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How to Spend Your Video Production Budget (Wisely).

Video Production can involve a variety of ways to spend your budget. The goal of this post is to help you determine how to allocate it in a way that gets you the most bang for your buck.

When looking at where to put your dollars, it’s important to first look at the different buckets it can go into. The video production process is typically broken down into 3 phases, and for us, these are the 3 buckets:

  1. Pre-production: *(Strategy, Creative Concept, Planning, Scripting, etc.)
  2. Production: *(Video shoot, graphic design, etc.)
  3. Post-Production *(Video editing, animation, revisions, etc.)

    The funny thing about video production is that….

Your project may involve some but not all of these phases ( and to varying degrees). For example, here’s a couple typical scenarios:

  • Shooting a video of a keynote presentation and streaming it live may involve little planning and no editing.
  • A marketing video that contains music, photos and text may not require a video shoot at all, but the more editing that’s done will likely yield a more engaging video.
  • Alternatively, a company or product overview may involve weeks of planning,  several days of travel and shooting and then weeks of editing, animation, approvals and so on.

    I find that by looking at the assets, timeline, budget, manpower and other resources that are available for the project, you can make a smart decision about how to maximize your budget.  But first, I believe the smart thing to do is to simplify the goal of the video to be in-line with a specific stage of the sales cycle (awareness, interest, education, conversion).  If you try and accomplish too much with one video, it can fall short by trying to say and show too much, ultimately lowering engagement and spreading your budget too thin. Think targeted: One video, one goal.

For example: if your goal is to boost awareness, but your budget is lean, then perhaps by focusing on developing a very engaging creative concept and taking the time to plan it all out, you could save a good amount of budget and produce something successful but inexpensive.  In another scenario, if your company has a ton of high resolution photos,  a limited budget and not a lot of time to create a video before an event, you could spend your budget on hiring a very talented editorial team to produce a fast-paced and engaging animated photo montage set to music.

I’d urge you to keep coming back to the question of how you’d allocate your budget to the 3 phases of production. As another example, if you came to me and said you had 10K to create a video to boost awareness, some of the options you could probably get would be:

1) A 2-5 minute video of testimonials of a handful of your clients (If there isn’t too much travel or a expensive crew set up)

2) A high quality 15 second animated video with graphic representations of your product and a high level overview of how it helps your customers (If it could be created in a week or so)

3) An exciting photo montage of stock photos set to music with professional voice over reading prepared script. (As long as it’s not a celebrity voice talent)

4) A very well written  script, presented as written text on screen in an engaging way, animated to music and to the cadence of the spoken words. (Not Shakespeare good but well done)

5) A 15-30 second clip of a ‘semi-famous’ person reading your script to camera (Probably a minimal camera set up but some B-list celeb would certainly  take your money and read a script)

Each of these examples can probably be done for 10K. The only differences are the amount of time spent on each piece would vary as would the quality of each ingredient. My key point is that there are many ways to communicate effectively within the medium of video. Your video can rely on the power of the creative concept, the quality of the images, the fact that the shots happened in many locations, the ‘craftsmanship’ put into the script, the talent behind the acting, editing, animation, the list goes on. In fact, that’s probably why this level of subjectivity is so daunting. There are so many ingredients that can be combined in so many different ways in a video production that it’s always going to be challenging to find the right mix.

The best advice is to first look at your goals and then look at what you DO HAVE and look at what you DON’T HAVE. Once you have those, you can start to fill in the blanks of what *could be *the smart way forward, no matter what your budget.

Want to learn more about Online Video? Download our free Online Video Marketing Guide: Learn How to Promote your Business with Video (Free Download)

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

Good luck!

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice

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