I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a bit scared asking loads of questions. Whether that be in a shop, restaurant or making an enquiry somewhere.
The result is that I end up agreeing to stuff I really don’t want to do or get something I didn’t even want in the first place.
But don’t make the same mistake when it comes to choosing the company to make your explainer video.
The trick is – ask about everything!
You may well be presented with a price and a turnaround time, that is supposed to include ‘everything’. But in reality the hidden ‘extra’ costs aren’t included in some companies’ idea of ‘everything’.
In February 2018, Wyzowl set out to evaluate all the costings of explainer videos. We contacted 70 explainer video companies and asked them a few questions. We pooled and anonymised the data and the results are laid out here.
In this article, we will take a look at the hidden costs of making an explainer video, and the questions you should ask when enquiring:
Amends & Revisions
Companies can give you a great initial price that reels you in, but what if that only gets you a ‘first cut’ of the video, and you have to pay for every round of changes you want to make?
It can feel a bit trial and error, that it may or may not work. It’s a bit like one of those grabber machines at the fairground where you’re trying to win a cuddly toy. You’re really hoping that third time’s a charm, but it rarely works out that way.
Or worse than that, you may have to pay per round of amendments. This can restrict you creatively, forcing you to make decisions with your finances in mind- rather than your video content.
The more options you have to amend- the better.
It allows you to have some creative freedom in your video. Which is important, because it can be hard to get somebody new to understand your idea.
This is especially true when it’s the first time a person is hearing about it. An idea sometimes doesn’t translate well onto paper. So when you’re filling out a brief form, it can then be interpreted differently by different people.
I’d suggest going with a company that has a good amendments process. That way you have more chance of the finished product being exactly what you wanted.
Ask the question: Where do I stand when it comes to amendments?
Turnarounds and Process
So you need the video for a big meeting or to show on the big screen at a conference.
Let’s say, your boss is counting on you to get this delivered on time. So you need to know the company you choose is going to be able to deliver to your schedule.
On top of that how much are you going to pay for the privilege?
When you are making your enquiry, lay it all out on the table from the start.
Then you won’t get a starting quote, plus another hiked up quote once you’ve specified your deadline needs.
As the old saying goes ‘Time is money’. It is more than likely you will pay a premium price to have your video on a quick turnaround.
So the best thing to do is weigh up which company offer the best ‘fast’ turnaround process for you.
Ask the question: How much do you charge for a quicker turnaround?
A company’s homepage can be deceiving. It’s usually where they advertise their best work, obviously to create the best first impression.
But, is this all included in the package price they offer you?
Some companies may well offer a ‘tier’ system, i.e different prices for a range styles and complexity.
This is the time to ask lots of questions!
Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of their previous work (they really should send you some without you having to ask).
This will help you to make an informed decision on whether their style would work for your video. Also, if they are worth the price they are charging.
Ask the question: Can I see some examples of your work? How much did that specific video cost?
What sound is included is going to differ across the board. But usually explainer videos come with royalty free music and a voiceover.
As a quick example, take a look at the voiceover options we have here at Wyzowl, to get an idea of what can be offered.
You should definitely take a minute to discuss the options the company is willing to offer. It’s not much use having the graphics that look the part and then not having the the sounds that bring the video to life.
Ask the question: Is the voiceover and music included in the price?
Your own time
It goes back to the whole ‘Time is money’ point again, even if that time is your own, it needs to be accounted for.
It’s not just a case of handing over your video project over to a company and then in a few weeks- voila, you have a video. It takes some time away from your own schedule as well.
It’s more than likely that you will be asked to provide feedback at various points in the process. This usually is a lot more than a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.
You may need to provide more direction and instruction as after all- it’s your product. No matter how much research the company you choose does, you still know the product best and your feedback is valuable.
Ask the question: How much feedback and input will you need from me?
When you’re shopping online, do you ever filter the options so that you see the products from lowest to highest price? But then realise that that the lowest priced options aren’t always the best?
The same goes for choosing a company to make your explainer video. It goes back to the first point about amendments. It’s a big commitment to hand over your ideas and then to end up not liking the final product.
After Digital discusses why the cheapest option isn’t always best when it comes to media work, their top is “When deciding whether the cheapest quote is the best quote for you, consider how long the project is likely to take, how much resource is required to complete the project and take into consideration the cost of the staff completing the project. After this, if you are questioning how the quote is so cheap, it’s very likely this is not the right quote for you”
Ask the question: What exactly do I get for the price I am paying?
Reliability, Reviews & Reputation
I don’t know many people who would book a stay in a hotel and not check out the reviews on Tripadvisor first. You should do the same when searching for a company to make your explainer video.
You’ve got to first ask yourself what is important to you when making the decision.
Are bad reviews likely to put you off a company? Is a company with a great reputation, that will probably cost more, worth it? Or would you take a chance on a lesser known company to get a better price?
It’s really important to do due diligence and make sure that the work you see on a company’s website was actually created by them. It’s rare, but occasionally, work can be stolen and placed onto a company’s website when they had nothing to do with actually creating it. Identify a couple of your favourite examples of their work, and ask specific questions about those videos. What was the process? How much did the end product cost? Who worked on the project?
If you’re feeling ultra-cautious, you could even reach out to the actual client and ask how they found the experience of working with that particular studio. You may be surprised by the answers you get.
Ask the question: Who have you made videos for before?
To close, one of Wyzowl’s USPs as a company is that we offer an all-inclusive service. With one fixed price for each second of video.
It’s been part of our product offering since day one- to offer unlimited revisions, fixed turnarounds and fixed pricing.
This is because we believe animated explainer videos shouldn’t just be available to big companies, they should be accessible to all.
Make sure you ask all these questions to any company that you reach out to about creating an explainer video. To help, download this free checklist and you can easily ask all the questions and note down the answers whilst you’re on the phone.