What to Look for in a Video Partner

Making a video isn’t like ordering a couch – or even a meal - off the internet. Shopping for this customizable, versatile solution can be a challenge. There’s cost, timeline, and quality – components we are all accustomed to – but with video there are several added layers to consider. In this installment, we’ll discuss some big picture items that will help you as you research:

  • Do they make the types of video you need?

  • Do you have a good understanding of their process?

  • Can they work within your company culture?

  • Can they deliver on what they promised?

Let’s break it down!

Do they make the types of video you need?

There are 1000s of video companies throughout the country – in any major city, you’re likely to fine at least a dozen of different sizes, strengths and missions. Some video companies focus on live action production – meaning they bring cameras, crew, gear, talent and props to shoot on specific days with specific goals in mind. Others focus on postproduction and animation – creating videos completely from scratch using computers, design and animation, stock footage, or other methods. (Many – like Hotbed - do both!) Some only work in advertising or social media, while others focus on communication, messaging, or training.

The team who excels at making a music video might have the skill and interest to make your training content. The company that specializes in training will have more experience to know the innate pitfalls, engagement issues and tricks to ensure success. It’s worth checking into their true specialization before you commit.

 Do you have a good understanding of their process?

Video is not something that comes pre-made. It’s a creative process, even when its final purpose is to educate or communicate. It is important for you to educate yourself on what it takes for a video to be made, while also inquiring about the process of your video production partner of choice. The most successful videos are made when the video company has a clear process, and you feel comfortable living within it. Some companies choose to develop videos organically, with a base price that can be customized with upgrades as you go. Other companies will have a very well-documented process that allows them to better control budgets and timelines throughout. Choosing a company process that aligns with your comfort zone will make for a more successful partnership.

Can they work within your company culture?

Making a video takes a bit of time, as well as an understanding of your business and culture. Some videos, such as teasers, social media videos, or presentations take only a few weeks to create. Others, such as training, advertising campaigns, or internal communications videos can take longer. Do they meet the level of professionalism you expect in your workplace? Can they interact with both your C-suite as well as with your staff, should that be needed? Are they taking the time to understand how your business works as a function of creating the video? Will they make decisions that are best for your company, or are they more focused on how your video will serve their portfolio?

 Can they deliver on what they promised?

The bigger question is – how will you know? While entering into an engagement with a video company does require trust, there are several indicators that can help you do the right research. Namely, the above! When looking for a company, make sure:

  • You know they specialize and create the type of video you need

    • Check their portfolio and read their website. Look at the work to make sure it resonates with you, as well as your business challenge.

  • You can tell that they have a process you can follow.

    • Their process is easy to find, easy to understand, and alleviates your anxiety/fear of the unknown.

    • Can you tell when you’ll get to review the work, and how much time you’ll need to invest?

  • You feel confident that they can work within your culture.

    • They will impress your staff and clients.

    • They understand your business and how it should be reflected.

Bottom Line:

Choosing a video partner can be an easy decision when you’ve thought through what you want, need and expect from a successful relationship. Use these tips as a springboard for finding other creative partners too!