People and companies all over the earth are beginning to realize the value of drone video services, from real estate marketing to utility inspections. As UAVs grow in popularity, so do the number of companies and providers of drone video services looking to capitalize on this new market. So how do you find the best drone video services out there?
It can be quite confusing to understand where to search for these kinds of drone services if you’re a small business or a video business looking to outsource drone / aerial work.
How do you know who to trust in a sea of new, relatively untested drone businesses?
We put together this short guide to help you review different drone video services and choose the right one for your use.
Types of Drone Video Services
The search starts with figuring out what kind of video production you are looking for. Typically, these types of services can be broken down into 3 broad categories: Industrial, Creative, and Residential
Industrial Drone Applications
These include services like:
- construction site mapping,
- large-scale agricultural data,
- aerial utility inspection,
- insurance validation, and
- large-scale asset monitoring.
These services focus on providing value through improving work efficiency, safety, or cost.
For example, monitoring utilities like pipelines via high tech drones with cameras can be far more accurate, quick, and cost-effective than hiring a person to be on the ground walking the length of the pipe.
Industrial customers also use drone video services to improve safety by allowing inspection of assets like cell towers by a drone instead of having a person climb to the top.
Creative drone videos
These include aerial filmmakers and independent video production studios. These are most often used for events like weddings, races, and festivals.
These types of services place a high premium on production quality. The final deliverable is a drone video (or drone work mixed into the rest of the film produced), which has an artistic value rather than being solely data driven.
The videos are more likely to record or showcase an event for a feature production or marketing material.
Residential quadcopter services
These include real estate videography and aerial tours. These companies are typically newer to the market and may have a greater range of quality and experience. They can also tend to be more competitive, which means you can take advantage of a better price to secure a project.
Make sure to perform your research beforehand and follow a few of our upcoming tips to make sure you hire someone who will do the job right the first time. Many of these services use the DJI Phantom series of drones, including the Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro.
How to Find Local Drone Video Services
The best place to find local drone service providers is by running a few searches through Google following this format:
“your city” + “drone services”
“your city” + “aerial videography”
“your city” + “drone video”
Usually, this will give you a few local companies to compare and get started. If there are none in your immediate city, try searching with the name of the largest metropolitan area close to you.
Drone service platforms can also be a decent place to find pilots in your area. These businesses act like an “Uber for drones” and help connect you with certified aerial videographers that are local to you.
4 Steps to Evaluate a Drone Video Services Company
With the drone industry growing at such a fast pace, it seems like there is a new quadcopter company popping up every day!
It is difficult to sort through the masses and understand the few key factors and trust signals that separate true professionals from the rest.
After you have used both Google and a few drone services platforms to narrow down a few, be sure to ask these 4 questions to evaluate the legitimacy and quality of your drone services provider:
(US only) Are they FAA Certified under a Part 333 or Part 107 license?
If the “drone business” does not list one of these certifications, that should be a huge red flag. The FAA requires all businesses and people using drones for commercial applications to have one of these two licenses and can face stiff penalties if found to be in non-compliance.
What does their portfolio look like?
Seeing is believing in the world of drone video services. Make sure the videos are of the caliber that you need for your application. Industrial videos need not be amazingly produced, but the opposite is true for event videography.
What do the customer reviews say?
Verified customer reviews and testimonials are a great way to validate the type of work that a business does.
Look for reviews on services like Yelp, Google Maps, and Thumbtack combined with any feedback that the company has on their website. Get a feel for how legitimate the reviews feel by paying attention to how they are written and if different writing styles and voices are used.
How easy is it to contact them?
Legitimate businesses want to make it incredibly easy for you to reach out to them. They not only want to meet you in person but also talk over the phone, email you, and develop business relationships.
If you do not see at least an email or phone number on the company website, that is another red flag and possibly a sign that there is something to hide. The more information they share about themselves and their aerial operation, the more confidence you can have that you are dealing with accountable people.
5 Bonus Steps: Evaluating Their Website
When visiting their website, ask yourself, “What impression does the website give off?”
These days, the website is the first impression that a business makes on potential customers and we all know how much important first impressions are. Ask yourself 5 of the following questions while reviewing the company’s web presence:
Is the site pleasing to look at?
Is the site uncluttered, clean, and modern looking? Does it look like it was slapped together or designed professionally? It can indicate how they will treat you as a customer!
Is it easy to find all the information you need?
Make sure you can understand what services they provide and if they are licensed. Make sure you understand pricing if possible and the background of the company to make sure it is a good fit.
How does the site look on your phone?
A mobile responsive website shows that the company wants you to be able to reach them easily no matter where you are.
Is the portfolio complete and thorough?
Check out their portfolio to see if you like the work! It is one of the best ways to figure out if the service provider will be right for you. If they have done a poor job in the past, they will probably do bad work for you too!
Look for the following trust symbols
Look for the following: BBB rating (better business bureau), HTTPS security in the browser bar, reviews from customers, high rankings on Google, and quality writing.
Hiring the Best Drone Video Services Provider
When you put these tips into practice, you will have a much higher chance of hiring a quality aerial videography company.
Finding the right company is only half the battle, you will need to make sure that you are a great customer as well. That means being responsive, precise in your expectations (pricing, timeline, and deliverables), and flexible (weather cannot be planned).
By combining these strategies with the right attitude, you will be sure to have a successful drone video project!
We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you in finding the best drone video services. Whether you’re looking for drone operators and suppliers as a small business, or you’re looking to outsource drone / aerial work as a video business, we’ve tried to cover all bases here.
What are your favorite tips on finding great drone video services? Let us know in the comments below here.