Need a video…? Name your budget!

Video production rates are like anything else, they vary dramatically. You can have a video produced for a very small budget, or corporate video production can cost you many thousands. It really is a sliding scale.

Promotional video is a ‘product’ and so is no different to purchasing other goods. You get what you pay for and a video will increase in quality the more you spend.

Think for a minute about buying something simple. Consider the food on sale in supermarkets, let’s take for example sausages. There are a lot of sausages to choose from. At the bottom of the scale we have value sausages offered at as low as 10 pence a packet, containing a very low quality of meat. At the top of the scale, you can buy very tasty organic sausages made from prime meat – however these better sausages will cost you much more.

Are these the same thing? Of course they are not, they may both be called sausage, but the similarity ends there.

Corporate videos are no different from this at all; you have cheap low quality corporate video production or quality professional video production services.

What you do need to do when choosing a company from the outset, is to consider what you want to spend and then to approach the video production company.

It is exactly the same as if your were buying a car or a house. If you walk into a high street estate agency and tell them you are looking to buy a house, one of the first questions they will ask you is what price range are you looking at. They can’t help you if you simple ask them ‘how much is a house?’ You need to ask them what they can show you in a particular price range.

Whatever you buy, it is in your own benefit to be open and transparent about what you have to spend and then to try to get the best deal for your budget. With this approach, you will get a much better deal.

It is best to approach corporate video production companies with a clear budget and to tell them what you are looking for in return for your money. This is preferable and video companies will be able to better advise you on your options as well as offer you descriptions of exactly what services they can offer you.

It is counter productive you ask various companies for quotes whilst keeping your budget secret. These companies have no idea what your budget is and so are unable to correctly advise you. A 30 second commercial can cost from a few hundred pounds to many millions. It really is that broad.

Some TV commercials cost tens of millions. In fact, the most expensive TV commercial to date cost $13.4 million Dollars! Most of the budget in this case did go on the cost of celebrity endorsement, but you can be sure that Aviva, who commissioned the commercial, were very clear about what they had to spend from the outset. How else could the company function.

Watch the video here;
Aviva TV Commercial

The good news is that the costs to produce video content, along with television advertising rates have fallen dramatically. Here is an article on how cheap television advertising has become.

So, consider what you can afford before you approach companies, is it a no frills value production at rock bottom cost or a much higher quality video?

There really is no such thing as a free lunch; you get what you pay for. Professional video services will increase in quality the more you spend.

Even the cost of a days filming can vary so much. In some cases, corporate video companies could maximize profit by sending students or recent graduates to film for them. They would employ these people on a day rate of about £150-£200 and charge the client £400 or £500. When the client books the video company, they think that have got a good deal, because the company they choose was so much cheaper than the others.

What the customer doesn’t know at the time is that the other companies were going to send a team of experienced professionals. People who had BBC broadcast experience and HD video gear worth thousands.

The client would have been getting a better deal had they chosen the more expensive video company, because they were offering a very high level service which would result in absolute quality. If they choose what they thought was a good deal, they were in fact being ripped off. What they choose was on reality a budget product. A no frills value production at rock bottom cost, they just didn’t realise it.

There really is no such thing as a bargain. You may be spending less if you go for a cheap video production, but you certainly are getting less.

When buying something bespoke like a corporate video production it is very difficult to choose a company to undertake the work. You have little to go on other than their previous work. When commissioning a creative product you are asking the company to create something unique. Something that has not been made before.

You need to completely put cost out of the equation when making this decision. Tell the company you have a certain budget and exactly what you would like produced. The company will then work with you to produce the very best they can for your money.

Take control and reveal your budget. There really is no need for a ‘cloak and daggers’ approach.

In the past, our production company has been contacted by companies who have asked us for a cost on a video they need producing. We have provided a quote based on the limited information we have been given by them. We hear nothing further.

After some time, we follow up on the enquiry and contact the client to see if they still need a video. We are told that they went for another company who quoted less money. When we ask to see the finished product they were given, it is immediately obvious to us that we could have produced their video for half of what the other company charged.

The client was fooled into thinking they have had a good deal. What they in fact got, was a low-grade cheap video, and paid more than it was worth. So in trying to get a good deal, the client got ripped off.

So, if it sounds cheap, it probably is!

It is possible to get a good deal, but you need to fully understand what you are buying and talk openly with your supplier.

Dragonfly Productions are a company that can work with you to your budget.

If you really have a limited budget, here is a guide to making video from the Guardian newspaper which describes how you can do it all yourself.

…and for further information, here is a video explaining how much does video production cost. We didn’t produce this video, we found it on YouTube. Although this video is most certainly in the “low quality” category, it does go some way to explain video production costs and how cost can vary dramatically.