video’s length is essential for animation and mixed-media projects. Every second of a motion graphics sequence requires time-intensive storyboarding, graphic design and frame-by-frame animation. Depending on the complexity of the animation, the difference between 30 and 45 seconds can be tremendous.
Who’s Doing What?
Every collaboration is different and we can enter the process at any phase of development. Some of our partners invite us to help create a series from the ground up. We are tasked with developing the campaign’s brand, logo and even name. Other projects may already have a definitive style guide and script. Let us know what items may already be completed, need an extra set of eyes or need to be built from scratch.
Supplemental Social Elements
We often bundle our video projects with other social-ready deliverables. As you plan your roll out strategy, consider some of these other elements:
- GIFs: We pride ourselves at extracting the perfect GIF-able moments from your video shoots to use publicly or as part of your campaign.
- Still Images: As we plan your video shoots, we may pull subjects aside for a quick photo op to develop high-res stills to be used in print and other applications.
- Video Cut-downs: Different social platforms prefer different lengths. And if you want your video content to be placed as pre-roll or mid-roll ads, you’ll want the proper cut-down.Check out this short video _.
- Stickers: Much like a GIF, a sticker is a looping image with a transparent background that you can “stick” on top of your texts and Instagram stories.
And arguably the most important things to have when generating a quote is your budget. I know that may sound counter-intuitive, but knowing a ballpark budget or very broad price-range can save everyone a lot of time during the brainstorming and proposal phase. We want to appropriately scale our million dollar idea to your, perhaps, non-million dollar budget.
With this information, we’ll have your quote in no time!
Finally, now that the production company has given you a quote on your video project, it's time to make the right company video for your business.
Videos are dominating today’s marketers. In fact, 87% use video content in their marketing strategies — and good thing, too, because a third of the time spent online is used to watch videos.
Videos are dominating today’s marketers. In fact, 87% use video content in their marketing strategies — and good thing, too, because a third of the time spent online is used to watch videos.
Types of Company Videos
When it comes to the kinds of company videos, you have tons of options, including:
- Talking head: You’re probably familiar with this one, as it’s a staple among news stories and documentaries. It is an excellent way to connect with your target audience as well as help them put a face to the name. The challenge is, you have to be comfortable in front of the camera. Check out an example of our video work that illustrates a re-imagined version of a “talking head” video.
- Promotional: When you’re prepping for the release of an upcoming product or service, your first thought may be to create a promotional commercial. These types of videos are useful for building anticipation while revealing details that set your product apart from the competition. Here’s a cool video we made to build some buzz around a fighter’s upcoming pay-per-view match.
- Explainer: If you haven’t considered an educational or “explainer” video, think again. When consumers watch these videos, they’re 85% more likely to buy your product, which is pretty sweet if you ask us. These videos tend to use motion graphics and are a smart choice if your product or service is complex. We simplified a complex concept for our client who needed a way to educate their audience in an engaging way with this animated video.
- Testimonial: Never underestimate the power of a review. In content marketing, customer testimonials have the highest rating, at 89%, when it comes to effectiveness. As a bonus, video testimonials are 40 times more likely to be shared across social media. We interviewed our client’s clients which created a powerful video and made the happy customers feel more connected to their favorite software firm.
A production company specializing in videos can often provide expert advice on which may be the most effective for you as you decide which type of video makes the most sense for your company.
Tips for Making a Company Video
Now that you know the most common types of company videos, let’s dive into how to make a company video:
- Make a goal: Before planning your storyboards, music selection, or deadline, decide what you want to accomplish. If you’re looking to build awareness for your brand, gain clicks from consumers, or advertise your newest product, your company video’s going to be different for each goal.
- Pick a time: Internet users are always on the move, from one video to the next. Side note: their attention span is around eight seconds, which is less than a goldfish. So how long will your video last? Depending on your goal, you may go for a 15- or 30-second ad or for a video that’s less than five minutes.
- Tell a story: Viewers will stick around for your message if it’s compelling. They’ll decide in about 10 seconds which is when about 20% of your audience will leave. Keep the other 80% waatching by engaging them with a story that tugs at their heart-strings or natural curiosity.
- Choose a style: Your budget may influence your video’s style. Forms include whiteboard, animation, live action, screencast, and more. When you’re thinking about the aesthetic of your video, consider the kind of background music you may want to set the tone.
- Create a focal word or theme: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a post-production factor, but it plays a top role in your video’s success. You’ll want to optimize your video for the web, which includes picking a focal word or phrase to feature in both the title and description of your online video. This obviously won’t apply to TV commercials, but you’ll likely want to post any TV ads you create online too.
Starting your company’s first video may be challenging, especially if you’re without filming equipment. That’s where a video production company comes in to bring your ideas to life, like LAI Video. Our award-winning nerds are experts at collaborating with you to develop and film your company videos.
LET US CREATE YOUR NEXT VIDEO
If you want to experience the full benefits of video production companies firsthand, consider recruiting LAI Video. We’re an award-winning team that’s passionate about working with video and bringing your vision to the big screen.
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