Not all video companies are created equal. Though ‘video’ is often lumped together into one big category, the range of services offered by video companies varies greatly depending on their business model and capabilities. Each level of what we call the ‘video ecosystem’ offers different levels of technical and creative support. Before getting started on a video project, it is important to be aware of the differences in these companies, in order to choose the right fit for your video project. Failing to do so may leave you with content that doesn’t fit your vision, or on the other hand, you might end up paying for services you don’t need.
The Video Ecosystem
No video company is trying to land every available video gig. We like to think of the range of video companies in the economy in terms of an ecosystem because, like in the natural world, each breed of video company fills a niche, by providing their own level of service, at the right price, to their target market. Understanding the niches that video companies fill can help you find the right fit for your own video endeavor.
DIY/In-house Video Production
Some simple projects can be done without hiring a video company at all. LinkedIn, for instance, is a great setting for sharing your messages and ideas through video. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming literate in video, and it’s possible to film yourself through a cell phone with a simple mount. DIY videos have a more personal, less polished touch and can be great when you know what you’re doing. However, when you’re trying to direct, film, and edit yourself, by yourself, all while running a business, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
A freelance videographer will bring their tools and knowledge to the stage to help shoot a project which you have clearly laid out for them. A good use of a freelance videographer would be capturing a keynote address, or other live event or planned announcement. A limitation of the freelance videographer is their limited resources and need for direction.
Video Production Company
Unlike the freelance videographer, a good video production has a full arsenal of tools at their disposal. They’ll have the best producers, cameras, lighting, and audio equipment, editors and in general have bandwidth for much larger and more complicated projects. You might hire a video production company when you have a clear-cut creative concept defined for your project but simply need more crew/braun to get it done. Generally speaking, their limitation may be that they will want a creative concept and script already laid out for them. It is their job to implement a plan, not to come up with it.
What makes a video agency unique is the presence of a creative director. A creative director is the architect of a video marketing project. They will be with you from day one – asking the tough questions; getting clarity; developing a strategy and building consensus between stakeholders. A video agency will be able to provide conceptual development, not just execution. They will invest the time to learn about your business, establish clear project goals, develop targeted messaging and brand standards in order to transform abstract ideas into video. A video agency is best for complicated projects that need oversight from start to finish.
When does a business need a video agency?
When you’re thinking about what level of service your project needs, it’s important to consider how clear of a direction you already have in mind for your project – do you have a clear idea of what your needs are, or do you need someone to strategize this with you? Is this a simple project or one with many moving pieces? Are you clear about what you want to communicate and do you know how to make that happen?
Oftentimes, companies will hire video production companies in order to shoot a video, but will be frustrated when the final video doesn’t meet their vision. They will fault the video production company for being inadequate at their jobs, when in reality, they were unfairly asking a video production company to do the work of a video agency.
A video agency like Skillman Video Group doesn’t just show up on a shoot day expecting you to call all the shots – we work with you to learn about your company’s identity and needs, the goals of your video campaign, and who your audience is. Working closely with our clients, we strategize on how to translate what we’ve learned from our clients into persuasive and purposeful video. When you need someone who can take you from concept to content, you contact a video agency like Skillman Video Group.
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