Low Cost Videos: 3 Tips To Save Your Marketing Budget

low cost videosVideos are way too expensive. Videos are where your marketing budget goes to die. There isn’t a way to produce high quality, low cost videos.

Blah. I’ve heard it all before… excuses… and in this case those excuses are hurting your business.

The statistics are in and the evidence is clear. Video is no longer a cool marketing tactic that would be nice to have, but you can live without.

Visual content is critical to PR and marketing, and the top dog is video. It’s no wonder why. Research shows that 76% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business.

I know what many of you are thinking… great… I get it… but my business still can’t afford it.

Ugg… that’s not true! When you do a little research, you’ll find there are plenty of ways to produce videos on a tight budget. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right spot because I’ll help you navigate some of your choices.

Now, let’s get this straight upfront. These suggestions don’t involve animation or whiteboard videos. That’s a whole separate thing, and there are plenty of low cost online options for those types of videos. The videos I’m talking about here are the types of videos that require a video camera.

Professional Video Production Companies

The first option is surprisingly not as obvious as it might seem. Sure, it makes sense for pros to produce your videos, but if you’re concerned about price many might bypass this group.

Don’t do that. There are plenty of video production companies who will work with your tight budget. Our company has a specific process just for producing high quality, low cost videos for customers all over the country.

Now, it’s true. You will find plenty of production houses that won’t even pick-up their cameras for less than $10,000. You’ll have to do some research here, but I’m going to give you an awesome tip to save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

As you’re researching an contacting local video production companies… share your budget with them.

This can be a tough one for many people to swallow. It’s engrained in us not to share how much we’re willing to spend. Everyone is always hopeful that they’re going to get a great deal. I only have $1000 to spend on the video, but who knows… someone might quote me $500 for my project!

Umm… yeah… that’s probably not going to happen here. Is it possible? Sure, but it’s far more likely you’ll spend all sorts of time talking with a production company about your project, waiting on them to put together a proposal, only to find out it’s more expensive that what you have budgeted.

Sharing your budget in advance solves all of this and saves you time and aggravation.

Hi, Joe Video Production Company. I’d like to produce a short marketing video for my business, but my budget is only $1000 (or $800, $700, $100… whatever). Is that a budget you can work with?

Many of them will say, “No,” but there will be some that’ll work with you. There will probably be restrictions on what you’ll get, but in most cases the skill and ability of working with a pro will outweigh those limitations.

Remember, these are people who produce videos like this everyday. It’s what they do, and they’ll likely do it better and faster than anyone in our next two options… certainly the last option.

Independent Video Producers

Your next best option is to turn to independent video producers. You can find these folks on various websites like SmartShoot and Thumbtack, or you can always look at Craigslist.

This is a close second to hiring a production company. Actually, if video production companies are option 1A, independent video producers might be 1B.

In many cases, you might be getting just as qualified a professional as hiring a production company. They’re also going to be much more willing to work with your limited budget.

The trick is finding the right one. With bigger production companies, they’ll have a nice website. There will be all sorts of video examples for you to watch. There will be content there to help you learn more about the company and the people who work there.

When you go to hire an independent pro… those things might be in short supply, or they might relay on a less polished website or YouTube/Vimeo to share their examples.

Bottomline, it’s possible to find a really good independent video pro. You might just need to look past a lack or marketing refinement on their part.

Do-It-Yourself

Your last low cost video option is to do-it-yourself. I’ll give you a few reasons why I like this option the least, but don’t worry… I’m actually a video pro who advocates producing DIY videos in certain circumstances. I’ll get to those in a minute.

Here’s why I don’t like DIY videos:

  • They’re terrible: let’s be honest, most DIY marketing videos stink. You’re never going to be able to create a video as good as a pro who has devoted their life to the craft.
  • They’re embarrassing: the goal of your video should be to impress your customers and prospects. A DIY video usually looks so bad, it makes your company or organization look bad.
  • They don’t save you money: say what?! Yeah, they don’t save you money. Sure, you’re not paying someone to produce the videos for you, but you’ve heard it before… time is money. Producing a video can be very time consuming, especially if you’re a rookie or amateur. You will spend a ton of time working on your project. Time you could be spending servicing your customers or adding new ones. In other words, you’ll lose out on business while you’re making your video.

However, as I mentioned… there are certain circumstances when I’ll give you a pass to DIY:

  • You have zero marketing budget: if you’re a micro-business or a solo-preneur, forget having a small budget. You might not have a marketing budget at all! If this is a case and your customers know this about you, by all means DIY.
  • If your image is kitschy: does your team wear t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops to work? Is there a ping pong table in your office? Do your customers think of you as cool and hip? If so, feel free to DIY. An amateur-looking video might play into your image and work well for your audience.

Wrapping-up

Well, there you have it. Three ways to produce low cost videos. It might take a little research on your part, but it’s worth it. Put the power of video to work for your business.

Tony GnauTony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 13 Telly Awards for its work.

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