Video Camera

For a company not yet embracing the emotive power of video, the statistics about how powerful and effective it can be are truly frightening. Products sold using video out-sell other products by 144%. That’s not to be sniffed at. Little wonder businesses large and small are scrambling to use it as quickly as possible. Those who don’t, fall behind.

This has encouraged many video production companies to try and jump on this bandwagon. Anyone who knows a bit about video production (or in some cases – simply has a video camera!) is trying to sell corporate, company marketing videos to businesses. They’re video production companies. Their expertise is in making video, not marketing – and not what will and won’t make an effective marketing tool.

Businesses crippling themselves with cheap Video has become a huge problem.

Your business could easily spend a decent chunk of money on something which is going to bring you little or no return. If you’re going to hit your target you need to know what the target looks like, how to find it, and most importantly - how to entice it. Engage it. Persuade it. Make it want to take action.

Even worse, “Automatic Video Tools” are readily available for minimal cost. The very fact that they’re “automatic” means the videos they create are generic. The marketing and pin-sharp targeting elements which are so vital are completely missing. They do have a place, but it’s a very carefully considered one. Read our article “Why spending £97 could cost you £1000s” for detail on when and when not to consider such tools.

ByL.A.Conyers | 1/30/18

Why Spending £97 could cost you £1000s

Online video tools might look like a great low-cost idea at the time, but could cost your business thousands in the long run. If hiring a professional seems expensive, wait until you've hired an amateur - and that amateur is you.

As any person experienced in marketing will tell you, wrapping up several products to sell in a bundle can look enticing to the buyer. A bundle of products “valued” at £1800.00 can be sold at £997 – increasing the perception of the value being offered (but not the real value).

Most video production companies follow this sales plan and bundle packages. For example:

Package Bronze Silver Gold
What you get
Up to 1 minute
1 site visit
Copy on OUR Youtube Channel
Backing Track
Voice-over
£1800 value!
Up to 2 minutes
2 site visits
Copy on YOUR Youtube Channel
Animated Titles
Backing Track
Voice-over
£2900 value!
Up to 2 minutes
3 site visits
Copy on YOUR Youtube Channel
Bonus copy in 1 other format
Animated Titles
Backing Track
Voice-over
High Definition 1080P
Presentation box, ribbon & certificate
£4500 value!
Price £997 £1997 £2997

There is a fundamental problem with this approach which shouold be obvious, but is almost always overlooked.

This is the first major red flag to watch out for – Fixed Price.

How can you set a price before you know what the product is?

To price like this, assumptions must be made on quality. They’ve already decided how much work to put in before they (and probably you) know what’s needed. You’ll get a generic, formulaic video.

Surprise Package fixed cost

To be effective, corporate, business and marketing video must be precisely tailored – not so much to the business using it, but to the target customer of that business. That simply can’t be delivered by a generic formulaic video.

The 2nd major red flag is using LENGTH of a video as VALUE

“Length” or “Runtime” of a video is frequently used as a value indicator. A video of 4 minutes must be more expensive to produce than a video of 1 minute in length. Right? You can have 2 minutes for £1000 or 4 minutes for £2000. Makes sense, right?

Utter nonsense.

Kittens with lightsabres

Clearly, 10 seconds of ‘Star Wars’ cost a lot more to produce than 1000 minutes of ‘Kittens-With-Lightsabers’ on Youtube. Ask yourself this simple question. If you could convert a prospect into a paying customer in 10 seconds, wouldn’t that be more cost-effective than if it took 30 minutes?

People’s attention spans are lower than they ever were. A few seconds at best when it comes to online video. Very few potential consumers will actually be patient enough to watch to the end of a 4 minute video so ideally, you need to persuade them to take action in the first few seconds – or at very least give them a reason to continue watching the next few seconds.

Longer is not better. More effective is better.

The value and effectiveness of a video is in it’s message, it’s scripting, its design, how it’s used, how it’s targeted. Shorter almost always works better. See our article on 'How long should my video be?'

Conversion centred video is a complex art form which involves use of marketing psychology. Text which works well in brochure, or on webpage, does NOT translate well to video script (and vice versa).

There are many intangible elements which contribute to 'the treatment' of a video; colour, branding, visual motion, pace, dragging the eye, leading the ear, backing track, the voice or presenter being used, the style – animation / CGI / sketch / slideshow / live footage.

The final red flag to watch out for: “we will take your script and produce a video…”

That tells you straight out that the production company has little or no knowledge of marketing.

They expect you, or your marketing department to develop a video concept and a script which works perfectly in video (not on a webpage, not in a brochure, not in a keynote speech, in a video). This is also a major disadvantage in automated video creation tools.

ByL.A.Conyers | 1/30/18

Why Spending £97 could cost you £1000s

Online video tools might look like a great low-cost idea at the time, but could cost your business thousands in the long run. If hiring a professional seems expensive, wait until you've hired an amateur - and that amateur is you.

Such production companies may indeed produce gorgeous footage and special effects – but they CANNOT tell you whether it will be effective or not. That’s up to you to guess at.

Remember – Businesses don’t need a pretty video. They need a marketing tool which also has to look pretty, but that’s of secondary importance. You need something which is going to resonate with your target market and convert. Something which will provide real tangible value to your brand and deliver return on investment. Why would you trust your most important and potentially most effective marketing tool out there to someone who has just revealed they don’t understand marketing?

So in summary, the 3 BIG RED FLAGS to watch out for when choosing a video production company are:

  • Fixed Price Product;
  • Value based on length;
  • Expecting YOU to be the expert on marketing video scripting.

BONUS RED FLAG

Do other videos produced by production company xyz have the name of the production company bolted on it somewhere? At the end as a 'credit' maybe? Ask yourself exactly who is the video meant to serve - the business who paid for it, or the people who made the video?

Why are they using your 'promotion space' to promote themselves?

Having 'video made by' somewhere within an ad or on-line video comes over as highly unprofessional on the part of whoever made it - and that reflects on you.

It strongly implies that the video was made 'for free' or as a quid-pro-quo deal, which in turn implies that your business is can't afford, or can't be bothered to use professionals. Not a great message.

Notice that you'd never see anything similar on a TV ad or a video on Microsoft's website...