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Video production companies in Minneapolis... where do we even begin? There are a TON of video production companies in our great city and even more nationwide. So when your boss, band or fiancé needs one how do you decide who to hire? What questions do you ask and how do you make sure you're getting the right answers? Easy, young padawan. We are here to help.



THE FOUR MOST COMMON TYPES OF VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES
Identifying what your needs are will decide which type of video production company you choose to work with (more on that, here). This list does not include freelancers, these are strictly "companies". Oh, and they are not listed "best to worst" or "most common to least" or any other ordering than "well that sounds nice" order.

1) Classic Video Production Company
This is your classic corporate video producer. Companies in this world will specialize in a variety of tasks ranging from live event work to online web video. Often these guys will be specialized in a particular vertical (medical, technology, food, etc).

Differentiator:   Grinders. Will do your job, no questions asked.
Hire Them When:  You are a company and are looking to produce a live event or are placing a higher emphasis on "getting it done" than on quality.
Works Best With:   Professional organizations of varying size. These production companies are generally (but not always) specialized in a specific industry.
Questions to Ask:  What examples/referrals can you share?
                                 What budget range(s) do you typically work in?


2) Video Marketing Company/Agency
These are very similar to the classic video production company with one major difference: approach. Where video production companies are great order-takers, video marketing companies and/or agencies (same thing) are excellent refiners. This type of outfit will generally want to sit down with you, talk through your over-arching video strategy and will invest time into educating you on how to gauge the success or failure of your investment.

It is important to note that video marketing companies do not compete with marketing or advertising agencies. Their goal is to help implement video as a portion of an existing marketing mix. In fact, these companies will very likely have agency contacts and work regularly with them in the advertising world.

Differentiator:     Proactive collaborators. Not reactionary.
Hire Them If You:    Are a company and are looking to produce an external-facing piece. If you have a marketing team in place that is incorporating video into their marketing mix, this is your team.
Works Best With:  Professional organizations of varying size. These production companies are generally specialized in a specific style (narrative, animation, etc) or look (cinematic, interview, etc), instead of a specific industry vertical.
Questions to Ask:  What examples/referrals can you share?
                                 What budget range(s) do you typically work in?
                                 What is your production method/approach?

                                 What type(s) of video(s) should I produce?
 

3) Wedding Videography Company
Wedding videography is pretty self explanatory... a company that is wonderful at capturing your big day for the big screen (or flat screen in your basement, either way). The trick here is letting them be experts at what they are experts at -- filming weddings! Just how you wouldn't hire a video production or video marketing company to film your wedding day, don't hire a wedding videography company to produce your company's live event, web ad, or commercial!

Differentiator:    Specialized in wedding videography
Hire Them If You:   Are getting married and would like a beautiful memory that will preserve your day forever.
Works Best With:  Couples looking for engagement video, wedding highlight video(s), slow motion video (slo-mo) booths, etc.
Questions to Ask:  What examples/referrals can you share?
                                What budget range(s) do you typically work in?
                                When do I get my finished video?

 

4) Film Production Company
Have you ever seen one of those "TV Shows" or "movies" the kids are always talking about these days? That's what film production companies do -- make stories, not commercials. Does this mean that if you want to make a commercial you should never hire a film production company? Not necessarily... but it's very likely they won't be interested. They specialize in very high-budget pieces that they sell to distributors so they usually aren't taking orders from XYZ, LLC.

The other truth about these guys is that often the "company" is a producer or a group of a few producers that gear up when they need to. And that's not a rip on them, it's how they should manage their company -- you don't need everyone full time, all the time. But this does mean that they wouldn't really be the best call if you have some work you really need done.

Differentiator:     Specialized in creating movies and TV shows.
Hire Them If You:   Want to make one of the aforementioned.
Works Best With:    Producers and distributors
Questions to Ask:  N/A  ...or as they say in the biz, "If you have to ask, go home."


OK, that is a lot of info. Point is, there are four major types of production companies and that is a really good thing! Why? Because each of them is uniquely suited to solve different needs for different types of clients. Work to define your video marketing goals and then align yourself with the right type of production company that is able to execute on them.


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About the Author
Jake LeVoir is the Director of Sales at Slate and Main. He has built a career on helping organizations grow by developing engaging video campaigns that drive consumer traffic and increase brand awareness.

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