It wasn't so long ago that video production was prohibitively expensive—a luxury that your business couldn't afford.
With the growth in video marketing services, that's changing.
If you haven't already incorporated video into your digital marketing strategy, you're behind the curve.
As of 2020, 85% of companies already use video marketing — your competitors are already investing in it as a marketing tool.
When you recognize the time, money, and resources involved with video production, choosing the right video marketing service is a significant consideration.
Your B2B company deserves high quality and effective video that works to build authority and credibility within your industry.
You need to ensure that a video production company understands your business and is capable of producing the style and quality of video content that help you stand out.
But how do you know which video marketing company is right for you?
In this article, we'll outline what you need to know about video marketing and the exact process you should use to select the right company for your video content creation.
What is video marketing?
Video marketing is the process of creating videos to showcase your products or services.
Corporate video content may be used in every stage of your sales funnel — from awareness to action. But each stage of the funnel requires different content.
A range of different video content will serve to attract your target audience, engage visitors through educational content, and increase conversions by giving your prospective buyers confidence in your results.
B2B video marketing strategies may encompass everything from webinars and product demonstrations to brand and testimonial videos.
Why use a video marketing service?
Developing a good video marketing strategy can be perplexing — especially if you haven't worked extensively with video before.
The primary reason behind the increase in demand for video is that it's now easier—and less costly—to produce and consume video content.
But, should you create your own video content or use a video marketing service?
Content creation represents the number one activity that B2B marketers outsource, regardless of the company size or content marketing budget.
If the rise in video production agencies is an indicator, then a growing portion of that 84% of outsourced content is likely in a video format.
That's no surprise because there are so many moving parts to consider when producing B2B video.
Professional video requires a range of equipment, such as:
- Editing software & hardware
On top of that, you might need to consider how to handle these video marketing services:
- Professional script writing
- Thumbnail or other graphic creation
- Video search engine optimization (SEO)
- Video campaign analysis
- On-site consultations & filming
- Set design
- Music Licenses
Lastly, evaluate whether you require these marketing services:
- YouTube channel management
- Video ad management
- Social media management
Understanding video production
Once you possess a basic understanding of this process, you'll be in a better position to ascertain whether your vendor is equipped to handle the following elements.
Pre-production is the stage prior to shooting your video.
Your vendor should meet with you to confirm your understanding of the details. This is where you clarify what you need your video to do, and they follow up with a solid creative brief and strategic plan.
This plan will incorporate every aspect of your video — from the rough scripts, location selection, and shooting days, through to crew availability and client scheduling.
What should you expect for an on-site video testimonial filming day?
This is the day when you're on location with the crew, the equipment, and the participants necessary to film your video.
A simple video shoot requires as few as two people, while a team of up to 15 may be needed for complex projects.
On production day, the cameras are rolling, and all the film and sound are captured for your video.
In some situations, you may opt for remote video testimonials.
If that's the case, then filming day simply means a 30 minute interview on a video call.
It's now time to place every piece of the puzzle together.
Your raw video footage goes through an editing and audio mastering stage. Post-production adds other technical elements such as the opening and closing sequences, titles, and calls to action.
In the end, you'll receive your finished professional video.
Types of video marketing content
In 2019, video overtook blogs and infographics to become the #1 form of media used in content strategy.
But video comes in many formats, and not all types of videos will be applicable for your business.
When you're developing your video marketing strategy, you need to decide what type of video content most benefits your B2B business.
Keep in mind that video marketing companies often specialize in producing a single type or style of video. If their company expertise is creating animated videos, then they're not likely a good fit for your customer case study video.
Maybe you'll have the resources to produce several professional videos for each step of your buyer's journey. But, starting out, you might be constrained by your budget or a lack of internal expertise.
Whatever your situation, include at least one of these options in your B2B video marketing content:
- Brand and company video
- Product demonstration video
- Explainer video
- Educational and "how-to" video
- Testimonial video
- Case study video
Once you've made a selection, there's a simple process to follow before approaching a video marketing service.
Choosing the right video marketing service for your business
Take a good look at the difference between companies that offer only video marketing services and those that specialize in video production.
With the increase in demand for video, many digital marketing agencies have seized the opportunity to add video production and marketing services to their range of offerings.
But it's not their core business.
Video production may include scripting, filming, and editing videos from scratch or only producing video animations.
There are also companies offering software solutions that give access to video clip libraries and pre-made templates to edit.
A quick check online reveals that several video marketing agencies will arrange to film your video as well as advertise and promote it.
Video promotion as a service focuses on channels such as your email campaigns, social media, and YouTube.
For dedicated video creation, you might be better off choosing a full-fledged video production company that tackles all of the above rather than a marketing company that just happens to offer some video services.
Before choosing the right video marketing service, separate the process into two distinct stages: your internal groundwork and your approach to vendors.
Stage 1: Before you contact a B2B video marketing service
1. Determine the goal of your video
This may seem obvious, but the first step is identifying what you want to achieve —- What is your marketing strategy for video, and how does it mesh with your other marketing efforts?
For example, if you commission a brand video, your priorities will be different than for a testimonial video.
