There’s some straightforward due-diligence you should do on any video production and distribution company you consider. Look at their portfolio to verify the quality of their work. Ask some of their prior clients about their experiences. Evaluate their prices. Meet the key people and make sure they’re people you can trust.
But beyond the basics, there’s more you should consider when choosing a company for your nonprofit video marketing campaign.
Do they take your goals seriously?
The video production company with the most impressive film industry awards isn’t necessarily the one that will best serve your goals. You want a company that cares more about serving your mission than winning accolades from their peers. Tell them about your goals, and ask them to discuss how they’ll create a video marketing campaign that serves you.
How will they develop your story?
As we’ve shown above, story is critical to the success of your video marketing campaign. A shot of your building, a recitation of your mission statement, and a sound bite from your executive director won’t give you the impact you want. Ask candidates how they plan to discover, develop, and then tell a compelling story that captivates your audience and advances your goals.
How will they treat the people featured on-camera?
You’ll probably get a sense for this by talking with candidates, but make sure you’re hiring people who will treat your subjects well. These are the people you serve, your volunteers, your staff, your leaders. They’re important to the work you do, and you don’t want anyone to violate the trust they place in you.
Also, videographers and interviewers who treat people with kindness and respect are more likely to get the vulnerable, honest stories your video campaign needs to grab viewers’ attention.
Do they understand and are they planning for the needs of distribution?
YouTube, television, Instagram, theatrical screens… each distribution format has its own technical and artistic needs. Ask candidates to explain how they’ll plan for and deliver video for all your planned distribution channels.
Do they understand and are they planning for promotion?
What’s the company’s plan for providing closed captioning? Will they produce promotional clips for use on social media? How will they support you throughout your promotional campaign?
Do you want a single-source solution or are you comfortable coordinating multiple contractors? How much can you handle in-house?
Some companies will handle the entire video marketing campaign for you, from planning and production through distribution and promotion. Integrated firms like these may make the process simpler for your organization.
But there’s nothing wrong with choosing a video production company you like, then having a separate marketing agency manage distribution and promotion. Or maybe your internal marketing team has the resources and expertise to handle distribution and promotion.
Just make sure that the production and marketing teams coordinate with one another, so that the videos produced will support the marketing plan. And be sure that the marketing team you choose understands video distribution channels and is savvy about video promotion.