Thinking about adding video marketing to your inbound toolbox? Smart move.
Video used to be the sole province of large production companies that charged substantial fees for everything, starting with the intro phone call. Things are different now, of course. You can pick up your iPhone, shoot a video, and upload it within the next few minutes if you want.There is a virtual galaxy of amateur vloggers on YouTube right now, using nothing more than a web cam or mobile device, and maybe some editing software. This setup is fine for a business that’s just getting rolling with video marketing, but if you want customers to take you seriously, you will eventually need to raise the bar a bit.
If you are planning to insource your projects, my first recommendation is to hire someone with professional experience if you can. TV stations are notorious for underpaying photographers and editors (I speak from experience on this), and many of their employees would jump at the chance to try something new.
Professional looking videos come from years of practice and (sometimes) formal training. I worked as a promotion producer at an NBC station in my early twenties, and my boss, a good friend named Russ Nelligan, was a merciless critic of my work. It was never easy to meet his expectations, but I became an excellent producer under his leadership. He is now a manager at one of the biggest television stations in Boston, and I still hear him in my head when I’m working on my craft. I owe him a debt of gratitude for that.
In addition to skills, you will need some decent gear. Here are few investments you might consider making:
Summary: In-House Video Marketing Costs
Video Producer Salary: $55,000 average (source: Glassdoor)
Production Gear Costs: These expenses vary, depending on quality. You literally could go from spending a few hundred bucks on a camera to more than a hundred thousand. At the very least, I recommend investing in a semi-pro camera like the Canon Rebel, a good lens for shooting, and editing software (if you own a Mac, Final Cut Pro X is the way to go). That will get you started for close to $1,000.
You can learn a lot about video equipment from the DIY Video Guy, Caleb Wojcik. I check his blog before every purchase, and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
Outsourcing your video to a reputable agency can save you time, money, and frustration, and you won’t have to deal with recruiting or onboarding costs; nor will you have to research and invest in expensive equipment that requires a learning curve.
Most agencies charge between $75 to $150 an hour for video services, while others levee a flat fee based on the project.
Creating an accurate quote is often difficult due to multiple factors that come up during the creative process. However, most agencies can make a reasonable guess based on experience, and stand by their quote unless the scope of work changes.
The type of video you want also impacts cost and how much time the project takes. A two-minute video of a talking head could be produced and uploaded to YouTube in a couple hours or less, but one that requires extensive photography, lighting, editing, and graphic treatments could take days or weeks to put together.
Vlogs – These usually involve an on-camera spokesperson narrating the content. You should always use additional footage for these – also known as b-roll – to break up the monotony and keep viewers engaged. You may also need supporting graphics or animation to reinforce the key talking points.
How-To Videos and Product Demos – “How-To” videos can be done several different ways. You can use a vlog format with a spokesperson; you can record a computer screen to show people how to do a technical task; or you can demo something with live-action.
You may need multiple takes to get the right footage for a live action video, or you might face a situation where multiple takes are not feasible. One of our clients, Polli Construction, is a residential contractor that likes to give homeowners an up-close view of different services they provide. For each video, we showed up at the job site and shot the guys working on important stages of the project. If we missed a key moment, the opportunity was lost. No retakes. These situations put pressure on the photographer, but they also save time.
The longer the video is, the more editing it needs. Every project involves importing clips, trimming raw footage on the timeline, adding graphics and enhancements, and delivering a compressed file to the client for review.
Editing time is also impacted by how many cuts are required for every minute of video, along with audio and graphic tweaks. A reasonable estimate is to assume that every hour of raw footage will require 10 hours of editing. This ratio can double or triple when your video reaches lengths of five minutes or more. Again, it all depends on the intricacy of the editing.
Average Agency Rates: $75 to $150 per hour
Creative Side Marketing Rates: $125 per hour
Our Average Project Cost for 3-5 minute video: $2,000-$5000
Like all other aspects of content marketing, the hard part about video is getting started. Turn on your web cam and record a short vlog using an index card to reference for speaking points. It’s okay if it seems like a train wreck. The next one will be better. Before long, you will build a community in an entirely new space, one that offers incredible optimization and commercial benefits. So what are you waiting for?