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How much is a video?

October 27, 2015

By Mack Hampson, Business Development Manager

What kind of video do you want to make?

When cost is the elephant in the room, people have a tendency to lead with a question about how much. I speak from years of experience in advertising sales and now as a business development manager selling content. I get it. The general consensus is that video is big budget content and your pockets will contain nothing but blue fluff once the project is completed.

The problem with this question is that it’s like going into a shop filled with flip flops, plimsoles, running shoes and hand crafted brogues, walking up to the seller and asking, “how much is a pair of shoes?” Six-second vines, 15-second instavideos, 2D infographics, short documentaries, movies. These all sit within the video space and have enormous cost disparities. That’s before we’ve considered the content that these videos contain. If you want a series of 6 second vines with Johnny Depp hugging puppies, it’s going to cost you!

Video doesn’t have to be expensive so long as it achieves your goal

To break the misconception, a video is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. Online stars such as Emily Skye and The Body Coach have built huge followings and profitable businesses using video and they also create their own content using their mobile phones. Youtube star Gary Vaynerchuk transformed his 3 million dollar a year wine business, to one which brought in 50 million a year by producing wine tasting videos online every single day in his living room, for free. Gary is now angling to buy the New York Knicks.

I’m not suggesting that you go to your boss with a 3 minute video you’ve shot on your mobile phone doing star jumps, but I do want to change the mindset that video is expensive. It is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be so long as as it ultimately achieves your initial goal.

Why do you want a video in the first place?

The question I was asked most when I worked at the newspaper in Manchester was “how much is an advert?” to which my response was always “what is it you are looking to achieve?” Why do you want the video anyway? Whilst it was often met with a confused response, my approach 5 years later with content remains unchanged. Beginning with the business objective and understanding what it is you are looking to achieve, should always be the first step in the process. And here’s the bombshell, sometimes that isn’t a video. As Robert Rose from the Content Marketing Institute puts it, think “function before form”. This of course, will make the process a little bit longer than calling agencies for a quick a dirty quote, but video should be seen as an opportunity to drive tangible business results as part of a strategy and not just as an expense, to which you only ever intend to choose the cheapest.

So your key takeways are:

  • What is the business objective of the video?
  • Do you need a video to achieve this or other content?
  • Remember that video is not stand alone content but part of a wider strategy.
  • The only way to establish the value of a video is to measure its performance

If that doesn’t satisfy you, download our free 37 page ebook;  “So you want to make a corporate video?”