It’s a new quarter and your team just got a new budget to spend on creative content. You're jazzed and ready to move forward with the video marketing campaign you’ve been strategizing for weeks. You start outlining everything you need and quickly realize it’s too much to handle in house. It’s time to look for help.
But where do you even start?
Should you go with a marketing agency? Should you hire a video production studio? Does an ad agency make sense? Does your company already have a list of pre-vetted contractors to choose from?
It can be overwhelming to find the right creative content supplier in such a saturated market. As I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve ever tried to source a supplier before, all agencies are a little different from one another, so research and vetting are necessary. You’ve likely come across a variety of different terms for a creative content supplier, too, which can make the process even more confusing.
VMG Studios understands this first-hand. We’re a hybrid creative marketing agency and video production studio, which means we’re constantly defining who we are and what we do to clients. We want to help others understand the difference between a creative marketing agency and a video production studio, as well as what a hybrid company like ours looks like, to help you find the right supplier for your content needs.
What is a Creative Marketing Agency?
Whether it’s a product video, a digital advertisement, or an internal training series, a creative marketing agency is your resource from start to finish. From ideation and scripting to design and implementation, an agency guides and leads your project. They oversee, strategize, develop, and deploy your creative content.
You can think of them as an extension of your department: a partner or project manager.
While this is a broad explanation of a creative marketing agency, each one is different in the services they offer and the companies they support. Some might offer video production services, but not animation. Some might have animators and designers on staff but need to hire a video production crew for live-action content. This is why it’s important to find an agency that fits your project needs, vision, culture, and budget.
Benefits of a Partnering With a Creative Marketing Agency
Ultimately, creative marketing agencies are project managers. They help you, the client, save time by doing the grunt work. Do you have a great idea but aren’t sure how to implement it through strategic deployment? Or do you have a quick-turn project with minimal resources? Well, an agency can take that idea, bring it to life, and do so in a timely manner.
Another benefit of working with an agency is their expertise and experience. Sure, your company likely has a marketing department, but do they have the bandwidth or resources to put together a major multi-media campaign? Do you have people on staff who can design a website? Or edit a highly produced video? Or even write a script? If not, hiring an agency can fill those gaps.
We understand that one of the biggest deterrents to working with an agency is the cost. It’s true, you can’t escape it; agencies cost money. However, if you hire the right agency for your business needs, your return on investment may cover the agency’s costs and then some.
More companies are handling content creation in-house, but we can’t tell you how many times we’ve had clients return to us asking for assistance. Their requests have been for a multitude of reasons including they didn’t have the bandwidth to get the project off the ground or they produced the project themselves, but it didn’t come out as expected so they needed our help to fix it or redo it – all of which cost time and money.
When looking at the grand scheme of hiring an agency, just remember the following benefits:
- Saves time and often money
- Agencies bring expertise and experience
- Access to the agency’s resources
- Decreases the chance of having to re-do a project
How to Work with an Agency
Besides understanding exactly what an agency does, which can vary as we mentioned, another question we often get is how do you work with an agency? What’s the workflow?
Similar to the different kinds of creative marketing agencies out there, each agency’s workflow will be different. However, there are some standard practices that most agencies follow in regard to client communication.
At VMG Studios, we’ve outlined it as such:
- Define your involvement, as the client, from the get-go
- Define the communication channel with the agency
- How will we communicate? Phone? Email?
- Whom will I be communicating with? A single point of contact? Or several role-defined contacts?
- Respond, respond, respond
- Get to know the people you’re working with
You can check out the quick video below for a more in-depth overview:
What is a Video Production Company?
Now that we’ve outlined what a creative marketing agency is, let’s discuss video production studios. Video production companies are experts in producing, shooting, and editing high-quality videos. Similar to creative marketing agencies, video production companies may specialize in certain kinds of videos, so it’s important to define their expertise before hiring.
Including asking what kind of videos they specialize in, we’ve outlined 10 important questions to ask a video production company before hiring them, which you can check out in the video below.
Nowadays, people have the technology to produce their own videos with a smartphone or webcam, however, it’s still usually pretty easy to tell the difference between a low-quality and high-quality video, which leads us to the benefits of hiring a production company.
Benefits of Partnering With a Video Production Company
The benefits of hiring a video production company are similar to those of a creative marketing agency. Video production studios bring their expertise and can save you time. An established video production company has its own high-end equipment including cameras, microphones, and lights to elevate the final deliverable. They might even have their own studio space which offers a long list of its own advantages.
Production companies often have a list of pre-vetted contractors when assistance is needed, too. If your video requires actors or a professional voice-over, they’ll know where to find those people, host auditions, and help make selects.
We’ve outlined 5 benefits of hiring a video production studio:
- Expertise and experience
- Save time
- Save money
- Storytelling skills
I’m not going to dive into how to work with a production company, mainly because it’s similar to working with a creative marketing agency. However, if you are interested in learning more about the process of how long it takes to make a live-action video or an animated video, check out the videos below.
Working With a Hybrid Creative Marketing Agency and Video Production Studio
Not all creative marketing agencies are video production companies and vice versa, but there are some out there like VMG Studios! A hybrid agency like ours is essentially a one-stop-shop, which makes producing your creative content that much easier. We’re able to provide creative development and strategy, scripting, designing, shooting, editing, animation, deployment, and more.
Our services also go beyond live-action video like some traditional video production companies.
Here’s a look at the services we provide:
- Video & audio production
- Animation & motion graphics
- Design & branding
- Interactive media & eLearning
- Creative concepting & development
- Marketing strategy
- Content marketing
At VMG Studios, we also have our own studio and sound booth, so we can record everything in house, which saves you money from having to rent out another space.
Deciding Between a Creative Marketing Agency or Video Production Company
Creative content, whether it’s a digital banner ad, animated explainer video, or live-action product demo, is a statistically proven way to generate new leads and build brand awareness. While the benefits of this type of content are endless, it is a lot of work. Creative content requires strategy, planning, budgeting, ideation, development, and deployment.
Hiring a creative marketing agency or video production company can help your business meet its marketing goals and initiatives while bringing expertise and experience to the table.
So, which one should you hire for your creative needs?
The answer is it depends. It depends on the type of content you’re looking to produce. It depends on your budget. It can even depend on whether you’re looking for a one-time supplier or a long-term partner.
While we’re obviously biased in this regard, finding a hybrid agency like VMG Studios can make the decision relatively easy. If you can find a company that supports your needs from any angle like video production, animation, design, and strategy, you can rest easy knowing your project will be completed in one cohesive place. Say goodbye to jumping around to different vendors for various pieces of the content puzzle. Say goodbye to sourcing tasks in-house to only have them fall to the wayside.
Managing any project can be overwhelming, so finding the right partner to shepherd you through can make your goals more attainable. If you are in the market for creative content, we hope you’d consider partnering with VMG Studios. However, we understand the need to window shop, so we invite you to download the free worksheet, “10 questions to ask an agency before hiring them” by clicking the image below.