Video marketing is on the rise—research shows that by 2019, global consumer internet video will account for 80 percent of all such traffic. But what about the cost to make it to the video marketing big leagues? Creating a professional and polished video while on the tightest of budgets (or no budget at all) is easier than you think.
Just because your budget is small doesn’t mean your audience has to know that! Here are five tips for creating professional videos on a budget:
1. Be Realistic about What You Can Accomplish
To make the best video for your brand, you need to be realistic—if you don’t have the budget, you can’t make a Hollywood motion picture.
But even with a small budget, there are worlds of opportunity for the videos you can make. Consider live-action (non-animated, vlogs, real-life footage, etc.), animation, educational, and webinar-styles for your videos—all of which can be done on even the smallest of budgets, thanks to the many websites and training tools out there.
- Live Action – To edit your live-action footage, use programs like iMovie or Wave.Video. iMovie allows users to edit on multiple Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac), adding music, effects, and titles to pre-existing footage shot on their devices. Want to add stock footage? Websites like VideoHive sell royalty-free footage that you can add into your video, expanding the footage you already have. Similarly, Wave.Video allows users to upload their own footage, use pre-existing stock footage from their libraries, and add logos or texts to the videos.
- Animation – While trickier if you don’t have the skills, it’s still possible to create successful animated videos. Consider the programs Animatron Studio or Animaker to make this dream a reality. While these tools often have a learning curve to understand their software, if your heart is set on animated videos and your budget is low, your dreams can still come true.
- PowerPoint – Often used for webinars, you can turn your educational PowerPoint slides into a free video. When exporting your slides, you’ll see the option to use pre-recorded narration or to record narration yourself. Adding a voiceover gives your presentation that special touch, allowing it to go from being a slide deck to an educational video in just a matter of minutes.
Whatever style video you decide to make, make sure it’s feasible to create on a consistent basis. You’ll want to ensure that your audience can come back for more.
2. Use Your Smartphone
Chances are, you already have the best device needed to make a video: your smartphone. Current-generation smartphones have high-quality cameras that will meet all your video needs. Recently, Billboard magazine even used a smartphone to shoot one of their magazine covers because the quality is that good. As for what to put your device on, CNET has a great video explaining how you can DIY your own smartphone tripod out of everyday objects like coffee cups or binder clips. If you’re not in the DIY mood, Lifewire provides a quick read on the four best smartphone tripods, ranging from $11 to $27.
3. Focus on Good Lighting
Good-quality lighting can take your video from looking subpar and amateur to professional and polished—and the best part is, it can be done for free. Filming in front of a window with great natural sunlight can create the illusion of $500+ studio lighting. If you want to get really fancy, the New York Film Academy provides 10 tricks for shooting with natural light, including where to shoot in proximity to the light, using reflectors, and the best hours to shoot.
4. Commit to a Schedule
If you’re serious about spending the time and energy on video, you owe it to yourself to stick to a plan. It’s easy even if you don’t have a big budget: Just come up with concepts that can adjust every week but remain consistent, such as segments featuring other employees, current topics, and even those highlighting this week’s latest campaign. Think of your favorite talk shows or news channels—they have segments that viewers remember and look forward to. Don’t be afraid to use the same format, swapping out the content. You’ll become better at creating your videos, and your viewers will know what to expect with every new one!
5. Know Your Platforms
At the end of the day, making a 20-minute video is great until you realize you can’t post it on the platforms you’d planned to. For a quick reference:
- Facebook – 45 minutes
- IGTV – 10 minutes (60 minutes if your account is verified)
- Instagram – 60 seconds
- Twitter – 140 seconds
- Vimeo – 500MB per week
- Youtube – 15 minutes (unless you request more)
Or, you can host the video on your own website! Whatever the platform may be, know what the allowances are so that you can hone your skills for it.
Video on a Budget . . . It’s Easier Than You Think
Video marketing is a huge way for you to engage audiences, and being successful is possible no matter what your budget is. The above tips will help you get started with your video, so play around and get creative! It’s time to see which videos really resonate with your audience.
Be sure to watch our latest ‘free website tools‘ video for a little bit of inspiration.
Last modified: October 3rd, 2018