What do you look for in a whiteboard video company? Don’t worry, that’s 100% rhetorical, and not just because a blog post is a pretty one-way street—it’s also because most people don’t have a ready answer. Even working for a whiteboard company myself, I can understand; whiteboard isn’t as widely understood as it should be, even as it grows in popularity.
So let’s answer that question together, and get at the heart of what you should ask when you select a whiteboard video company.
As when you select any firm, you’ll want to first inquire as to their team’s experience.
- How long have they been making whiteboard videos?
- What kind of company were they before they made whiteboard videos—do they have a background in media, the arts, or B2B operations?
- How many videos have they made, and what kinds of clients do they serve?
Next, you’ll want to find out about their process.
- How does making a whiteboard video with this company work?
- Will you give them a script, wait, and be presented with a video?
- Will you work with them on the script?
- Is there a project manager or producer to guide you through the production process?
- Will you be afforded review rounds, and will the process follow milestones and approvals?
- Or are you paying and hoping for the best?
At TruScribe, we absolutely recommend a process like ours: collaborative, iterative, and guided. Our process involves the client every step of the way, from scripting through approval of the final screening. We ensure the client is able to comment and revise each iteration as they see fit, and always have a producer ready to offer recommendations, assistance, and guidance.
Another great question to ask a whiteboard company is “Why?”
- Why do they make whiteboard video?
Some of this might be answered in your experience discussion, but if it hasn’t come up yet, it’s worth asking specifically.
You want to hear an answer involving passion, not mere financial motivation. A dedication to the arts, a drive to improve communication, an abiding interest in customer care and developing relationships—these are all reasons that TruScribe does what it does. Before you decide on a whiteboard company, make sure their reasons for making whiteboard are clear.
It’s also a good idea to ask about the philosophy behind the company.
- Is there a guiding ethic or set of principles that govern their whiteboard content creation, or do practices vary widely from project to project?
If the company does have a set of guiding principles, go a step further with your inquiries and ask how they developed them.
- Did they simply become codified over time?
- Did they come from another process?
- Or did they come from somewhere else?
At TruScribe, we love to discuss our set of guiding principles. We call these principles Scribology, and we developed them through neuroscientific and psychological research. They allow us to apply grounded, real-world data to design, and consistently produce premium whiteboard content that will increase the engagement and retention of our clients’ messages.
You’ll certainly want to ask a prospective whiteboard company about cost before you engage their services. Whiteboard video is not free, so make sure you’re spending your money wisely. Ask about what you get for your dollar, and make sure that you understand the value you’ll be getting for the cost.
Process is relevant to this discussion as well. If the process is highly collaborative, your participation will help offset any chance of finances going to waste, as your approval will be required repeatedly to ensure your satisfaction.
Speed of turnaround also matters, in the cost discussion and generally—how long will it take this company to deliver your final video? Balance their answer against the cost and the process to put things in perspective. Is it worth working with a company that has high costs, a non-collaborative process, and a lengthy turnaround? Or do the collaborative process and fast turnaround speed justify much of the cost, and alleviate concerns?
There are two more considerations to make when it comes to choosing a whiteboard company—their work, and the personalities of the personnel. Neither of these are direct ‘questions,’ per se, but they will be necessary for a thorough vetting of the company.
- When it comes to their work, the consideration is straightforward: Have you seen some of their work for other clients?
If you haven’t, you really should do so before making a decision with a company. Once you have seen some of their videos, ask yourself what you think of them.
- Are there glaring problems that would make a partnership unwise?
- Do the issues you see seem minor—not likely to be a part of your video, if you raise your concern?
- Or do the videos seem uniform from client to client, such that a change seems unlikely?
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the personality of the company as a whole and your point of contact(s) in specific is a fit. This kind of information can only be ascertained through conversation.
- Regardless of the rest of their process, experience, and other answers, do they seem easy to work with?
- For example, if you liked 90% of their work that you sampled, how does your point of contact react when you raise concerns about the 10% you didn’t like?
- Are they able to defend their design choices?
- Can they satisfactorily explain to you why your video will look like the 90%, not the 10%?
- Or are they uncertain, or worse, defensive?
- And if their process is collaborative, what signs are you getting from the whiteboard representative that it’ll be a flexible and pleasant one?
Make sure you speak to any potential whiteboard company with these questions in mind. You want to get a good feel for the company in terms of mindset, personnel, process, and philosophy. Some pieces will come from prior research (sampling their work, for example), but most will require an in-depth conversation.
Don’t partner with a whiteboard company that doesn’t have passion. Don’t pay high fees for uncertain outcomes. Use the questions above to make sure that the whiteboard company is in business for the right reasons, and that their practices, values, and people are a good fit for your project.