With 2020 right around the corner, there’s no denying that consumers are demanding more video-based content. Yet many businesses are still struggling to create quality videos that attract, convert, and delight their customers.
I talk to business owners, sales leaders, and marketing executives every day about this issue.
They honestly admit they must start incorporating more video into their website and sales strategies, but with so many other priorities, it just never seems to get done.
They know it’s going to take time. They recognize they’ll have to gather up the resources. And they either don’t have the right talent in-house, or if they do, something else always takes precedence. I can empathize, as it’s not easy for organizations to come up with the time, resources, and manpower to pull together a strong product in-house.
If your organization has come to the realization that you need to make creating video a priority for your business in 2020 and it just hasn’t happened up until now, it may be time to look at hiring a professional video production team to help you with the project.
But where do you start, how much does it cost, and what are the variables?
The short answer is…it depends.
First, what is outsourced video?
In simplest terms, outsourced video is video produced by a professional team you contract with, which eliminates the need to hire, train, and produce in-house.
This doesn’t mean hiring a freelancer online to edit a few videos you shot with your iPhone. In today’s competitive landscape, that just won’t get the job done. Instead, picture well thought-out and truly professional videos produced by experts who guide you through the process from start to end.
This can be especially helpful for organizations that need several professional videos done in a short amount of time and don’t have the necessary equipment or resources at their disposal.
Why is video so important?
Let’s first look at some statistics as to why video needs to be part of your business now. In fact, it’s likely that not having video will cost more than producing videos for your company.
Video is the most effective way to generate more qualified sales leads for your business. Qualified leads convert faster. Faster conversions directly relate to increased sales revenue. Who doesn’t want that?
- Sales enablement – Video can and will increase your sales conversion rates by 5% or more. Video also converts people more quickly. In fact, marketers who utilize video grow revenue 49% faster than those who do not.
- Trust – Video is the quickest, most genuine, and most effective way to connect with potential customers.
- Organic SEO – Video ranks higher than almost any other form of organic SEO optimization. Type something into Google and see for yourself. Videos will more than likely be right at the top of the results.
- Website – Users will spend, on average, 88% more time on-page when video is present.
What does outsourced video actually cost?
The more extensive your video production needs, the more you’re going to want to have someone help you with a strategy for success. According to Digital Information World full-service video production will cost you anywhere from $1,500-$300,000.
This incredibly wide range is due to the several variables are at play when determining budget.
Well, what if you just need to start with that one video that’s going to help you drive conversions on your landing page, or you have a dynamic executive that would immediately draw people in on your home page?
Even if you start with just one short video, your costs could range widely.
More comprehensive website video packages — which (on average) include between 10 and 13 filmed and finished videos — begin at $20,000 and can go upwards of $100,000 for a more exhaustive project.
The video production process
There are three main phases that go into successful video production. Outlined here are some variables that factor in the total cost of your project:
If you’re not experienced in video production, this is where hiring the pros is going to be instrumental to your project’s success.
If not properly discussed and planned out from the onset, things can go awry pretty quickly, and the last thing you want to do is go over budget and past your deadline before you even start. Setting a foundation for the strategy of your video should be top of mind.
As you start to put together a list of wants and must-haves, items you should include as part of this discussion that will impact your overall cost should include:
- Creative direction – Your video production team can help you figure out the types of video to create, the topics to include, and the strategies behind each set of videos. Bring all your wants, must-haves, ideas, examples, and expectations to the conversation. Your pros will be able to configure an overall plan and know how to execute on it.
- Scripting – Going into your video production project, you probably have a good idea of the type of videos you want to include and who will be in them, but sitting down with your video production team and scripting everything out is going to be essential to planning.
You will end up with a a chronological run-down of scenes, shots, action, and dialogue specifying who is saying and doing what, and when they’re saying or doing it.
You can estimate that every page of the script turns into a minute of video. This can be instrumental in calculating your costs.
- Logistics – You will need to know where you want the shooting to be done and have at least a blueprint of how you want to be filmed at the specified location. Will you need permits? Does your location require a time-consuming setup? If you have multiple locations or distances, will you have to factor in additional time and costs for travel? Now you’re getting closer to an actual estimate.
