Seeing as you’ve officially stepped out of the artist’s studio and into the business world, it’s time to get down and dirty with some marketing. I know what you’re thinking… “But I’m not a marketing guy…blah blah blah.”
Well listen up virgins: if you want to continue to win over and score new clients after starting your video production company, you better be able to sell a brand. If you aren’t sure about spending time on branding, imagine this: you are in charge of developing a promotional launch video for your tech company’s newest wearable tech gadget. Based on the taglines below, which production company sounds like the best fit?
- “Absurd, bold and beautiful. Lord Danger manifests commercials, music videos, and live streaming content.” – Lord Danger
- “We make videos and TV commercials, mostly for neat tech products.” – Sandwich Video
- “Capture impact / broadcast love. Knok Studio – A nonprofit film studio for other nonprofits.” – Knok Studio
Unless you want to feature your bluetooth enabled shoelaces blasting from a canon into a packed audience or on the feet of poverty stricken children in a 3rd world nation, Sandwich Video is going to be your first choice. All three of these brand statements clearly define the production company’s tone and identify their target audience, and so should yours.
Lucky for you, I’ve broken down the most important things to consider when sitting down to brand your video production company below.
Step 1: The Good O’l SWOT Analysis
If you’ve ever read anything about marketing, there’s a 50% chance it was about a SWOT analysis. And there’s a 100% chance you wanted to jump in front of a bus because what you were reading was so boring. I don’t want you to jump in front of a bus, so I’ll be quick. The SWOT analysis allows you to identify the core factors that will help you develop your brand identity.
Strengths – What internal strengths in your company give you an edge over your competition? (Think: you have a bunch of experience with technology clients, you have an award-winning video on your reel, etc.)
Weaknesses – What internal weaknesses are a disadvantage to your company in comparison to competitors? (Think: you have minimal contacts, small crew, etc.)
Opportunities – What external industry trends can be considered as opportunities for growth? (Think: businesses are investing more in videos for websites and social media channels)
Threats – What external industry trends can possibly create problems for your company’s performance? (Think: businesses are investing on in-house video production professionals as high-quality equipment becomes more affordable)
Step 2: Define Your Audience
Now that you’ve actually written down what makes you a kick-ass video production company, and IDed your problem spots, you can figure out who the hell you’re looking to sell to. If you’re working in the wedding space, you know your clients are bridezillas and their mothers. Congrats, move on to step 3.
Not everyone has it that easy – if you’re doing work with clients in a range of industries you’ll have to sit down and think if you want to target an audience in a particular industry vertical. Maybe your audience isn’t constrained to an industry, but rather those looking to creating tutorial videos, or videos specifically for social media channels.
Consider your current experience and your desired future work and ask yourself: Who’s going to spend money on my production company’s services?
Once you’ve answered this, do quick market research on who these people are. Some things to consider are:
- What’s the typical age of who you’re selling to?
- Predominantly dudes? Ladies? Evenly split?
- Where are these people located? Cities? Burbs? Are they local, national or global?
- What are the typical habits of your target audience?
Step 3: Define Your Brand’s Voice and Personality
This step sounds like it should be the easiest, but that’s not always the case. Spend a week researching other production companies or brands that you admire. Maybe you want to be clever and cool like Old Spice. Maybe you want to be genuine like Dove for Women. Or maybe you want to be annoying as hell like Progressive. Whatever your style is, think hard on it and own that shit.
If you’re feeling stuck, check out this post to narrow down your brand personality adjectives.
Then comes the fun part, like working up a logo and choosing the color themes and throwing together a mood board that represent your brand’s personality.
Step 4: Check Out Your Competitors
Scoping out the competition goes hand in hand with step 3 above. Understanding your competitors’ voices and selling propositions is key to knowing how to position your production company in a way that is unique. Spend a few days researching your competitors on both a local and national level. ID the following:
- 1 direct competitor who is currently competing for the same business as you (think, local level competitors)
- 1 indirect competitor who’s currently getting the business you aim to score within 6 months (think, “I’m going to win over all of their clients in 6 months”)
- 1 indirect, large scale competitor who is crushing the game (think “This is where I want my company to be in 5 years”)
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do they do that you don’t?
- What do you do that they don’t?
- What do they do better than you?
- What do you do better than them?
- What do you do equally well?
Once you’ve fully analyzed your competitors, you start to see all of the aspects that go into developing your unique selling proposition and value. Make sure you have something special to offer and are providing value that others aren’t. If you can’t figure out what makes your company worth investing in after this point, why would potential clients?
Step 5: Iron Out Your Mission Statement
If you’ve been keeping up and actually have gone through Steps 1 – 4, you’ll be in great shape for this last one. If you’ve been lazy and just skimming, screw you. Read Steps 1 – 4.
Mission statements are often seen as boring but do not underestimate the value in developing one – it is the formal definition of who your company is, what your company does and why your company does what it does. If you can’t say this concisely and confidently to any prospective client, kiss your business goodbye.
So what are you waiting for??? Get that shiz written down and make sure it’s clearly represented on your website, in your proposals and anything else that you put out to potential business. Just make sure it covers all of these Qs:
- What does your production company do?
- How does your company do it?
- Who is your company doing it for?
- What unique value does your production company bring to the table?