EP MAILBAG "I'm ready to make my first corporate video...where do we start?"
We are a video production company in Austin TX and specialize in corporate video production as heavily as possible as far as Austin video production companies go. We regularly post questions that often come to our Executive Producer as a resource for companies interested in video production.
I wanted to put a video on my website for the conversion rate benefits. So I guess my first question is...what should be my first question?
Your first question should be three questions...to yourself.
The first question you should ask is what is the purpose of the video production. Conversions may be the end goal, but what are you trying to convince the viewer of to make that conversion happen? Is this a video for your upcoming user conference and you’re trying to get them to attend (event video)? Is it a video for your jobs page trying to get them to apply (culture video)? Or, as is often the case, is it showcasing what your company to get them to buy (product video)?
Secondly, after you decide the main category you need to drill down to what angle you’re going for to convey your message. If it’s an event video are you trying to show how fun the event is or how much you are getting out of your attendance? Both? Maybe more? If it’s a culture video are you selling the employee benefits? Are you showing how unique your team is? Possibly you are featuring the exciting innovation in your company? And in regards to product videos are you selling your unique selling proposition (hopefully always yes)? The cost of the product? The ease of use? All of the above? It should be said that many of the above mentioned selling points, for all video types, will organically come out during interviews and you just have to see what shakes out. Because you should be focusing on your best footage that resulted form your video production. But if there’s something you know HAS to be in there, like say, that your employees feel they have amazing work-life balance and that the overall feel of the video needs to be “playful”, it’s important to know that ahead of time.
Thirdly, you need to ask the HOW part of how you’re going to do this thing. You’re going to have to figure out the primary logistics. Can you do video production at your office? Will you go off-site? Will you need animation? Will you need voiceover? How many days would it take to do what you need? A lot of this will depend on schedules and budget. You don't have to know everything, just know the main primary resources and restraints you’re working with.
How long should it be?
Obviously it depends on the video but as a good rule of thumb, try to keep it under two minutes. In my experience clients tend to want longer. Even if they don’t initially want longer they decide they want longer during the post-production process. And the reason for this is well-intentioned and really understandable. They discover that they have a lot to say and want to squeeze as much as possible in there. This is a temptation you just have to fight. Never forget what it’s like to be on the viewer side of these videos and although the content may seem super fascinating to you the viewer may not give you more than 30-60 seconds of their time. Take a look at a graphic from this corporate video production study for reference:
What’s the turnaround time for a typical corporate video?
Since I feel that too many people like to cop out on questions like these with the old “it depends” response I’ll give you a real answer. The average is about 1 month. When talking about full package edited content somewhere in the 1-3 minute range the shortest turnaround we've ever had was 4 business days from the video production shoot date. But we’ve also had projects go into the multi-month timeframe. The real variable is typically response time from the client. Even if there are several edits we can typically turn them around pretty quickly, the larger time variable being the response times. And it’s very understandable as well. Sometimes clients want to get a lot of opinions on a cut. Sometimes they’re just really busy. And that’s usually the reason.
As far as average turnaround time I’d say the industry average is closer to 6-8 weeks as compared to our 4 weeks. And I think that’s because of our preference to how we like to work. We typically like to pick a lane as far as how we envision how a video should look during post-production. So we try to do as complete a finished product as possible. And it’s really up to the client to give a yea or nay as to whether they like our vision or not. Then there often aren’t too many cuts from there. As opposed to some video production companies that would rather give you a rougher, longer version that gives the client a lot more options to work through. Either way is not necessarily right or wrong, it’s just a question of preference. Think of it as an Apple vs. Microsoft dynamic. A more polished product vs. a more customizable product. And we’re Apple.
Michael Mason is the Executive Producer of Perfect Chaos Films. Perfect Chaos Films is an Austin video production company specializing in corporate videos. We believe in being creative, eating brisket tacos with homemade tortillas and keeping it weird because Austin Texas.