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How to Budget for Your Video Content: Maximizing Quality and Value

Determining budgets is about as sexy as watching paint dry. Unfortunately, that alone isn’t enough to throw numbers to the wind and play carte blanche with the purse strings.

Because video is such a ubiquitous part of a brand’s presence, understanding what you’re getting for the buck is crucial to making smart decisions about production costs.

Understanding Video Production Costs

The cost of video production can vary significantly depending on various elements.

  • Video type

  • Location

  • Crew size

  • Equipment

  • Talent

  • Post-production

  • Storyboarding

  • Promotion costs

  • …and so on

How long is a piece of string? That’s how much video costs. In other words, there is a big range and you need to iron out all of the details before you have a proper budget.

At the end of the day, core costs can be boiled down to the following:

1. Pre-Production: This includes brainstorming, scripting, storyboarding, location scouting, talent auditions, and logistics planning. Typically, this phase requires a significant chunk of your budget, ranging from 10-20%.

2. Production: The actual shoot involves costs such as the crew's day rates, equipment rentals, location fees, and travel expenses. Production usually consumes the most substantial part of the budget, often around 45-55%.

3. Post-Production: This phase involves video editing, sound design, visual effects, music licensing, motion graphics, color grading, and more. Typically, post-production will comprise about 25-35% of your total budget.

4. Distribution and Marketing: Depending on your distribution strategy, costs can include social media promotion, search engine optimization (SEO), ad placements, and other digital marketing tactics. This component can vary widely but should not be overlooked.

Understanding the purpose of your video, whether it is to educate, entertain, or promote your products or services, will help guide the creative direction and production requirements.

Choosing the Right Video Type and Style

Here’s the deal: quality is a driving factor in cost and success.

It just is.

However, it’s important to understand that universal truths rarely exist in marketing. A slickly produced video on TikTok is not going to perform as well as something that feels authentic.

You won’t get to that authenticity without strategy and goal-setting.

Different types of videos, such as animated explainers, branded documentaries, or product demos, require different production techniques and resources.

Consider the strengths of each video type and choose the one that best suits your message and budget constraints. For instance, animated explainers can be a cost-effective solution that delivers engaging visuals and storytelling without elaborate sets or actors.

Just keep in mind: it all comes down to your audience and goals.

What are you trying to achieve with your video content? Who are you trying to reach and influence? How will you measure the success of your video campaigns?

Common goals include:

  • Increase brand awareness and reach new audiences

  • Educate your consumers and customers about your products or services

  • Generate leads and nurture prospects through the sales funnel

  • Boost conversions and sales

  • Increase customer loyalty and retention

  • Enhance customer service and support

Content Pillars

Depending on your video marketing goals and metrics, you need to choose the right types of video content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Different types of video content can serve different purposes and appeal to different audiences.

A classic structure for creating video content is as follows:

  • Help content: This type of video content answers the questions that your audience is actively searching for regarding your brand or industry. It can help you attract organic traffic, build trust, and position yourself as an authority. Help content includes product tutorials, how-to videos, customer testimonials, FAQs, etc.

  • Hub content: This type of video content provides a fresh perspective on your audience’s passion points. It can help you engage your existing subscribers, increase retention, and create loyalty. Examples of hub content are behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, webinars, podcasts, etc.

  • Hero content: This type of video content showcases your brand’s story, values, and vision. It can help you generate buzz, reach new audiences, and create emotional connections. Hero content includes brand documentaries, viral videos, social causes videos, etc.

Distribute your budget according to your business goals to choose which pillar video content needs the most love.

Measuring ROI and Iterating

Track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as view counts, engagement rates, and conversion metrics, to assess the effectiveness of your video content. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and refine your future video production strategies. By continuously evaluating and optimizing your videos, you can ensure that your budget is allocated to the most impactful content.

Possible video metrics to track:

  • Views and impressions

  • Watch time and retention rate

  • Engagement rate (likes, comments, shares)

  • Click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate

  • Return on investment (ROI) and cost per acquisition (CPA)

Prioritizing Post-Production and Editing

Balancing achieving high production values and managing costs effectively is essential. Focus on prioritizing essential post-production elements, such as color correction, sound design, and graphics, that significantly impact the viewer's experience. By carefully allocating resources to key post-production areas, you can ensure a polished final product without exceeding your budget.


Creating video content is only half the battle. You must also distribute your video content effectively to reach and engage your target audience. To do that, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Platform: Choose the right platform to host and share your video content. YouTube is the most popular and powerful video platform, with over 2 billion monthly active users. However, depending on your audience's preferences and behaviors, you can also use other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.

  • Format: You need to adapt your video content to the format and specifications of each platform. For example, YouTube videos can be longer and more in-depth, while Instagram videos can be shorter and catchy. You also need to consider the aspect ratio, resolution, file size, etc., of each platform.

  • Optimization: Optimize your video content for search engines and social media algorithms. You can use keywords, titles, descriptions, tags, thumbnails, captions, etc., to make your video content more discoverable and appealing. You can also use tools like Biteable or HubSpot to create video SEO reports and analytics.

  • Promotion: Promote your video content to increase its reach and visibility. You can use paid ads, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, etc., to drive traffic and engagement to your video content.

Creating high-quality video content requires more than just good ideas and professional equipment. In an era where video content reigns supreme, your budget can be the crucial factor determining your project's success. Understanding costs, quality, and the importance of strategy is pivotal when entering the exciting yet complex world of video production.

The Role of a Video Content Partner

Budgeting for video content is more than just allocating funds; it's about balancing costs, quality, and strategy. A strategic partner can help you navigate these complexities, ensuring that every dollar spent contributes to a video that looks great and effectively communicates your message to your target audience.

Don’t know where to start? You should get in touch with us.