Choosing an explainer video producer is not an easy task. Here are a few tips that will help you find the right studio that will meet your expectations and needs.
Explainer videos are effective marketing tools that can increase your business's conversion rate; Dropbox was able to attract 10 million new users by adding an explainer video to their website.
However, if you want to incorporate videos in your marketing strategy, you need to choose between many different studios fighting for your attention. In this article, we present a few tips that will help you make the right choice.
At BluBlu Studios, we have made more than 400 explainer videos for a diverse range of clients. We asked these clients what made them choose us as their explainer video producer, and these are the steps they took when weighing their options.
1. Check Out the Explainer Video Producer’s Portfolio
Many people may look for a studio close to them or at least in their time zone, however, a company’s portfolio and style is more important than their geographical location.
Check the company’s portfolio to see if you like their projects. Every production company has a portfolio on its website or on platforms such as Vimeo, Behance, Dribbble, Instagram, or YouTube.
Their portfolio should feature examples of their previous work and should answer questions such as:
- Have their projects received any awards or accolades?
- How different are the projects from each other?
- Do they use a variety of styles?
- How complex are the videos?
- Are they easy to understand?
- Is the company active on social media?
- How are these videos received on social media channels?
You should also try to find out how involved the company was in the video production process. Did they supervise the entire process or just do some of the work? Try to choose a company that offers comprehensive services and will take care of each step of production.
Looking at explainer video producers’ portfolios introduces you to the company and what your business’s video might look like. Choose a company based on its portfolio rather than location.
2. Research the Production Company’s Previous Clients
While browsing the company’s portfolio, also pay attention to what clients the company worked with. If the company worked with larger, recognizable brands, it’s a sign that these successful companies trusted the studio. However, just because the company worked with larger companies doesn’t always mean it can handle more complicated projects.
Sometimes, projects for smaller businesses and startups are more challenging to produce, especially if your clients are trying to target a more niche audience about niche topics.
While well-known, worldwide companies make top-shelf products, that doesn’t mean they will always be the right fit for your business. This is why it is important to look at both the company’s portfolio and its previous clients.
3. Get to Know the Studio and Producers You Will Be Working With
It can be difficult to remember that you work with real people while exchanging only emails day-in and day-out. Therefore, it’s helpful to check the studio’s social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and their website to get to know the team you’ll likely be working with.
Consider booking a meeting or setting up a conference call to see if the team is eager to meet and get to know you too. It is important that the production company you choose is responsive because you will need to be in constant communication for more than a month while the company produces your explainer video.
Feeling assured that you can contact the studio if you have important changes to make and get prompt responses will make the process less stressful.
4. Consider the Studio’s Style, Range, and Level of Complexity They Can Achieve
It is easy to discern the studio’s style from its portfolio and whether the company prefers 2D explainers, whiteboard animations, or 3D videos. But these differences extend beyond the visual style and into messaging.
Some studios may prefer a more ironic, humorous approach, while others may prefer a more scripted approach. Some may choose to lose the script in favor of a more design-driven approach.
Most studios can combine techniques and tone to fit your brand’s needs. However, it’s always good to see if the studio has already done something similar to what you’re envisioning, especially if your company has a strong visual identity.
For example, you might want your explainer to capture a colorful, adventure-like tone with its animation style. Or, perhaps you prefer a simpler, cartoon-like style.
Either way, you want to make sure the studio displays a range of styles and tones. Ask the studio about its stylistic approach. Even if your project is not very complex, you still want to hire an experienced studio you are confident will produce great work.
Be wary of studios that make all their animations in a similar style. You may find companies that use stock illustrations and use software that automatically generates movement, but these are shortcuts that might save you money but will decrease the overall value of your explainer video.
5. Don’t Rush the Production Process
It usually takes between 4 to 8 weeks to produce an explainer video, so try to be patient. Be careful of studios who promise you a finished product in 2 to 3 weeks; they might meet the deadline, but the quality will likely not meet your expectations.
Plan ahead and research studios in advance so you have time to make an informed decision and give the studio the time it needs to produce a high-quality product.
Tight deadlines usually always mean unnecessary compromises and more issues along the way.
6. Check the Studio’s Rankings
An easy way to see which studios are the best on the market is to check their rankings on websites that collect reviews from previous clients.
Clutch, for example, features rankings client reviews of companies in different industries. On Clutch's website, you can find specific categories you are interested in such as explainer videos.
Clutch’s rankings give you more information about the company’s preferences such as the studio’s specialties.
These rankings can give you a better insight into the companies’ specifics – all in one place. There you can also read client testimonials and reviews.
7. Confirm the Producer Has Experience in Related Industries
Making explainer videos requires intensive research, especially when the material covers topics related to complex industries such as healthcare, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, or hi-tech.
Although you’ll be in close contact with the studio, it’s good to know if the studio has experience working on similar topics.
Working with a studio that is familiar with your line of work takes some pressure off when you explain the complexities of your businesses to the studio. The studio needs to understand your company perfectly before they can explain it to others.
For example, we recently produced an explainer video for Monetha, an app that uses blockchain technology to bring trust to the e-commerce marketplace.
Creating this video required research on the history of trade, challenges consumers faced when shopping online, blockchain technology, and knowing how to tie these elements together in a short, engaging video.
It’s important to make sure your explainer production company has experience producing videos similar to yours in terms of subject matter or level of complexity.
8. Make Sure the Studio Focuses on Message as Much as Aesthetics
Of course, having an appealing visual element to your video is important, but the message of the video is just as important.
Find a studio that will focus on both visual design and substance. Beautiful animations mean nothing without a clear message.
Make sure the studio is eager to research your topic and get to know your brand. Many studios offer consulting services to advise on video marketing campaigns to make sure the message is clear and consistent.
Work with a studio that understands your needs and helps plan the video strategy. Whether you’re making a simple YouTube ad or releasing a major video campaign, it’s important that the studio knows your goals, brand voice, and the message you want to get across.
9. Find a Fair Price for Both You and the Production Company
Most businesses have a budget and need to find a company that produces high-quality work at an affordable price.
Every animation studio will say its quality-price ratio is excellent, and most studios are happy to adjust the budget and deadlines to meet their client’s preferences. However, nothing is stopping you from trying out different places.
It’s OK to ask a few studios for a quote to see what they might offer before you make your final decision. However, keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the one offering you the best value. Even if you don’t have a big budget, most of the studios can work with you by offering you simplified, but still original and unique, designs. They still cost more than template-made animations but will stand out, offering you a good quality-price ratio.
When companies choose the cheapest option, they are often unhappy with the outcome and will make the video over again, costing them more money and time than if they just chose the higher quality option in the beginning.
Make an Informed Decision When Choosing an Explainer Video Producer
Before you hire an explainer video production agency, make sure to check its portfolio, style, and whether it has experience making videos on a topic related to your industry.
When you invest in an explainer video, you want to make sure you will get what you expect and unwanted surprises can be avoided by diligently researching studios.
You also want to look at references for the top video production agencies on websites such as Clutch before making a final decision.
If you want the studio to take care of your brand messaging and video marketing strategy, ask what it can do for you. Moreover, if you can afford to spend a few more dollars on your explainer video, don’t hesitate – it will be worth it in the end.