I Know I Need to do Video, but I don't Know if I can Afford it

April 28, 2020

Today’s post is written by Reid Craft, with JuxtMedia.

Video Is Super Important

We don’t make any bones about it, we believe that video can be the single most valuable component in your marketing strategy. Now, we know that you know this, but here’s a list of stats because is it really a marketing blog without a snazzy list of stats (These are from The Digital Marketing Institute)?

  • It increases time spent by visitors to your sites
  • It increases the retention rate of the information you’re giving them
  • It even increases the likelihood that they will buy into whatever it is you’re selling

Most of the prospective clients we talk to feel the need for video content. It usually is what drives them to talk with us in the first place. We have also learned from these folks that while they knew that video content would help their marketing strategies, almost all of them believed that they could not afford it until they talked to us about it. What keeps us up at night, though, is the thought of how many of you self-select out of even searching for video content because you also believe you can’t afford it. If that person is you please keep reading.

How Much Is This Thing Gonna Cost Me?

Before starting Juxt, my video production model typically consisted of a process that looked like this handy flowchart:

Handy Flowchart

Client reaches out to me with an idea for a video

 I take that idea and put a proposal together 

 Client sees budget and proceeds to shit pants

 Client says thanks but no thanks and leaves. Presumably to change pants.

For the longest time, this process was endlessly frustrating to me. There were a number of reasons why, but the chief one was that video project proposals take a really long time to put together. After spending probably too much time wallowing in my self-pity, I realized that I had been looking at this process the wrong way the whole time: You see, in video production, nothing informs the cost of said production as much as the idea, and it doesn’t matter how great your idea is if you can’t afford it.

That’s where we’d all been going wrong. We were letting ideas dictate the budget, rather than letting the budget dictate the ideas. If you get nothing else out of reading this, please get this: no matter the size of your budget you can afford video in your marketing strategy - you just might need to tailor your ideas to fit your budget.

Ok, But What If I Have Like No Budget?

You should still make a video. Why? Because video content still has the potential to change your business and is worth investing in. We understand, though, that sometimes things are tight and no matter what the potential upsides are, the money just ain’t there. In that case, do it yourself. Seriously. As Michael Scott says, “‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’ - Wayne Gretsky.” You’re already not doing anything, so what’s the worst that could happen?

Further down, I’m going to give you some ideas on what kinds of video content you can make yourself, as well as a quick crash course on shooting your own stuff, but really all I want you to know is that you should feel the freedom to experiment. Do something for a while, and if it works keep doing it. If it doesn’t, stop and try something else. The key is just to try. That way when you are ready to start using professional video services (Juxt), you’ll have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work for your business, and - importantly -  you’ll be able to communicate that with the folks you’re hiring (again, Juxt).

What Kind Of Content Should I Make?

To answer that question, I want you to ask yourself two more questions:

  1. What do I want to accomplish with this video?
  2. Who do I want to watch this video?

The answer to those questions will tell you what kind of video you should make. How do I know this? Well, because it’s the first two questions I ask every time we start a new project. No matter if the client is a new one or current. (Sorry Skip, I just gave away the whole business model).

Seriously though, keeping these two questions in your mind will help you keep the project goals at the forefront and will keep you from chasing too many rabbits down too many holes. Here’s an example of how it has worked for us:

A couple of months ago, we started on a project for Acuity, who wanted to explore video-driven lead generation. So, I asked them those same two questions. Their answers?

  1. Generate leads for our creative agency and tech firm verticals
  2. CEOs and other stakeholders in companies that fit those verticals

From that point forward we knew any creative decision we made could not be justified if they did not serve those two goals. 

The next hurdle was to make sure that the creative direction we decided to go in made fiscal sense for Acuity. So, working with their team to understand their budget, and doing some research to get a grasp on what the ad spend would look like we decided on a series of client testimonials that featured companies from both verticals that they wanted to target. 

I chose to showcase our work with Acuity because of these client testimonials. They are a great cross-section of value and affordability. We say all the time that story and narrative matter. Ultimately, they are what customers connect with. The best part about client testimonials is that you can start making them on your own right now. Even if you have no equipment at all, you can start with just your computer’s webcam or your phone’s camera. Just call up some of your best customers and start recording!

Once you’ve gotten a few under your belt, you’ll start to learn which types of content perform the best for you. That way when you do reach out to us, we’ll know right where to start working together. 

Until then, happy creating!

Bonus: How Do I Shoot Videos?

We know that the thought of actually creating your own videos is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are tons of great resources out there for learning the basics of creating good video content on your own.

To get started, we recommend this video from Digital Trends: How To Shoot & Edit Your Own Videos

For some of our more gear-headed friends, check out this video from Youtube Creators: Total Beginner’s Guide to Video Equipment 

April 28, 2020
Hilton Thompson