The Benefits of Video Marketing
Types of Video Content
The Video Production Team
The Video Production Process
Asking the Right Questions - Your Internal Team
Asking the Right Questions - Possible Production Companies
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Steps to Source the Right Video Production House
The Cost of Video Content
Closing the Deal - What to Expect
Start Making Marketing Magic
Did you know that video is the #1 source of information for 66% of people? We are hooked on them, and that trend is expected to only increase as time goes on.
If you are looking to grab the attention of your audience-- and keep them engaged-- you need to be creating video content. If you're worried about the amount of time it takes to produce quality video content, hiring a video production company can make a complicated experience delightfully seamless.
Video production companies are responsible for creating content that inspires an audience or user base to "convert." This could mean buying your product, attending your event, or requesting your service. It's creative content marketing at its finest and can be more effective than written content or still images.
Want to know what comes next? Straight from Denver video production experts, check out our complete guide on the video production process-- from start to finish.
There is more content available on the web than ever before. Businesses need to constantly vie for an audience's attention as they scan the web on their mobile devices and computers. This is where video comes in, as the most successful video can be more accessible and engaging than traditional marketing content.
Need to convince stakeholders that video is the right move for your marketing efforts? Communicate the "big picture" benefits: SEO, website or user conversion, and strong brand building.
Leading search engines love when businesses create video content. Reasons for this search engine boost include:
- Deeper engagement over text and photographs
- Videos create positive and relevant online experiences
- Videos are consistently more original than written web content (sorry, but it's true)
- UX improvements for a better user experience
- Increase in backlinks
- Increased session time
- Reduced bounce rate
The more your users enjoy your unique content, the more time they will spend on your website. They are also more likely to bring more exposure to your site by sharing your marketing video. Your video ends up working overtime for you for free!
We know that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo give preference to websites that offer video content. By posting videos to your corporate or business website, you will likely rank higher in organic search and increase the traffic to your site. This means higher conversion rates and better ROI on your digital marketing investments.
Influence buying decisions and turn your traffic into loyal customers by placing video content on your website, promotional landing page, or as a core piece of a highly targeted paid advertising campaign. Why? Video drives trust amongst your customers or those who are familiarizing themselves with your product or service.
Conversions may look like this:
- Higher click-thru rates
- More form submissions
- More emails opened
- Higher view rates
- Increased session rates
- Enhanced brand perception
- Established perceived authority
- Virtual trust
Did you know that 35–50% of people actually finish reading an article they find online? People are more likely to watch a video than read an article. Video helps increase engagement rates by capturing the attention of your audience better than reading plain text. To help ensure your video is successful, make sure to take the following items into consideration.
- Make the video short and engaging
- Use real people instead of actors
- Integrate the video with your marketing automation
- Add a call-to-action to the video
- Experiment with lead capture forms
Connecting with the right video marketing company for your video project will ensure all of these boxes are checked and your expectations met. It is time to put the key in the ignition and start the conversion, and conversions!
Your audience is being bombarded with marketing messages and content all day every day. Why not take a stand and compete with them by adding video to the marketing mix. Your brand is one of your company’s biggest assets. And just like other assets, it can lose and gain equity. Video is one the best ways to help shape people's perception of your business.
Brand perception is a critical component of human-to-human interaction. At this point in the conversion process, a potential customer decides if they trust you enough to sign the contract or purchase your product. For branding purposes, it is best to produce videos such as:
- Product introduction video
- Customer testimonial content
- Company culture-focused promotional content
Externally, your video content will reach decision-makers on an entirely new level and accomplish things like:
- Effectively telling your brand story
- Reinforcing your value proposition
- Leadership positioning and company vision
- Increasing your likelihood of converting
The goal with this kind of video content is to create content that allows potential customers to really see who your company or organization is from a human perspective. It puts a face to your brand.
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Think there's just one kind of corporate video? Think again. With a video production company, anything is possible. The type of video you end up producing is dependent on your goals and the video company's specialization. It’s important that the two align with each other.
