The ability to make your own videos for business purposes has never seemed easier.
So why should you hire a professional if you can do it yourself? For many reasons. So before you grab a camera and head off to dreams of Technicolor glory, take a look at the steps and considerations the professionals will take to ensure a successful video.
First, clear objectives and goals – and a budget — will be set for your video production. Is it a 15 second pre-roll ad, a 5-10 minute demonstration to roast a turkey, or a live 30-minute conference? Will it be used on your website or shown only internally to your employees? A professional will help you stay organized, focused and within the set budget.
Depending on whether it’s a lecture or a testimonial video for your company, different structures and equipment will be needed. What kind of additional sound is required? Voice-overs? Music? We’ve all been subjected to videos with sound issues and poor quality control – is that really how you want your business presented?
Most importantly, the script and storyboard for the video must meet one or all of the following three Es:
Entertain. What is the purpose of the entertaining video? Maybe you’re demonstrating the lighter side of your business or highlighting the humorous side of your employees. Humor can go a long way in the use of video if it’s executed correctly. Otherwise, your viewers might be laughing at you and not with you.
Enlighten. Is there information about your business, your service or product that you want your viewers to know about? A professional will make sure this information will be conveyed to your target audience in a way that proves beneficial to them, as well as getting your message across.
Educate. Is there an instructional component to the video? If it’s a product demo video, do viewers need to follow specific steps to assemble and/or operate your product? The professional can help determine whether the video is suitable as a hands-on demonstration or lecture format with simple, easy to follow instructions.
A professional will also be able to help with location choices for the shoot. How big of a space do you need? Is it well lit? And you will most likely be in need of the use of a studio for additional footage and final editing, something a professional will have access to.
It’s clear that a well-shot, tightly produced quality video requires a good deal of resources that may be beyond a small business. Enlisting a video professional may be your only choice. The challenge is knowing what to look for and how and where to get it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when vetting an industry professional:
Competency. The professional should be as resourceful as McGyver in addressing challenges on a shoot, and has the means to use any tools accessible to create the video. If the many variables in a video shoot prove problematic, a good videographer will be able to resolve the issues to get it back on track. A professional knows the importance of budget, so it’s extremely critical to know what your needs are to help determine the best course of action in making key decisions to the success of your business. One who has surrounded themselves with the right personnel and equipment to create the video that meets your business needs.
Credentials. Make sure the professional has the right background for your project. Are you looking for a professional that has a creative background to provide a unique look for your video or are you looking for a professional familiar with your industry that can help you meet your goals and objectives? A video production professional has a vested interest in your success, and the knowledge, experience, and skill set to produce a professional video that meets the original set of criteria.
Compatibility. To ensure a good working relationship and creative fit with the video professional, review their portfolio on their website, read their testimonials, and talk to others who have worked with this professional. Have the professional visit your business and share your priorities and goals so you’re sure you’re both on the same page. And then go with your instincts in deciding if this is the professional that you’ll be able to work with to get the best result for your business.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be left with a video that will enhance your website, increase the power of your message, better train your employees or all of the above. A video that helps you achieve any of your business goals is money well spent.
Videographer Robert Lee is owner of Sha La La La Productions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.