Why Partnering with a Video Production Company for your Marketing Content could be the wisest thing you do

In this article we’ll share our findings on the latest shifts on the marketing front and explain why partnering directly with a video production company in 2019 can benefit your bottom line in the long run. We’ll look at: 

  • South African marketing statistics
  • The global perspective
  • The benefits of going directly to the source
  • What you should be looking for in a corporate video production company



In 2018, it was reported that South African television and radio ad spend had dropped a whopping 12% from R25.2 billion in 2017, to R22 billion. Radio wasn’t doing all that hot either, falling 5.6% from R7.3 billion to R6.9 billion. Print and outdoor advertising were similarly taking a knock.

The country’s biggest advertiser, Shoprite Holdings Ltd, had sliced its spend from R1 479 551 827 to R1 420 782 834; while Unilever dropped it all the way down from R1 435 146 104 to a modest R918 049 156. Don’t worry, those numbers make our eyes feel weird as well.

But let’s look to the future. According to Statista, internet advertising in South Africa is expected to account for 22.7 percent of the total ad market in the country, with a value of over 700 million U.S. dollars by 2022, which means that by the end of that year digital marketing will gross higher than TV advertising for the first time ever. At this point mobile will stake a 75% claim of internet advertising revenue, which will be up by 66% from the figure in 2017.


In terms of video advertising alone, the statistics are also illuminating. It clocked in at US$59.9 million in 2017, jumped to US$76.6 million in 2018, and is currently projected to stand at US$93.8 million by the end of 2019. Come 2020, we might well be looking at US$113.3 million.

In short – at a time when advertising spending is dropping overall, the spend on video advertising has been on the rise. 


Internationally, video content is rapidly gaining in popularity as well. 85% of respondents in a recent Statista pole reported watching online video content on one or all of their devices. The biggest market segment in this regard lies between the ages of 25 and 34. HubSpot also reported that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.


A 2019, a Wyzowl report found that 87% of marketing professionals are using video as a marketing tool because it has been found to increase user engagement and improve brand trust. This goes hand-in-hand with findings from Animoto that indicated that as many as 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media.

Optinmonster also recently released statistics that revealed that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and that 93% of respondents reported landing a new customer off the back of a social media video.

These are some compelling statistics that show that investment in video content in 2019 is somewhat of a no-brainer, whether you business is based in South Africa or abroad. The reach of the internet and the needs of the mobile generation have altered the advertising landscape substantially, and if you want to reach your target market where they play, video should be one of the marketing tools in your arsenal for sure. 


There is a very specialised type of skill required to produce video content that converts.
Sometimes with above-the-line agencies, there is an above-the-line feel that gets briefed into the video production agency, which can lead to things getting lost in translation. The benefit of dealing directly with the video production agency is that the team has specialised skills and will be able to guide the client directly in terms of what is going to work and what won’t work. They have a particular mindset about creating videos.


The team will also be able to apply their unique, boutique skill in giving direct feedback and working collaboratively with the client. This engenders a one-on-one relationship that leaps over the middleman. Because it’s so direct and specialised, this maximises the time that is required to do the work.

In our experience of working with agencies in the past, we’ve  found that ad agencies will typically outsource video to a third party, which means the video production company becomes the client of the ad agency. And then on the other side is the client who the video is intended for. However, many video production agencies have the competency in house to streamline the process – they have account managers, script writers and creative directors. Going direct minimises duplication of skill sets in this regard. It also cuts down on time and costs.

Working through an advertising agency has its merits, but there are many benefits in going directly to the source that goes beyond the monetary incentive.

These days a video production company can create incredible content that extends beyond the same-old, same-old corporate video production. Good video production agencies are also able to position themselves as content creation partners, which paves the way for quite an intimate, collaborative approach.

In cases like these, the video production company becomes a real partner to your business. A strong video-production team works from a strategic point of view. They are able to provide digital insights on how to use video, what to do with them, and what works best. They have the experience of dealing with the artform itself and it shows in more ways than one.” 


Now that we’ve established that partnering directly with a video production company in 2019 will stand you in good stead, we should also add that you need to bear a few important things in mind while you’re shopping around for the right one. Here’s what you should be asking when you go in for a meeting, or make contact via Skype or telephone for the first time:

Can I see your showreel?

Naturally, the video production company you choose should have a flair for the type of video content you have in mind. These days, most companies will have a show reel on their website, so you can take a good long gander before you choose to get in touch. If you struggle to find examples of their work on a given company’s site, simply request it via email.

While you’re looking at these showreels, you ideally want to find video content that gets you excited. Every business has its own personality, and if you want the type of creative relationship that clicks from the word go, look for a company that do what you like. That’s not to say that a talented production crew won’t be able to adapt their style to your requirements, of course. It’s simply a lot easier to partner with a crew that already excels at the type of content you envision for your brand.

What are your procedures like?

Know how you prefer to work and be sure that the video production company with whom you choose to partner will be happy to work in this way as well. For instance, if you prefer to be kept in the loop daily throughout the production process, you need to communicate this from the start so you can ascertain that the company will be able to channel the reporting resources they will require to do so.

You may also want regular meetings to be briefed on progress, and prefer to do so in person. Communicate all these needs when you meet up with the company during the initial interview, and make sure that they will be able to fulfil your needs in this regard. Most video production companies are likely to comply to your requests, but it always pays to make sure.

TOP TIP: This is also a good time to ask whether they offer any additional resources. Your chosen video production company should ideally be able to advise you on hosting options and promotional tactics once they have finished creating your video.

May I have a few contactable references?

Yes, you are allowed to ask for those. As South Africans, we tend to regard this as bad manners, but when it comes to business it’s completely natural to check in with prior clients to find out more about a video production company before you sign on the dotted line. After all, video projects tend to cost a fair amount of money, so you want to be sure that you’ll be getting good service.

It’s also a good way to gauge transparency within the business. If the company is happy to provide you with references, you can assume that they tend to play open cards and you won’t be kept in the dark. If they refuse, it’s an immediate red flag. It’s bad business practice and doesn’t bode well for clarity of communication.


Do you currently have scope to take on new jobs?

This may seem like something you wouldn’t need to ask, but do so regardless. Most video production companies who are worth their salt tend to be quite busy and booked up for months in advance. However, no-one likes to miss out on business, so they might take on another project and hope to make capacity on the fly.

You don’t want this – you want a focused team of skilled individuals who aren’t under pressure to juggle multiple high-pressure jobs at once. Be upfront in this regard, and make a point of stipulating that you don’t want your video to be squeezed into a crammed schedule. In the end, you deserve to partner with a video production company who has the capacity to give your project their all.

TOP TIP: It can take anywhere from two weeks to five months to create a video, so if your timeline is tight you’ll have to collaborate with an agency that offers fixed turnaround times.

Feel free to reach out to the HolyCow team if you would like to learn more about our services. Our video production company experts will happily evaluate your needs and give you some insight into the way we do things here at HolyCow. We look forward to learning more about your business, discussing your needs and telling you more about our video production company.  

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