Popular video marketing content might include:
- Brand films - highlight your values, visions and core of your brand
- Animations - can provide both visual and emotional stimulation without incorporating the use of actors
- Education videos - teach your customers about your product or brand vision
- Video documentaries - stylistically cross between brand films and educational content
- Tutorial videos/explainer videos - slightly different from educational videos in that it improves the UX and provides a "quick start" guide for certain products
- Experience videos - provide user expectations of the services your provide
- Company culture videos - connect on an emotional level with your audience and build brand trust
- Testimonial videos - showcase your user base and the best things about your product
- Thank-you videos - show appreciation and build user culture
We recommend connecting with your video production team to determine the best strategy for your business. They may recommend a single path or pitch multiple options to suit your product and content marketing needs.
Never worked with a video production team before? While the size and scope of the team behind the project will vary, a classic video production crew includes a few or many individuals serving in these roles (some of them more than one!).
The Account Manager on a project is usually a company's main point of contact. If you have questions regarding the project or your contract, this is the person you'll be communicating with.
The creative director of the project is there to help guide your overall vision. While you should have input as the client, a great creative director will know how to communicate your wants and needs and suggest a visual and storytelling strategy.
A marketing strategist ensures all videos in a campaign as well as distributions and other media are all working together. This person usually defines the initial need for video content. This might be a director of marketing, a product marketing manager or a chief marketing officer.
All video content needs a distribution plan. A media planner or buyer identifies the best media platforms to advertise on and negotiates all associated contracts. This can include both paid and non-paid media channels such as social media and direct distribution.
If the creative director is involved at more of a high level, an art director may define the visual style of the video and campaign. This results in an overall design or branding look that can be used in other assets. In some cases, the Art Director and the Creative Director can be the same person.
If you aren't in charge of writing your own script, a script writer will be in charge of all copywriting and copy editing for a script and/or the onscreen text too. This person will also assist in structuring the entire storytelling journey from the very beginning of planning.
Producers are typically the organizational wizards of a project. Producers lead and plan and coordinate all components of the content creation and production. This might include hiring actors, writing the shooting schedule, and scouting or booking locations.
Directors are in charge of the video’s story execution during production. They will direct all talent (if applicable) and usually make final creative decisions (as approved by the client).
The director of photography (also known as a DP) is the authority on all things camera or lighting related. If shooting a scene, this person will direct all shots and request lighting changes when they see fit.
An editor is in charge of post-production, including editing, animations, motion graphics, music, narrations and special effects. Editing is required for both live content as well as animations.
If not completed by a single editor, a sound designer may work strictly on a video’s audio. This might include music, mixing, voice-overs, and sound effects.
Usually reserved for large-scale productions, a colorist is in charge of matching each shot with the overall video. This is especially important if the content has been shot over multiple days or in various lighting setups. In most cases, the primary editor of a video project will most likely also provide the color correcting functions as well.
New to the video production process? Completely understandable! Here's a quick overview of the typical video production process.
Please keep in mind that each production plan will be specific to the client and the requested deliverable. Connect with your video marketing agency to understand their specific production process and what to expect production-wise from your contract with them.
Onboarding is the beginning of your relationship with your new video production company. From the very beginning, make it a point to clearly communicate your goals, wants, needs and expectations. Provide preferences and branding guidelines, as well as any examples you may have found that led you down this track.
This is also the time to provide your communication preferences. Do you want regular meetings, or is it enough to email, text or call? There may be regular updates you need to receive, so it's important for the team to know how to get a hold of you when they need to.
If you have unusual hours, availability restrictions, or deadlines, now is the time to communicate these things.
Get to Know the Team
Once you've established a basic working relationship, get to know the agency and staff and the roles of everyone on the team. Though a smaller video production company will likely run with less crew than a traditional video production company, somebody is still completing the jobs that need to get done (usually multiple jobs, holding multiple titles). Know who the main contacts are for the job.
Get Familiar With the Project Management Software
If the team uses project management software to stay organized and maintain transparency, familiarize yourself with the login process and user interface. Add all of the necessary internal teammates to this account so everyone can see how the project is coming along.
