How much does a corporate video cost? How long is a piece of a string? Okay, that doesn’t really help explain things, does it?
The thing is, there are so many factors that go into budgeting a video. So many, in fact, that you can easily spend anything between a few hundred or several thousands of dollars on a two-minute promotional video. Above all, any marketing activity needs to get a return on investment, and this is what should always play a part in deciding on your video production budget.
If you’re spending $1000 on a promotional video for your business where the average sale is $2000, you only need to close one lead from the video and you’ve made back more than your original investment. But we all know it’s not always that simple.
Video campaigns based around improving employee engagement or increasing brand awareness have a less tangible ROI, so understandably, clients can be uncertain as to what is good value when it comes to video production. But there are a number of things you can do to bring down the cost of video production no matter what your campaign focus is. If you’re looking to keep an eye on your marketing budget or to save costs, here are some of the biggest factors that can impact your video marketing budget.
High production values. If you’re at the movies, it doesn’t matter what film you’re there to see, the ticket price will be the same. But the budgets to produce, market, and distribute each of the movies are different. A special-effects blockbuster with big name actors and a massive marketing campaign is of course going to have had more money spent on it than an independent drama that the critics are talking about.
Why? Because the blockbuster has huge production values which the audience has come to expect from that kind of movie. The big question is, does that make it a better film? Not at all.
Bigger budgets only make bigger films, not better films. Powerful stories make powerful films.
And powerful stories are priceless. If you don’t have the budget for high production values, make sure your video tells a powerful and engaging story.
Putting the miles in. Video projects vary massively in scope from one to the next. Some might involve a few hours filming and a quick edit, others may take in several weeks of production across the globe.
Whilst the length of the video does impact the budget to a degree, the number of days spent on the road or in the studio filming can dramatically affect the costs too. After getting a project brief from a client, a decent production company will be able to figure out exactly how much filming is needed for the project.
There’s an old saying in production: “Quality, Speed, and Price – pick two”. Nobody wants there to be any trade-offs when investing in a marketing video. Rightly so, everyone wants to have the best quality at the lowest cost, delivered as soon as possible, but be prepared that you’re going to give up something. Any company that is selling you all three is doing just that – selling you something.
Start small with a 30 second or 1 minute video. Make sure the production team is local. Provide some of the footage or screen shots if you have them. Have a chat with your production company about your priorities and make sure they understand what’s most important to you.
Find a company that is honest, so they won’t throw any hidden charges at you, and they’ll be 100% transparent about timescales too. Share your budget. To get the most accurate proposals for a video production project, the best way is to share your budget restrictions with the production company. Any decent production company will pride themselves on being honest and transparent and will work within your budget to provide a product that’s well within reasonable expectations.
A budget is just a number though. You must communicate your standard of value, what your expected outcomes are, and you’ll need to share a detailed summary of your vision for the project as well. Writing down a clear description of what you want from your video, clear goals, key messages and call to actions, even example YouTube links, all give you the best chance to get value for money.
A good production company will take this information on board and even suggest alternative or more effective ways to achieve what you want. You might not have all this information yet, but spending 10 minutes on getting the key points down on paper speeds up the process, creates a better relationship, and gets you much better value.
Video marketing is an investment. But as much as you’re investing money, investing time in finding the right company to work with is just as important. Find a company that understands you and that you want to work with.
The numbers are important, of course, but developing a long-term relationship built on honesty and experience will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Keep your first project short, keep it simple, and keep it local.