Growing Your Video Production Company through Online Videos

Growing Your Video Production Company through Online Videos

Online video is a potentially huge market and revenue stream for emerging video production companies. Media companies, broadcast organizations, and digital publishers are constantly searching for ways to capture valuable market share, and for this they need a steady stream of content. In their quest to capture larger audiences and potential revenue they see online videos as an attractive option, and this can be your potential entry point for creating content that will benefit your business and your bottom line.

Analyze the Market

To make money with online video you’ve got to know the players who are paying. Some of these are obvious – even your grandmother has heard of YouTube. And in truth that’s not a bad place to start. Uploading videos and creating your own channel on YouTube is easy to do, and it’s easy to tap into the revenue stream created by allowing advertising on your videos. One caveat though – you’ll need lots of views to create significant earnings. And there’s a lot of competition out there already.

Another mass-market approach is to work with Vimeo. Vimeo offers not only the opportunity to make money with ad revenue, but their VOD (Video On Demand) platform allows for direct sales of your content. Vimeo boasts a high-quality viewing experience, and is a great platform if you’re interested in putting together your own web series.

Look beyond the Big Two

Let’s face it – YouTube and Vimeo are the 800-pound gorillas of the online video world. But don’t limit yourself. New online video publishing sites open regularly and offer opportunities for monetization of your content. Publishers like gumroad.com, pivotshare.com, and many others are players in this rapidly-evolving landscape.

Make Your Videos Easy To Find

Assuming you’ve got content posted, how are your potential viewers going to find your work? Your mission is straightforward – you need to engage your viewers and attract additional eyeballs to your videos.

The key element in attracting viewers is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Play this game correctly and your content will come to the front of search engine results. Here are some of the keys to making SEO work for you:

  • Create engaging titles that incorporate the key elements of what your video is about.
  • Include tags that represent what your viewers are looking for.
  • Write relevant descriptions of your video, including the keywords and tags you’ve already identified.
  • Add a transcript for closed captioning. This doesn’t have to be visible to the viewer, but it will reinforce the tags and keywords you’re using.

Leverage Your Content through Social Media

If you’ve been on social media you know that videos are some of the most shared items. You can use social media to not only build your viewership but to stay relevant with those you already have. Use these practices to maximize your social media footprint:

  • Don’t limit yourself to one network. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – they’re all good, and can appeal to different audiences and demographics to.
  • Maintain a regular posting schedule, and distribute your posts throughout the day to catch different audiences
  • Tailor your posts to each network. The interests of those frequenting different networks will vary.
  • Make sure that you’ve enabled sharing for your videos.
  • Always link back to your site when you post.
  • Take time to use the analytic tools provided to get a feel for which posts work the best for you.

Create Content That Sells Itself to Potential Customers

Knowing your customers is the key to creating content that they’ll want to view. Examine web sites related to the topics your videos will be covering and analyze what the hot topics and interests are. This will really help you hone in your video content to appeal to the market you’re trying to appeal to.

Experiment with different approaches to the content you create. Say that you’re creating videos that review electronic accessories. Will you get more views by posting reviews of single products, or does side-by-side comparison approach yield better results? Avoid making the same video over and over and shake up your approach occasionally.

Quantity Matters

You should never sacrifice quality for quantity, but in truth you need content to create cash flow. The math is simple – clicks mean revenue, and you’re more likely to create clicks if you have more videos. Related to content creation is the simple dynamic of selecting a subject area or topic where you have an opportunity to create enough content to make your work really pay off.  A large library of videos is also likely to help you move up in search engine results, and will help create relevance for your channel or site.

Story Is At the Heart of Good Video Content

Some dismiss video consumption as evidence of a public with an ever-decreasing attention span. But good video making requires a keen sense of story and narrative, even if the length of your content is short. Without the backbone of a good story, viewers will quickly tune out and move onto the next piece of content. To be truly successful in growing and keeping an audience (and their revenue) you need to make videos that capture and hold the attention of your viewers.

Always approach the content you create with a keen eye towards making it appeal to your target audience, whether they’re a regular viewer who’s familiar with your content, or a new viewer who’s just discovered you. Make sure you give both of them a reason to come back!

