Here is our foolproof guide to selecting the right corporate video company in the UAE.
Who is this guide for?
This guide is for you if you are a business decision-maker or owner and:
- You are considering an investment in corporate videos as a marketing tool for your company
- You find it interesting to liven up your company’s advertising but you have no idea about corporate videos
- You have decided to invest in corporate videos but you don’t know what you should be looking for
- You have heard about the merits of corporate videos but you don’t exactly know what they can do for your company
- You are in the process of building or rebuilding your company’s brand and you’d like to know how corporate videos can support your goals
- You need to attract more clients and partners and you need something to make your company stand out from the crowd
- You don’t know how to find the right providers on the UAE market
Why do you need corporate videos? How can they help your company?
Storytelling is probably the single most important way to engage your clients. But stories are not made up of just words. Pictures and movies are just as important and, in most cases, it is multimedia content that attracts more attention. Limited attention spans and time constraints make it necessary for companies and people to get their story across in the fastest and most effective ways, while ensuring maximum impact. Visual storytelling responds to all these criteria. In addition, by including video in your website, you will increase the traffic from search engines. However, keep in mind that a poorly-done video can actually do more harm than good to your company and your brand.
What kind of corporate videos should you go for?
The type of corporate video you need depends largely on the goals you set. Therefore, it is essential to define what you want to achieve. For instance, when you are new on the market or when you are introducing your audience to new products or services, you might want to create an introductory or explanatory video. Behlul Mohammed, Digital Media & Marketing Manager at Digital Evolutions, argues that, “the first and most important video content is an introductory or explanatory video that’s anywhere between 15 seconds to a minute. These are generally 2D animated videos, unless otherwise requested.“ The main purpose of such videos is to show your audience why they should be interested in what you have to offer and how your products can make life easier for everyone.
Introductory/company overview videos help you tell the story of your company. You can use them if you want to share something about your company’s history, goals, impact, and values. Although such videos don’t actually help you sell your products or services, they can build more credibility, which ultimately translates into more loyal customers.
Explanatory/explainer videos are useful for presenting a few key traits of products or services and for showing the benefits of using them. They are often presented in a problem-solution format.These videos can be very effective, whether you are a B2B or a B2C enterprise.
Product/service demonstration videos (tutorials, training videos) are meant to highlight the best features of your product by showing people how to use it effectively. As Mohammed puts it, “a service provider through a mobile app would create an app tutorial that would run them through all the above points, an e-commerce startup would take users through a visual journey of their website, etc.” Such videos can also include information about how you create your products. You can also emphasize only certain aspects of the production process.
Infographic videos are also helpful because the pleasant graphics and the clear layout make it easy for the consumers to understand new information. They can also be a tool for subtly selling a company’s products and services.
Live video streaming through social channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or through mainstream media portals, is another useful option because it makes your audience feel more connected to you. The impact may be even greater if you also choose to include a Q&A session where you take questions that your viewers send you in real time. According to Imogen Curry, General Manager at Markettiers, live streaming is useful but it may be less effective than other types of videos: “Live streaming direct into LinkedIn is one area that we specialise in however it might not perform as well as a 30 second social video clip, a two minute hero film with stunning cinematics, or a five minute animated infographic”.
Pre-roll videos, which are common on Youtube, are paid advertisements. These are often used to reach clients if you are in the entertainment or in the retail industry. Such videos are most effective within the first five seconds, that is, before the “Skip ad” button becomes active.
Client testimonial videos are especially helpful because they connect real-world clients who have first-hand experience with your products and services. In general, their point of view is expected to be less biased than a company’s perspective of its own performance. By featuring client testimonials, you are in a position to build more credibility for your products and services.
Other corporate videos that may suit your needs include live stream chat shows, short documentaries, promotional films, TV commercials, etc.
How long does it take and how much do you have to pay?
The time and cost investment in a corporate video project depends on the complexity of your requirements. Generally, providers allocate 1-15 days to corporate video projects, depending on a variety of factors that have to do with your needs and with the technical requirements of the project. However, it is best to make sure there is enough planning time. For instance, an explanatory 2D animated video which includes voice-overs and lasts between 15 seconds and one minute can take between 7-15 work days and the cost can range from AED 5,000 to AED 10,000. Real-time add-ons will require extra shooting, so you will need to invest up to AED 3,500 in a day’s shoot. Other projects can start at AED 26,000 and go above AED 1 million.
Of course, different providers will make different offers, which is why it is best to ask for quotes based on your precise requirements. Professionals will help you determine your best options, as well as the solutions which can be put into practice to make sure you stay within your budget and your deadline.
Where can you find corporate video providers in the UAE?
As with anything else, search engines are a great place to start. A basic keyword search should return a decent amount of results, knowing that the UAE is home to many companies in the video production industry.
Another option is to ask a trusted friend or partner for advice and feedback on their experience with corporate video providers. If they were satisfied with their experience, you might want to work with the same provider, which will save you some precious research time. If they were unhappy, you will need to resume your research but at least you will know who to avoid.
Online business directories (such as Yellow Pages, UAE Business Directory or Local Search) and business support organizations (such as the industry associations you may be affiliated with) can also provide valuable information.
Publiseek is a one-stop concierge service listing over 50 corporate video providers and over 270 videography providers across the UAE. Our team can also assist you with finding the right company. All you need to do is send us a description of your project and we will put you into contact with specialized agencies waiting to serve you. Up to five specialized companies will then send you custom quotes, including customer reviews, a business profile, contact information and a personalized message. From there on, it is up to you to select the best offer.
How do you select the right provider from so many options?
