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When building your video production website, it’s important to do a little bit of research and have a plan in mind. Designing a new website is always exciting, and sometimes we can get carried away with the possibilities that come with completely restructuring how we present our business online. This blog will hopefully help you cut through all the superfluous stuff that goes on during this process and boil your core message down to the most useful bits possible.

Home

Ah the home page. Everyone knows what a home page is for a website now, so we won’t bore you with an overview of that (and if you don’t then please, Google it. It’s 2019). But why should you have a homepage is a different question. There are a lot of websites out there now that sit on one page and this acts as a HomepagePortfolioAboutAndContact page all in one. We disagree with this approach, and believe separating these pages is the best strategy for a number of reasons.

  1. Simplicity – though it may seem simpler to have everything on one page, in actuality this can confuse the viewer. We have been trained since the Internet’s inception to expect websites to be sectioned off into different pages and changing this strategy can be unsettling.

2. SEO – separating everything into different pages is better for your SEO. It’s as simple as that. This is basically just making your website bigger, so it takes more space and someone browsing is more likely to come across it.

3. Complexity – counter-intuitively to our first point, having multiple pages allows you to have a more complex website. There are downsides and benefits to this. Keeping your structure separated and simple allows for layers of pages about different things, turning your website into a multi-page beast. This can convolute and hide your core content, so it’s important to keep a check on things, but it also allows you to delve deeper into subjects and increase your SEO ranking further. Something to think about.

4. Scaling – similar to the last point, having a multi-page website allows your to scale and increase it’s size without completely restructuring. If you want to add a blog in later, or remove a section, it won’t interrupt the flow of your site too much.

As you can see, there are a few benefits to having a multi-page website over a single page one. And the Home page is just the beginning.

Having an entry point gives your browser an anchor to base their experience around. If they do end up getting a little lost or confused (to which it should be your priority that they don’t), hitting the home button takes them back to somewhere safe and familiar. From here they can re-orientate themselves and hopefully easily find the content they’re looking for.

About

Your About pages might be the most important ones besides your portfolio. Telling people about who you are as a company is going to be one of the key things that sells them on your brand, and convinces them to hire you. You get to show off your personality here, and explain to your viewer why you might be the best person to work with on their project. There’s two ways to approach this:

  1. The company based page – here you focus on the company. Lot’s of “us” and “we” and a distinct lack of faces and staff members shown. We do not like this approach. It can make your company seem bigger than it actually is, but it can also make you look like a faceless corporate entity.

2. The people based approach – People buy people. It’s as simple as that. If someone in the real world actually meets one of your staff members, they’re much more likely to go with your company over someone else who they haven’t met (provided your staff member made a good impression!). Having that staff member’s face on the website will reinforce the fact that they work there, and help the viewer feel more comfortable that they will be able to deal with someone who they know.

Of course, these approaches are exchangeable and should change to suit your needs. If you’re McDonald’s, and have a complicated corporate structure and thousands of employees it probably makes sense to go for faceless corporate entity – in this situation your brand becomes your face. The name McDonald’s is much more well-known than any one who works there, so this gives the customer the feeling of trust and loyalty they get by knowing someone at the company. Smaller companies should definitely consider putting their staff’s faces on the website.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. As a video production company, it’s a little silly that we don’t have an ‘about us’ video on our about page (coming soon) especially as this is one of the services we offer. There are multiple benefits to this, including SEO and an extension of the viewer feeling like they’ve met the team without meeting the team, but more on that later.

Showreel

At the bare minimum, you should have a showreel on your website. An exciting, punchy, 2-4-minute clip of your very best shots. Show off your editing style and cinematography experience in an exciting video and let your client know why they should hire you. This can have it’s own page, but we’d suggest making sure it sits pretty on your home page as well. This maximizes the chances of someone coming across you masterpiece, and enticing them in.

Your showreel should be just that – an enticement. Though many media professionals use a classic music montage style as a way of showing off their work, the intention of this type of reel should be to encourage the viewer to check out your case studies and portfolio. This is the only way they will really get a feel of what it’s like to work with you.

Portfolio

Showing your portfolio in the form of case studies is a very, very good idea. Giving context to the pieces you’re showing allows the client to see your process in action and, if you’re really bold, how you solved problems and mistakes.

Around each video on our site, we show the kit we used, the client brief, behind the scenes images and videos, and any problems we face along with the ways we overcame or solved them. This gives your client a pretty unique insight into how you work, and will be the thing that really convinces them that you’re the person to go with when producing their video. Let’s break it down.

Kit – not really essential, to be honest, but some clients like to know what you’re working with. As video producers, we know that DSLRs are enough to produce the look you’re going for on online video, but some of your bigger clients may insist that you use ‘bigger’ or ‘better’ cameras. That’s fine, go along with this, just factor it into your budget.

Behind the scenes – ahhh production stills. Showing your behind the scenes with top quality stills can really convince your client that you’re professional and know what you’re doing. Additionally, you can offer these up for free and use them as social media content too – very valuable assets. So valuable we wrote a whole blog on them, here. If we had our way we’d make behind the scenes videos for each project. One day…

Problems and Solutions – Showing what problems you faced and how you overcame them is a great way of getting your experience across to your potential client. It may seem a little counter-intuitive to show that there were problems on the shoot, but this just comes down to honesty. Hardly any shoot is completely plain sailing. Acknowledging this and showing your solutions indicate to your client a number of things: you’re honest, professional, can take initiative, and know what to expect. This last one is important, as writing out your mistakes and problems faced will settle the solutions in your memory a little more and in turn make you a better filmmaker. It helps you learn from your mistakes, and shows your client you’re actively trying to improve. Pretty invaluable.

