Mark Wonderlin, a veteran marketing manager turned online video producer understands the power of proper video integration. Having founded the successful Mosaic Media Films production house, Mark shares the steps to choosing the right video production company for your needs, and what you need to watch out for:
Welcome Mark! Your production company, Mosaic Media Films, has an impressive portfolio – tell us a bit about your company's history.
Thanks for having me, I'm glad to help out and I appreciate the opportunity to share my knowledge to assist those looking to learn how to choose a video production company.
Mosaic Media Films spawned from my passion for both marketing, video, and creative. I worked in the marketing department for a phenomenal company called, Schutt Sports – the largest manufacture of football helmets and face guards in the world. For nearly 6 years I worked with Schutt as the Digital Marketing Manager, having the opportunity to create, develop and work with nearly every facet of traditional and digital media ranging from print, packaging, web-site, photography, email, social media, project management and most importantly video.
This vast exposure to marketing drove my passion for creating compelling content with the intention of conversion.
Through that experience and knowledge, Mosaic Media Films was formed – A company dedicated to creating compelling stories that resonate with viewers and increases conversion.
What is it that makes video such an engaging marketing platform?
The statistics and conversion rates for a well crafted video far exceed alternative marketing efforts and study after study reinforces that.
Some of my favorite statistics are: 60% of online viewers watch video but only 3% of sites have video – couple that with conversion rates of over 20% and it's very apparent that video is no-longer an option it's a MUST.
Video does so well because it can effectively communicate to the viewer on so many levels – The audio helps inform and educate them while the visuals and music can help create an emotional response and evoke attachment to the product, people or service.
When you’re looking for a production company, consider who is going to be the best fit for your needs and the individual or group that is most passionate about telling your story.
– Mark Wonderlin, Video Producer
Perhaps the biggest appeals is when you craft a video well it can effectively humanize your company. It enables viewers to ” know you before they know you.” They get a sense of who you are, what's important to you, how you interact with others, what customer's experiences have been with you, and your unique approach to your business.
When executed properly prospects should have a “I want to work with them feeling” and other factors like price are less important.
Describe a client project that you're particularly proud of. How did your company surpass the client's expectations?
A project that I'm particularly proud of is a branding video for “The Shoe Hospital.”
The client never worked with video before but he was looking to nationalize his service, enabling clients to ship their shoes to to his repair facility. If you're a male with an expensive pair of boots or a female with a stylish pair of stilettos, shipping your prized positions to a repair company you don't know is like having someone baby-sit your fist born for the first time – You just don't want to let go.
With that in mind the primary goal of the video was to establish credibility, build trust, and showcase the passion and craftsmanship the team has for repairing shoes.
To see the video click here.
When the video was completed the client was overwhelmed, and if far exceeded his expectations. He said, ” I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea it was going to be this good, you totally nailed it – everything is perfect!” Not only was he pleased with the end product it has done exceptionally well for him with sales leads.
He was generating about 100 calls per month from Citysearch but once the video was incorporated in the Citysearch listing he was generating over 500 calls per month!
When looking to hire a video production company, what are the top 3 questions that one should ask to gauge competency and fit?
When you're looking for a production company, consider who is going to be the best fit for your needs and the individual or group that is most passionate about telling your story. Here are the top three questions to ask and why:
- Question 1: Where Can I see your portfolio? This is a must, seeing what they've done in the past and if their style and approach is consistent with your brand image will help determine if it's a good fit
- Question 2: What would be your approach to a promo video for my business? After talking to you for a little bit a good video person should already be able to visualualize and articulate an effective approach to telling your story. If you feel confident in their knowledge and creative ability then you're off to a good start.
- Question 3: What makes you different from other videographers? They should have some clear points of differentiation from other videographers, what's important is that they are not trying to bash other's in their industry, rather they are able to articulate what their unique offering is and why working with them will be an ideal fit.
[embedit snippet=”ad2″] Why does a video project often seem expensive at first glance?
Ultimately what it comes down to is, “What is going to be the best reflection of your company and brand?”.
I saw an ad from a SEO company on; “WE CAN MAKE YOU SHOW UP ON GOOGLE'S FIRST PAGE WITH OUR HD VIDEO!!”
After looking into it wasn't even what I would call a “video”, it was a slide show with a very cheesy music track with super loud page peels and diamond transitions showing before and after shots of people's teeth from an orthodontist's office.
So what's the focus here? Is it to get a whole bunch of people to find your video on google's first page so they can watch or skim through this god-awful “thing” that they are calling a video? You might get views but are you getting calls, visits and sales?
Because at the end of the day that's what really matters.
What goes into a video production that contributes to cost?
The most fatal flaw was by the Orthodontist who actually spend money on this thing they are calling a video.
She probably invested 75K in her education perhaps another 30K + on her practice then a couple hundred dollars on a slideshow video with customer's teeth?