Concept Development and Storyboarding
Concept development is all about the agency getting to know you and your goals. Once these primary goals are established, the agency will usually pitch a few ideas with your style, voice, and tone in mind. During this time, the entire project overview is finalized and will include a campaign strategy for how the final product will be distributed to your audience.
The agency may also perform a competitive analysis to see what is performing, and what they should avoid. Provide as much information as you can in order to set your collaborators up for success.
Mood Board and Storyboarding
The agency may use a "mood board" as part of the storyboarding process. This helps to communicate the creative vision in a way that's easy to understand. During storyboarding, you should start to get a feel for:
- Each scene to be captured
- The cinematography
- Overall film style
- The color palette
- Lighting choices
- Location plans (if necessary)
- Music suggestions and licensing
- Graphics and visual effects
- Examples of similar projects
Take this all in and be honest about how you feel. The agency wants to make something that you love. Now is the time to be upfront about what you think. Being upfront about your concerns will also help you avoid costly reshoots and additional editing hours.
The script is the most important part of the video. The script is the message and documented description of what is happening on screen. It may include dialogue or voiceover. Any copy that is seen onscreen is also included in a copy of the script so it can be reviewed by all core stakeholders.
The script may begin as an outline and then be developed into a final draft for production use. Make sure you review this script-- once it's "locked in," it will be difficult or more expensive to make updates. Make sure the script is aligned with your brand messaging and is on-point with any company and/or product positioning you may have in place.
Casting Actors (If Applicable) and Location Scouting
If actors are needed in your video, the video production company will handle all casting and management of actors. Casting may be achieved with in-person auditions or remote video auditions.
If the production company intends to shoot some or all of the video content "on location," they will need to do some scouting in order to determine the most accessible (and affordable) spot. An experienced agency may already have some locations in mind or places they've worked at before. Your internal team may be brought in for review or approval once a location has been selected.
Props and Wardrobe
Props and wardrobe materials may be rented if the company doesn't have what they need on hand. For smaller-budget productions, they can also use the props and wardrobe provided by the client!
Shot List and Pre-Production Organization
Once all of the visual specifics are decided, a shot list and a schedule of production must be created to keep everything on track. Coming in under budget and on time is really only possible if the planning has been executed beforehand. If you're new to this, a shot list is the breakdown of the exact shots in each scene and usually include:
The scene number (there can be more than one scene in a script)
The shot number (there can be more than one shot in a scene)
The editor will also use this shot list in order to piece together the final product. Even if the production agency isn't shooting with live actors, the shot list is important to visualize an overall picture of the intended product.
Once all of the planning and organization has been completed, it's time to shoot! The video production company will work to spend as little time shooting as possible to keep costs low. There is really no need to spend weeks on a shoot that should only take a day or two.
Once the video content has been captured, it's time to send it back to the editors. Usually, your contract will state how many revisions you are allowed before the edits incur an additional fee. Make sure you are mindful of these terms before requesting multiple edits.
Distribution is the process of sharing your video with your audience. This could mean posting to your website, or creating a larger marketing campaign involving your social media platforms and other channels of communication. Either way, this is the point at which you are going to see conversion and real impact on your customers. In addition to measuring views, it’s also extremely important to monitor view rates. A million views isn’t worth anything if viewers are only watching for one second.
Video Optimization Components
Next to using real people, shooting on-site, and dedicating yourself to creating genuine and personalized content, there are a few video optimization components that can make your video content even more effective. Let the team guide you through the more technical pieces of this process.
File Name and Video Title
Add a keyword-rich title to your video. Do this both to the video file itself and the title of the upload. This is important because the title you use will appear both as a file name and as a searchable key phrase if you're using a popular video hosting site like YouTube and Vimeo. Don't just use your brand name in the title of the video or the original file name from the export-- it won't be as easily found, especially if you're still a growing brand.
Video Description and Tags
Add a meaningful description and relative tags! Also be sure to provide a good keyword rich summary of the video’s content.And lastly, be sure to include a link back to your website.
If you’re embedding the video on your own website or on a landing page as part of a larger video marketing campaign, be sure to add a concise description and an <H> tag with the video title to your webpage.
