The Pros, Cons and Costs of Video Marketing

Video Marketing: Pros and Cons

Recently a client asked us to advise him on the advantages and disadvantages of using video to market his services. Here’s what we told him:

The Pros

  1. Video is engaging.  Ever try to have a conversation with someone when a television is playing in the background? You can't help but sneak a peek over their shoulder from time to time. Video is a magnet for eyeballs.
  2. Video is simple. Which would you rather do – read a 30-page instruction manual or watch a 3-minute video? Complex processes are easier to demonstrate than they are to explain.
  3. Video is comprehensive. Every second of video delivers huge amounts of information to your brain. (One research company is quoted as having estimated that 60 seconds of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words of written information, but I’m skeptical. If we start with ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and note that there are typically 30 pictures (frames) per second in a video, then 30 pictures times 60 seconds times a thousand words equals 1.8 million words in a minute of video. Coincidence? I think not. More likely someone jokingly or fatuously did the math, and that got picked up and spread across the internet.)
  4. Video is emotional. The right combination of words, pictures, and music can evoke laughter, compassion, fear or anger… and those emotions can drive behaviour.
  5. Video is memorable. Properly crafted, a video will be easily recalled at a later date. But here’s the big caveat to that: if you’re not careful, people will remember the video but forget the product or service it promoted. How often have you seen a great commercial, and perhaps even told someone else about it… but been unable to remember who the advertiser was?
  6. Video is popular. More than a billion unique visitors go to YouTube each month, and the site reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.
  7. Video is powerful. Check out these articles:


The Cons

  1. Video is often more expensive than a print or email execution. Effective business videos are not usually shot in your basement on a cell phone, so unless you already have good equipment, talented in-house resources and an attractive, well lit, acoustically acceptable location, you're looking at spending some dough.
  2. It's time-consuming. A professional looking video will require pre-production (scripting, casting, location scouting, props), production (lighting, sound, teleprompter, shooting) and post-production (editing, graphic effects, soundtrack).
  3. There can be technical issues with online video – it requires bandwidth to view it, and it may not play properly on older devices.
  4. Sometimes people want to cut to the chase and just quickly scan an article or checklist instead of watching a video. If you do use video, make sure you give viewers an alternate way to get your message.


The Costs

Certainly, a do-it-yourself video using volunteer talent and in-house equipment can be done for very little. If you’re looking for something more professional, however, here are some ballpark planning figures:

  1. Agency time to script, cast, scout, prop, shoot, edit, design graphics, and upload the finished video (typically $1000 per day)
  2. Talent costs (these vary dramatically depending on ACTRA or non-union, buy-out or residuals)
  3. Cost of venue, city permits, transportation, food, props, wardrobe, makeup
  4. Videographer (typically $1000 per day with a single camera, or more with a crew and lighting/sound package)
  5. Editor and edit suite (typically $1000 per day)
  6. Music (could range from $100 per track for needledrop music to hundreds or even thousands for an original soundtrack)

With that in mind, a basic, but nicely crafted 2-minute video using professional resources and equipment could be $2500 or more. If you want to create a series of marketing videos, obviously there are huge economies of scale in shooting more than one at a time, so the cost would be reduced accordingly.

For more information about how you can use video to market your products, services, or not-for-profit organization, drop us a line!