You’re looking for a video production partner to create a series of instructional videos for your kitchen appliance customer portal but you don’t know where to turn. Whether you’ve never created a video before or you’re looking for a change of pace, you want to find the perfect video production company. You want a company that will become your long-term partner and prove to be the strongest possible return on investment—whatever that “return” means to you based on your desired outcomes (lowering customer support requests, pleasing shareholders, increasing sales, getting more positive customer reviews, etc.). You want to ensure that the money you put into your video will show tangible results.
But how do you find that perfect production partner? What should you be looking for in a kitchen appliance video production “soul mate”?
Note that budget should not be the most important aspect of choosing a video production company. If you are going to put money into a video, make the money worth it. A low quality or poorly executed video can do more damage to your reputation and wallet than no video at all. Instead, you want to choose a production company based on their expertise and culture fit. Also, note that choosing the wrong partner can cause you to risk losing your job or getting poor reviews from your higher-ups if the production company you suggest ends up not being a good fit and isn’t able to deliver on your company's needs.
Below are the questions you should ask when considering a video production company.
- How experienced is the company in this particular industry?
How experienced is this team? This doesn’t necessarily mean they should have been in business for a specific number of years. Experience relates to the amount of work they’ve completed and showcased, the quality of their work, and the kind of clients they’ve served.
Often, with this question, you can request samples of previous work and references. Most production companies will have an online portfolio of their videos to demonstrate some of their experience. However, requesting samples outside of what is showcased on their website can give you an idea of the work they’ve done that is most similar to what you are looking to accomplish with their help. Viewing requested samples can show you the level of quality and professionalism that they put into their videos.
This is a great way to see how they put videos together in terms of shot composition, lighting, resolution, clip selection, graphics, etc. But, also how they build the content itself. Are their kitchen appliance videos clean and concise? How well did they keep the videos on brand?
This is also an opportunity to ask if they have any client testimonials or case studies to further demonstrate their competence.
- Do they serve a particular niche?
Video production is such a broad industry which can make it tough to determine which professional is the right partner for you.
To get the best return on your investments and to build a long-term partnership, hire a company that specializes in video production for kitchen appliances. Ask the companies you reach out to “What do you do better than everyone else?” Listen to see if what they market on their website matches with what they say to you over the phone. You can also look at their portfolio to identify where they stand out. Most importantly, look for consistency in their work.
They may specialize in a highly-specific niche like “filming instructional videos for commercial kitchen appliance companies” or something more broad but still relevant such as “filming food and beverage.” The expectation is that the more a company specializes in the exact kind of video production that you are looking for, the higher your chances are that they will be a good fit for your needs.
For example, a company could be highly proficient at shooting food commercials with a portfolio filled with delicious food, cooked on commercial kitchen appliances. However, a more fitting company would be one that has done video productions highlighting kitchen appliances themselves. You want to look out for how the company presents the operation of each appliance and how well the voiceover and graphics fall in line with the clips. Does the video feel easy to understand and engaging? Or complicated and drawn out?
- How knowledgeable are they in the kitchen appliance industry?
One great way to see if a video production company walks the walk and talks the talk of the kitchen appliance industry is if they are familiar with industry terminology. As you discuss your needs with them, mention specific appliances and storage equipment that you would like to have filmed and allow them to express their experience with these appliances. Things like ranges, deep fryers, mobile filters, and convection ovens all have unique operating and cleaning rules according to the company and model however having a level of familiarity with these kinds of appliances before going into it can allow things to run smoother. Do they understand the complexities of these appliances and how tedious it can be to film each operating and cleaning step?
- What is your company culture like?
Just as you want to make sure a new employee fits with your company culture, you want your production company to be a culture fit. You want to build a partnership based on the same values and successes. Finding an appropriate culture fit will ensure that the videos they create—and how they do business—will accurately represent your business’s culture as well. A follow-up question to this topic could be “Describe the members of your team. What values and skills do they bring to the team? In what ways do they bond or enjoy downtime in the office or over video calls?”
- What is their measure of success?
What metrics does the company use? How do they typically determine whether or not they’ve delivered a quality video? Understanding how they value success can help you to determine whether your culture, goals, and objectives are aligned.
- What is their production process?
What does the process look like from start to end? This will give you a sense of the time, effort, and resources they will put into your video. Understanding their step-by-step process helps create clear communication and build strong video modules for your customer portal. A great question to ask in regards to this is “How will you communicate and collaborate on video revisions with us?” Also, “What prerequisites do you need from us to properly prepare for shoot days?”
- Who on your team handles logistics and can we briefly go over them in regards to this project?
This question allows you to get a feel for who you will be communicating with on a day-to-day basis and essentially envision what that process may look like. You can even go as far as inviting them to a second meeting where they explain their role and how it falls in line with delivering a solid product within the project scope and deadlines. Below are some questions you should consider asking within this topic.
- When can you start the project?
- How long is your typical timeline for a project of this size?
- What would be the potential delays and how would you overcome them?
- Will you use stock or custom designs?
- Will you use specialty services like animations, 3D renderings, and/or live streams for this video?
- What kind of equipment do you have at your disposal?
- Is editing included? What does the editing process look like?
- Do you have relationships with talent such as scriptwriters, voiceover artists, actors/actresses, and models that you can contract for projects like this?
- Do you need to see our location to prepare a proposal?
- How can you help us to ensure that the videos we produce together will be on purpose with the goals that we’ve expressed to you?