From sweeping brand films to dazzling event-stand flicks, all the way through to informative ‘how-to’s, video is often key to making a marketing campaign great. But while we’d all love to create an Avatar-esque production loaded with aerial footage, motion graphics and VR support; the cost of video projects needs to be scrutinised – in many ways far greater than other B2B marketing services.
What factors influence the cost of a video project, and how do you create economical video without sacrificing style and effectiveness?
Before any talk of shots, stock or sound, we need to focus on the vision. This covers what you want from the video project, including the story it needs to convey, where it’s going to be shown, and any must-haves, including shots, visuals and so forth. Having this information to hand allows us to create an accurate video cost estimate that ticks every box – financial, creative or otherwise.
The longer the video, the more extensive the requirements, whether that’s editing, sound, CGI or any of the factors listed down this page. Of course, it is possible to create shorter edits from a larger existing video asset, but bear in mind this will incur further editing costs, albeit fewer than a full-length edit.
Availability of existing assets
The more assets our video team has access to at the start of the project, the less new material we’ll need to produce. Video footage, product imagery and brand elements all fall within this area, although it’s worth noting that these need to be of a decent enough quality and sufficiently fresh for the project. That 15 year-old JPEG probably isn’t going to look fantastic in 1080p, however skilled the designer.
Motion graphic complexity
Animation and motion graphics are a great way of getting across information in a slick, clear manner, especially when the budget doesn’t allow for actors and cinematography. Nevertheless, the complexity of these visuals will weigh on the video’s overall cost, with rich, 3D images naturally costing more than 2D motion.
Computer-generated images can be labour-intensive to create and edit, so if you’re looking for renders, detailed product animations and so forth, the scope of these needs to be properly laid out before production begins.
Live footage requirements
Live footage done right can really make a video pop, but there are plenty of factors to consider when costing them. Location scouting, location costs, model fees, videographer hire, direction costs, lighting equipment hire, editing – an awful lot goes into planning, executing and honing a shoot, and proper scoping will ensure you achieve a professional polish.
Stock footage charges
Stock footage can be used to great effect when a budget isn’t large enough to cover live footage, but there are several costs to consider here too. The quantity and quality of footage both directly influence video cost, as well as licensing – usage license fees, for instance, which differ if the video is to be used globally instead of in the UK.
Customers don’t usually respond well to silent B2B video, however strong their interest in the films of Buster Keaton and Mary Pickford. But while good sound is paramount to any production, voiceover scouting and recording, backing music and sound FX all operate on a sliding scale in terms of cost. Do you really need a rousing orchestral score when a brief electronic beat would do the same job, cheaper?
If your video is going to be viewed by B2B audiences across the globe, popping the script into Google Translate really won’t do, so be sure to account for subtitle translations or alternative language voiceover recordings. Even the biggest players have been known to cut corners when it comes to translations, and as these examples show, it didn’t work out too well.