Earlier this year, Veed.me launched a side project called “How Much To Make A Video?”, which sought to answer exactly this question for the many marketers and business owners out there who needed marketing videos, but had no idea how much they should cost.
Now, tens of thousands of unique visitors and 4 months later, we recently sat down to look at some of the trends which have emerged from the data. It’s been fascinating to look at where there are strong commonalities in the type of marketing videos people need. Here are our top takeaways from the data so far:
MARKETERS ARE LOOKING FOR LIVE ACTION OVER ANIMATION
Fully 64% of our respondents were looking for live action marketing videos, as opposed to just 34% looking for animated videos. We believe this echoes the trend away from simplistic animated or whiteboard “explainer videos” which became hugely popular in the last five years, but which now can seem a bit outdated. In general, live action video allows you to highlight and celebrate the human personality and emotion behind your company/product. Still animation can work great, especially when explaining highly technical or not-yet released products.
“We believe this echoes the trend away from simplistic animated or whiteboard ‘explainer videos’ which became hugely popular in the last five years, but which now can seem a bit outdated.”
SHORT FORM CONTENT RULES OVER LONGER VIDEO
72% of respondents were looking for marketing videos of less than 2 minutes in length, with roughly an even split between videos of 15-60 seconds and 60-120 seconds. Just 25% were looking for videos of two minutes or longer in length. This spread makes intuitive sense, as we’ve hammered over and over again that, in general, the shorter the video the better. With limited time to grab consumers’ attention across devices and fractured video viewing landscape, the need for pithy, engaging short videos is stronger than ever.
“As we’ve hammered over and over again: in general, the shorter the video, the better.”
MANY MARKETERS NEED CREATIVE + SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT
While 44% of our respondents said they already have a script in hand, 56% said they didn’t have a script in mind, or needed tweaks and some development. This split reflects the reality that some marketers are already well versed in video production and have strong creative convictions, while others are novices. For the less experienced, it makes sense that many look to the videographers themselves to lend a hand in scripts and creative concepting.
MOST MARKETERS WANT 1-4 ACTORS IN THEIR VIDEO
In line with the trend towards live action over animation, most marketers expected to need 1-2 actors (30%) or 2-4 actors (34%) to deliver on their video concepts. Actors are an expense that many aren’t familiar with and a topic we’ve covered before. Interestingly, 25% don’t expect to need any actors at all, which probably reflects the growing number of requests we get for marketing videos featuring founder, customer or employee testimonials.
MOST MARKETERS WANT TO CUT COST ON LOCATIONS
60% of respondents said they could provide locations for the shoot of their video, which makes sense both because this is an easy way to save money and also because a good amount of marketing video requests are for videos that should be filmed at the client’s offices. We also wrote a post about finding locations earlier this year.
VOICEOVER AND MUSIC ARE STILL MUSTS FOR A MAJORITY
63% of respondents wanted a voice over for their video, and 90% wanted music. Interestingly, 67% are ok with basic stock music tracks, while 22% were looking for originally produced music.
MOST NEED EDITING, NOT JUST SHOOTING
A no-brainer, but 82% said they’d need editing, not just shooting, in order to make a video, which makes sense as most marketers are looking for A-Z production. Still, we see a small but increasing amount of companies that have in-house editors that can complete videos themselves.
NOT MUCH NEED FOR ADVANCED SPECIAL EFFECTS
Just 25% of respondents anticipated needing advanced special effects (VFX) in their videos, with 35% not needing any special effects and 35% seeking special titles (nice looking opening and transition sequences). This makes sense, as the goal with most online marketing videos is not to blow away viewers with a cinematic experience, but rather quickly convert them to a desired action.
THE AVERAGE BUDGET WAS… (rolling drums)
Given all the above mentioned trends, the average budget that our tool spit out to marketers looking to make a video was in the range around $5500. Most of our videographers in our community gave us the feedback that the estimates were quite in line with contemporary video costs, so we were happy to begin to educate the market on the real costs of video production.
“Most of our videographers gave us the feedback that the estimates we gave were in line with contemporary video costs.”
With hundreds of marketing video projects opened on Veed.me over the last few years, it was fascinating to add this extra layer of understanding of what our customers were looking for in the macro sense. It seems clear that the need for shorter, live-action, video content that includes both shooting and editing was the main need coming from marketers looking to make videos in 2015. We’ll be eager to watch how these trends evolve in 2016!