How much should your marketing video cost?
The video production companies with more experience are usually going to require more budget. Judging from their portfolio of past work, you can see what kind of work they’ve done and the clients they’ve worked with in the past.
I know, I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. We get several inquiries that start out this way. It’s a good question, too. It’s easy to think this way, and it’s easy to assume that making a video is a straightforward process that doesn’t require much foresight or thought during pre-production.
What goes into a video production, including, crew, cast, equipment, locations etc. all effects the budget.
When seeking multiple bids, it’s difficult to compare just the bottom line. You must take into consideration many different elements, such as:
- Fit – (do I see myself getting along with these people and building a relationship?)
- Portfolio – (can I trust that they can complete the job at the level I need?)
- Conversation – (are they listening to my needs?)
- Structure – (do they have a process in place to get my project done on time?)
It’s important to remember that, when buying video production, design or another form of consulting, you’re buying professional services. Video is a medium on the rise in social and marketing it should be taken seriously and with meaningful respect.
Projects should not be rushed and should have organized goals that can be measured. Iterating and improving should be expected, just like you expect from your website.
How much a video costs is a very difficult question to answer. If you haven’t been involved with video production, you probably have no idea what to expect price-wise. A friend may have told you that they got this great video made for only $1,500, while another friend’s company spent over $35,000 on their company video!
It’s hard to know what your first friend’s expectations are and how they define “great.” It’s also easy to think that $35,000 is a ton of money (because it is!).
Most larger companies with significant budgets have certain quality expectations and an appropriate and realistic budget. They also have done a few video projects to understand how to price what they are asking.
A bid is going to be comprised of various attributes, and what you tell the production company is going to affect how that bid is priced.
Production value refers to the amount of resources and talent you put into making your video. The higher the production value, the higher quality video you’ll have, and the larger the budget you’ll need to accomplish this.
This takes into consideration a number of things like camera, crew, talent/actors, shooting locations and shooting days, lighting and grip, post production, effects, graphics and so forth. Some of these things you think you don’t need but talking with your production company can help you decide what the must haves are.
Set your budget range
As early on in the process as possible, define your budget range with your video production company. This will save you tons of time and headaches down the road and make for a smoother process for all parties involved.
If you know what you’re comfortable spending on video production, you should also have an idea of the quality you can expect. Look through a production company’s portfolio and if it matches the quality you’re going for, ask about the specifics of individual projects. See if you can find out what went into a project you like and what the results were.
Don’t be afraid to let a potential production company know how much money you have. I know what you’re thinking, – “If I admit to having $15,000 then I’ll get charged $15,000.” Yes, that can definitely happen. But are you hoping to get a $15,000 video for half or a quarter of the price? This is far less likely to happen. Furthermore, it wastes everyone’s time talking about a video that is priced at $15,000 when your budget is $3,000.
When you tell someone that you have $15,000 for a video and you want something professional and well done that will generate solid results, you aren’t overplaying your hand. You are saying what you want and what you expect. Don’t be afraid to verbalize what these expectations are and if you have a marketing plan in place. When a budget is put out there that’s usually the guidelines we follow. If a budget is $15,000, then our proposal will reflect that. We’ll expand our storyboard, locations, equipment and crew to fit the look for that budget. That’s also the same for a budget that is $3,000.
Full disclosure here, the product we deliver for a client with a budget of $15,000 is going to look very different than the product we deliver with a budget of $3,000. We’re not going to charge you $15,000 just because we know you have it. However, it wastes everyone’s time talking about a $15,000 project when you know your budget is $3,000.
Is it worth it?
Again, whether or not a professionally produced video is worth it to your business depends on several factors:
How well do you know your target market?
Are you answering the right questions (spoken and unspoken)?
Do you have a solid promotional plan for driving traffic to this video?
Assuming you have thoroughly done your homework, investing in high-quality video production can pay for itself tenfold. Dollar Shave Club became famous for the success of their explainer video, and Crazy Egg reportedly boosted their monthly income by $21,000/month after releasing theirs.