/Raylene O'Hare

Tight Video Budget?

Here's how to deal with it.

There’s no way around it, budgets are tight! Brands and businesses now have to make their marketing dollars stretch across a multitude of platforms and campaigns, all at increasingly fast turnover rates, which means the available budget for any one particular piece of content has decreased.

This in turn really impacts the opportunities for video production. Everyone is looking to do more with less. With this in mind there are some simple ways producers within and outside agencies can approach production to help make amazing video content at the right price.

  1. Identify your budget. Budget is always a sticky question with clients, it can often be a conversation of tell me how much video costs vs how much is a client willing to spend. Giving a production company a ballpark can often be the easiest way to make sure your production is tailored to a client and what they can afford. If the production company knows a client is looking to spend around 20k it means that they won’t come back with an approach that is bigger than Ben Hur.

  2. Could changing the scope help? Have a realistic talk about the filming and deliverables. Perhaps the brief started with 5 videos but if we focused on 4 it might be more realistic use of the budget. By creating a space for scope conversations to feel natural and expected, it allows the video process to adapt positively to the changing variables of the job.

  3. Be Specific. I know it sounds simple but there are a number of elements during briefing and pre production that can make sure your production team are on the same page. Being specific about clients’ core objectives for the videos, their key messages and must haves, essential visuals and tone can really help the production by giving it focus and means shoot time is spent capturing the right footage.

  4. Limiting locations. Time equals money and this is no exception when it comes to production. Moving crews between locations always means that you lose shooting time, not to mention additional location fees. Assessing the number of locations or finding a multi-functional location can maximise your all too valuable shoot time.

  5. Find the voice. Capturing authentic interviews of real people is a great way of telling someone’s story, it can personalise a piece of content and really connect with an audience on an emotional level. But do we really need to hear from everyone? Bob the bricklayer may have helped build the house but is he the best person to tell the story about the finished building? Taking time in pre production finding the best person to interview can help not only free up shoot time to capture other things, but ultimately will give you a better, more engaging product.

  6. Finally, take time to understand what value means to your client. Is the primary distribution point social and hence are better suited to a lower production value and more edits, or perhaps there’s greater value in investing in the shoot days to create a library of footage for future edits. Knowing your clients value priority helps pivot budget decisions around a central point.

Everyone has a budget, it’s what you do with that budget that can turn video into a positive and successful asset for clients.

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