Video production costs: Get more content & value from each video shoot

Here are ways to maximize efficiency and stay within budget.

Three ways to improve ROI and produce more assets.

Three ways to improve ROI and produce more assets.

For those contemplating investing in video content, cost is probably the most common concern. And that’s for good reason: it’s very easy to bust your budget on a video production. However, if a video production program is well designed, staffed, and executed, there are ways to not only stay within your budget but to also create more content out of that budget.

Here are a few of the techniques to maximize video production costs for efficiency, throughput, and ROI:

Batching and Templates

When you do something over and over again, you tend to get more and more efficient at it. That’s why “category-level batching” is essential to how we design our more scalable video programs. When we schedule a shoot calendar for the year, we encourage our clients to build shoot-days around a type or category of product. By batching videos in this way, you find several efficiencies. For instance, when all the products being shot on a particular day are similar, you get faster at assembly, styling, lighting, art direction, disassembly, etc. You’re also more likely to be able to repurpose the same set, props, and talent.

Similarly, if all the videos that day follow a specific template, then you can design your shoot in clever ways to drive a lot more efficiency. For instance, if all the videos follow the same structure, then the different types of shots can be easily clustered to save costs (i.e. get all shots with talent in one day instead of two) and/or performed in parallel to maximize throughput (i.e. use a single crew to run two scenes side-by-side with one being styled while the other is being shot).

Flexible Crews

Traditional sets for feature film and television productions often consist of large crews, with each person specializing in a single area. When their specific skills aren’t being used, they often sit idle on the production set. This approach is common, but not the most effective use of dollars or time. To maximize efficiency, it’s best to hire individuals who can serve two or maybe even three roles on set. This way, each crew member can always be helping to drive the overall video program forward, even when tasks they specialize in aren’t the current focus.

Multipurpose Shoots

A video shoot will most often be designed to create a single video or set of videos for one use case (i.e. ad unit, social, etc). This approach, while simple to execute, tends to be quite wasteful. From our experience at Invodo, if you take a strategic, big picture view of your visual content needs, you’ll find that you can create a much broader set of assets from a single shoot.  

For instance, if you are going to send products to a studio to produce feature-benefit videos for your ecommerce site, why not also capture unboxing and assembly/installation videos and photography? You’ve already invested the time and money to send the product somewhere, assemble/style it, build a set, hire talent, etc. Likewise, if you’re going to shoot a branded lifestyle video at a location, why not also capture still photography and lots of b-roll video? That footage will certainly come in handy when you need a lifestyle image, gif, or video clip for a category page, email, social post, or promotional ad unit.   

When you design your shoots accordingly, you find that each dollar goes further; suddenly, a shoot that was going to generate a handful of assets for a single use case now generates hundreds that can be leveraged across your marketing mix. Not only does that save you money, but it elevates the quality and brand consistency of the visuals experienced by your customers.

At Invodo, we have internalized these and several other critical tactics for maximizing the ROI of video production costs. We approach the challenges of each new project by trying to adhere to one fundamental principle: Getting the best-quality video that aligns most closely with brand standards, while consuming the fewest possible resources during the video program.

For more information, contact us to schedule a time to chat about your video goals.

Justin Vallejo