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How To Choose a Web Video Company

Nine Questions

In the past video was an “extra.”  Now it is essential.

Web users increasingly expect their information to be delivered in the form of web video. Unlike static words and pictures, video is the most dynamic website feature for engaging customers and increasing your audience.

Unfortunately, most business owners don’t know how to identify a web video expert.  One reason is that professional online video production is a relatively new field. Most business people have no prior experience to judge competence.

1.  Do You Like Their Web Video Samples?

The proof is in the pudding.  Ask yourself if you would want any of their demo videos streaming on your site.  Are you finding an example of the type of video you are looking for on their site?  If not, have they offered to send you a link to a similar video they have produced?

2.  Are They Good Communicators?

After all, that’s their business.  If they do not communicate with their clients in a clear and straightforward manner, chances are their business videos don’t either. You should expect follow up calls, courtesy, clear explanations and relevant questions about your business, your market and your needs.

3.  Do They Speak in Jargon?

No one needs to feel stupid.  Have you ever talked to a real estate agent who throws out terms like “balloon mortgage”, “convertible ARM” and “qualifying ratio”, then gets impatient when you ask for definitions?  No company should put you in the uncomfortable position of not knowing what they’re talking about. Look for free online reports or FAQ sheets. These are signs of respect and consideration for their

4.  Are They Willing to Educate You on How Web Video Works?

We’re not talking about TV here.  Web video is a whole new game.  Which kind of videos tend to be effective on the web, what do viewers respond to?  It is the company’s job to steer you away from videos that just don’t work for today’s web users.  These can include videos that are too long, too boring or just plain irrelevant.

It is also important to understand the best way to distribute and track the success of your video.  

5.  Do They Care About How the Video Fits with Your Marketing Plan?

A web video is a marketing tool and should drive your marketing plan forward in a dynamic way. Does the web video expert ask pointed questions about your company’s goals, strategies and what makes you different from your competitors? If the demos on their website have a generic, “seen-it-before” quality, they probably don’t know what is special about their clients and certainly don’t bother to reflect that in their videos.

6.  Have they discussed the Pros and Cons of “Viral” Video with you?

A viral video is one that has achieved popularity and mass exposure through being passed around by viewers.  However, the term “viral” is sometimes used very loosely, as though making a video go “viral” is relatively easy. It’s not.

Viral videos tend to be homemade, user generated videos instead of professional or promotional ones.  However, designing a viral campaign can be an exciting advertising and branding strategy. The key is to realize it’s no easy trick to create something quirky, wacky, cool, gross or amazing enough for millions of people to want to watch it.

7.  Have they Outlined a “Video Marketing” Strategy for you?

Making and posting a great video on your website is only half the battle. Creating an audience for the video is just as important. Ask your web video expert if they do both.

 “Video marketing” refers to the strategic placement of videos on free video sharing sites to get them highly ranked by search engines.  The videos then lead viewers to your website.

When marketed correctly, videos can be a powerful tool for expanding your reach.

8.  Are They Offering Other Creative Ways to Distribute Your Video?

A single web video can be leveraged in multiple ways.  Your web video expert should be talking to you about some or all of these techniques:

  1. Post your video on all of your social media and promote it there
  2. Ask viewers to send in reactions and suggestions for future videos
  3. Include something for viewers to vote on and post the results
  4. Give away something to attentive viewers who spot something hidden in the video (but not too hidden)
  5. Promote it in your print advertising and in an email blast
  6. Include it in a DVD that you give away
  7. Produce low-cost variations of the video by swapping out a word, a price or an offer
  8. Re-format the video for use as a television commercial
  9. Collect data about frequency and duration of views in order to make the next video even better.  For instance, was there a spot in the video where some viewers stopped watching?
  10. Make it the first in a series and make clear promises about what viewers can expect in future webisodes. A webisode is one in a series of videos.
  11. Turn it into a contest with an enticing prize

9.  Are They Coming up With Creative Ideas?

Since you are not the video professional, it’s not your job to come up with all the ideas.  Once you explain your needs, your expert should start asking questions and brainstorming possibilities with you.  Do their ideas make you motivated and excited? Don’t forget: video is a creative medium.  The people who create it are supposed to be creative, too!

Look out for pure technicians or gearheads. These are often veterans that are skilled with a camera but don’t necessarily have the creative polish to make your web video shine.