A Guide on How to Save Money on Video Production
Video production can be an expensive exercise, although it doesn’t have to be
Hiring a production company to film your project or buying specialist equipment and renting filming locations can be a real drain on your budget, and will these special effects really add to your message? It may be worth giving video production a go yourself.
Many internet marketers and businesses don’t even explore this aspect of marketing simply because they believe that they cannot afford to or that it is too technical. Is your business missing out on this powerful form of marketing due to this common misconception?
With advances in phone and hand held cameras, quality video recordings in high definition are readily available, some even on a product you already own! A variety of free and low cost video production programs are available on the internet. There are also plenty of free guides to video production techniques available. Here are a few quick tips on how you can cut costs without sacrificing quality.
DIY: Recording Your Own Video
If you have decided to produce your own video, you definitely want to avoid the common signs of low quality amateur shoots. You can identify these videos through their poor lighting, inadequate editing, poor audio, and unstable camera shots. Listed below are some inexpensive tools to assist you in creating a high quality production.
When looking to save money on cameras while at the same time maintaining professional quality videos it may be a good idea to search for smart phones with HD video recording capabilities or low cost digital cameras. Some of the top rated smart phones for recording HD videos are the HTC Sensation XE, the Apple iPhone 4S & iPhone 5, the LG Optimus 3D, the Motorola Razr, and the Samsung Galaxy Note. There is more info in this article: Top 5 phones with HD video capture
The name of this tool states it purpose clearly. These inexpensive tools allow you to capture footage on the go without the shaky and unstable look that so many self-produced videos portray. The stabilisers are most commonly used in scenes that involve some form of action when the actor/actress is moving from one place to another. These stabilisers start at around £20 and can even be built using roughly $15 in parts (£9)
Camera Crane (Camera Jib)
A camera crane will come in handy if your video production involves shots in which the camera must be transferred an extended distance either vertically or horizontally. This tool helps to eliminate the costs of renting and configuring tracks for a camera dolly or hiring someone to operate the camera on a crane. You can build your own jib for roughly $60 (£36) using tools you may already own like wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and a hacksaw. This is an awesome way to save money on your video production.
Video Editing Tools
Once you have some valuable footage it’s time to start the editing process. As you can imagine, premium video editing software can become costly and will range anywhere from £50 to £2,000 plus. To eliminate this expense you can opt for one of the web based video editing tools, which are generally much cheaper than standalone programs.
Pixorial.com is an fantastic web based editing resource that offers free and premium plans to accommodate your video editing needs. The premium plan starts at $1.99/month or $19.99/year (approximately £1.25/month – £12.50/year) which is extremely affordable compared to its competitors.
YouTube also has a video editing tool so if you are planning for YouTube to be the hub of your video marketing plan then you may get away with editing your video there.
Outsourcing your Video Production Needs
If doing it yourself just feels like too much of a learning curve (or a pain in the backside) then you can always outsource your video production. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that things go well and do not break the bank:
First outline your goals and what you want to convey in the video and the best possible way to achieve it. For example, if your main aim is web traffic then you will need a video that users will want to share and embed on their websites in order to raise awareness of you. This could be a great “how to” video or it could be an amusing/controversial video that questions a particular convention in your area of expertise.
If your goal is to increase your website conversion rate then you may want a web presenter video or perhaps case study videos, product reviews or customer testimonials.
Once you have decided on the best type of video to help you achieve your goals you can go on to define a budget based on the potential that you think the video has for improving the performance of your website.
Once you’ve set your budget, you need to determine where your target demographic is and how you will be distributing your video to ensure that you reach them. Will you be publishing this video on video sharing hubs such as YouTube? Will you be showing this video to potential clients at trade shows, or sending out to an email list? The goals for the video as well as the methods that you plan to employ to market the video will help you to understand who are the best team to produce your video for you.
When you’ve answered these questions begin searching for video production teams that specialize in the style of video you’d like to produce. Narrow your search down to around 3 or 4 video production companies/individuals and ask them to submit proposals based on the outline of your specific video needs. Don’t forget to ask for references and examples of previous work. This will help you to gather competitive bids from qualified individuals and essentially lower your video production cost.
When briefing the video production company you should ensure that you are as clear and succinct as possible in your requirements; this will save time and money in the production process. This does not mean that you need a technical understanding of what you want just a clear idea of the outcome.