By Greg Ball, President of BMI
In this article I'll discuss whether you should produce your own web videos or hire a production company. I'll go over what you need to know for if you're hiring a video production company, and I'll give you some tips for improving your odds of having your video accomplish your goals.
Should you produce your own video or use a professional video company?
Let's face it. Almost everyone has a secret dream of making their own movies. Buy a camera and some editing software for your computer... And ACTION! You're ready to go. Well hold on there...
There are thousands and thousands of amateur web videos out there, made by people trying to save money (or perhaps trying to fulfill their dreams of glory). So does that mean you should create your own web video? I say maybe yes, or maybe no.
Ask yourself a few things first. Will your video be representing you, your company, product, service, or organization? And if so, what image are you trying to project, and what are you hoping the video will achieve?
Think about this:
In seconds, your viewer will form impressions, and they'll extrapolate them to form quick conclusions about you, your business, product, service or training. This is done on a conscious as well as subconscious level, and it happens fast enough to make your head spin!
So your web video will have one chance to make a good impression, reflect well on your company, products and services, and grab your viewer's attention and keep it. If they like your video in those initial seconds, they'll watch it. If not, they'll bounce off your webpage lightning fast and find one of your competitors.
Here's my opinion:
Using an amateur video for professional purposes is like showing up on a first date with a piece of spinach between your teeth!
But if your video is made professionally, well planned and well-executed, it can create the positive results your looking for!
You be the judge. I'm sure you've seen some self-made web videos that are being used for professional purposes. How many of those reflect well on the person in the video, the company and the product or service? You've seen the videos with the poor lighting, shaky cameras, poor picture quality, less than crisp sound, and terrible acting or camera presence. Does it make you want to pick up the phone to buy that product or service? Or did you leave the site almost immediately?
In fact, how many times have you seen a web video and felt turned off, unimpressed, bored or even annoyed? It's rare that a web video that's thrown together without a lot of skill and strategy behind it that will actually work.
So what's the bottom line?
If your website video is for professional purposes, it needs to reflect high quality and professionalism, grab and keep the viewers attention, and make a great first impression.
This can only be accomplished by using a professional video production company that has the knowledge, experience, creativity and technical expertise needed to help you craft a successful web video. In other words, don't try this at home!
What do you look for in a video production company?
Many video production companies have the right equipment and technicians. But do they have the skills to make a website video that achieves your goals? I always say that having a gourmet oven in my kitchen doesn't make me a gourmet chef (unless you think hot dogs and scrambled eggs are gourmet meals). Likewise, it takes a lot more than just having equipment, pointing a camera and pushing buttons to make a great video that does what it's supposed to do.
You should certainly hire a video production company that has the crew and equipment available to do the right things technically, but that's not all you need if you want to increase your chances of having your video work well.
Clearly you'll have better odds of success if you hire a company whose director understands the basic principles (marketing, training, PR, etc ) behind what you're trying to accomplish, and has experience applying that knowledge to video.
I'm not suggesting that a video production company can replace a specialist such as a marketing, training or PR professional, but they should be able to provide expertise on those topics as it applies to video.
So for example if it's a training video for adults, the director should have at least a basic knowledge of how adults learn, and should know how to apply that to your video. An experienced director with this kind of knowledge can coach you to success throughout the process!
What else do you need to look for if your producing a spokesperson video?
Honestly, how many times have you watched a web video where the person speaking looks unprofessional, or just comes off as though they're doing a poor read of a script. So many videos out there make the speaker look foolish or amateurish. A good director will work with you (or your representative) to help you look and sound your best, and to give the message as effectively as possible.
The director should be able to coach the spokesperson
(professional or amateur) to present their most professional image. He'll help them to maintain great eye contact, and use good body language. He'll coach them to use the right energy level (too much and it's hokey, too little and it's boring), and he'll help them appear more trustworthy and credible. Depending upon your goals and the image you're looking to project, he'll help them to give the best presentation possible.
The crew should have excellent technical and creative skills.
Your web video will represent your company.You'll need your video to give your customers and clients the impression of quality. On a conscious or even subconscious level the viewer will associate the quality of your web video with the quality of your company, product and service.
So for example, suppose you were handed brochures from two different companies with the same content. One is handwritten, and the other is professionally produced and designed with glossy color. Who are you more likely to do business with? Most people will choose the company with the professionally produced brochure. The same is true for your video.
Do it poorly and your viewer is likely to form negative opinion. If any single element of your video is less than professional, you may instantly lose your viewer.
Do it well, and your viewer will form a positive impression.
The production crew should know how to set you up to create positive impressions. They'll choose the best camera angles, adjust the lighting optimally, frame your image to your best advantage, provide crisp and clear sound quality, create or use a background or location that enhances your message, and they'll provide great quality video images.
So you see that there's more to creating an effective web video than meets the eye. A good video production company should be able to consult with you to help you strategize, and help you achieve your goals!
At Ball Media Innovations, we offer everything outlined in this article. We bring you more bang for your buck than the average video production company, and we'll work within your budgets.
Visit our Web Video Production Page
to learn more about our services, and call today for a free no-obligation consultation, or use the Request a Quote form on the top left.
Ball Media Innovations is headquartered in South Florida, and serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando. We also serve national and international clients with crews available throughout the state, country and the world.
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