How to Choose a Video Agency Partner
It can be true of anyone, in any profession, that sometimes you are so caught up in the ‘day-to-day’ work that you don’t ever take a step back to consider things. I recently did this in order to simply consider how businesses actually choose a video agency to partner.
As the use of video marketing increases this selection process is clearly becoming more and more important; choosing the right partner really can have a huge impact – both positive and negative – on the creative direction your content strategy takes. As a result I wanted to write about this, to give some tips and advice to any business looking to form a partnership with a video agency.
Writing a brief
The brief - the document you create to convey your creative wants and needs – should be concise and clear. This applies to your vision of the end video output as well as, critically, who is involved and what the sign off process is. This will allow the video agencies that receive it to know who to speak to, regarding any questions, and also what any relevant deadlines are. Giving the video agencies this clarity will aid them in creating something that hits your brief and allows you the opportunity to review their understanding of this.
Don’t assume that the brief is simply you laying down your thoughts and desires; it is actually a document that works for the video agencies also. It should give them the perimeters in which you will work to determine if their output has been a success. The decision making process should be included so no debate or ambiguity exists when the decision is made.
The tender process
This will vary from business to business, normally due to the nature of the project you are briefing, but sometimes a two round selection process can help you to determine which agencies seem more suitable for your purposes. Consider making the first round a simple application process, a paper based process, whereby interested agencies submit a ‘one-pager’ with their credentials on. This should then allow you to whittle down any agencies you are not happy to proceed with and then let you hold a more involved second round.
The second round could be a face-to-face meeting where you can discuss the brief in more detail, answering any relevant questions. This in turn then allows you to create an updated brief with a FAQs section to send to all of the agencies involved so everyone has the same, updated, information. You may also consider clarifying how the video agency will spend the project budget and whether you need to amend it to get the desired result.
Get into the detail
I have heard of some horror stories where business end up at loggerheads with their video production company partner simply because the detail is not agreed upfront. This detail involves things like who owns the content which ultimately gets produced – as well length of ownership and whether any third parties the agency have used (voiceover artists for example) have copyright ownership over any of the material.
Before finally settling on a video agency make sure you’re happy over any agreements regarding budget overspend or missed deadlines and who is responsible. It is not unusual for contracts to reflect penalties if either party fail to deliver or hit certain outlined obligations.
Choosing Your Video Agency Partner
Like forming any partnership in life you will want to feel comfortable with the video agency you finally settle on. This comfort will stem from them understanding you, your brand and the ultimate aim of the project. My last piece of advice would be to meet the team (that’s everyone who would be involved), spend time in their office to understand their working environment and creative process – doing these things will help both parties to get familiar with each other before the project starts.
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