Galileo Media Arts has fielded countless calls from potential clients with video production projects they have in mind and after we dive into the details the one part that most clients hate to talk about is the dreaded budget.
Like all full-service video production companies, we can tailor the project to the budget, but budgets have a big range and the production company needs to know what ballpark they are entering. A $10,000 – $20,000 budget is different than a $45,000- $65,000 budget and a lot different from a $150,000 – $250,000 budget.
You don’t need to know the exact budget but you should know the range or hemisphere you are working in. This way the production team can craft the creative and production accordingly. So how do you figure this out? After doing this for 25 years the Galileo team has been on a lot of those uncomfortable calls so here are some ways that we have learned to make the financial side hopefully be calmer and ultimately more effective.
1. “Talk Amongst Yourselves”
Find the total budget from the powers that be. What you have to spend and what the CFO or owner will approve on the high side. We are not saying you need to spend what the highest number is, but you should know it. Actually, it may be better sometimes to spread a campaign over 1 or 2 years rather than spend it all at once.
Figure out who you want to reach with your video content. Are you B2B or direct to consumer? Do you want to reach a younger audience say ages 19 to 26 years in age? Or is the range much wider like 21 to 50 or all women? Whatever you decide you should figure it out before you move on. The same goes for what type of business you are targeting in your B2B mission.
3. Group Packages or Annual Agreements are Always Best
Think economy of scale and bulk pricing. One production day which often involves many crew members and potentially actor fees and travel fees will always cost a lot more than one post production editing day where you have only a few people working. You will get the most value by far from your budget if you group things together. You may be able to increase your deliverables and have the same amount of shoot days. This way you could get an additional commercial or different versions of the same video piece. For example, we can often make a longer format 1-minute piece and then do one or two :30 or :15 cut downs which can be used for broadcast or social media. Now you are getting 3 or 4 pieces of content instead of one. Plus, it can make you look good with the boss when you say you are getting 3 spots for almost the same amount you were going to spend on one spot.
4. Budgeting for Media Buy
Media buying just means paid advertising whether it be TV, digital, or anywhere you need to pay to have it run. Not all video content has a media buy associated with it. Often video content can be for presentations, events, or for your website, Amazon page, or social media page. For the sake of brevity if you are going to need a media buy you should allow in the budget at the very least 1.5 times the cost of your video production for media buy.
5. Spending Too Little or Spending Too Much
This is always the hardest part. I would hate to spend too much when I did not need to or worse – how do I know if I am trying too hard to save a buck and it comes out looking a little too low budget and not effective. The best thing to do in my opinion is to start by going on the web and search around for video samples that you feel are in a style or tone that would be the most effective for your brand. Don’t short change the time you need on this end. This way when you connect with the right production company you can play them something in the vicinity of video content you feel fits your brand. This way the production company can evaluate what you are going for and hopefully find a way to fit your budget range into the style and tone you want to execute. A good full-service video production company can often find a creative way to make things work for a smaller budget. That is the big advantage of going direct to a video production company as distinct from hiring an ad agency first. Going through an ad agency will always cost a lot more, no offense to our agency friends.