Do It Yourself Video: The Savings Myth

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Hiring a pro can save you moneyThe rise of YouTube, Google Video and other video sharing services has spawned a revolution in amateur video production and prompted many businesses to become do-it-yourself producers of their own marketing videos.  Weeding through the silly online spring break videos, there is a good bit of really interesting D-I-Y video; but I would seriously caution business owners from producing their own video marketing materials. 

I know the urge to save a few bucks is great but the risks of D-I-Y marketing far outweigh any perceived benefits.  While the up front saving is tempting, you will invariably eat those savings up with the cost of time taken away from growing your business (missed opportunity cost).  To produce a very simple 60 second promotional video it could take an amateur about 3 hours to setup/shoot and 30 hours or so to edit.  This translates to 33 hours of production time.  A viable small business can generate $100 or more per hour in revenues which translates to $3,300 (in missed opportunity) to produce what amounts to an inferior video.  Throw in the cost of equipment and software; time spent learning to use the gear and to edit and you can easily increase your video production costs to upwards of 10 to 15 thousand dollars.

For the same investment you could have a professionally produced video whose quality reflects that of your own business and a few dollars to spare on additional marketing or other activities.  In the final analysis it costs less to hire a pro.

Amateur Example:

Professional Example:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=145332&dest=8105]

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6 Responses to “Do It Yourself Video: The Savings Myth”

  1. modifoo Says:

    Great post – really nice to put it into money figures. Next step would be to compare a “cheap” production company to a “standard market price” production company.

    If you don’t mind, some suggestions about the video you made:

    I think the very beginning is a bit bland, with type on black. Video is about pictures and sound, so why not tell the story visually?

    Nice graphics on the boxing lady. She just stays on a bit too long for my tase.

    Generally, I think the clip is still too long – though definately better than the you tube version.

    I would have added some cool colour correction on the gym shots.

    Clip down the talking faces to a bare minimum. Overlap with footage from the training.

  2. Olivier Egli Says:

    honestly i dont know which of those two videos will sell better….i think it is targeting a completely different audience…the first one being more “real” and “out of life” and the second one being clearly more “professional” but that also implies that it has been shot by an external crew which maybe portrayed the company in a different light than it actually is…you see, there is plenty of room for interpretation here….in the end it’s a matter of taste. facts and figures speak for themselves, sure, but in the end it is not rocket science. the first one is too long, that is clear, but it seems honest and stripped down to what those guys are doing: fighting…

  3. John Easton Says:

    Oliver:

    I contacted the facility that produced the first video and they did not feel the video generated many leads for them. Actualy, the audiences are quite similar but the purposes of the videos are somewhat different and to your point, not a scientific comparison.

    The second video is actually a trailer for an instructional DVD we produced for a local mixed martial arts studio. The trailer was an unbudgeted afterthought cobbled together from supplemental footage that did not make it into the instructional DVD.

    The results of the second video were pretty big. The client quickly sold their inventory of DVD’s, the video generates about 4,000 unique views per week, the facility’s client list has exploded and they are now opening a new facility…in short, their project goals were met.

    The bottom line idea with this post is that in most cases (not all) when it comes to marketing video, not art; a professional production company that understands your business dynamics and the production process is morel likely to create a video that meets a business goals.

    John

  4. modifoo » Blog Archive » SurfFoo for May 4th Says:

    […] Do It Yourself Video: The Savings Myth – I know the urge to save a few bucks is great but the risks of D-I-Y marketing far outweigh any perceived benefits. You will invariably eat those savings up with the cost of time taken away from growing your business (missed opportunity cost). […]

  5. Seiji Says:

    “I contacted the facility that produced the first video and they did not feel the video generated many leads for them.”

    I AM the facility that produced the video, I don’t remember you ever contacting me. I put together the sampler for our University club during the spare time I had from footage we took during our training sessions. The sampler was for promotion of our FREE University club in order to generate a bit of interest on campus through facebook.

    Thanks

  6. John Easton Says:

    To all readers:

    I would like to personally appologise for coming to an incorrect conclusion regarding the first video above. In a statement above, I said that “I contacted the facility…” I contacted the wrong facility.

    The martial arts facility I contacted did have a YouTube video campaign that did get some good views but did not drive many leads. This is an error on my part and I am publicly appologising for sloppy research and making a statement that does not apply to Seiji’s effort.

    Seiji, thank you for setting me straight.

    Regards,

    John

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