Video Matters, And It’s Only Going to Matter More

Growth rates in online video viewing are increasing, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Video will continue to swallow an increasing share of internet traffic for the foreseeable future. This creates a great opportunity for video production businesses, as more and more consumers seek out video for entertainment, education, and enlightenment. And if you play your cards right, there’s no reason you can’t grab your slice of the pie.

– Video Caddy

Starting a Video Production Company

Starting a Video Production Company

Maybe you’ve been making some videos on the side for a while, but now you’re ready to dive in and make what you do official by starting a video production company. There are some definite advantages to making what you do the function of a legally recognized entity. You may gain tax advantages to offset the purchases and depreciation of equipment, and as time goes on you may be able to find new sources of financing for your projects as well.

But there are a lot of details that go into starting a video production company that you’ll need to consider before you hang out your shingle. Research these and you’ll have a much better chance of getting off on the right foot. Then it’s just a matter of you putting your nose to grindstone and making your dreams a reality.

Determine Your Goals

This is a vital step in the process of putting together your company. While versatility is important, being a ‘jack of all trades, master of none” won’t allow you to develop the skills and repertoire necessary to stand out in a crowded field. Think about the video work you’ve done in the past and what appealed to you – have you done weddings and enjoyed the experience? How about films for businesses or commercials? Also think about what you do well, and honestly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

This is also a good time to think about and write down your short term and long term goals. Think of them as a roadmap to plan the growth of your business. Without a plan you can’t realistically think about how you’ll handle growth (or setbacks) with your fledgling concern.

One excellent way to establish and refine your goals is to place them in the context of a business plan. Plan what the focus of your company will be and map out your growth for a long term period, say three to five years. Be sure to include a detailed description of the emphasis your production company will have.

Do Your Research

Researching and knowing your market is a key element in determining your success. Examine your area and search for the other professionals and companies that are doing the kind of work you’re looking to do. Scrutinize the services they provide and the fees they charge. This information can help you tailor your appeal to the portions of the market you can serve and set fees accordingly.

Your Company Structure

The legal underpinnings of your business are the foundation it rests upon. The first order of business is determining what kind of company you want to be. If you’re unfamiliar with legal company structures this can be a bit daunting. Companies can run the gamut from simple, like a sole proprietorship, to complex, such as a C Corp. The Small Business Administration provides valuable information to help understand these structures and which may be best for you. Do some research and you’ll be better prepared to decide which way to go.

What’s in a Name?

One important aspect of your legal identity is the name you choose for your production company. A well-chosen name will catch the attention of potential clients and stick with those you’ve worked with.  Don’t be content with something generic – make it particular and relevant to you. That’ll ensure that it stands out.

To protect your rights and to avoid future conflicts you’ll eventually want to trademark your name. This doesn’t have to be a first step but it will prove of vital importance in protecting your brand in the future. So before you name your production company, search trademark databases and the internet for other uses of the name you want. You don’t want to be stuck having to rename your company once you’ve started to get a foothold in the video production market.

Taking Care of (Legal) Business

As your business grows, so grows the possibility that at some point you’ll need legal representation. Waiting until that moment comes may leave you with limited options and could create a lot of stress that you don’t need. Take the time early in the process to talk to others in your industry for leads on good attorneys. Then contact them to find out the particulars of what’s involved in having them available for representation when you do need it.

Accounting Is Essential

Making money is your first priority as a business person. The second and probably just as important priority is keeping track of the money after you make it. That’s where a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) comes into the picture. A good CPA won’t just figure out your taxes, they’ll be available to help you craft a strategy that minimizes your potential tax bill. As with legal representation, talk to others for advice on good CPAs. Then sit down and talk with them to make sure that they’re a good fit for you and your budding company. You want to be sure you can rely on them to give you the best advice.

Consider Your Funding

Do you have enough money socked away – or good enough credit – to finance the roll out of your video production company? If you do, great! But if you don’t, you need to secure start-up money. Work with local banks and other lenders to explain your plans (this is a time when your business plan can be put to good use).

Never Stop Hustling

Owning your own business can be exhilarating and exhausting. And the success (or failure) of your company is almost totally dependent upon your efforts. Maximize all the avenues you have to create visibility. Develop a website, and also build an online presence with social media sources like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

If your video production company specializes in certain types of videos – weddings or real estate, for example – go to local trade shows, conferences, or exhibitions. No one’s going to come knocking on your door, so don’t be afraid to do the knocking yourself. Persist and your patience and determination will pay off.

– Video Caddy