You’ve decided you need an explainer video for your homepage to help prospective website visitors understand what you do faster. Great! Your boss approved the budget and you are ready to find a video production company to help you. You may be familiar with companies that have produced videos for your competitors or maybe you’ve been perusing some production company sites to see the quality of their work. Awesome! Now before you start interviewing potential production houses, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Here are five key points to help you get started:

1. Do their videos get results?

This is the most important consideration when producing video for business: do they work? There are plenty of video production houses that will promise to create the most beautiful cinematic experience your eyes have ever seen. The problem is that it might not achieve your specific business objectives. The most important question to answer is whether or not it will return what you are investing in it. Does the video production company have any case studies? Do they have clients you can speak with? Have they won any awards for their work? These are all valid points to start from because, more than anything, your video needs to help convert website visitors into customers. If the video they ultimately produce can’t help you, then it’s useless.

2. Do they fit your company culture?

You’re hiring them for a project, so they’re going to be an extension of your team. You need to find a video production company whose work, style and personality will mesh well with you. You also want to find a company that will push you and your company to do great things, and to ask the questions you may not have thought of because you have been working so close to your product or service for so long. Your video production company should be a dynamic and powerful addition to your team. The Ying to your Yang. The peanut butter to your jelly. The Lennon to your McCartney. Maybe not quite as prolific as the dynamic duo from The Beatles, but you get the idea.

3. Do they have fresh and creative ideas?

There are few things worse than when you engage a creative team and everything they present is expected, boring and formulaic. You’re hiring a video production company to breathe life into your product or service. It’s your video marketing, you want it to make a creative statement about who you are and what you do. To put what you do into perspective so everyone watching can understand and relate easily. Watch some sample work they’ve done – does it all seem to follow the same recipe? You want to hire someone that is able to look at your product or service in a new way and bring an individualistic creative flair to how ‘what you do’ is presented in the video.

4. How much do I need to be involved in the production of the video?

This depends a lot upon your personality and bandwidth, but it’s definitely something you need to consider upfront. Some agencies will just need you to fill out the creative brief and need your input at a few critical milestones in the production process. Others will rely on you to write the script, source the voice-over and other aspects, so you will be far more involved. Knowing how much you are going to be involved in the production process right off the bat will save you a lot of surprises later.

5. Can they deliver within my deadline and budget?

Sounds reasonable, right? It is, however, something you will need to hammer out at the beginning of the process while you are interviewing several potential video production agencies. If you are working with a reputable company, animated explainer videos will be $4,000 – $10,000 per minute and if you’re shooting live action, it could be $6,000 – $20,000. Where you fall in the range depends upon the scope of the video production.

There are some cheaper companies but, like anything else, you get what you pay for. If your budget is tight you’re going to have to make trade-offs with one or more of the other questions above. It could be that the studio you select won’t have any proven results or awards to speak for their work. It could be that you’ll have to do a lot of the heavy lifting by assisting with the production. However, in regards to the deadline, you need to be sure the agency can deliver in your time frame. Some companies have longer video production cycles than others. So if you have a hard and fast date looming for a product launch, you need to be sure the company you select will be able to supply your finished video in the time frame you have.

Hopefully these questions will help you in your hunt for a great video production house, but most importantly, try to remember that it’s your video. You need to make sure that the video production team you hire is going to be easy to work with and produce that super awesome, exceptional video for you.

Let us know if these questions were helpful to you in the comments below!