Transcripts and Captions
Don't ever overlook transcripts and captions. It's a crucial accessibility component that can also win big with SEO. And depending on how your content will be used, you might actually be required to provide captions and transcripts for your video to maintain Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance.
Additionally, the text from transcripts will be indexed by Google-- making it easier to eventually find your video online.
Site Links and Video Sitemap
Build descriptive keyword-rich links on your own site to your video. Just as important-- build external links from authoritative sites. A combination of both types of links is ideal.
When you submit a sitemap listing your new video content, Google is given access to your video's descriptive information like:
- Video duration
- Once Google has access to this information, users will have an easier time searching and finding their way to your amazing new content.
This one goes without saying: promote your videos on social media. If your internal team needs guidance, connect with your video production and advertising team for recommendations. Typically, testing a video advertising campaign can be effective on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In fact, YouTube video advertising is one of the most underutilized forms of paid advertising by small and medium sized businesses. This presents great opportunities for digital marketers without enterprise marketing budgets. The right team will be able to help you build backlinks by taking advantage of customers who choose to share your video with their own networks.
Before you begin to source a video production team, connect with the Head of Marketing, your in-house project manager, and your creative director to make sure you're aligned on the purpose and the desired outcome of your project. Ask questions like:
- Why should we work with an external production company? - Think about what you hope to get out of the relationship. Are you willing to give up every component of this project in order to let the professionals work their magic? Do you even have the internal capabilities to do it yourself given your quality expectations?
- How much creative control do we want? - How involved do you want to be? Do you want to at least write the script, or have you already come up with a storyboard? Does your script even make sense from a production standpoint and are you aware of the costs that go into producing content? A professional video production company will be able to help you keep a realistic perspective on things you can and can’t do. If you need help with all creative execution because you don't have the time, the tools, or the ideas, it's time to find yourself an external collaborator!
- How much can we afford? - Think of a specific ballpark in which you are willing to spend. This might be per video, or per campaign. Be honest with yourself about how much this might cost, and determine if the cost is worth the outcome (spoiler alert: a great video usually is!). Keep in mind that a 3-minute video can range anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000+ to produce so it’s best to work with a professional company to keep expectations attainable.
- How much time and supportive resources can we give? - Remember-- time is money. The time that your internal team members can give to the project should be a huge consideration, and just one more reason to seek out help from an external company. Working with a video production company allows your teammates to focus on what they're most comfortable with/what they specialize in and lets the professionals handle the rest. While it may not seem like it while you're looking over a contract, working with a video production agency can actually save you a lot of money when all is said and done.
- What about a freelance content specialist? - If you aren't ready to work with a full-blown creative agency, we understand. Sometimes, expanding your team to include one freelancer is a better fit for you. Connect with your team and with potential agency collaborators to determine the best fit for your situation.
Once you're aligned internally, it's time to connect with local Denver video production teams to find the right fit. Once you begin your inquiry process, have these questions on hand to make sure you're on the same page. It's also a great way to narrow down to your ideal collaboration!
1. What kind of video content do you specialize in?
While some companies can offer more than others, most agencies tend to specialize in one or a few types of video content. This might include brand stories, creative ad campaigns for national broadcast, user education-- you name it!
Interview your agency contenders and ask what their specialties are. Make sure you're confident that their experience aligns with your vision.
2. How big is the company?
It's good to know up front who you'll be working with, especially if it's a larger organization. If they have a lot of production overhead be prepared to absorb those costs, even if your shoot doesn’t require the entire production team.
3. How many people will be working on our video project?
You'll also want to consider how (or if) you'll be able to communicate with this team efficiently. Understand how to contact all of those involved so you can stay in the loop! Maintaining good channels of communication will help ensure your project is delivered both on-time and on-budget.
A good video production company will be responsive to your inquiries and will most likely offer some type of collaboration software providing feedback. Be sure to ask if they use any type of feedback software that you can also use during the editing process.
4. What are some other clients you have worked with who have a similar product or creative vision?
Compare the work the company has done in the past to your overall vision. If they've succeeded in similar campaigns, you can proceed with confidence. Request a reel and review it with your internal team for full buy-in.