Putting together a creative brief is the best way to convey your goals to a video production service.
Be clear about how your brand's style and tone should be represented, who you're attempting to reach, and the key message you want to convey.
Every video you create needs to have a purpose and a means by which to measure its success.
If you think through your strategy and objectives first, then the outcome will reflect your brief and is more likely to provide the result you envisaged.
2. Research video marketing services
A quick online search for "video marketing services" reveals a massive 2+ billion results.
Of course, it's possible to further refine these results by searching for particular video formats and using the steps listed below.
A.) Do they meet your needs?
Assess whether the range of video services offered will meet your needs.
Look for the most recent projects the vendor has completed. An objective assessment of the finished product will present an accurate picture of the firm's expertise.
While professional know-how is important, keep in mind whether their style of video is right for you.
Is their creativity and artistry at the level you desire for your brand?
B.) View their work samples
Many video services provide a website portfolio or links to their video host.
Browsing these examples gives you a better idea of who might be the best fit for your B2B business.
If you're seeking a particular type of video, ensure any contender has the experience to match your business objectives.
Be sure their examples match the quality you want to put forth for your business. Do you really want to go with that remote testimonial company with a shaky camera?
That's not to say it can't be done. Just choose wisely.
C.) Create a shortlist
When you've spent a few hours checking out your competitor's videos and ended up down a YouTube rabbit hole, it's time to get focused on which video companies to approach.
At this point, you will have discovered several videos you like and a style that matches your brand image and objectives.
When you identify which business created a particular video, put them on your shortlist.
This is the easiest way to narrow down your choice of potential companies.
D.) Are their video services recommended by other B2B businesses?
All reputable companies have online reviews and testimonials that tell you more than just how satisfied a client was with the result.
You're able to check what type of businesses use their service and gauge their familiarity with your industry or vertical.
Do you have trusted sources who currently use promotional video campaigns?
You'll get further background by talking to them about their experiences with video and asking which companies they recommend.
E.) Set a budget for video production
The cost of video production varies tremendously.
This is due to many factors, including the quality of video, the length, and the creative concept and style you choose.
Gydes — a video research group — produces a handy video production calculator that classifies a low-cost video production as any video under $5,000.
Have a number in mind and know that, whatever the size of your budget, video marketing is possible for you.
Stage 2: Make contact with B2B video marketing services
1. Contact your shortlisted video companies
Once you've completed stage one, it's time to get in touch with any marketing agencies you identified as a potential vendor.
Most video production services companies provide free consultations, so you've nothing to lose by reaching out for further information.
Be sure to have your video brief on hand — Your project outline gives you the ability to discuss specifics and conduct a meaningful conversation with the vendor.
Convey as much information as possible, while paying attention to the questions they ask you.
Because their attitude towards you shows whether they are customer-centered and capable of guiding you throughout the video production process.
Great communication with you — and perhaps with your clients — is essential to minimize misunderstandings and ensure your video project runs smoothly.
Lastly, a conversation — or face-to-face meeting — allows you to assess their personality and company culture. You'll be working closely with this vendor, so evaluate how well your team will work alongside theirs.
2. Ask Questions
Compile a list of questions for the video marketer. While you'll have questions specific to your business goals, ensure you also gather the following information prior to moving forward.
A.) What is the process?
Ask if they have a documented workflow. This document outlines how they manage each stage of production, along with the process for coordinating timelines, and the people involved.
You'll get an idea of how flexible your vendor might be in terms of tailoring the process to your needs or if their service leans towards a "one size fits all" offer.
B.) Which video production services are in-house and which are outsourced?
When you're outsourcing your video creation, it's crucial that your production company takes care of the entire process.
Do they actually have a team of experts, or do they contract some — or all — of the work out?
Their team should include a producer, director, camera operators, editors, and scriptwriters.
C.) What is included in the cost?
The proposals you receive will vary in cost. That's why it's vital to check which services they include in their quote. Will they offer a fixed price and are there variables to consider?
As we've mentioned already, the style of video you choose is only one possible variable. For example, if you request minor edits, will they provide revisions?
A professional video marketing company will clearly explain what you receive for the agreed budget.
At this stage, ask the vendor for a general price range for projects similar to yours.
D.) What is the time frame?
Have realistic expectations about the timeline required for video production.
If you're planning a product launch or a major campaign, then allow yourself extra time to achieve the ideal result. If you leave everyone too little wiggle room, then any additional edits and creative changes to your video marketing campaign may be impossible.
While each type and style of video requires a different timeline, most vendors will provide you with a ballpark estimate for your project.
Following the above framework ensures that you are well prepared before you contact a video marketing agency. It also means you'll gain sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision about the right video marketing service for your business.
It's obvious that business video is here to stay. Video content forms an integral part of any successful digital marketing strategy in 2020 — and beyond.
No matter what type of video you choose, we know you appreciate the benefits of video marketing and why it pays to use the right service for your B2B business.
Of course, at Testimonial Hero, we believe that your customers' stories are the ones worth telling.
Our team specializes in video for B2B SaaS & Cybersecurity companies of all sizes.
When you work with us, we'll create video testimonials and case studies that demonstrate real-life success stories.