The most common question I hear regarding video production is: How much will it cost? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. And it may not be the most important question that marketers should be asking.
Producing a video is a lot like building a house. The price to construct a new home depends on the size, design, features, amenities and neighborhood, as well as other factors. As a general rule of thumb: the bigger the house, the lower the “cost-per-square foot.” With that said, there are exceptions to every rule. A case in point: the current national average to build a home is $125 per square foot. However, if you want to break ground on a high-rise in Manhattan or deck-out a waterfront mansion in Miami, plan to shell-out more than four times that amount.
In video you may hear “cost per finished minute.” And for many years, the average budget for broadcast-quality video production has been valued at $1,000- $2,000 per finished minute Again, this is a loose rule of thumb. There are exceptions to every rule. You can’t always produce a one-minute video for $1,000 and it isn’t always necessary to spend six-figures on a one-hour documentary.
Just like building a house, the architecture and design of each video project dictates resources and crew requirements − and those production elements dictate the budget. Will your video feature animated graphics or on-camera interviews? Will it be filmed on location or in a studio? Will it involve voice-over talent, music licensing or actors? There are a lot of variables to video budgeting.
The bottom line: asking how much a 3-minute marketing video for your website will cost is like going to a homebuilder and asking how much “a house” will cost. Clearly, a competent builder will want to engage in an interview and fact-finding session in order to professionally guide you in the right direction.
Similarly, in video production, a key first step is to meet with a producer who can guide you through the creative process and make suggestions on how to cost-effectively write and produce video content that accomplishes your communication and marketing goals.
A video budget should be evaluated just like any other marketing investment. Consider the return on the investment (ROI). What is the goal and how will you measure the success of the campaign? Simply put, if you invest x-dollars in video content, how many new customers will you need to acquire or how many widgets will you need to sell in order to recoup your video production investment and realize a profit?
According to EMarketer, “51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide cite video as the type of content with the best ROI.” 1, 2
With proper planning and production guidance, an investment in professionally produced video content will pay off.
At the end of the day, “How much will it cost?” isn’t the most important question. Rather, marketers should be asking, “How much will I gain?”
Video Production: Getting the most bang for your production buck.
1EMarketer (2013). Get the Best ROI? Retrieved May 6, 2014 from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Which-Content-Marketing-Tactics-Best-ROI/1009706
2CopyPress (2013). 2013 State of Content Marketing. Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://www.copypress.com/White_Paper.pdf.
Written by Kristin A. Pelletier, Writer and Executive Producer, Blue Truck Productions
Blue Truck Productions offers broadcast-quality programming design and production. We specialize in developing original content for corporations for use in marketing and social media. For more information visit www.bluetruck.tv.