If your project is an animated video, be sure to provide examples of animation styles you like to make sure the animation studio you hire is capable of delivering what you want.
5. What can we expect from your workflow?
Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the timeline and the kind of work that should be delivered for your team to review. What conditions does the team prefer to work under? Since both teams will be collaborating, you'll need to be on the same page to keep the project rolling.
It’s best to treat your video project just like any other marketing project. You will need to set milestones for deliverables to ensure everything stays on track. Be sure to ask the production company if they have a formalized video production process.
6. What kind of gear or technology are you using?
If the team will be using their own gear, they may not have to incur additional costs by renting cameras and lighting equipment (if applicable). It can also clue you in to the type of picture and audio quality you'll be receiving in the final product.
One key thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between a DSLR camera that shoots video and a full-blown professional video camera. Be sure to find out which type of cameras the production company uses.
7. How does payment work?
Next to your creative vision, this might be the most important part of your initial proposal stage. Be transparent about your budget, and ask for a bid before choosing the company you'll be working with. If it makes you feel more comfortable, request to see an example of a video that is similar to your own budget so you know what you're investing in.
In addition to the payment amount, you'll also want to understand the payment plan or calendar if there needs to be more than one payment made to the company. It’s common to expect to pay at least 50% of the total project cost at the time of signing. A lot of pre-production work goes into producing a video and with that time comes costs.
Unfortunately, not all video production teams are stand-up acts. Before signing a contract with a production company, keep an eye out for the following red flags:
- More than one email accounts - expect a company URL or email address rather than a personal email contact. If it’s a personal email address expect to be contacted by a videographer and not a professional production company
- Little to no online reviews - quality online reviews provide dependable references from previous clients so you can know what to expect
- Lack of an onboarding process - professional agencies should have an official process of communicating their process, terms, and all services they provide prior to beginning a project
- No pre-production meeting - understanding the entire production process prior to starting the project is critical. Anyone who disregards this is someone to absolutely avoid.
- A questionable contract - a contract full of fees and penalties can be a minefield to navigate, and not the best way to start out a professional relationship. Also, make sure that you retain ownership of your content.
- Poor communication - you should expect updates once to twice a week
- Ignoring the client's input - it's important to be happy with the final product -- you are paying for it, after all!
Remember-- this is a service you are paying for. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, take the time to clarify any terms you'd like revisited, or continue conversations with an alternate company.
Trust us-- every video company thinks they can make the next award-winning video. The most important part is that the video marketing agency you choose is a good fit, from start to finish. A company's style is just as important as its experience.
1. Refine Your Own Marketing Strategy
Before you embark on outsourcing your content needs, you need to be aligned on your content strategy for the upcoming year.
What is the intent of this project?
What do you hope to achieve?
What channels do you have access to that can be used for distribution?
What do you expect as a result from the video?
Stronger prospect engagements?
Generating brand awareness?
Ask all of these questions and make sure your entire internal team is on the same page. Once you have a strong vision and know the sort of results you want to see with this project, you'll be able to better communicate with any outside vendors you choose to use.
You’ll also end up producing a better video. While having a video is beneficial, producing a video without a strategy behind it will most likely result in achieving a poor return on investment.
2. Source Referrals From Former Clients or Trusted Connections
When shopping around for the right Denver video production company, getting a referral is a great first step. A trusted peer or colleague can share their experience as a client with the production company. You may learn details such as the final video quality, hangups, and questions to ask.
If you don't have a specific connection in mind, ask your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram followers if they're aware of a trustworthy company that produces videos. Review all possible referrals before reaching out for quotes and reels.
3. Search the Web and Verify Reviews
If you haven't been able to connect with a peer or colleague regarding a referral, it's very reasonable to go to the web for your search. To find somebody local, search "Denver video production," or "Denver video production company." Review the website to see what kind of content they have available to view, and consider how professional the website itself looks.
- Is the company website clean, organized and generally pleasing to the eye?
- How modern is the logo?
- How accessible is the company's reel or examples of their work?
- Do their mission and culture match yours?
- Most importantly, how does their portfolio look?
- If the company posts testimonials and reviews on their site, try to verify their work. Check out the company on popular review sites to make sure their reputation is validated.
