Today you can produce effective videos with virtually any budget. How do you decide what’s the right budget/effort ratio that best suits your needs?

Here are 3 scenarios that might be useful for you at different times.

The Ferrari Buyer

In this scenario, you hire an established production company. You let them take care of the video and the requirements.

This approach will benefit you if:

  • You have produced high-end video before and know exactly what you need.
  • You have a solid internal marketing team with commercial video production expertise.
  • You have a big launch coming up and timing is more important than the budget you could save otherwise.
  • The foreseen ROI or Brand Lift after the launch of this video content is worth 10x+ what you will spend.
  • You have a clear distribution strategy in place
  • You plan to distribute to a large number of people–in the case of B2C or a B2B SaaS Product. Or to a small high-value audience. Investors, stakeholders, potential partners, and affluent buyers of high-value goods and services.

You should stay away from this approach if

  • You haven’t tested with other videos before and you don’t know what works in your case yet.
  • You don’t have a solid internal marketing team with video expertise.
  • Expensive trial and error is not an option.
  • You want to optimize video production costs, but you don’t know where to start.

The Do-It-Yourselfer

In this scenario, you decide not to spend any hard money on video production. You don’t hire an agency or consultant. You don’t add the overhead expense of an in-house video communications specialist. You try to create video content by using your internal resources. Your available team members use their intuition and resources to “make video happen”. Turn on their phone, watch a tutorial or two on good lighting and sound. Edit the video, using whatever software they have at hand.

This approach can be a useful exercise if:

  • Your product is at very early stages
  • You have time to learn/experiment
  • Brand positioning trial and error is still an option
  • You don’t have an identity yet and you are OK with pivoting later
  • You want to test how your team members interact, collaborating on a common goal

You should stay away from this approach if:

  • Longer or undefined time frames are not an option
  • Your distribution plan is unclear
  • You cannot afford losing momentum due to the learning curve
  • You cannot afford the opportunity cost in the specialty areas of the people involved
  • Your team is busy and you need video content in time
  • You don’t have a solid marketing plan
  • You plan to distribute to a large audience and you don’t have a second chance to make a good first impression
  • Your users have an expectation of your brand
  • You need keep your brand and tone of voice in check

The informed decision-maker

In this scenario, you decide to make a flexible investment to produce ad-hoc videos. You hire an on-demand video communications consultant. This consultant has the knowledge and creativity of an industry insider by your side.

This approach will benefit you if:

  • You have a budget for video, but need every dollar to count.
  • You have a solid product that your audience is underestimating.
  • You have meaningful content and you don’t understand why your audience is not engaged with it.
  • You have tried in-house video, but you want better results.
  • You want to raise the value of your company, with cost-effective high quality video assets.
  • You cannot afford to pay the biggest agency in town, but you still need to make a statement.

You should stay away from this approach if:

  • Your product is at very early stages
  • You don’t have a dedicated budget for video
  • You don’t have any content or not much to talk about
  • You don’t have at least 1 hour per week to learn, participate, and provide feedback.

If you are at the right stage, hiring a video consultant is the best decision you can make.

The right person can help you:

  • Get your team excited about content production and on the same page
  • Help you make more informed decisions
  • Help you understand what’s unnecessary
  • Provide you with several creative solutions, costs, and plans of action.
  • Understand your goals and suggest a course of action
  • Shoot on-brand, cost-effective test videos to do market testing and start increasing engagements
  • Bring and manage a team when you need an extra push
  • Get your team set up for ongoing content production

And you? What is your approach?