More and more companies are jumping on the video marketing bandwagon every day.
The costs associated with video production are dropping, and the demand for video is higher than ever as people consume more video content and more digital platforms adopt video as their primary focus.
If you are among the many marketers opting to add video to your marketing mix, you will eventually have to decide how best to execute on your video marketing plans.
Many marketing departments are choosing to manage both the marketing and video production sides of their programs in-house, often with heavy investment, rather than hire a video production company to produce their videos or an agency to handle the distribution and promotion.
Other companies are relying on animation, stock footage and images, machine learning software and other means to reduce costs. Of course, there’s also the option to hire an in-house videographer or video marketing specialist.
This article assumes that you’re looking for some outsourced video help; either a video production company to help on the creative side, a video marketing company to promote your content through various channels, or some kind of video marketing agency that’s able handle both.
In this article, we’ll give you a few reference points that will help you decide what kind of video providers is right for your needs and budget.
What kind of video marketing company is right for you?
Before evaluating the differences between the different types of service providers, be sure you have a rough idea of your objectives before going into the evaluation process.
You’ll need that to determine which type of company matches your needs most exactly and to communicate those needs accurately to potential providers.
Assessing Your Video Marketing Needs
If you lack either the ability or inclination to take on the marketing or the video production aspects of the process yourself, you will have to find a video marketing company to support you.
To select the right video marketing company, you’ll first have to take inventory of your capabilities, in order to define what your actual video marketing needs are.
Video Marketing Needs and Capabilities
There are five basic stages to most video marketing processes, starting with strategy and ending with promotion. In your search for a video marketing provider, you’ll notice the stages different companies are willing to help you with is going to vary wildly.
It’s important to be aware of which areas you need help with, in your assessment of various providers.
For example, not every video production company is going to help you write scripts (pre-production) or offer editing (post-production), and not every marketing agency will be able to help with production at all.
Your video marketing needs may include the following:
How will video be incorporated into your existing marketing mix, to drive leads, speed opportunities through the sales pipeline, and turn them into customers?
Video marketing strategy often requires a thorough understanding of the of the full range of digital marketing practices.
Once a strategy is set, you will need to assemble and coordinate the people, technology and processes required to produce and promote your videos.
This requires an understanding of both the marketing and video production processes, from scripting, talent selection and scheduling, to equipment selection, product messaging, and promotion channels.
With all the components assembled, this phase of the process deals with the actual shooting of the video.
You’ll need video and audio technical chops, good equipment, and efficient production practices for this. You may also need a director, videographers and additional crew for more elaborate productions.
This phase is all about editing and how you turn the various clips, artwork, animation, music and audio into a coherent story that illuminates your messaging and meets all of the requirements set forth in the strategy phase.
The type of editors you need will depend on the format of your videos and the marketing channels they appear on.
With a completed video in hand, you’ll now have to turn your attention to the equally important business of getting that content in front of the right audiences.
You may need to execute your video marketing strategy on web, email, mobile and social campaigns to achieve desired results.
Should You Hire a Video Production Company or a Video Marketing Agency?
Some of these stages require more marketing skills, while others require more video production skills.
All of them requires some understanding of the entire video marketing process, and how one phase affects all the other phases that precede and follow it.
So, conduct an honest audit of your capability, capacity and inclination to take on these different phases of the process.
It’s helpful to remember that all companies are different. Some companies will fit perfectly within the descriptions that follow. Others will blur the lines between the typical marketing agency and the typical production company.
The differences can often be nuanced and you’ll usually have to look at each companies services to see how much focus each company places on either marketing video production versus video marketing services.
Another differentiator these days is whether they can help you with remote video production, a remote international video production company can produce videos practically anywhere without a physical crew, greatly expanding your video production capabilities, especially if you have international staff, thought leaders, customers and other spokespeople you’d like to get on camera.
Before you proceed, be sure to have a rough idea of your objectives before going into the evaluation process. You’ll need that to determine which type of company matches your needs most exactly and to communicate those needs accurately to potential providers.
See our 10 things to ask a video company before hiring them at the end of this article.
Video Production Companies
In a nutshell, video production companies will help cover the three production stages, helping you coordinate, record and edit marketing videos. If you hire a video production company, you’ll be able to make use of their directing, technical expertise with a camera, and experience with video editing to produce a high-quality video from raw footage.
However, as previously mentioned, not all production companies will be capable of handling the entire production process, from pre-production to post-production. Be sure to inquire into how involved each company gets in the production process.
Different Types of Video Production Companies
A video production company may have specialties in different types of videos, formats and channels, like commercial production, digital ads, and social media. They may specialize, like Thoughtcast Media does, in remotely producing marketing videos for corporate clients, or on the other side of the spectrum, may have specialties like wedding video production for the consumer market.
They can vary dramatically, so when evaluating production companies, it’s important to ask for samples from their portfolio to get an idea of what types of videos they are known for and specialize in, so you don’t wind up with videos that poorly represent your brand.
We’ll cover some of the different types of specialized video production companies at the end of this article.
Video Production Companies and Video Marketing
Production companies may also differ widely in how much marketing expertise they bring to the table. Thoughtcast Media, for example, provides a great deal of marketing expertise and can help you develop a video marketing strategy, that guides the production of and assists in the promotion of your videos.
Video production companies are more likely to prioritize hiring a great production team rather than hiring great marketers. So, while they may produce incredibly stimulating and engaging video content, that doesn’t always translate to business results.
Hiring a Video Production Company
A video production company with marketing experience can save you a lot of time and money that gets wasted going back and forward with a provider, sometimes only to result in a video that doesn’t help you reach you marketing objectives.
The more skilled a video provider is, at either the production or marketing side, the more expensive they’re likely to be, so try to find a balance you’re comfortable with.
