Video Marketing and Production on a Budget

Video is arguably the most influential and impactful digital marketing tool that both large and small companies are using to engage with their audiences.

It is estimated that it would take a person more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will be posted online by 2021. Luckily, average global bandwidth speed in 2016 reached speeds of 27.5Mbps in 2016 and is expected to double to 53.0Mbps by 2021.

Define Your Distribution and Audience

Each social network has different rules in terms of file size, length and file type. Prior to fully defining your project, you will need to make a note of each distribution channel’s specific requirements.

Video Production for a variety of channels requires a number of different cuts to be produced.

Video production for a variety of channels requires a number of different cuts to be produced.

Instagram, for example, will only allow videos between 3 and 60 seconds long for organic posts. For sponsored content or ads on Instagram, you are also limited by a 4 GB file size and a minimum and maximum aspect ratio.

As you will be working with a limited budget for your video production, there are only so many cuts or versions you will be able to produce. An intensive study and survey of your audience and communication channels will help you target your video production to maximise your budget.

Plan Your Video – Using Storyboards

Planning or storyboarding your video will go a long way to making your video production more efficient. Whether you are producing a scripted or live, off-the-cuff style of video, having a well laid out plan of what shots you need and how they will look in advance will save you time in both the production and post-production phases.

There are several free, online tools that can be used to generate a rough guide and layout. You can always go analogue with your approach and do a rough sketch of each scene. Using storyboards is really all about helping you visualise and think through the video flow.

Choose Your Tools – Cameras, Sound, Lighting and Editing

Quality video production has truly been democratised through the availability of higher resolution cameras and smartphones. If you are on a tight budget, use what is available to you. The one crucial element is to use a tripod or other stabilising device in order to avoid a bouncing shot.

Choose your tools for inexpensive video marketing. DSLR's are becoming more accessible every year.

Choose your tools for inexpensive video marketing. DSLR’s are becoming more accessible every year.

The two other components of your video production that you will need to tangle with is your audio recording and lighting. Depending on the style of video you are producing, effective and clear audio recording may be crucial to your production. Try investing in a wireless microphone or, in the very least, make sure where you are shooting is sufficiently silent to avoid any unwanted background noise. This is especially important if you are doing a voice over.

Lighting is one of the hardest components to master and is also one of the most expensive. If you don’t have access to any studio lighting, look to shoot outside in a well-lit area. Overcast days or shooting around dusk or dawn will allow you to use soft natural light without the harsh shadows and lighting of the midday sun.

The final tool that you will need to identify in your inexpensive video production is your post production tool. Every new operating system, both Mac and PC, come with a built-in video editor that are designed for basic video editing. If you are on a tight budget, these are your best option.

Balance Your Spend

Tight budgets require prioritisation. Before you get started you will need to decide where your money is best spent: production or distribution.

Spending more on production than distribution has become more and more normal in marketing in general and video marketing is no exception. To stand out from both competitors and the rest of the plethora of content shared on a daily basis, any video needs to be of high quality. In fact, if you have created a piece of video content that has the chance to go viral, there might not be any need to fund distribution at all and rely solely on organic shares.

If you are looking to push your video out as a sponsored post on Facebook or Instagram or even as a video ad on YouTube using Google’s Display Network, make sure to reserve a significant enough budget for each campaign.

Know When to Hire a Professional

Depending on your choice of video marketing tactic, sometimes the best decision you can make is to hire a professional. If you are looking to produce high quality, professional video for your company and don’t have the tools or the time, then making the investment into having a professional company or freelancer help you out is always a valid option.

Do your research and find a company that is accustomed to producing videos in your sector. They should be able to provide you with additional valuable insight into both the production and distribution of your video to help achieve your marketing goals.