How to Overcome High Cost/No Budget for Video Marketing

How to overcome no video budget

This is the 2nd part of a 5 part series, going over the top 5 reasons companies are not investing in video marketing.  Today, we’re tackling the 2nd biggest reason: the high cost/no budget for video.

Let’s start with “No budget for video.”  We’ve heard this many times before, after we’ve suggested to a business to add video content.  I actually wrote a blog post about this a short time ago.  Most of the time, it’s not that they had money set aide for video and now it’s all used up… it’s that there was never a line item that said, “video” on any marketing budget in the history of the company.  There is no budget because no one had ever thought to have a video done before.

In this case if a company decides to move forward with video content, they need to poach the funds from other areas, perhaps print advertising or a contingency account.  It’s better if you never have to do that — have an amount set aside at the beginning on each year dedicated to creating video content for your company or brand.  Be reasonable with this amount.  Sit down with your Marketing Department or your video production company of choice, and work together to create the scope of your campaign objectives.  How many videos will you need to reach your goals?  Is there travel involved?  How polished do they need to be?  Do they need to be shot in a studio space with a crew of two dozen, or in a conference room with a crew of 2?

If this is your first rodeo with professional video production, get some estimates so you have a solid idea of the costs involved, then set it aside.  Make sure to also factor in things like social media advertisements to boost your videos, if applicable.  Make sure to view the company’s reel, and be comfortable with their quality.  Like the saying goes, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”  The quality of your video is a direct reflection on the perceived quality of your company by your customers.  Make sure it doesn’t look like it was done by your 15-year-old nephew.

Now we’re getting into the cost of video, so let’s tackle that.

If you’re thinking in your head that a professional video production for your company is of the same scale as a major motion picture or even a commercial shoot, think again.  Unless you’re planning on the video getting onto national television, the costs are dramatically lower than you might expect.  Now, there is a wide fluctuation in prices, with many factors to consider: is there travel involved?  A set?  Actors?  What is the scale of the shoot — just an office, or do you have to close a street?  If you’re on the high end and need sets, actors and super high end production value for a national TV spot, you’re looking at the $100,000+ range.  If you’re in your facility shooting for a day, a couple of interviews and some shots of your business, you might be in the $2,000 – $6,000 range.  Only want someone on camera talking with no other real shots?  You’re likely below $800.

My best piece of advice is this: reach out to a few video production companies, explain what you’re looking to do in detail, and ask for an estimate.  If the cost is too high for what you can afford at the moment, ask the production companies for advice to be able to stay within your budget.  They’ll be happy to work with you on that.

The Adam J. Lewis Preschool Project

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We recently had the pleasure of filming a promotional video for a great non-profit preschool (yes, a *non-profit*, actual 501 c 3 preschool). 

I had met the Director of the Adam J. Lewis Preschool, Julie Mombello, during a totally unrelated project last year.  And by “totally unrelated,” I mean she was tearing up the dance floor and bringing the audience to their feet during a “Dancing With the Stars” style fund raising event.

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I met up with Julie and the founder of the school, Patty Lewis, at a cozy Bridgeport, CT restaurant to go over my ideas for the video and kick off pre-production.  It was immediately apparent the wealth of knowledge and passion both women have for early childhood development – it really got me pumped up.  Going into this project, I had next to no understanding of what preschool was about, and certainly didn’t think it was particularly all that important.  It’s just like group babysitting, right?  After listening to Julie & Patty for a half hour, my mind was changed.


As pre-production quickly turned to production and we were at the school with the kids, I saw the critical importance of preschool with my own eyes.  These children will be at a great advantage when it’s time for kindergarten, having developed the basics of social skills, teamwork and even mathematics.  I now wonder how much faster I would have advanced in life, and how much more successful I would be now had I attended preschool Empire Studios BTS at Adam J Lewis Preschool 03and had that early jump start.

Now I had never filmed with so many little kids before, so I called upon a friend who is a preschool teacher in New Jersey, and asked for tips.  I was mainly concerned with them ignoring the camera so it all looked as natural as possible.  As you can imagine, when you tell a 4-year-old not to look at the camera, what do they want to do?  You guessed it.


I used her suggestions, with the most useful being the line, “Can you show me how you… (Insert whatever action I need from them for the shot).”  These kids were very bright, eager to learn and so cute… They made for good on screen talent once they were distracted or completely engrossed in a task.  Special thanks to Pam, who is officially the “Technical Adviser” on this project!Empire Studios BTS at Adam J Lewis Preschool 04
The day and a half shoot was educational for me and my crew, as well as for the children, who leaned a little about video production.  At several points I would have some honorary crew members behind me, watching the monitor and seeing how I was filming their classmates.  During one of the moments, they noticed that when they were standing in front of my monitor they couldn’t see themselves on camera (because they weren’t actually standing in front of the lens).  They assumed it was some kind of magic trick, and I happily played along.  My Production Assistant Diana also ended up being a bit of a behind the scenes photographer that day, and captured one of my favorite photos from set:

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The final video premiered at a fund raising event for the preschool and was very well received.  It has since been published to the school’s official YouTube page, where it continues to educate people around the country and the world the real value preschool has on children’s development.   I’m really proud to have been a part of this.  For more information, head on over to


Check it out their video for yourself below:

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