Based on years of partnering with clients of all sizes and types building startups, expanding brands, and planning major events, we know that teamwork and collaboration are the core of any successful corporate video project.
In this post, we want to start from the beginning. You've consulted with internal stakeholders, you want to take on a creative idea with lots of moving parts, and you know that hiring the right production team will be critical to its success.
Now you're ready to hire your dream team. Naturally, the next question becomes... "what exactly do I look for?" The following provides a few attributes to consider when hiring the best production team for your business.
You want a team that can scale their service and capabilities... and tailor them exactly to your project. This goes beyond simple shooting and editing, but seeing a project from ideation to total manifestation.
A good way to think about this is to consider the difference between a door-to-door car service vs. DIY airport parking.
In one scenario, you're navigating traffic, obstacles, and schedules on your own; while in the other, you're trusting your capable driver to anticipate challenges, take the unnecessary burdens off your plate, and ensure that everything is buttoned up flawlessly and on-time.
Full-service video production starts with helping you finalize your concept and flows on through to some of the following tasks:
- Script support
- Casting acting and voice over talent
- Scouting and securing locations
- Gear - lots of it
- All the little extras- lighting, backdrops, even hair and makeup
- Consultation on how this video will meet your business goals
It's important to consider how much assistance you may need and choose an agency that can scale accordingly to your project.
Having access to an innovative video production team is also crucial to a successful project. Your team should be able to help you brainstorm creative ideas.
If you get the sense that they take a paint by numbers approach to creating and editing videos, they may not be up to date on the marketing and visual trends that will move the needle on your goals.
Questions to ask yourself when hiring a creative video production team, include:
- Do I feel like I'm seeing something fresh?
- Was I truly interested as I watched their videos?
- Did I feel entertained and/or educated when I checked out their blog?
- Did I ask myself 'How did they do that?'
- Does all of their sample work look the same?
- Do they work with a diverse set of companies and industries?
- Is their work professional and consistently of the highest quality?
Therefore, when it comes to innovation, bookmark the video production houses that showcase range and keep your attention.
Ask for references. Say you're evaluating several agencies, customer references may make all the difference in ensuring that everything is as it seems below the surface.
Any good video company should be able to proudly showcase their past work on their website and social channels with client branding/logos, detailed success stories, and behind-the-scenes case studies.
Yes, sometimes client privacy/ proprietary information is an issue but any agency lacking a good amount of this type of concrete information may not have the experience you need.
Great communication means you will always have insight into the real-time status of your project, the direction it is headed, and what the end result will be. The key to good communication is listening.
A good sign you have the right team in your sights is when they spend more time learning about your brand and business than they do selling themselves.
If your agency is easy to connect with, goes above and beyond to offer suggestions, and answers questions quickly and completely, all signals are GO!
Project Management Gurus
A super important skill set often missed as an oversight in selecting a video production company- Project Management.
It is vital that the agency you hire is highly adept at managing projects. A team with stellar PM skills is the most effective way to maintain a level of hustle, organization and urgency to the flow of the creative process.
The following are some motivating statistics to support why project management is crucial to the success of your video:
- Over the past year, less than 1/3 of all projects were successfully completed on time and on budget.
- When a project management culture is a high priority, 71% of projects meet original goals and business intent vs. 52% when a PM ethos is put on the backburner. (See page 7 of PMI's annual report for stat)
These sobering stats illustrate just how many companies don't handle this well. Don't let your projects go on, and on, and on, when you needed them finished yesterday!
An experienced production team will have the ability to demonstrate a deep range of samples across styles (cinematic, minimalist, guerilla) industries (fashion, tech, food), and different methods (animation, live action, drone footage, events, testimonials, short form video, advertising, etc).
This range of skill is important because video content and the marketing industry are always changing— and only an expert can stay on top of the shifting trends. When you find that your project is completed on time, on budget and providing next-level creativity, it may just shock you.
Tech and Digital Savvy
Regardless of your intended use, modern video production is about all things digital marketing. Therefore, you need a tech savvy, plugged in team to guide you. A great team will understand things like:
And beyond the above, should provide you with special insight into:
- Trending hardware and software -
When to use 4K cameras, 360 degree video, VR tech, Live and Interactive video
- Digital marketing initiatives -
Inbound, Outbound, Customer Lifetime Value, Conversion Benchmarks
- Branded social advertising and awareness -
The impact of posting times and content types across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
- Engagement rates-
On email vs. ads, when to use comedy, music or silence with just text on screen
- And so much more...
A great team understands how marrying the science of technology through analytics, formats and channels to art, can create a truly effective piece of video content.
Lastly, you need a video production team that is results driven.
You're not in sync if you're the only one gloriously racing for the finish line. Your team should be interested in delivering a superior-quality product that consistently delivers on your priorities.
It doesn't matter the type or intent of the video; be it crowdfunding, training, generating more sales and/or leads, delighting customers, capturing a new audience, or showing your fun side. At the end of the day, you started this search and video project with a concrete goal in mind. Your production agency should make achieving that objective both rewarding and effortless.