Video production is so varied and there are so many variables involved in creating anything video based. So it really is a case of how long is a piece of string. But stick around because there are some generalities that will hopefully help you understand marketing video production cost in your next video project.
What is a client worth to your business?
Before you start getting into the whole cost debate, I would urge you to take a little step back and think about client lifetime value. How much is a client worth to you? Whenever you get a new client in, what do they tend to spend? And if you’re selling physical products, for example, through an eCommerce store, what’s your average cart value? And how often do your clients return?
By doing this calculation, you then know how much you can spend on client acquisition, i.e. marketing. It’ll also give you a sense of what kind of marketing you can do. And at what level, what is sustainable for you in your business?
Marketing should be an investment
The whole reason we market is that we get clients in obviously for a cost. And then we sell them our products and our services to make a profit. Now, if that’s not happening and you’re not getting an ROI on your marketing, if it’s not providing ROI your marketing, then you need to ask yourself why?
There’s loads of different reasons, and here are a few of them. You may be targeting the wrong audience. You could be using the wrong medium, i.e. you could be targeting a platform that your clients actually don’t use. It could be a question of the messaging, you might be saying the wrong things to the wrong people. Or you could be spending more than your client lifetime value is worth, or you may have no idea at all ’cause you may not actually track your marketing data.
The brilliant thing about video is it’s very, very trackable.
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Video is definitely not a cheap option
Video is very trackable, so you can get a sense of the ROI you’re getting.
Also video can be used in all aspects of your business, from the kind of top of funnel awareness kind of stage, right through the customer journey, through your sales funnel, helping conversions and get people buying things. All the way right to the backend to your client follow-up. You know you can do some great things with video emails and stuff to create that know, like, and trust, and to create the customer loyalty that will keep people coming back for more.
You can also use video for external facing and internal facing communications. If you’re using it internally for example, you can use it to foster that sense of team, that sense of belonging and mission, that you can create from doing something like a values film. And also if you’re getting new joiners involved, video is a really super powerful tool in terms of recruitment, but also onboarding.
As well as that, of course, there are so many video stats demonstrating why video works so well for marketing. 33% better open rates in emails is one. Another one, 80% uplift in conversions if you embed a video on a landing page. You get longer dwell times on websites. So it really is a super powerful and flexible medium.
How much does it all cost?
Let’s dig down into the cost side of things.
There’s a basic rule of thumb, which suggests you allow a 1,000 pounds per minute of finished film. Now that is a super rough estimate, so don’t fall off your chairs just yet.
That’s based on per minute of finished film. So that would include crew costs, equipment costs, location hire. It would also take care of things like pre-production development, the production of the film, the editing of the film, and that often would be days of work, in some cases, weeks.
It also would include things like music licensing, stock footage licensing, graphics work. All of these costs would be bundled into that headline of a 1,000 pounds per minute.
So let’s look at some example budgets of popular video types.
- A brand video or a company story, you’d be looking at around about 4,000 pounds upwards, depending on how long the video was, or how many versions of it you needed.
- Product explainer videos you’d be able to produce from a roundabout 3,000.
- Broadcast ads, this will give you sort of a benchmark. They would start from around about 10,000 and go upwards to half a million, maybe even more for those super high-end brand ads that you see at the Super Bowl, things like that.
- Social ads and content, you’d be looking at around 4,500 pounds to create a suite of films that you can then release on your socials.
But what about a basic shoot?
What does that actually look like? Well, a basic shoot, so at the lower end of these price points, you’d be looking at something where there’d be one single camera, probably one crew member. There’d be minimal or no lighting because obviously equipment hire costs money and equipment costs money too.
You’d probably also be looking at minimizing the shoot day, the length of that. It may be based on a half day shoot.
On a basic low end shoot as well, you’d be relatively restricted in terms of what you could achieve in the edit in terms of the music you could use, or the library footage and the graphics and all of that thing, simply because of the time they can afford to spend on your project, that’s all.
Also for lower cost shoots, you’d have a minimal amount of pre-shoot planning or development. So if you’re wanting to have your hand held more throughout the production process, then perhaps you need to be looking at a more kind of comprehensive service. So for example, some production companies will walk you through the whole pre-production development, script development side of things. Then obviously sort out the shoot itself, then sort out post-production. And then also after that, some people will then help you with the implementation side of things as well.
Now that may not be what you need. You may have in-house people. You know, that’s what I mean, it’s actually horses for courses and every job sadly is different. So it’s very hard to be that accurate on these generalizations because genuinely, it really depends on what you’re trying to create in terms of video, and also the goals you’re trying to hit with them too.
The takeout here really is that you need to think about how much help you require in terms of the development piece, but also the implementation. And that should really steer if you’re deciding to go down the commissioning route, the approaching a production company, that should be really steered by how much input you want them to give you.
Create Video Content That Drives ROI For Your Business
You could also go down the DIY route, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. You’d need to buy the kit yourself, obviously. And setups vary, but I would budget from around about a 1,000 pounds upward for a basic vlogging kind of setup.
What you need:
- Camera (could be your phone)
- DSLR camera – need lenses (kit about £600)
- Tripod (phone – £20; Camera £60)
- Decent Mic (clip mic about £40/ studio or VO mic set up about £250)
- Ring Light – from £90
- Editing Software – £150+
The main cost element is time
- Time needed to upskill yourself in the elements of production (plus the outlay of training) – if you’re going down the DIY route.
- Time needed to research, write and produce your content.
- Time to profile your audience – know WHO you’re talking to.
- Time establishing your business goals – so you know WHAT videos to produce
- YouTube / Facebook / LinkedIn requires consistency – so you need to set up a sustainable schedule and workflow – and stick to it (creating 3 videos and sticking them on YouTube just won’t cut it)