6 Questions for Agencies Bidding on Your Video Project

Video content is the top marketing priority for companies, and it is only going to get more important as we head into 2020. While most companies recognize the value of creating video content, the majority lack the resources to create them in-house. This is why it’s important to partner with the right video marketing agency. 

Bidding out a video marketing project is an important process that requires some prep work. Before you start reaching out to agencies to get a quote, your team needs to know exactly what they want to accomplish with the video, and also what they want to gain from the company creating it. You will also need to make sure you are asking the right questions so you know which company is the perfect fit for your project needs.

I have worked on both sides of the agency desk, so I decided to compile a list of the most important questions you should ask when shopping for a video agency partner. You will have specific questions as it relates to your project, but these are the top questions you should ask that will help you select the right agency for the job.

1. Do you have a portfolio?

Photo by  Chris Lawton

Photo by Chris Lawton

Kind of an obvious one, but asking for a portfolio is the most important question to ask! Portfolios showcase an agency’s capabilities, professional style, and quality of work. Pick out a couple of work samples you like and ask about the process they followed, the resources they used, and the timeline they worked within. This gives you a greater understanding of the agency’s working style and level of collaboration during the video creation process.

If you interview an agency that is reluctant to share this information… RUN! Any reputable agency that makes great quality videos will be happy to share and talk about their previous work and creative process.

2. Have you had clients in my industry?

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Not a deal-breaker question by any means, but still an important one to ask. Agencies that have worked in your industry will have specific and relevant projects to share. If you interview an agency that has not worked with clients in your industry, they can speak to relevant projects that easily translate to something that works for your brand.

Even if an agency has - or has not - worked in your industry, the quality of the solution is most important. You may end up selecting the agency who has never worked in your industry!

3. Who is on your team?

Once you narrow your search down to the top agencies, ask to meet the teams that would be working on your project. Let your team meet them too so they can ask questions you might not have thought to ask. Meeting the team gives you a better sense of how well they work with each other, and how well they would work with you.

Having a virtual meeting is a great alternative if the team is not centrally located for an in-person meeting. It is becoming more common for agencies to have remote teams, and they will be happy to set up a video conference so you can still get a face-to-face experience.

4. Do you use external partners?

It is common for agencies to partner with another company for services on a project, and then charge a referral fee. If this is the case for an agency you are considering, ask to meet the external partner as well. Consider them part of your agency’s team and ask all the same questions to understand their creative process and level of collaboration. 

While this is common practice for many marketing agencies, it is still important for the agency to be upfront about partnering with external companies. I once interviewed a branding agency that outsourced their market research, and they did not tell our team about it until we received the proposal. Using an external partner was not a deal-breaker, but not being upfront about it was.

5. When can you complete my project?

Getting your project timing out on the table is important for the first meeting. It gives the agency a chance to determine if they should even bid on the project, and it could be a question that narrows your search for you. This question can also give you an idea if your timeline is realistic, and whether you should consider changing the due date.

The timing for your project’s deliverables can vary from agency to agency depending on the size of their team. Depending on the nature and complexity of your project, it may take a larger agency anywhere from 4-8 weeks, or more. Boutique video marketing agencies tend to have smaller crews, so it is reasonable to expect an additional 2-3 weeks for completion on the same project. 

If you forget to ask this question, don’t worry! This is a common question for agencies to ask their leads. While it’s important for them to land clients, they also want to make sure they can handle a project before submitting a proposal.

6. When can I get a proposal?

You’ve asked all the right questions, and you’ve laid out exactly what you need for your project. This is the last important question you should ask - when can I get a proposal? If a video marketing agency is excited about working on your project, you can expect a proposal within a few days. If the video agency is not excited to work on your project, they will drag their feet on sending the proposal. Always choose an agency that acts with a sense of urgency, and treats your project with top priority! 

Final Thoughts

These are all important questions to ask agencies bidding on your video project, but your list should not stop with these six questions. Make sure you think of important questions as it relates to your specific video project needs. Asking questions only uncovers more information about the agency, so there is no downside to creating a list of 30+ questions! Don’t feel bad - an agency that wants your business will have no problem answering them!

Taylor Landrum