Product video has become a must-have for e-commerce merchants, but how do you get clips for your site?
Manufacturer-produced or user-generated content might be an option when you’re starting out. Eventually though, you’ll want to produce your own video content to gain control over the message to customers and how it’s delivered.
If you don’t have your own production team and in-house studio, you’ll need to outsource to a video production company to shoot your product clips.
3 things to keep in mind when shopping for a video producer
1. Know your goals, needs and budget
Why are you adding video to your site? Is the main goal to raise conversion? How many new video assets do you want per month? What kind of budget do you have to work with? Do you need help determining the right content, length, look and delivery?
Prepare a brief outline of what you’re looking for and why before beginning your hunt for a video production company. If you’re brand new to video production, you’ll want a highly experienced full-service provider who can help you build and grow your video vision in alignment with the needs of your customers.
2. Ask the right questions
Use the web to research possible providers and ask for recommendations through your own network. To make a shortlist of suitable companies, look at their track record and current clients. This will give you a good idea as to how long they’ve been established, the quality of their work and the size of the company. If their client list includes the Fortune 500, they are likely a large production company with high overheads and corresponding price tags. If small to mid-sized businesses form the core of their clientele, they are probably medium-sized.
You’ll also want to find out if they have any areas of specialization and get a rough idea of production costs. Request to view the show reels of companies in your price range to learn what you can expect from each of them. As you watch the demo reels, pay attention to image quality, lighting, camera movements and audio quality. Then narrow your options down to at least 3 or 4 who can give you the best quality for your budget.
3. Look for a long-term video partner
Take time to choose your video production provider carefully, as a long working relationship benefits both parties. After all, you want to maintain a consistent style across all your videos, and that means working with a single provider for the long haul.
Based on your project outline, ask each shortlisted company for their initial ideas and quotes. Meet with those whose approach you like to find out more about their working methods and business practices. Do you sense that they understand your products and industry? Do they provide useful input without being pushy? Can they suggest ways to stretch your budget such as automating simple, scalable product videos? Can they reduce manual editing by integrating post-production with pre-built video templates or streamline video production software like Liveclicker Studio?
Once you’ve decided on the video provider for you (congratulations!) and nailed down the budget, make sure the written contract includes all the relevant details of the video project. This would include things like the number of product videos to shoot, timeframe, visual treatment, equipment and staffing. Putting everything in writing ensures there are no misunderstandings down the line.