How much does your video REALLY cost?

Everybody knows about the power of video to influence viewers and drive behavioural change – from wearing a seat belt to buying a product, video is the best way to reach and engage your audience.

But what does video cost an organisation? I mean, REALLY cost? (That’s slightly rhetorical of course. If you’re looking for an answer like ‘£28.95’ then I’m afraid you’re in the wrong blog post).

The answer, of course, lies in results. When you embark on any video production, it’s essential to consider what return on investment you expect to achieve, and balance this against the cost of production.

‘Cost of production’ can itself be a nebulous, wibbly-wobbly concept. Your video agency can send you a quote for their services, but how much company time must you devote - to production meetings, attending shoots, rounding-up participants, watching approval versions (even scriptwriting, if you’ve really chosen the wrong partner!). Factor all of that work in, and choose an agency that will take the pressure off and do more of those tasks for you.

Some organisations attempt to ‘save’ money by buying a camera and handing over responsibility for video to a staff member. The problem with this approach is twofold: firstly, you’re asking somebody with limited experience to spend a few hours acquiring craft skills that take half a lifetime to develop. The fact that anybody can now ‘do’ video on their phone doesn’t mean that they can do it effectively. Secondly, this approach is not ‘free’; the person in question will take far longer to achieve good results than a professional, and may never achieve the right standard. And, you hired them to do something else that they’re actually good at, and they’re no longer doing it; you are therefore overpaying for a very mediocre camera operator.

The technical tools now exist to generate quite granular analytics from your video activity, even tracking audience members from first viewing all the way to a sale. Make sure that you have clear KPIs for every project, a clear strategy for distribution, and the necessary tools for measuring performance so that you can tweak your approach as you go along. Otherwise, how will you know what your video really cost.

In evaluating the cost of particular approaches for video within your organisation, look at the true cost and the likely value of the results you can expect to achieve. And remember – the most expensive video is the one that nobody watches.

Mark Burgess

download ebook 2