Produce videos that trigger great engagement and sales for your business.
So there you have it. Everyone loves a good video.
Videos are not just a great engagement bait. Marketers who use video said they grew revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
However, for many marketers videos are still an unexplored territory.
Reason? Video production can be very expensive. You can expect to spend a five or six-figure sum for a good video. So if you are working on a shoestring marketing budget, video could very well be a luxury. Well, that was until now. As a video producer, I am going to spill some insider secrets and tell you how you can cut down this cost to a four-figure sum.
These low-cost videos might not be in the same league as the million dollar videos you may compete against, but with some creative brainstorming, you can produce videos that trigger great engagement and sales for your business. Let’s get started.
Get the Video Script and Storyboard Ready
From the idea conceptualisation to putting the story on boards to giving it the final shape with voiceover and visual frames, many steps go into the video production process. If you can execute some on your own, you can bring down the costs significantly.
Many video production agencies would be willing to give you a discount if you were to offer to do the video concept, script and voiceover. That’s because there’s a good deal of time and resources involved in producing these creatives.
Of course, any good agency will first review the storyboard and script before committing to a discount. Professional video producers, and I am talking about the best ones, can be picky. So ensure that the script and storyboard you plan are on par with the quality of the videos you see in the agency’s portfolio.
Remember that these are just rough sketches to give the idea of how the end video will play out. So you don’t have to worry about making perfect drawings. Once you put these together, the video production company will handle the rest.
For live action video, the storyboard will include details of the character getup, dialogues and background setup. For animated videos, the storyboard sketches would be turned into high-end graphics via Photoshop or Illustrator software.
Hire Amateur Actors For DIY Live Action
While it’s a good idea to be the video presenter in your video, it isn’t possible for everyone. And picking your own employees as actors might not be the best road to take.
What you can do is find some amateur actors or college students looking to build their portfolio. To find them online, turn to sites like Craiglist or Mandy. Another option is to locate a nearby theatre group and audition them to find the perfect fit.
Once everything is in place, you can rent video equipment (lighting kit, camera, tripod) to shoot your own live action video. Buying the equipment is only a good idea when you are looking to consistently publish video content. Here is how you can gather your DIY video equipment on a small budget.
After the video is shot, you can rely on free editing softwares like iMovie or Premiere Pro to ensure that the resultant video is of marketing quality.
Negotiate The Price By Making Multiple Videos
One video is never enough for your marketing success. Also, different consumer engagement platforms - Facebook, YouTube, or your landing page- need different video treatments.
So find a video partner that you are comfortable working with, and strike a deal to make a series of videos instead of one. That will make the production agency willing to cut the cost for you.
When you make multiple videos with an agency, the elements, characters and setups you use in one video can be used in the next videos. At Crackitt, we always spend a lot of time to create different versions of characters and graphic theme to build a style that would best reflect the client’s intended business personality. So finalising a graphic style during the first video production process saves time and resources for the next video, and thus our willingness to do the next series of videos at a discounted rate.
Even for live action videos, you can make 2-3 videos in one day using the same venue and character. If you were to make another video after a month, it will take time to recreate the background, fix the actor’s schedule, and ad hocs. So better to craft a video campaign strategy and make multiple videos on the same day. One popular example is that of the Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” video campaign.
The video was a great hit and to keep the engagement going, Wieden+Kennedy launched the Response Campaign, where they made over 180 video responses to questions fans made on Facebook & Twitter.
All these 180+ videos were made in just three days, using the same background setup and actor. So that’s a saving! Results were amazing too. Within the first week of the campaign launch, Old Spice saw their YouTube channel subscription grow from 65,000 to 150,000 subscribers. Twitter and Facebook followings increased by a whooping 2,700% and 800%, respectively. So plan for a video series, instead of a single video.
Select A Video Style That Doesn't Burn Your Pocket
Some videos styles can be more expensive to create than others. So when you are creating your video strategy, pick a style that doesn’t exceed your budget.
Like if live action looks costly and difficult for you to produce, go for the stock footage videos.
To create these videos, first craft the script and then browse for relevant stock footages and images from sites like ShutterStock and Pond5. Make sure the the stock footages you are planning to use can be put next to each other and knit into a meaningful story. You can use the video editing softwares like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro to mix these footages, voiceover and background music to produce a video like this one:
Another video style that can be easier on your pocket would be typography animation. These are comparatively affordable than character animation videos.
Shoot Customer Testimonial Videos Using Smartphone
Involving your customers in your video can be an inexpensive way to create video content and benefit from it. These videos are extremely useful for building brand trust (remember that people rely more on peer reviews than brand content).
You can shoot live videos and use social formats for the same. Facebook Live is a great option since the algorithm boosts native+live content to the top of the feed. In fact, the platform even sends out notifications when you are doing a live video. Similarly, Instagram stories are another great way of showcasing this video content. Users get notifications and are more likely to engage because they are aware of it.
Repeat Your Content Segments
Videos are not expensive solely because of the equipment or style. The storytelling part can increase the cost. For good storytelling, you might have to shell out more money when it comes to innovation.
You can bring this cost down by repeating certain segments of your video. Depending on the popularity, you can pick something that your audience resonates the most with.
For instance, in the John Oliver show, you can always find a repeated segment called “How is this still a thing?”
This helps them keep a fixed theme for a particular section of the video so every time they are working on a new one, a repeated segment brings down the time taken in planning content.
Great videos are often a result of well-written stories. So the first step to effective video content is to master the art of storytelling. Next step is to ensure that the video and audio quality aptly justify the script.
Making great videos at low costs isn’t difficult. There are a number of free online tools to help you achieve your goal. But the DIY aspect of it, you must be ready to handle.