Video Marketing Agencies
In short, a video marketing agency is typically better positioned to help you with the marketing side of the video marketing equation, rather than the production side. Once again, this isn’t exclusively true, as some marketing agencies will have their own in-house video talent and can handle video like any other piece of creative, but they’re usually less equipped for more elaborate productions.
However, they can help you with campaign strategy and development, advertising and media support, social media and other specialized marketing services.
Marketing Agencies and Video Production Services
One thing to be aware of is that while a video marketing agency may help you shoot and edit your videos, they are more likely to outsource many of the video production tasks to a video production company. This can sometimes add cost and risk to your video project, but it’s also possible that a marketing agency can help you minimize your overall production costs versus sourcing video production services on your own.
Look into how an agency produces their video content to get an idea of the production quality and level of control an agency has over the production of your potential videos.
Hiring a Video Marketing Agency
If you need a lot of marketing assistance, an agency is likely a better option compared to a production company.
As a marketing agency, their focus is obviously going to be on the marketing side of things, but many agencies are plenty capable on the production side. However, if video is not one of their specialties, you probably want to look elsewhere.
Subcontracting video production services through an agency can be expensive on top of already pricey agency fees, so you may consider producing your videos elsewhere, and rely on an agency purely for promotion and distribution of your content.
What Mix of Production and Marketing is Right for You?
Choosing between a video production company and a video marketing agency often comes down to how much marketing support your business needs.
Do you need heavy marketing support for executing big national advertising campaigns, do you just need a company to produce videos for your business, or are your video marketing needs somewhere inbetween?
Do you have a budget that will support the added cost of marketing and outsourced video production services, or do you need a more affordable all-in-one solution for your corporate marketing needs?
Thoughtcast Media Offers a Proven Combination
Thoughtcast Media is a video production company that specializes in remote video production for business. We provide all video production services in-house and every video is directed and produced by marketers, for business results.
We also provide marketing services for the typical needs of corporate clients. Among other marketing services, we can help you with:
- Assessment of your marketing funnel & sales pipeline for determining which videos will be most helpful to you
- Making sure that every video you produce serves a specific marketing purpose
- Guidance on video-based marketing and ad campaigns
- Video engagement analysis and optimization
Other Types of Video Production Providers
If you have your video all spec’d out and just need someone to show up with a good camera, lighting and other video gear to capture some professional footage, a videographer is a great low-cost option.
A video marketing consultant can help you with a wide range of activities from strategy to promotion. They likely won’t help produce the video but can provide guidance on producing it in-house or hiring a video vendor.
Video Ad Agencies
If you need videos specifically for generating leads and sales on paid ad platforms, a video agency that know how to produce ads the drive revenue and that has expertise in media buying might be exactly what you need.
Remote Video Companies
As demand for video grows, companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to produce video content. A remote video production company can help you produce videos with remote collaborators and without the overhead of full productions.
Social Video Production
If video marketing content that drives reach and engagement on social media is what you’re after, a social media video marketing agency or social video production company may be a good fit. With all the social video platforms out there, you may even want someone that specializes in YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
Animated Video Companies
If you want a video that is strictly animated, a video company that specializes in animation is probably your best bet, but otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere. There are a wide range of animators and styles to choose from, for budgets of all sizes. If results are what you’re after, be sure to vet their marketing abilities.
10 Questions to Ask a Video Marketing Company Before Hiring Them
If you’ve done an assessment of your video capabilities and needs, you should have a pretty good idea of what conversation you need to have with various video marketing providers you might interview for your next project.
If you need help figuring out where to start, here are ten questions we recommend you ask prospective video marketing providers before engaging them.
Keep in mind that these questions are designed to help you find providers to assist you with an ongoing, video marketing program. The requirements for a single video provider are much less involved.
- What is your level of expertise and experience with video marketing? (Provide a list of capabilities, the number of video marketing projects you manage each year, and samples of past campaigns to support your answer.)
- What experience do you have supporting video marketing campaigns in our industry?
- How much of the video marketing process do you conduct/produce in-house, and what parts of the process to you rely on subcontractors to provide?
- Of the entire video marketing process (i.e., strategy, pre-production, production, post-production, and promotion), where are you the strongest, and where are you the weakest?
- What types of video marketing projects do you take on most often? (Be sure to look for answers that involve real video marketing projects, not video projects that lack a serious marketing component.)
- Are there any marketing projects for which you don’t think video is especially helpful? (Of course, there are many. For example, video isn’t especially good at communicating complex financial or other analytical information. Beware of answers that cast video as the be-all/end-all solution.)
- Is there a video marketing project you would turn down, because of requirements you can’t support? (Look for honest answers here about capabilities.)
- In your estimation, what are the video marketing metrics that you believe are most important for analyzing the success of a video marketing campaign? (Beware of any answer here that doesn’t emphasize conversion rates, and other metrics surrounding the process of turning prospects into customers.)
- Are you willing to enter into a flexible agreement, to support us as we grow our video marketing program, build in-house capabilities, and take on more of the process ourselves? (As video production prices continue to fall, more and more organizations find it cost-effective to have at least some in-house video marketing and production capabilities.)
- Where do you believe the future of video marketing to be going? (There are no right or wrong answers here, but you’ll want to look for a level of excitement for the future of video marketing.)
There are certainly many more questions you may wish to ask of potential video marketing services providers, but these should get you started in finding a provider that can provide you the support you need, based on your requirement and your own capability and inclination to manage the whole process yourself.
So, before you go shopping for provider, be sure that you’ve taken the time to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
With a firm understanding of your needs and capabilities, you’re much more likely to find the support you need, from one or more providers who are best suited for helping you.
If you need additional assistance, please feel free to schedule a free consultation with our video expert, who can help you make the right decision for your company.