As you’re creating your marketing budget for the year, it can feel like there’s never enough money. There’s always more you can do if you only had more money, right?

Don’t despair. There are ways to be more efficient with your video marketing budget in 2021. These four tips will help you stretch your video marketing budget and find more ROI this year.

How to stretch your video marketing budget

  1. Make a video plan for the whole year

  2. Use different agencies and production companies

  3. Create some video in-house

  4. Embrace user-generated content

1. Make a video plan for the whole year now

No question, professional video production can be expensive. The highest costs associated with video are the actual production days. The planning, writing, and editing are relatively inexpensive.

To make the most out of any production days you invest in, make a plan for all your video content at the beginning of the year. You may find efficiencies in combining productions together.

For example, we once had a client that created video content several times a year. They would call us with an idea for a video every three or four months. Sometimes, the idea that they had for November would overlap with the video we shot for them back in March, but naturally there was no way to go back and capture that content in March. This client would have to pay for another production day.

If this client had made a plan for their yearly video content at the beginning of the year, we could have worked with them to plan an efficient use of production days. In fact, we likely could have combined days in creative ways, which would have allowed them to generate more video content for the same amount of money.

In addition, it is often less expensive to shoot two or three consecutive production days instead of one day every several months. If you plan your video content for the year all at once, you can combine your productions and then release content throughout the year.

When working with a limited budget for production, it may save you money in the long term to work with a video agency to create your plan. A week of planning is much less expensive than a week of video production.

2. Use different agencies and production companies

Finding the right fit agency for each project, while it might take a little more time on your end, can reduce costs.

Most video agencies and production companies have a specialty. There are certain things they do very well and efficiently (in other words, cost-effective for you!). These companies are also happy to take your money for projects that aren’t a perfect fit, such as a company that specializes in live action production taking on an animation. They’ll get it done, but you can bet it will cost you more and may even be lower quality.

Once you make your video marketing plan for the year — you did listen to tip #1, right? — then evaluate if your favorite external agencies and production companies are the right fit for everything you want to do. If you make a variety of video content, giving all your video work to one agency might end up costing you more.

Some agencies are too expensive for the smaller budget social videos, and other production companies can’t handle the larger, brand-level work. Give the projects to agencies that will do them well, efficiently, and on-budget.

If you need advice on finding a great video production company, check out our video production buyer’s guide.

Image of a person recording a video of themselves on a smartphone. User-generated content

3. Create some video in-house

Video can be intimidating to take in-house, but consider making 2021 the year to embrace doing more of it yourself.

As you make your plan for video for the year (nope, I won’t let you skip this step), be strategic about the video you pull in-house. Brand campaigns or polished pieces with a long shelf life are worth investing in professional video quality.

Consider making these types of videos in-house:

    • Product walkthroughs
    • Testimonials
    • FAQs or new client videos

I’m not recommending you hire a full-time videographer. There are many tools available now that allow anyone who can work an iPhone or webcam to make video.

Vimeo and Loom are the best options for product walkthroughs and FAQ videos. These tools make it easy to record your screen along with a voiceover.

Prospects and customers are forgiving of video quality as long as they get value out of the video. If a prospect wants to see your platform in action, they don’t need an expensive 3D animation. A screen recording narrated by a product engineer or salesperson is just perfect for their needs.

4. Embrace user-generated content

Along with creating some video in-house, consider embracing user-generated content from your clients.

I’ve heard B2B companies say they’re afraid that user-generated content makes them look amateur or unprofessional. They want their brand to look fully buttoned up.

However, there are examples of B2B brands successfully using UGC on their social channels. For example, Salesforce shares self-taped customer testimonials. If you want to project authenticity, consider user-generated content.

Coming out of 2020, people have gotten used to watching Zoom calls and iPhone videos on TikTok and Instagram. We don’t care that an iPhone or webcam-recorded video is not as good as a professional camera, as long as the content is useful.

Using these four tips will help you make the most of your video marketing budget. Your yearly plan will help you know where to spend and where to save. If you want to discuss that plan or how we can help, feel free to reach out to our team.