Deciding when to hire a professional video production company

You have done the research on the benefits of online video and you have decided to make a commitment to add video to your online marketing campaign.

The question which lies before you is whether you should self-produce or hire a professional film making team?  Cost is the primary reason a business or organization would consider these two options. This post is designed to help you understand the difference between the two approaches, and the results you can expect from either a self-produced or professionally produced video project.

In the spirit of full disclosure, eTown Videos is a professional video production company and we make a living creating professional, engaging and compelling videos.  At the same time, it is my goal to provide you with an objective view on self-produced videos and professionally produced videos.

Objectives and Goals: In a previous post (The Seven Most Important Aspects When Planning for a Web Video Production) I talked about deciding who your target audience is and understanding their needs. What problems are you solving for them or what subject matters are being addressed?  Who is your buyer persona (vendor, customer, donor, co-worker, buyer, voter, etc.)? Who are you talking to and what are you  planning to convey? Decide on these things first.

When to produce a video yourself:

Video Blog: A company owner or representative may choose to make an announcement via a short video blog and post the video to the company website and/or on YouTube. The process is fairly simple and there is plenty of affordable video cameras and editing software available to create a basic video blog. The initial set up may require some professional assistance in terms of setting up the camera, uploading the video to a hosting site, but most consumers feel quite comfortable creating a video blog themselves.

Basic Training or Instructional Videos for Internal Use: A basic training video for internal use could be produced in house with affordable video equipment. Training topics could include the use of new machinery, software implementation, or general company information for employees. It’s advisable to use a tripod and plenty of lighting – even construction lights form Home Depot will be sufficient. I will state that even at this level of video production you may quickly learn that making a video can be extremely time consuming.

Viral Videos: You may also want to produce a user created video campaign with the goal of having the video go viral on YouTube or social media sites. The lower production value or low quality video format could be a desired effect  in such a marketing campaign. There are many amateur videos on YouTube which are hugely popular.

Cost: Last but not least, a self produced video will result in lower costs and in many cases it will also result in significantly reduced production value (meaning lower quality videos). However, if there is simply no room in your budget for a professional video company then the only option available is a self-produced video.

When to hire a professional video production company:

High quality web commercials or promotional videos require a comprehensive film-making approach which is generally out of reach for the novice video creator. Concept development, storyboards, script writing, production planning and set development, etc. are  some of the elements which are necessary for a polished and professional video production.

Impact of a video on your public image: Unless you happen to be a video expert, a self produced or do-it-yourself approach can look quite amateurish. Video savvy web visitors will distinguish quickly between the difference of a professional or an amateur approach. The video will no doubt have an impact on your organization’s public image. Most casual or novice web video creators may not be aware of the all the various aspects which are involved in a professional production e.g. lighting requirements, advantages/disadvantages of various camera gear, quality sound equipment, storyboard development, professional voice over narration, script development, social media marketing. The skill set that a professional production team brings to the table might take an inexperienced video creator  years to acquire. If your public image needs to be carefully crafted then a professional team would be an essential resource.

Experience: Most professional video companies have developed a solid set of experiences of what will work online and what will not work. It’s what they do for a living day in and  day out. The online video requirements are constantly changing, and the professional video team is constantly monitoring the changes of consumer tastes and video viewing habits. It is the job of the professionals to create engaging videos while you grow your business. Professional video creators study, train,  produce, practice, and learn for many years to develop the knowledge to create compelling and engaging videos that tell your story in the most effective and impactful  manner. In other words, they are skilled at converting web visitors to loyal customers.

The viewer experience: Imagine  a visually engaging video presentation, underscored with the appropriate music, with rich color and lighting, skilled direction and editing that draws the viewer into your world. This sort of polished production requires a level of expertise which most professional video production teams deliver. I do believe they are worth every penny.

Reasons why a professional video production company should be considered:

  1. They have the skill level and experience required to handle the technical aspects of a video project.
  2. They have assembled the creative resources to produce a unique video presentation that reflects your company’s vision and your audience’s needs.
  3. They bring the marketing expertise to assure that the video gets seen by a large percentage of your target audience.

If you feel a professional video production team is right for you, I invite you to read my post entitled ” 8 Questions You Should Ask When Selecting a Video Production Company”