With video marketing on the rise, businesses are investing in the content more than ever. In fact, a survey by Wyzowl revealed that 99% of marketers will continue to use video throughout 2020, with 95% planning to increase their budget in video content (note: that’s a lot!!!). 

And we can’t blame them. In contrast to other marketing content, customers are best drawn towards video – what better way to illustrate your company culture, demonstrate your products, and tell engaging stories than through moving visuals? 

But not all video agencies and videographers can bring your vision to life. Here are four crucial questions you should ask your videographer before booking in their expertise.

Ask about their experience

This is an obvious one: your final video will represent your company, its culture, and what you stand for, so you’ll want a professional who captures all the necessary details, collaborates efficiently with everyone in the company, and is well-versed in filming video content suitable for your business. 

Keep in mind that videography can involve vastly different styles, techniques, and equipment than other film projects: movies, television, weddings…. this is where experience in your type of video plays a big role; skilled videographers in the field take time to understand your vision and goal and find a suitable angle for your video.

Beware also looking up reviews and past projects on their website: you are likely to only see the successful projects, not their epic fails. There’s no easy way to go about this, but getting in touch with their 2-3 most recent clients should give you the beginning of an idea.

Questions on their experience can include:

  • How long have they been in business for?
  • How do they gauge the success of their video?
  • have they shot similar videos in the past? Can they show you any example?
  • Are you able to contact any of their past clients?

Ask about their equipment

Your videographer’s equipment can help you envision the final quality of your video – are they using high-tech, or basic gear? (Note: Bigger doesn’t always mean better – most videography projects are done with cameras no bigger than the ones used by photographers!)

Asking about your videographer’s gear, and possibly other hands on deck (i.e. a second or “backup” shooter) lets you know what to expect on the day and gives you a full overview of all their package inclusions. This also gives an idea of expenses and how well they’ll fit your budget. 

Generally, the more cameras, equipment, and operators – the grander your corporate video. The amount you choose to invest in ultimately depends on your vision for the final film.

Questions on their equipment (and videography package) can include:

  • What does your camera look like?
  • What other equipment will you be using?
  • How many cameramen (and other assistants) will you require?
  • What microphone will you be using (hand-held or clip)?

Ask about their pricing

First, decide on the “non-negotiables” for your video. These are elements you must have in your film, whether it’s on-screen graphics, voiceovers, additional stock footage; make a checklist of these to share with your potential videographer.

This will help them come up with an accurate custom quote to measure against your budget. From here, you can decide whether the final pricing fits, or if there are certain factors you’re willing to let go of. The process helps you decide on the best package, pricing, and videographer for your event. 

But it’s also critical to understand how their pricing system works. Some may charge a flat rate, while others will offer preset packages (including features such as extra shooters, same-day editing, specific equipment pieces, etc.). 

Be sure to get a clear grasp on all expenses involved, and you’ll avoid any “surprise” costs on the day of shooting. It also helps to know their turnaround time, and whether the price is worth the timeframe between shooting and receiving your final video (i.e. Is it worth the high price tag if you have to wait months for your video? Are you willing to pay more to get it sooner?)

Questions on their pricing can include:

  • What is your pricing structure? 
  • What is your refund or cancellation policy?
  • Any additional costs we may encounter? (Overtime costs, travel costs, editing costs, etc.)
  • What is your turnaround time?

Ask about their process

First, be sure to ask exactly what they plan to film on the day, and whether they’ve got all your crucial, key moments in mind. Don’t forget to enquire on the sort of music they intend to use, touching on licensing issues and the vibe you wish to capture.

Get a feel of their style – and whether it matches your brand image. Both you and your videographer may have different ideas on what resonates with your customers best – so asking for samples of their work, or having a back-and-forth on potential ideas can help you decide if they’re a good fit. 

If you’re someone set on their creative vision, you can greatly benefit from understanding the videographer’s process, and whether their concepts or values align with yours. Openly communicating with your supplier can also help them better understand your brief, especially if it’s one they’re unfamiliar with. 

Lastly, you may want the final product by a certain deadline (i.e. a social event or the launch of a marketing campaign). If that’s the case, be sure to enquire on the editing timeframe, and when you can expect to see the finished video. The length of time heavily depends on who you work with – popular companies or freelancers may take longer than those with a smaller client base. 

Questions to ask on their process can include:

  • How long will the editing process take?
  • Will voiceovers and music scores be licensed?
  • How long will you keep the raw footage?
  • Who owns the final video files?
  • How do you back up your footage?
  • Are we able to review your first edit?
  • How much input will you need from us?

Final notes

Communication and customer care should be important factors when picking a videographer. As you discuss with your potential videographer, take note of their communication style, reception to feedback, and how high do you rank on their priority list.

Do they ask plenty of questions before diving into the project (to ensure they get exactly what you need)? Do they take your feedback into consideration? Are they efficient with communication? All these can help you determine the potential success of your partnership.

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I write about video marketing and how it can help your business.