With easy-to-use digital video cameras and editing software readily available, why do we still need video production companies? After all, they’re expensive, and if the footage is for the web it doesn’t need to be cinema quality. Someone in the marketing department can just shoot it, right?
Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. Here are 7 reasons why calling in the pros is worthwhile.
Reasons to hire a video production company
- Rising viewer expectations
According to comScore’s 2012 US Digital Future In Focus report, 105.1 million Americans watch videos online each day, up 43% from 73.7 million in 2010. The average viewer watches 239 videos per month with length and file sizes increasing. As more television viewers migrate to the web or plug their computers into their TVs, they’re coming to expect higher quality online video. With standards rising, shooting better quality video now can help ensure the longevity and value of your video strategy and assets.
- More sophisticated viewing devices
Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to view content when and where they want. Those mobile devices are becoming ever more advanced. The new iPad 3, for example, features a 2048 x 1536 resolution display, quad-core graphics processing and 3.1 million pixels in a 9.7-inch space. That’s a million more than an HDTV. More sophisticated equipment, combined with fast data networks, means that mobile video quality looks spectacular. Unfortunately, homemade video looks, well, homemade.
- Better user experience
A well-lit, tightly-edited video is usually more appealing to watch than a homemade clip. Audio in particular has to be good. You might be able to squeak by with so-so quality visuals, but if the sound is poor quality or hard to hear, viewers will go for the ‘x’ button. With thousands of videos uploaded every second – by Hollywood studios, amateurs and everyone in between – making the viewing experience as easy on the eyes and ears as possible should be a main priority.
- Competitors are doing it
According to eMarketer, Custom Content Council and ContentWise found 52% of North American companies used video for content marketing in 2011. This is sharply up from 2009 when it accounted for only 37% of North American marketers’ content investment.
In addition, over half (54%) of North American companies planned to invest more in video content in 2012 over last year.
With so many brands getting deeper into video, your footage must at minimum be comparable in terms of content and production values to attract and convert prospects.
- Brand reputation enhancement
Like your website, your email marketing and your printed materials, the video that your company produces is representative of your brand. It can take a lot of time to plan, script, shoot and edit a video. Make sure your clips look and sound professional to protect and enhance your brand reputation and show consumers that you care. (Read my recent interview with Vat19 to learn how their quality video strategy helped increase their brand value with their shoppers.)
- More compelling content
Production values can enhance or detract from the core content of a video. A production company doesn’t just make the end product look good. They also help craft the content of your video to ensure it is focused, informative and impactful. Better content translates into higher conversion.
- Decreasing costs
Well done video need not cost the earth. The days of paying six figures for a few minutes of video are waning. For example, the viral video from the Dollar Shave Club launch last month only cost CEO Mike Dubin $4500. Before beginning your hunt for a video production company, prepare a brief outline of what you’re looking for. Shop the brief around to at least four businesses to compare pricing. To get the best pricing, aim to build a long term relationship with your chosen video production company, and plan to shoot a number of videos at the same time.
To wrap up, let’s compare two Miley Cyrus videos (thanks to Steve Sammartino for this example). The first is a homemade video of Cyrus leaving Twitter:
The second is a music video of Miley Cyrus performing Party In The U.S.A.:
When compared side-by-side like this, it’s easy to see how much value professional video production adds to her work.