Video marketing is, arguably, the most effective form of online mass communication that you can do. It may or may not come as a shock to you, but all businesses, small and large, need to start using video – consumers demand it!
1 Meet your production company
Start off strong and take the time to establish a relationship with the person producing your video. You're going to spend significant time together for the next while over email, phone calls, and shooting days, so you might as well start this relationship off on a good note. If it isn't possible to meet face-to-face during the pre-production stage, then plan to meet over video chat.
Tip: this is also an opportunity to learn if you even want to proceed with working with this particular company and, in all fairness, they are wondering the same about you.
2 Use a reference video
When you approach a production company, inevitably the question of "What type of video do you want?" is going to come up. It's helpful to have a reference video on hand to show them. A picture says a thousand words and also goes beyond language barriers (terminology professionals use in the production industry can feel like a foreign language sometimes). From that reference video they will be able to give you some feedback right away and tell you what is possible and what isn't on their end. This is also an excellent opportunity for the company to bow out if they realize they aren't confident producing material at the level you require. However, they might also be able to tell you the approximate cost for a producing a video at that level, which might force you to ground your expectations.
Tip: If you're not sure where to start, see what your competition is doing for video.
3 Ask the right questions
The most popular question always seems to circulate around cost but it shouldn't be what you lead with. First you want to make sure the production company is even capable of delivering up to your expectations: creative quality, turn around deadline, etc. Also, if you're asking the production company for creative ideas upfront it's common for them not to disclose their brilliant ideas until a deposit has been collected. That is simply to protect them from having their ideas taken to another company to produce the video.
Tip: Fast, Good or Cheap. You can only pick 2. http://www.sixside.com/fast_good_cheap.asp
4 Contingency planing a.k.a. set a rain date
If part of your production requires shooting outdoors you're going to want to set a rain date. If the shoot can reasonably fit indoors, and you can obtain a reservation for a back-up indoor location, that might be your best solution.
Tip: Most production companies need at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule.
5 Shooting at your workplace
Usually, it's a good idea to shoot at your workplace for a couple of reasons. First, it cuts out location costs (ie. studio fees) and more importantly, it helps with the storytelling of the video.
Tip: If you're not sure if your workplace will work, then plan for a location scout. They will be able to tell if the space is suitable for setting up equipment, surrounding noise (ie. loud AC unit), power accessibility, lighting, etc.
6 Keep your edit changes simple
Sometimes an editor will show you a rough draft giving you an opportunity to make any necessary changes before the final version. Usually, simple changes are possible without incurring additional costs. For instance, perhaps you would rather a different shot be used in the video and you know they already have it shot, then ask if it's possible to use it instead. Whenever possible, any special requests you have for the final piece should be brought up in the pre-production stage.
Tip: If changes are necessary make sure you mention all of them in 1 note, which is simple and easy to understand.
7 Getting your video out there
Marketing distribution is a crucial step but probably the most over looked. Usually, when you finish production you've exhausted your budget. Research and plan ahead so you can promote your video on the appropriate channels when it is is complete.
Tip: Facebook ads are one of the best ways to market your video to a targeted audience.