July 24, 2017

Video costs WHAT?! The Truth about Value and ROI

corporate video production costs
The “Shock and Awe” of getting a video quote. Photo Courtesy: Ben White

Never fails. A client new to video excitedly calls to request a quote for their video project. Delivery of said quote results in radio silence. 

Why? Because they are experiencing a severe case of sticker shock.

It plunges them from the highs of creative excitement to the depths of empty-pocketed despair. 

People want video.

They understand the need for video in a crowded internet marketplace. They get stuck on what video costs. What they don’t understand is its value.

It’s time to flip the mindset.

Don’t consider video an expense – It’s 1000% an investment, most likely the best you will ever make for your small business in terms of garnering attention, engagement, and new customers.

Take a moment to soak that in because it’s not just self-promotional backslapping, as that’s not our style.  If your video is done in the right way, with the right message tailored to your audience’s needs, it can save and, yes, (yes!) make you money.  

Like any advertising or marketing, you have to spend money to make money.

92% of video marketers in 2023 have reported video providing them a good ROI (return on investment) – that’s an all-time high.  Five years ago, only 78% of video marketers felt the same way.  That’s a 14% increase!

Here are some video examples that can save or make you money.

Fundraising Videos

Forgive stating the obvious, but the most straightforward example of a money-making opportunity is a fundraising video.

Non-profits can find success by telling stories that invite their audience to empathize. 



Product Videos

People do all their research online now before they decide to purchase. Make sure the benefits of your product are clearly and concisely explained. It also helps to wrap it up in a sexy treatment:



An increase in sales can easily calculate video costs. Was the product video part of an email campaign? How many people opened the email, clicked through to the video, and then to your e-commerce site?  Chalk purchases up to a “win” for video.


Animated Videos

Animated videos are wonderful for explaining more complicated topics.

Especially for manufacturing or technology clients, an animated (or partially animated) video is the simplest way to explain your value proposition. 

If people don’t understand what your product or service does, they won’t sacrifice their hard-fought budget for it.



Training Videos

Save your brand time (and therefore money) in training.

No, they’re not the Maserati of video, but they serve a distinct purpose and promote efficiency and safety.

So… the Volvo of videos. Still valuable and still worth the investment if it means cutting out the in-person training you have to conduct quarterly.


Internal Communications

Employees are an audience like any other. They’re people. They’re busy. They have lives. They need to be engaged to perform at their best, and a spreadsheet won’t make people hula hoop over your content. 

If you want to ensure they’re ingesting and internalizing your messaging, you must make the communications interesting.  

Your employees can be your brand’s strongest advocates and megaphones to the outside world.

Don’t forget them.


Branded Entertainment

We’ve been touting the benefits of branded entertainment for more than ten years, and it’s finally catching on with more brands.

They understand this kind of content offers near-complete escapism from standard advertising where the mantra is an aggressive “Sell. Sell. Sell.” 

Branded entertainment is the opposite. 

It’s a handshake.

A hug.

A warm introduction to your brand.

The goal is to engage with your audience through content that enriches their lives in some way and gives them something they can’t get elsewhere, like a behind-the-scenes series. American Express did this wonderfully with Taylor Swift:


Branded entertainment can increase brand awareness, affinity, and loyalty. You don’t have to sell your product all the time.

Be relatable. Be funny. Be real.

The level of brand inclusion in these pieces can be diverse. It’s as involved as your team wants it to be. It can include something as simple as product mentions or product placement, sure, but consumers are experts by now in spotting the obvious, as satirically eviscerated here:




Sometimes, the plot or storylines can have nothing to do with the brand. You can have a “sponsored by” tag or title card.

To us, that’s dangerous territory because the audience isn’t necessarily going to connect the dots between an aspirational message of going on journeys with your lampshade brand. It just won’t make sense. It won’t stick.


The best branded entertainment includes the brand organically by becoming true co-creators in the storylines.  Show talent (hopefully real people) using your product or service daily. That journey example works with a tire brand, a travel brand, or even a retirement brand.


Hy-Vee is a grocery store brand that showcases this type of brand entertainment on its platform, HSTV. Check out how they’re entertaining people by focusing on the foodie audience and watching our show, Cin Cin to Italian.


Brand awareness is a nice and important tool in your marketing toolbox, and even though I just told you not to sell, sales can, and should be an expected result.


Proving ROI in video

Video metrics have come a long way. People used to say, “I need a video,” without considering the cost, maybe because it was the new hot marketing tool (ah, how I miss those days). But, like any marketing, video has matured. Like a teenager turned adult, you now expect more accountability.

Tools are in place to not just track vanity metrics (meaning stats that don’t count towards your return on investment directly), like likes and shares.

Analytics tools also allow you to figure out the device and operating system a person used when they watched; their location; average percentage watched, and average finished. 

You can do user experience testing and optimization and track conversion rates.

Did potential customers take the action you wanted them to at the end of your video?  If so, that’s definitive proof it worked.

If you’re still concerned about video costs, consider the cost of not having a video in a marketplace that is clamoring for them.  

It’s been proven repeatedly that professionally produced video consistently outperforms and out-converts all other forms of advertising in almost every vertical out there.

People are now much more visual; a professionally made brand video or explainer video will give them what they want.

Information is power.  Now that you know the benefits and some available metrics behind the video, take this knowledge to heart and go after those video projects.

Rip off the band-aid and embrace the spending; as with most major investments you’ll make, you will be happy you decided to take the leap of faith.


Have you seen or created a video campaign with amazing results lately? Share the case study with me and win a chance to be featured in our next video round-up!