Here are some insider tips to help you make sense of the myriad offers out there:
Define your needs. You would probably not go shopping without knowing what it is that you mean to buy. By the same token, you should define your needs and goals by asking yourself a few questions, such as the following:
- Why do I want a video? How would this benefit my company?
- What do I want to convey using a video?
- Who do I want to reach out to?
- What are my goals? Do I want to increase the number of customers? Do I want to improve my customer retention rate? Do I want to find affiliates or partners? Do I want to be acknowledged as the leading authority in my field?
- How much can I afford to spend on a video?
Plan the script. Having an idea about what the script should be is important because it represents the story that you want to get across. Some providers will offer suggestions for improving your script so that it is a better match for your goals. They will also recommend creative solutions to actually bring your script to life.
See their portfolio. Your direct benefit is that you will be able to tell almost on the spot whether your expectations match the provider’s output. As Behlul Mohammed of Digital Evolutions points out, “The diversity of work done by the agency will determine their proficiency in video making.”
Don’t be intimidated by their location. If you would like to work with a specific provider but are reluctant to contact them because they are located in a different Emirate, you should still give it a shot. Contact them and you might be surprised to see that many providers are willing to travel across the UAE and even abroad. Besides, if you are going for an explainer video, the video production team will only need to travel to get the footage, as all the editing will be done in their studio.
Request quotes. Shortlist a few UAE corporate video companies and ask for detailed quotes that also include important elements such as time frames, video length, examples of similar work and, of course, cost estimates.
Test their customer service. Good customer service builds the trust and comfort that you absolutely need. In Behlul Mohammed’s opinion, “Face-to-face meetings with good first impressions and a decent comfort-level is important for prospective customers to have. There are way too many people in the market providing the same kinds of services and it’s their customer service along with their proficiency that will set them apart.”
Probe their business sense. Your provider should know your expected results and your projected return on the investment, simply because corporate videos are meant to serve a business purpose. Make sure your provider has understood your needs and requirements. They should also be able to manage projects, stick to deadlines, and stay within the budget.
Test their creativity and flexibility. The ideal product for your needs should be the result of several scenarios. In other words, your provider should have the creativity to offer you several artistic options. They should also be flexible and accommodating, in case anything needs to be adjusted along the way.
Learn about their corporate culture. The closer the values that your companies share, the higher the chance you stand to get your message and your goals properly understood and transposed into a visual product. As Imogen Curry of Markettiers put it, “Every production company has a similar level of capability to produce ‘video’. However, the company’s culture is key. How agile are they? How relevant are they for the distribution channels? How easily are they able to adapt their previous experiences to your needs? A major hurdle facing companies is finding a video production company that understands your brand, business objectives, and target audience precisely”.
Check whether they do their own work. Whereas some UAE corporate video companies have their own studios and staff, others outsource freelance providers. How does that impact you? If you opt for a provider that outsources, your costs may be higher and you might have to wait longer for your video. In some cases, the quality can be lower, as well.
Ask about the equipment. The higher the quality, the better the final product you get. Also, the larger the provider’s resource pool (cameras, edit suites, studios, etc.), the lower the need for extra spending on rentals. Hence, you save more time and money.
Obtain rights and licenses. To make sure the production process runs smoothly, plan to obtain full usage rights and licenses over any items you want to include in your video, such as photos, supplemental footage, logos, art, music, audio elements, and logos.
8 deal breakers to keep in mind
Go back to square 1 if you notice any of these warning signs:
Nothing to show off. As shown above, providers should be able to showcase some of their projects. You are better off forgetting about providers who don’t have a portfolio or whose portfolio is very limited.
Jacks-of-all-trades. Companies claiming to do a bit of everything – from marketing to website design and video production – may turn out to be a bad choice. Some companies merely offer video services because it sounds good or because some client requested that. Other companies think that if their staff are skilled in one artistic field, they can do video production, too. It is better to go for specialized providers that can demonstrate a track record of successful projects.
No questions asked. Stay away from providers who don’t ask you for the essential information which is necessary to build a good-quality video. Why does this matter? Video production strategies are different, depending on the intended end-use. For instance, making a video for the web is not the same as making a video that will be aired on TV. Ditch your provider if they don’t ask for the following information:
- What do you expect to achieve with this video?
- Who is your target audience?
- What digital platforms/social media will you be distributing it on?
- What is your social media strategy?
Unrealistic promises. Any promise to create a viral or to guarantee millions of views in a short time frame should be treated as unrealistic. Good providers don’t promise you the world. Instead, they strive to create good-quality material for you. Some will also assist you with your internet promotion strategy.
The cheapest of the cheapest. While your budget may be limited, going for the cheapest offer will often lead to disappointing results. This is not to say that you should invest a fortune in your corporate video, but quality usually comes with the corresponding price tag.
All about the equipment. Stay away from companies whose only value proposition is their state-of-the-art equipment. Technology is changing constantly and it is also easier to get it. In fact, if you are a smartphone user, you have the latest video technology at your fingertips. So, the main focus should not be on the equipment, but rather on what can be done with it. Having the best tools is not the same thing as delivering the best results.
No insurance. Avoid companies that are not insured for their work. You must protect your production and, as always, it is better to be safe than sorry.
No specific deadline. Push for a clear deadline from the outset and include it in your contract. If your provider refuses to commit to a deadline, you are better off working with someone else. You should also include clauses about penalties in case your provider does not stick to the agreed deadline.
No master files and no licenses. You should make sure, from the outset, that, along with your final product, you will also get access to any raw materials, as well as to exclusive licenses and rights over all the items produced within your project.
Don’t pay 100% upfront. You should be able to pay 50% when you sign the contract and 50% after the product has been delivered to your satisfaction. Another common payment scheme is in thirds. Refuse to work with any provider who requires full payment upfront.