Video Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

20/20’s top 5 ways of maximizing quality without breaking the bank

1.  Be efficient.

Does your client want his or her entire firm speaking on camera?  If so, does that really add to the message the client wants to share with its audience?  Including everybody might make employees in the office feel good, but it will probably increase the odds that the video has disjointed messaging, less of a chance that the audience gets to know the product or service, and will certainly increase the time it takes to shoot and edit (which in turn, drives up the cost).  Instead, suggest that certain members of the firm can be included in b-roll shots so that everybody gets a little face time without getting in the way of the message.

2.  Communication is key.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is they don’t take proper advantage of the pre-shoot meetings or calls.  Most production companies, ours included, offer free pre-production meetings so that we can get on the same page with our clients.  If you have a question, even if you think it’s silly or obvious, ask it.  We want to get it right the first time.  If we have to come back to shoot a second day because something wasn’t properly communicated, that could raise the price of the video by 25% or more.  It also negatively affects the production company’s availability to its other clients.

3.  Do your research.

Production companies make their work available for prospective clients to see whom they have worked with and what they have done.  Have you taken the time to research their portfolio?  If, for example, you are a private law firm that wants an introductory video for your website, you probably don’t need the 30-time Emmy award winning production team that produced Game of Thrones.  Will it look great?  Sure.  But it won’t get you the return on the $100,000 investment.  There are so many companies that have a great footprint in local television and corporate production that will do a cost-effective job that makes you comfortable with the process, happy with the product, and most importantly, help you generate the new leads that you’re looking for.

4.  Ask for a deal.

Yes, production companies want to be properly compensated for their time – everyone does.  But most production houses are willing to work with you on price, as long as it’s within reason.  Can you offer a trade for services?  Can you exchange trusted industry contacts and referrals for a discount in price?  Or do you have additional needs/events throughout the year that could qualify for bulk pricing?  Our production company values developing long-term relationships with our clients and are happy to offer discounts in each of these situations.

5.  Have a vision.

If your client comes into the situation knowing what message they want to deliver, that can save huge marketing dollars.  Many production companies have very creative people who can develop terrific messaging for you – but it’ll cost you.  That equates to many extra hours of script writing, graphic design, and storyboarding – all of which could increase the price of a video by thousands of dollars.  But if your client has proven, effective messaging, knows what its brand is, and understands how to implement their new video through the web, email marketing, social media, and more, that can save them money and provide them with a beautiful looking asset that’s consistent with the rest of their marketing efforts.