1. Find the right corporate video company.
As we've said before, the only videos you shouldn't be outsourcing should be simple diary-style videos you can easily do yourself. That said, you don't have to spend a lot of money for a quality corporate video production company. Just as an example, here locally, there are dozens of quality Austin video production companies to choose from. But it may take some research to find a good one that works for cheap. One great way is to reach out to your network to get recommendations on production companies. Social media is also great for finding good options on a good production company, particularly Facebook groups. Facebook has all kinds of small business, startup or freelancer groups that get requests like this all the time. Locally, we have an "Austin Startups" group where people are always dropping requests and recs for Austin video production. And, of course, there's always the Google route. The tricky thing is that if you Google some options, you'll quickly be able to see the quality of their work but you almost definitely won't have an idea about the price as most video companies don't list their pricing. (And, as a good rule of thumb, the higher they rank on Google searches, the more expensive they generally will be considering they have business that comes to them). What I would recommend is to go through 3 or 4 pages of results for "(Insert City) video production" and find the best 10-15 that have a focus on corporate video. I know, that's a lot, and you probably don't want to get into a tedious back-and-fourth about setting up meetings, etc for this many companies so I'd come up with a detailed 2 paragraph description of what you're wanting to do and that you're looking for pricing and I'd go ahead and send that to each company's contact email listed. Some will send over pricing and some will insist on a phone call/meeting. That should at least get you some pricing information to get you started.
Once you've gotten your list down to a more manageable level and you've engaged with some good options another good idea is to ask them if they have any creative media ideas for the video, based on the information you've provided. Whether or not they give you anything substantial what you're really looking to do is to determine is if the company is more of a "creative video agency" or more of a "videographer." Keep in mind either one may have a killer website with killer examples of their work. What you don't want is a videographer, a company that will strictly point a camera and do ONLY what you ask of them. What you really want is a creative company, one that will take initiative and add their own creative flair to the project. It will make all the difference in the world for the project and for value on your dollar. Which brings us to the next tip...
2. A little creativity goes a long way.
Your video company can hopefully help with this, but one big way to pull off a really successful corporate video is to add an extra creative dimension you don't typically see. There's this example of a product video from Dollar Shave Club that has 10's of millions of views that cost $4500 for the video production that uses this offbeat edgy sense of humor to get its message across:
Or this company culture video from Shopify that utilizes their employee "Edward" to act as a host to walk you through what the corporate culture is like there:
These are just a couple of examples but Google for lists of best corporate videos. There are a lot of great ideas out there that are very doable on any budget.
3. Shoot during an event you’re already doing. Or plan a small event. Or just change venues.
You may not have the budget for a great animation piece or for a five-day video production shoot with multiple 4K cameras but you may be able to utilize some events you've already got set up to add some really cool visuals. Whether it be an offsite conference or even a small social event like a happy hour adding a change of scenery can really add some extra depth to your video. Your office may or may not be the most photogenic place in the world but going to a cool bar/restaurant/landmark will make an interview really pop. And it's a goldmine for great b-roll. Another example locally we have a lot of fun trendy Austin video production sites like a wall mural or the graffiti park that would add so much for the aesthetic and feel for the video that are also free locations for video production in Austin
4. Great music can make your video.
I've gone through 1000s of corporate videos looking for inspiration and the biggest issue I run into, even with otherwise great videos, is the use of the same boring "corporate-y" music. It's infuriating. Who said because its a business video production it can't have good music? And don't be afraid to use something offbeat with the genre of music. If you're worried about it being distracting, don't. It'll add a really interesting juxtaposition, trust me. I can't tell you how much a cool folk tune or a happy clapping beat can improve a video. On a scale from 1 to 10 it probably takes a 4 to a 9. And there's a lot of royalty free sites that allow you to easily peruse a lot of options. Premium Beat is the one we like to use most.
5. Utilize your people.
You probably can't afford a celebrity spokesperson. Actors are expensive. Voiceover can be pretty affordable but might not be necessary. And it's not just to save money. The best thing to do is to use your employees, and that's true whether you're budget is $2K or $200K. It will give the video a more authentic organic feel. It's a fantastic thing for employee morale to be featured in your employer's video. But, most importantly, who can tell your company's story better than your own people?
Michael Mason is the Owner and Executive Producer of Perfect Chaos Films in Austin, TX. Perfect Chaos Films is an Austin video production company, specializing in corporate videos. They also specialize in taco consumption, because Austin TX.