- Scheduling – There should not be any costs associated with having internal resources attend your video production, but knowing in advance how much time you’ll need to schedule the shoot will allow you to budget external resources, such as your professionals.
- Equipment – Your professional video production team will have all the equipment necessary to complete your job and the amount you pay towards this equipment will be a fraction of what you would pay if you purchased it all yourself.
However, companies sometimes have to rent specific equipment necessary for certain productions. For example, your video might require drone footage. This rental cost will be passed on to you.
- Locations – For a series of corporate videos, your location can be as easy as your office, with production taking place outside, inside, and in various shots throughout your organization.
Cost won’t go up much based on location unless you require complicated setup, have to travel to multiple sites, or need to rent out space for your video production.
- Casting – For corporate videos, your employee costs should be zero, except to factor that your employees are taking time away from their daily duties to be present in the filming. Only if you have to hire actors or celebrities should you need to factor in the cost of casting.
Ahhh, now you’ve made it to production day(s) and it’s time to shoot. Things should go smoothly if you’ve done your due diligence with your production team in advance of your actual shooting days.
Your professionals will be on-site to produce and direct the shoot and work closely with you to capture the needed footage to make your video a success. Show up, smile, and be prepared to have a fun but exhaustive day of shooting videos with your team.
Here at IMPACT, our outsourced production team are true experts. Here’s a sample of what we can do:
To give you a general range of the costs, you can expect for services to begin (on average) between $8,500 and $15,000 not including post-production (video editing).
You can always request a time to speak with one of our video production consultants to see if IMPACT’s services are the right fit for you.
Following your shoot, your professionals will edit the captured video to create final cuts based on all the items you discussed in your pre-production calls.
All final videos can be delivered to you in whatever dimensions or file types you may require. Additionally, you can choose between cloud storage and external hard drive delivery options.
At IMPACT, post-production pricing ranges between $700 and $2,100 per video, depending on a video’s type, length, and technical complexity.
Your post production talent will edit, review with you, and revise to deliver your finished project. Keep in mind, your video is going to represent you and your company for years to come. You don’t want to rush this part of the process.
If the video project is simple and short, such as employee interviews, editing is easier. If there are several media elements, graphics, aerial shots, etc., the project can become more complex and more expensive.
How to get started?
If you’re like most people, you love referrals, so why not start there? You can ask around to other businesses or professionals you know, like, and trust. You may have been admiring some websites that have great videos that have got you thinking. Ask them who they used and if they would recommend them. They may even be able to give you a ballpark figure on how much they spent.
You can also search online for reputable companies who offer video production services. If you’re finding what you like in terms of cost, details, and reviews, call them up to have a discussion about your project.
Since video is so visual, you always want to pay special attention to the sample videos your potential partners showcase.
Use a careful eye to check out their case studies and watch the videos they have produced for other businesses.
Are they professional? Do they rank well? Do you feel more inclined to buy the product or service — or at least fill out an inquiry form after watching the video?
Of course cost is going to play a big factor in determining how you proceed, but keep in mind — this is your business. Potentially hundreds or thousands of future customers will watch one of your videos and decide to contact you.
Make those smart decisions, move forward, and get started before another year goes by.
The alternatives to outsourcing
Exhausted with all the details and thinking outsourced video production is out of your budget? That’s understandable. Hiring the video production pros is an investment in your business. It’s a fact.
If you start feeling like you can’t afford it — consider doing it in-house. We work with dozens of businesses every year helping them in-sourcing their video production.
There will be an up-front investment in equipment. It may take you longer to get up to speed doing it in-house. Your video quality may not be perfect from the start. But at least you’re doing it.
You’re attracting more consumers by giving them the video they crave. You’re converting more visitors into leads faster through your video messages. And you’re delighting your audience by giving them a reason to buy, return, and share your content with others.
Whether you choose to outsource or hire a new team member, an investment in video is generally a prudent one. A year from now you’ll look back on your increased leads, sales and loyal customers and wonder why you didn’t get started sooner.