4. Review Reels
A reel will contain the work a company is most proud of. When reviewing this content with your team, ask yourself a few questions:
* What's the best piece in this assembly of content?
* What's the worst piece, if any?
* Are you confident in the consistency of work quality to proceed with a contract?
Review all of the video styles the company is willing to share directly, or on their website. If you are interested in multiple campaign types, it may be worth working with a team that can pull off more than one type of video.
Remember-- they don't need to be award-winning, but they do need to be good.
5. Meet With the Team
Become involved with the people of the organization as soon as possible. Once you have generated enough interest in the content itself, meet the primary team members or account manager to initiate a conversation and discuss the project scope. If it's not a good cultural fit, the entire process will be a challenge for you and your internal team.
This initial meeting (or all, if the teams are operating remotely), will likely occur over the phone, or in a video meeting. To make the best use of everyone's time, be sure to prepare all of your requests and questions prior to the meeting.
6. Share Your Plans and Disclose Your Budget
Don't skirt around the issue-- disclose your budget upfront. It's impossible to arrive at an agreeable place if you attempt to negotiate without sharing your actual budget. You want to pay a fair price, while also letting the production company know how far you're willing to go with your resources.
You also want to be respectful to the production company’s time. Like we mentioned before, the cost range of producing a 3 minute video can range anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000+ so its best to have realistic expectations for the production quote.
Trust us-- the sooner you settle the price and finalize a contract, the sooner the team can get to work on your content.
If you've never worked with a video production company before, you likely have no idea what to budget for that type of project. If you've never produced video content, it can also be challenging to turn your vision into an affordable reality.
While the final quote will depend on the company, internal teams and freelancers can usually complete a project under $5,000. A small-to-medium-sized video agency will likely charge closer to $5,000-$40,000 for a single project. And that’s just production, not promotion.
If you have the resources to splurge, high-end agencies work in the six-figure range. This type of project isn't as common for most company resources, but don't be afraid to verify cost expectations before asking additional questions.
A talented video production company with just a few employees and the right equipment can usually produce far better content for companies not wanting to produce content for broadcast television.
Don't know how to comfortably discuss cost? Start with questions like:
- Is there a minimum cost per project?
- Do you produce low-cost videos?
- Do you charge by the hour, day, or video length?
- Is there a fixed price, or is the total cost subject to change if the schedule updates?
- How many edits are included in the cost?
- How much do additional revisions cost?
- Are there any additional fees we haven't considered with production costs?
Need help? We'll work with you to put together the right project for your budget.
When it's time to close the deal, make sure you completely understand the contract you are signing. You are making an agreement with a production agency, and agreeing to any fees or penalties presented in the contract. Do not hesitate to have your company’s general counsel review the contract before signing it.
Read the contract language very carefully, and bring in an expert if you need help. You need to be fully aware of your rights and responsibilities as a client of the company and don't want to be surprised with any unplanned costs if you bring suggestions or edits to the team after receiving the final product.
Most video production contracts that occur at this level should cover the following:
- A summary of the project
- Terms and conditions
- Ownership rights (who owns the files)
- Scheduling parameters
- Changes in specifications
- Schedule and deadlines
- Any additional fees that may incur (like rush fees)
- Security and confidentiality restrictions
- Production company warranties
- Client warranties
- Revisions and edits (how many are allowed within your contract terms)
- Delivery and distribution
- Payment (the cadence and the amount)
Once you have signed the contract and have decided to hire a video production company, it's time to start work on the project! While the production process may feel stressful at times, we promise that it can truly be a lot of fun (and effective).
While you are not required to be an expert in the field of video production, we know that understanding the process is an important part of a collaboration. Bookmark this page and use it as a reference while planning your content strategy calendar. Let our insight be the next trick up your sleeve.
Once you're ready to kick off an impressive campaign, don't worry about trying to solve the labyrinth that is video production. Hiring a video production company is the first step in impressing your audience and establishing a serious presence online. Hiring Telideo Productions ensures expert-level creative strategy and a beautiful final product.
Kickstart your video project with a free quote. We'd love to talk more about your dream.