Most successful businesses already understand the importance of having video content online, whether to promote services, raise marketing awareness or simply to rank higher in Google search results. But many businesses risk doing more harm to their business than good. Choosing a production company to produce video or film content which represents and promotes your business is a process that any marketing department or company director should never take lightly!
You might think that I’d be biased in writing an article on how to choose a film and video production company, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that, but I have a genuine motive other than to further our own growth; It really drives me crazy when I see promising businesses out there selling great products but they have a terrible video. I want to see an internet full of inspirational, original and creative film and video content. The talent, resources and know-how are out there and they should be being used effectively – in the end it would in turn drive us all to continually seek to improve, evolve and make better film and find innovative and creative new ways of telling a story and promoting a brand. I truly hate seeing promising small businesses losing out because their online video content is turning customers away.
Let’s take two imaginary Bike stores specialising in selling handmade mountain bike frames. Both stores have a decent website and are located in the same city. They both understand the importance and value in having online video content to promote their brand and what they do, but do both stores really understand or care just how good, effective or important the quality of that video is? Let’s say that Jim’s Bikes didn’t, and he considered either doing it himself or using the cheapest firm out there, but Daisy’s Frames sought out a production company that offered her something extra but at a higher cost. So both firms get their video on their landing page – and along comes our customer Alex, who is a keen cyclist and really cares about having the best kit on his bike. He searches for ‘handmade bike frames’ in his city and finds both sites next to each other in Google results. He visits Jim’s Bikes.com and watches a lengthy and cheaply made video that neither faithfully reflects the ethos of the bike builder, what the company stands for and has such a poor production quality that he can’t bear to watch past 1 minute. He then visits Daisy’s site. Her video content is a short film which has been carefully designed to tell the bike builder’s story, shows the craftsmanship in action and effectively shows the quality of the product on offer – furthermore, it has a narrative and has been beautifully made. Now, the prices of each store’s bike frames are comparable, so which store do you think Alex will spend his money in? Our research and customer feedback tells us that Alex will make a purchase from Daisy’s store every time. Because of the effectively produced video Alex made both a conscious and subconscious decision to choose her store over Jim’s even though Jim’s frames are of equal quality – for all Alex knows Jim’s may even have been better!
So what factors govern that decision and how can you tell if a company is going to make you good films or bad? Well if your business produces or sells something of quality the production standards of any promotional material absolutely must reflect that quality. A production company should be using equipment that produces the highest image quality. It should be using the best talent appropriate and applicable for your production and the production team should be offering to spend plenty of time prior to any filming to understand your business, your product and your ethos. They should provide you with a clear and creative treatment outlining the proposed way forward. The production process should be flexible, allow and welcome your input (it is your business after all) and be willing to let the project evolve along the way. One of the things we do differently at Bareska is never limit our customers to a set number of changes to an edit or script. Some people we’ve had work for us thought this was a crazy strategy but we firmly believe that if we’ve spent enough time understanding what it is the customer needs and how to deliver it effectively there will rarely be any need for changes. We’ve not yet been proved wrong on that in 7 years of trading. If any of our customers need change after change then we’ve clearly got something very wrong in our project development and we’ll go the extra mile to put that right. Many of our customers tell us how comfortable and relieved they feel knowing that we don’t limit them or the process in any way at any stage. At the end of the day, the job of any good production company is to deliver two things; a film that the customer is really pleased with and a film that effectively achieves the aims, and more. It’s up to us how we get there.
Advice I give to friends in business is, no matter how small or large your budget, always try to avoid video production firms who offer fixed price packages or simply the lowest price. It’s going to limit you all the way. It might offer you a perceived financial security but end up being a costly mistake. Look for people who encourage open and honest conversation right at the start about costs. Be upfront about your expectations, be bold in setting out your budget and look to have an informative discussion with the team about what can be realistically achieved with what money you have available. We’ve produced a handful of films now for some small and very large companies that have come to us mid-way through a production with other production companies. They were being told they couldn’t make changes to their script or the edit without further cost and they were being charged for every little correction and in the end the working relationship broke down and they broke off the project and sought rescue from another firm! Well we say NO to that sort of working relationship. Choosing the right production team is about feeling confident that you’ll have a good working relationship right from the start, one that doesn’t run the risk of breaking down at any stage. It should be about knowing that the team you choose are capable and have a track record in producing truly great content for a broad range of customer types. You should feel confident that the company have demonstrated their experience, expertise and track record and have a sound background in the industry. Producing film and video content is about delivering a service and we at Bareska truly believe that everything we do for every firm is about making sure that the service we provide is outstanding at every stage, irrespective of budget.
If you need advice or help in producing creative and effective video content for your brand please get in touch. We’re here to help and make the web a place full of better video!
Stuart Campbell is the Creative Director of Bareska Creative Films in the UK
follow us on twitter