That's like sprinting towards the end zone then stopping and taking a nap at the one yard line. A promo video should be a reflection of who you are, what you do and why people should work with you. It should reflect your passion, the positive influence you've had on past clients and create an emotional response that makes viewers want to do business only with you specifically.[embedit snippet=”AD1″]When I work with a client it typically takes 4-7 hours over the course of the day to film a video that includes interviews, testimonials and visuals to have enough content that distills down to a 2min video that takes nearly double the time (8-12 hours) to craft in an effective way.
If you want a video to be done well, it takes times, skill, effort and cost; but from that you'll get a product that you'l be proud of showcasing with all of your marketing materials – that is a true reflection of you and your business
When I work with a client it typically takes 4-7 hours over the course of the day to film a video that includes interviews, testimonials and visuals to have enough content that distills down to a 2min video that takes nearly double the time (8-12 hours) to craft in an effective way.
– Mark Wonderlin, Video Producer
At first glance several thousand dollars for a video might seem like a lot but business owners should view it as an investment more than it's an expense, it a purchase that will help generate more business and give you the opportunity to build relationships with future clients that can turn into life-time clients.
Beyond costs, what makes finding a production company with ‘a vision' important?
I believe that the expense aren't important. When it comes to lighting, camera gear and editing software, they can only do so much on their own. What it really comes down to is skill, creativity and passion.
- Skill: I could buy a $2,000 set of golf clubs but it's not going to make me Tiger woods just as someone that picks up a $1,000 HD camera doesn't make them a filmmaker. It's not what you have, it's what you can do with it. A videographer's portfolio will reflect what they are capable of doing with their gear.
- Creativity: Being creative in both your filming and editing is what's going to help you break through the clutter. If you have an awesome camera but don't use good composition or you don't understand effective editing principles for the specific brand image then the end product will not be as good as it could be.
- Passion: For me it comes down to being passionate about the project and the client. I have some amazing friends who do beautiful cinematic weddings and they are so happy to film couples as they embark on their life together – for me it's more seeing what drives a business owner, their life's work, why they decided to choose their career path and the passion they have for their clients and company. That drives me, that pushes me to tell their story in a creative way that is going to highlight their unique offering.
Where can a DIY (Do It Yourself) project make sense? Where does a professional-production make sense?
DIY projects make a ton of sense when you're creating content on a consistent basis like a video blog.
When I work with clients I encourage them to create video content in a way that can bridge the gap between the super cheesy handheld flip camera work to the high end production content I create.
I firmly believe that there is a happy medium between the two that can be accomplished.
I do recommend that you spend the extra money to have someone create a promo video for you. A promo highlights what your company does utilizing a combination of interviews, testimonials, and compelling visuals to tell a unique story about your company. This video should be your extended elevator pitch and should be the first thing viewers should see on your site so having a well produced piece by someone who is good at telling your story is ideal.
What are the top three mistakes that you see many online videos making that could easily be corrected?
- Inappropriate Length: Many times customers will make their video too long. You have to understand that you're fighting for viewers attention as they are constantly being distracted with Facebook, Twitter, email, other websites or even kids in the background. So keeping your videos, short and concise are important. The sweet spot is 1.5 to 2.5 minutes in total length, if you can keep it with that time frame that you'll increase your viewership.
- Poor Types of Shots: When you see an amateur video you'll typically see a ton of wide or medium shots all the time. That's just what people do, they shot everything cause that's what they see. If you really want to enhance the video, change you're point of view, look for things interesting, shoot close-ups or ultra-close ups. Having a variety of shots makes it both compelling and gives you more to work with when you're editing.
- Poor Music: When I hear a garageband or Microsoft track it's like nails on the chalkboard to me. They are typically so overused and it just screams “I don't want to spend any money on a good track, so I'm using this free one that everyone is has!” I highly recommend going to a royalty free music site and buying a music track that is a good reflection of the project and avoiding the out of the box tracks from Garageband or Microsoft . Just because they are there and free doesn't mean you have to use them.
If you had to guess, what technological developments are coming that will affect the future of online video marketing?
Interactivity is going to be huge and is going to revolutionize the way we view online video. We've seen some glimpses of it already with annotations from YouTube and other sites that popping up.
Having the ability to interact with the video player, choose different options, and develop more story based content will be a huge leap forward for businesses, gamers, and advertisers in the future.
If you want a video to be done well, it takes times, skill, effort and cost; but from that you'll get a product that you'l be proud of showcasing with all of your marketing materials – that is a true reflection of you and your business.
– Mark Wonderlin, Video Producer
Thanks Mark! What is the best way for readers to learn more about Mosaic Media Films?
The best thing to do go over to mosaicmediafilms.com.
I have some amazing top-secret DIY production & marketing products in the pipeline so if you send me your email via the contact us page you'll be registered and the first to know and benefit from from the training content! Thank you!