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3 Ways For Startups To Cut Costs On Video Marketing

Jun. 13, 2014

Startup companies that only have minimal budgets at their disposal generally realize that they need a video if they are to compete with their rivals, but usually simply don’t have the marketing budget to be able to afford to make one.

Here are three simple steps that can help you to beat the conundrum! 

1. Why not rent a video camera instead of buying? 

Your mobile phone camera is probably not good enough for commercial videos but buying the kind of equipment you need for a professional looking production is probably way beyond your reach at this stage. So why not rent a camera from your local video production company, photography studio or school or equipment retailer?

Costs vary depending on how long you need to rent it for but if you fine tune your script and are fully prepared you could shoot all your footage even in a single day. Try to make use of free public locations and use your employees and clients as actors wherever possible. You’ll probably find they are pleased and flattered to be invited to participate. Using real people and locations makes your company instantly more personable and accessible to those who are considering doing business with you (as well as saving substantially on costs!).

2. It’s all in the editing

Once you have all the live footage you need, the secret to a cost effective and professional looking video comes down to the editing. Intercut your live footage with graphics, embellished screen shots, digital graphics and other online resources using one of the many excellent online video production software packages that are available free of charge.

With careful transitioning from one type of shot to the other you can extend your live footage throughout your film. Don’t use too many special effects during your transitions because these can look overdone and detract from the professionalism of your production. And don’t make your video too long – three minutes is an epic on the internet and if you can put your message across in less time than this then all the better.
Above all, be sure to explain the purpose of your video in the opening seconds.

3. Get your clients to help make the video for you.

Why not invite your clients to send in short videos of themselves using your products and/or services. Ask them to talk about what they particularly like about what you do. Then edit all the videos you receive together to create a unique promotional film in which your clients say it all for you!
After all, you don’t necessarily have to be the one to do the filming. All you need to do is to fine tune the overall message that goes out. This trick of inviting your users to send you their work is known as crowdsourcing and it can be a supremely successful and very affordable way of creating a marketing video. Your clients will probably be flattered to be asked to participate. And your potential new customers will probably respond better to real life people talking openly and honestly about what you do than if you hire an actor to speak from a script. 

To encourage participation you could perhaps offer some kind of reward to those who decide to take part.

The one thing you need to remember if you decide to give crowdsourcing a go is that you will need to have a legal release agreement drawn up and signed by each video participant to give you permission and the rights to use their video for your commercial and marketing purposes. For this, talk to your lawyer to be sure you get it right.
Once you’ve got your video put together make sure to upload it to the internet in the shortest possible time. Videos work best when they are very topical and once you have got the main version up, you can always cut shorter, tighter versions to appear on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other social media or other sites that you think will be appropriate.

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