You want a great video for your business. You know that your business is going to get more eyes on social media and on your website with a video. But there's something holding you back - budget.
This is something I've come across time and time again. A reluctance to produce professional videos because of the often-times steep cost.
My biggest consideration when discussing content creation with clients is for them to get value for their money. Content has a notoriously short life span on social media and the drop off rate after a few days can be disheartening. You've thrown everything and the kitchen sink at your video but you're just not getting the number of clicks and likes that you'd like to. There are a few reasons for that and one of them is that video content forms part of a campaign and is not a magic bullet to driving sales - video content has to exist in tandem with other forms of marketing.
So, the cost of video production is only one part of your shrinking marketing budget and often it'll take a back seat to a free post or leaner ad campaign. But here's the thing - video content doesn't have to be expensive. And to explain why, I'm going to break down what traditionally makes video production expensive (and suggest an alternative that really works).
Where's my money going?
Creating video content consists of two major costs, production and post-production costs. Pre-production, which is the conceptualising and scripting of your video as well as organising the production and post-production phases is usually not as high as the other two, or at least it certainly shouldn't be.
Production involves actually shooting the footage that will make up your final video. So, that will involve costs like camera, lighting and sound gear, camera people, sound people, drone operators for aerial shots, green screen studios, wardrobe and make-up and costs for actors or presenters. A quick look at these line items and you'll soon be heading for the door.
Post-production is your next big ticket item. This involves editing the filmed video, color-grading, motion graphics/visual fx and titles, sound design, recording a voice-over artist if you've decided to use one and final audio mix.
But... one of these processes you can, potentially, do without.
What's the Alternative?
For a professional video, you're never going to get away with zero post-production. The most basic video is always going to need an editor to at least do some kind of video editing and titling work as well as to place some basic audio.
You can, however, get away with not shooting a frame of video. Stock libraries have become increasingly popular to use in creating video content. They're also constantly being updated with new clips as more and more contributors add content to these libraries every day. Now, let me state up front, this is not going to work for every business and in every situation. It will very much depend on what you're marketing. If you're trying to launch or demonstrate a new physical product, this is not necessarily going to be the direction you want to take for obvious reasons.
However, if you're selling a service, this path might work for you. Two of my most recent clients used a combination of stock footage and motion graphics to market their products. They both happened to be in the software industry so this solution worked perfectly for them. Using live action stock footage was a great way to engage viewers and we then used motion graphics to demonstrate the features of their products. So, we were able to create high quality video content at a fraction of the price of what it would have cost were we to have filmed original footage. See an example of one of the videos below.
The key is to consider this option during the pre-production phase. Base your concept and script on what stock footage you will be able to source and whether it will suit your intended audience and statement. Also, choose a content production company based on whether they have experience with creating content from stock libraries. Stock library content that features actors does have the potential to be very cheesy, so the company that's creating your video content must be able to discern the good footage from the comedic.
Again, this might not work in every situation, and sometimes you are going to need a tailored solution for your video content. It is, however, a solution to consider if you don't have a massive budget for video production but still want a professional video that gets noticed.