Reel Marketer

Do-It-Yourself Video Production vs Hiring A Pro, Jeff Harper

Video Production Studio

Welcome Jeff! Tell us about your video production career, and why it's a passion for you!
JEFF HARPER: I am a film buff and video producer with my business Cincinnati Video – I have always been fascinated with moving pictures! On the web, video is effective where print is not because it creates an immediate impact by connecting with the website visitor on an emotional level. I also think people simply expect videos nowadays, almost any place they visit. Video is no longer an option on a website, it is a necessity.

Business technology develops fast! Ignoring the telephone, or internet today for a modern business would be suicide! With so many businesses embracing video, what would happen if a business avoided using video in their marketing plan?
JEFF HARPER: I can only say to you that when I am in the market for a product, that just like everyone else, if you don't grab my attention immediately, I'm gone and off to another website. People searching for products and information on the web today have extremely short attention spans, and video helps grab propects and hold them long enough to stay around and look further into doing business with you.

[embedit snippet=”ad2″]Some videos online look great, but seem to have few views because their audience isn't stumbling across them. For an online business video, how can a business owner best get that video out to his target market?
JEFF HARPER: Search engine placement is paramount, of course, but there are so many things to take into consideration when marketing a website. The best route to getting your video seen is to hire someone skilled in the art of video marketing, who knows the tricks of the trade so to speak. It's too time consuming and expensive for the average business owner to learn the technical skills, or to pay a staff member to learn. It's more cost-effective and economical to hire a pro.

Why do professional videos cost thousands of dollars usually? What production steps are involved that incur this cost? JEFF HARPER: Video done right looks easy, just like a feature film. It's like anything requiring skill and knowledge. More importantly the equipment necessary to light, videotape, and edit a professional video production can run into the tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Customers of a professional videographer receive the benefit of expensive equipment and the skill the videographer brings to the table, at just a fraction of the cost.

When looking to hire a production company, what some questions that should be asked to ensure a good fit?
JEFF HARPER: Here are the main three questions I highly recommend asking:

  1. How long have you been in business? Do you have testimonials?
  2. Do you have samples of work that show me so I know you can do what I need?
  3. Why should I hire you over your competitor?
[embedit snippet=”AD1″]If a business is committed to doing a DIY production on their own, what are the top tips you'd suggest when planning?
JEFF HARPER: Doing your own video is a start, in a sense. You'll learn how complex it is, and what fun we as professional producers have. And what topics work well with video. My tips for a firm DIYer are:

  1. Your video should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Present the problem or need your potential customer has in three stages: A. The problem or need that they want solved or filled B. The solution (you) and C. Finish your video with a call to action.
  2. Write out a script or shot list before shooting anything.
  3. Use a decent camera (below) and have a plan for lighting.

What model of basic camera would recommend for the first time DIYer, and why?
JEFF HARPER: I recommend a particular Canon camera – check out Canon HF G10 camera reviews on Amazon. Great video images that rival a professional unit. It is the best consumer cam for the money today and is easy to use.

Thank you Jeff! Anything else you would like to share?
JEFF HARPER: Thanks for the oppportunity to share my experience, it's been a pleasure. Just remember, when in doubt, hire a professional. In the saves you money, because it will allow you to focus on what you do best. Leave it to a pro! 

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  • Is there a good way to mix doing it myself (DIY) videos with videos that i could hire a video production strategy firm to do? I don’t want to pay for a video every time but need a good set of videos to be made, one per month for a year of time.

  • It would depend on a few things whether your approach would be feasible. The single issue that would cause me most concern would be the differences between quality of a DIY video and the professionally made productions. You don’t want your DIY videos dragging down the overall image of your site, which could neutralize the effect of your professionally made creations.

    Consult a video production company and simply be upfront about your budget and other concerns. They might be able to work with you and suggest ways that you could save money and still get your message out there.

    Good luck!

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