As an agency, it’s your job to help your clients get their market their brand effectively by any means necessary. And while you may not handle 100% of creative production in-house, at the end of the day your firm does have to answer to those brands for how you choose to represent them.
If that’s the case, you have a strong impetus to only contract work with like-minded companies you can trust completely.
We all know that video marketing is no longer optional. But along with the meteoric rise in video marketing’s popularity has come no shortage of pop-up production houses that are more willing than they are able. They charge rock-bottom prices and boast the best equipment in the industry, but these production firms lack the commitment to quality, the storytelling expertise, or the client experience you deserve…
And it shows in the end product.
But you can’t really afford to wait until you see the end product to know that you’ve picked the wrong partner. So to help you find the perfect video production company for your agency, we’ve boiled it down to the three questions you’ve got to ask about the companies you vet. Remember, these companies aren’t just going to be “makin’ movies” for your clients; if you do your homework, you can find a partner that will grow with your agency and become part of your story.
1. Do They Fit With Our Agency Culture?
As an agency, you’re constantly pushing your team to find unheard-of creative ways to communicate your clients’ value. The last thing you need is to work with a video marketing company that doesn’t take the same approach to their work.
Finding that perfect idea for a video isn’t easy, and helping you tell your clients’ stories take some serious commitment. So if the production company you’re looking into partnering with doesn’t pride themselves on doing the deep research, constant iterations, and imaginative brainstorming it takes to create something really special? Run – don’t walk – away.
Here are a few other culture touchpoints where you and your production partner should sync up:
- Work Ethic: Will they burn the midnight oil to get the job done? Do they even know what midnight oil is?
- Passion: Is making videos that tell an unforgettable story what they were meant to do?
- Promise vs. Delivery: When they say something is going to happen, does it turn out that way – or at least pretty darn close?
- Comfort: Am I (and my team) comfortable hanging with their team professionally?
2. Are They in It for the Long Haul?
Due diligence can reveal a lot about that video marketing company you’ve got your eye on. That said, just because they’re a great company today doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the right long-term partner for you.
Making something creative once is easy. But if you’re planning to work with the same production house on multiple creative pieces over the course of a year, you want to make sure that their pool of good ideas doesn’t dry up 6 months in.
Here are a few indicators that you’re looking at a company that prides itself on consistency and stick-to-itiveness:
- Client List: The customers a production house has worked with can show you a lot about them and their longevity.
- Mission-Minded: Have they documented their core mission? More importantly, are they showing signs of upholding it?
- Process-Driven: You can get a funny feeling real quick if a creative is flying by the seat of their pants. Creativity should be free to roam, but it all has to come out in the form of a quality product rooted in a tested methodology.
3. Do They Make Good Videos?
Of course you can’t work with a company that doesn’t make things that look good, right? But before you go thinking that we phoned in this third question, you may want to look a little deeper. Quality is measured in more ways than one.
All the videos on the typical portfolio page may look visually appealing, but may not actually be producing the kind of real business results you want – and your clients expect. Here are a few ways to tell the difference between “looks good” and “is good”.
- Look at Their Work: Ok, this is another easy one to figure out. However, watch on of their videos that looks great. Then watch it again. Is it clear? Sure, maybe it’s stunning, but it could be filled with marketing fluff, offering no substance to the viewer.
- Look at Their Results: The real proof is in what the video does for the client. Does it increase conversions? Does it boost social media engagement? Does it even get watched? Any production company worth its salt can point to real results – not just their prettiest videos.
- Look at Their Costs: Great work costs money, so don’t settle for cheap. If a video marketing company charges bargain-bin prices, odds are they’ll act like it, too.