Making video a part of your content strategy can be the ultimate recipe for success. Videos are a perfect way to reach your audience and pull them in with your content.
In today’s modern world social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined and 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it. No wonder, Cisco foretells that video content will occupy 80% of the internet traffic by 2021.
Videos are not just a great engagement bait, marketers who use video said they grew revenue 49% faster than non-video users. So there you have it. Everyone loves a good video!
However, for many marketers videos are still an unexplored territory.
Reason? Video production can be very expensive, so if you are working on a shoestring marketing budget, video could very well be a luxury. Well, that was until now.
I am going to spill some insider secrets and tell you how you can cut down video production costs.
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!
1. Get the Video Script and Storyboard Ready
From the idea conceptualization 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 are willing to give you a discount if you 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 top 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 make sure that the script and storyboard you plan are on par with the quality of the videos you see in the agency’s portfolio.
First, find a video studio that you would like to work with. This should be a studio with a production budget that is affordable for your company. Then pick up a video that you like from their portfolio, and use it as a template to craft your video script.
Once the draft script is ready, get a brainstorming session with your team to plan the storyboard visuals.
The idea is to visualize a scene that would complement the narration or the lines of your script. When drawing out these storyboards, don’t just focus on just a line or phrase of your script. Think about how you would transition from that scene to the next. In short, the video story should flow.
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.
2. Hire Amateur Actors
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.
3. 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.
Find a video partner that you are comfortable working with, and strike a deal to make a series of videos instead of one. This will help the production agency be able 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. Companies spend a lot of time creating different versions of characters and graphic themes to build a style that would best reflect the client’s intended business personality.
So finalizing 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.
4. Select A Video Style That Doesn’t Burn Your Pocket
Some video 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 stock footages you are planning to use can be put next to each other and knit into a meaningful story.
You can use video editing software like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro to mix footage, voiceovers, and background music to produce a video.
Another video style that can be easier on your pocket is typography animation.
These are comparatively affordable than character animation videos.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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. The 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!
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