Key Questions to Ask Corporate Video Inquiries

Once your video production company starts to get emails and calls inquiring about pricing from corporate video inquiries, you should have a system to help move the prospect forward so you can learn what their objective is. One of the questions you will always be asked is “How much does it cost?”

Key Questions that I Ask

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose of the video?
  • What do you want the viewer to feel?
  • What do you want the viewer to do after they watch the video?
  • What is the messaging?
  • Who do you want to be interviewed?
  • How will it be shown?

These questions are the core tools I use to shape the vision and budget for my corporate video clients. One of the most common myths is that the length of the video corresponds to the price of the video. Nothing can be further from the truth. Video length has nothing to do with the cost of the video production. For example, a 2-minute video can easily be produced from 30 minutes of raw footage or 300 hours of raw footage. What matters is how much time was spent producing the video and was it produced in a cost-effective way? To get a better understanding of how to answer the holy grail question “How much does it cost?”, we must first begin asking key questions.

Who is the audience?

This is so important to ask. Before we can shape messages in any video, we must first know who we are speaking to. This will give us the prospect or client’s target audience. Sometimes the audience is more than one. In this case, we need to be honest with ourselves and determine if a single video is a right tool to use for multiple audiences. Much like we have different facebook and Google AdWords ads running for different audiences, we need to think about video in the same way. Once we have determined the audience, we need to understand what they want, how they think, and why they should buy from you (meaning your client’s product or service that your video will be marketing). The best way to start wrapping your head around this is asking yourself the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). That’s what every consumer is asking themselves when they are being sold and your video will be selling to someone when it’s finished.

What is the purpose of the video?

Sounds like a simple question but you would be surprised to find some inquiries haven’t really thought that through. Is it to get more web traffic? Sell a product or service? Spread awareness, get people to attend an event? Once you answered this question you will start to begin shaping the questions you might ask your interviewee or how you will be writing the script. Just like the issues involved with multiple audiences, the same problem may come up with asking your inquiry about the purpose. They may have ideas scattered all over and it is important to laser focus the core purpose of this video.

What do you want the viewer to feel?

The feel question always helps with the human connection. We want the viewer to have a feeling after watching the video. A great way to look at this is to ask your inquiry how their customers feel after using or purchasing their product or service. Then we can begin answering the before/after concept. It goes like this:

Before I used your widget I felt this way, but after I used your widget I felt that way.

What this does is that it gives the viewer a hint as to how they could feel if they use this product or service too. It’s meant to target people who can relate to the “before” state but want the “after” state. Ryan Deiss is an expert marketer who explains the before/after strategy much more in depth if you want to learn more.

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What do you want the viewer to do after they watch the video?

This is the CTA, the CALL TO ACTION. So what is a call-to-action? For me, I look at it as the instructions to give your viewer what to do next. After they watch the video, they hopefully have learned something and are ready to do something about it. The CTA simple says, ok here’s what you need to do next… Click here, call there, fill this out, etc. The goal of every video is to get the viewer to watch the whole thing and take action on the last slide which is usually your CTA. This is another question that inquiries do not think of until you bring it up.

What is the messaging?

Messaging is the meat and potatoes of your video. It’s the substance, the content, the information. Knowing the messaging will drive what questions you ask an interviewee on camera. I like to start out asking this question as a brainstorming session. I write down all the messages that the inquiry gives me as bullet points. Sometimes you can condense the ideas into fewer bullet points. Then I usually visit their website after the call and scan the key pages for additional messages that they may have forgotten. If you’re not sure where to start for their messages, you can use some of these tricks to get the ball rolling:

  • What do you do?
  • Why do you exist?
  • How does your process work?
  • Why are you better than your competition?
  • What benefits does your customer get using your product/service?
  • What key features do most of your customers love about the product/service?
  • What industry statistics can you share with me to help your case?
  • What clients have you worked with?
  • Can you share any testimonials or reviews from existing past customers?

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to use all of these. You can focus on only a few and still make a powerful marketing video. Personally, I always tend to go the “less is more” route myself.

Who do you want to be interviewed?

The storyteller(s) that you use for the video should be well thought out. I generally encourage our clients to find someone that is charismatic, enthusiastic, and passionate about the subject. They should also know the topics so well that they don’t need to think about it much. High profile executives aren’t necessarily the best picks for a camera interview. If they have the characteristics of a good storyteller, then it may work out great though. It’s important for the inquiry to understand the best interviewees are customers though. For some companies, this may be hard to get access to but it should always be something considered as plan A.

If you want to see my interview process more in depth, check out this 4 part series about getting a great story from interviews (especially parts 3 & 4 where you can watch me conduct a live interview with a workshop attendee).

How will it be shown?

It is important to know what their plan is after the video is produced. Some video production companies do not get involved with the marketing aspects of the video but even when you don’t, you should be able to advise your clients on methods to market. Here is a list of channels to market video production:

  • Web page
  • Blog article
  • Youtube channel
  • Facebook page
  • Facebook ad
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Email Newsletter
  • Internal Communication (Company Intranet)
  • Tradeshow
  • Conference or Event

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