8 top tips and examples of producing great low cost video from scratch
If you are new to marketing with video, starting simple could be the key.
Throughout the process of creating less expensive and less challenging video content, you will learn the ropes and be inspired to build upon the basics.
The learning process will generate ideas that will contribute to developing a more thought-through video marketing strategy; putting you in the position of being able to justify bigger budgets in the future.
Examples of successful video using a bootstrapping approach
Here are some great examples showing just how effective low cost videos can be.......
This example shows screencasting in action - as well as showing you how to use Screenflow as a tool for yourself!:
The production of this video animation was definitely not inexpensive. However, it shows how mobile phones can produce great results:
Finally, this video is one of the best examples of a low cost corporate video. Look what can be achieved with a camera and a good sense of humour:
Have a clear plan about what you want to achieve with your videos
When introducing video into your marketing strategy, you should know why you are doing it;
"What do you want to achieve and what videos do you need to create to achieve these goals?"
Plan clearly and include a schedule so you have deadlines. Having a strategy and clear goals will keep you focused and you will appreciate earlier videos, which may seem boring and tedious outside of the bigger picture context.
8 Top tips for successful bootstrapping
Use a phone instead of a camera - There are camera phones out there that produce HD video that looks to be of professional quality - especially if you record in well-lit environments. Use a phone and don’t hide the fact. It can be a feature that makes your video even more impressive, if you do it well. And, of course, it will cost you next to nothing.
There are also very inexpensive external microphones you can buy for smart phones so you capture good quality sound; for example, the iRig mic for the iPhone.
Use screencasting to turn presentations into videos - Screencasting is a digital recording of a computer screen. It is an excellent way to capture presentations, give tutorials and also works well as a training tool. You can download free or cheap software with basic editing functions.
Use simple graphics instead of narration - Avoid the cost of a presenter or voiceover narrator by using basic text graphics on screen. More exciting graphics will require more advanced skills; 'professionals' use Adobe After Effects.
Use stock photos/videos - Websites such as iStockPhoto and Getty Images have thousands of royalty free images and video clips you can use. This is a great way to cut expense and yet still use good quality visuals.
Use free editing software -There is a range of free editing software tools, such as iMovie which comes free with the Mac. You can also use Screenflow for editing screencast videos. Camtasia is similar to Screenflow. Powerpoint can also be used to create presentations.
Enlist the help of YouTubers - If you really are stuck and feel like you need the support of an expert, consider looking to people like YouTubers Rhett and Link who produced the Official Ojai Valley Taxidermy TV Commercial shown above. They call themselves ‘Internetainers’ and have made successful videos for a whole portfolio of small businesses in the US. If you have a small budget, seek similar creative talent.
Make your own green screen- If you want the green screen effect without the studio green screen price, make your own; It is completely possible to do and, once you have the gear, you will be able to use it again and again.
Conduct video interviews over Skype using the Ecamm recorder plugin - This plug in for Skype costs $20 for lifetime usage. It allows you to conduct good quality video interviews without the need for any travel and film crews.
Limiting your resources when you start out in video production will force you to be creative.
There are so many low cost, money saving options out there, it really isn’t necessary to spend a big budget - as long as you are willing to invest time and determination to get your videos off the ground.
Neil Davidson is the Founder of MWP Digital Media, a leading Corporate Video Production Company. He also runs My Web Presenters who specialise in creating video spokesperson videos. They work with businesses of all sizes to create and market compelling and emotive videos that get specific and clear results. If you would like to have a conversation about how to create video for the web then please contact Neil here.