The finished piece – after all that, then we show the final product. Building context around the piece in this way gives the client a little more investment in the final film, and allows them to see a little better the work and effort that went into creating it. Hopefully this will help them to justify whatever estimate you send over!

Services

Listing your services on your site is not a given. A lot of filmmakers and production companies for-go this section. There are a few benefits though, especially when you’re starting out.

 

If you’ve not yet built a name for yourself in the space, listing your services is going to help people discover you and know what you do. Discovery is simple – putting the words ‘video production’ or ‘drone’ on your website makes it easier for Google to index, and therefore easier for people to find when they search for those things.

 

Additionally, if you’re a new business, you’ll probably be dealing with smaller businesses to begin with. Smaller businesses want to know what you do, and also what you cost (but we’ll move onto that later). Listing these services may just be the thing that tips them over the edge into contacting you with an enquiry. If they don’t see a services page listed on your website, and just take a look at your portfolio full of real estate videos, they may assume that you’ve got nothing to offer their sports brand. If you’re diverse, show that you’re diverse.

Prices

Ahh prices. Always a slightly contentious one. Most business owners who are selling a bespoke product will keep their prices close to their chest. In the upper echelons of video creation this tactic works – budgets are big and they’re made to be spent – however when you’re still frying smaller fish it might be a good idea to disclose a rough estimate of what your client should expect to cost.

 

Small to medium sized businesses need convincing that video is important, so a large factor in their decision is going to be price. There are a number of tactics of how to develop a pricing structure and priced packages in order to influence your client to spend a certain amount, but we’ll leave that for another blog.

 

This is usually going to be the first thing that a customer considers when they seek you out for a new video, so it may be a good idea to get it on your website in order to capture those who are thinking about your price range, and to put off those who’s budgets are too small.

 

Here at Studio 24-7 we’ve gone back and forth a few times about whether we should have our prices on our website. Our issue is that our clients are so diverse and varied, with such different needs and many different sized projects, it’s very difficult to come up with a standard pricing structure. Having said that, we have lost out on work because of not having a public facing pricing structure. It’s definitely a trade off to be considered.

 

If you’ve not yet built a name for yourself in the space, listing your services is going to help people discover you and know what you do. Discovery is simple – putting the words ‘video production’ or ‘drone’ on your website makes it easier for Google to index, and therefore easier for people to find when they search for those things.

 

Additionally, if you’re a new business, you’ll probably be dealing with smaller businesses to begin with. Smaller businesses want to know what you do, and also what you cost (but we’ll move onto that later). Listing these services may just be the thing that tips them over the edge into contacting you with an enquiry. If they don’t see a services page listed on your website, and just take a look at your portfolio full of real estate videos, they may assume that you’ve got nothing to offer their sports brand. If you’re diverse, show that you’re diverse.

Contact

This is pretty much an essential. You can’t really get away without having some form of contact page or footer. If you didn’t, there would be no way for your potential clients to get in touch with you and they would likely find it extremely frustrating. We live in a world of efficiency, and saving your client time on the front end will be seen as incredibly valuable.

 

Having said that, we’re open to being proved wrong here. There have been rumors about wedding videographers and filmmakers/production companies who cater to the very elite on word of mouth alone and don’t even have a website. This is a very risky strategy, and doesn’t really give you the options of diversifying you income. It’s really bloody cool, but probably not too smart for the rest of us.

Blog

Blogging is excellent. Not that we’re biased or anything.

 

Improving your SEO, improving your reach, giving you a reason to contact relevant publications and outlets, getting in touch with your audience, building a following, voicing opinions, shouting about your recent work. We could go on, but there’s too many benefits to really list here without you getting bored of this already long blog.

 

The long and short of it is that blogging is both fun and advantageous. It gives the more junior members of staff a way to practice their writing and feel valued whilst conducting research at the same time. The number of times we’ve come across interesting or cool projects whilst writing these blogs doesn’t bear thinking about. Not only that, but we’ve gained an awful lot of knowledge about kit and inspiration for story ideas from this process and we’ve not even been doing it for that long.

 

In short, write about something that interests you that’s vaguely related to your industry and you’ll likely learn something whilst adding value to your business.

Landing Pages

Now we get onto the specifics (this is the last one, we promise). A landing page is just a destination. Your viewer clicks a link, and wherever the link leads is a landing page. Why are we bringing them up here? The answer is ad-words and advertising.

 

If you’re advertising anything, it should have it’s own unique landing page. An event, blog, advert or offer should all be tied to a unique landing page. There are SEO and simplicity reasons all tied into this, but all you really need to know is that it’s best practice and will allow you to get the most out of whatever you’re spending on advertising.

Conclusion

There you have it. The bare bones of what you should consider when building yourself a video production website. There are of course numerous other bits you could include such as an e-commerce store for merchandise or prints, a booking form for clients and a calendar to show your availability, but we’ll leave those for now.

 

In general, if you have some aspect of the above on your website you’re probably ready to get going with your outbound marketing! Congratulations!

 

A website is really just an in-depth online business card. Like we mentioned above, people buy people. Don’t expect the work to come flooding in just because you have a website. Of course you’ll get a few jobs through Google searches and enquiries if you’ve done your job properly, but make sure you’re pairing it with outbound marketing too.

 

Let us know if we’ve missed anything you would definitely include in the comments!

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