How to Keep Video Production Cost Low as a Content Creator
Video content is the largest source of engagement for creators across most social media platforms. From YouTube to TikTok, Instagram to Facebook, the demand for video is higher than ever, being used by everyone from social media content creators to marketers and solopreneurs. Producing high-quality videos can come with a substantial video production cost if you’re not savvy. Statistics vary, but the many production companies estimate the cost for video production to be between $1,000 and $7,000 per finished minute, with high-quality video trending towards the upper end of that range and beyond1.
Fortunately, there are ways for content creators to create compelling video content while keeping production costs in check.
We’re discussing ways to create and distribute media that performs well and yields results while keeping your video production cost low. Streamlining the production process with efficient methods will have you publishing new video content regularly that boosts engagement and extends your reach to wider audiences.
What Goes Into Video Production Cost?
There’s more to how to become a content creator than pointing your smartphone or camera and recording at random. Successful social media content creators need to produce consistent, high-quality videos to share with their followers to reach wider audiences and continue to grow their accounts. This provides them with better ways to improve their storytelling as well as more effective methods for monetizing content across various platforms. Along with quality, however, comes a cost.
For example, in an interview with Mr. Beast it was disclosed that the YouTube creator spends upwards of $8 million per month on video content production2. While the average content creator doesn’t have access to this kind of budget, there are strategic steps you can take to produce videos that still compete in the social media space without breaking the bank.
So what goes into the cost of video production? You don’t necessarily need to be a well-funded brand in order to create great content. Being aware of the factors that contribute to your video production cost allows you to determine where best to allocate your available resources.
Elements to consider that could impact your video production costs include:
- Equipment: Choosing the best TikTok camera, adding soundproofing to your home studio, or setting up the best lighting for video recording are all equipment choices that impact your video production cost and media quality. Depending on your budget, there are options to help you produce high-quality content at almost every price point.
- Location: Renting studio space or shooting on location may involve fees. Travel expenses and permits for certain locations can also add to the budget.
- Props and clothing: Depending on the content you’re creating, props, costumes, and makeup may be necessary. Each of these contributes toward your overall video production cost, so finding creative ways to reuse or upcycle materials in your content can help keep costs low for future media.
- Post-production: After you’ve finished shooting, post-production processes like editing, sound correction, and adding graphics can require specialized software and expertise. Deciding whether you’re going to edit your own content or hire a video editor will impact your overall video production cost. It’s important to note that time is also a valuable factor for creators, so hiring a video editor may actually help keep production costs low in the long run.
- Music and licensing: Using copyrighted music or visuals without proper licenses can result in legal issues and fines. Purchasing licenses for music or stock footage is a common expense. Depending on the platform, you might be able to circumvent this expense and keep video production cost low by using in-app music and sound libraries.
- Promoting your videos: Promoting your videos through ads, social media campaigns, or collaborations with influencers may be part of the overall budget. Learn how to promote YouTube videos, TikTok collabs, or other social media videos effectively to help with how to keep the cost of video production low as a content creator.
To keep costs manageable, content creators need to find creative solutions, prioritize essential expenses, and leverage the best content creation tools and techniques to stay budget-friendly. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial for ensuring you get the content you want while keeping video production cost low.
Ways to Keep Video Production Costs Low
Being a content creator means you should be publishing new media regularly to keep your viewers engaged and continue to expand your reach. Finding ways to keep video production cost low without sacrificing quality is vital to streamlining your process and maintaining your momentum.
Some of the methods you should consider to keep video production cost low as a content creator are:
- Create a video strategy
- Choose the right content creator tools
- Create video content in batches
- Get the right video equipment
- Stay nimble to keep on top of trends
- Keep it simple and direct
1. Create a Video Strategy
Before they hit the record button, the best content creators have a well-thought-out video strategy in place. You can leave room for adjustments, improvisation, and other pivots, but having a general outline to follow will streamline the production process, ensuring you hit all the beats you want and keeping your overall video production cost low through efficiency.
Know your target audience and the type of content you want to produce. Having a clear plan will help you avoid unnecessary spending and stay focused on creating content that resonates with your audience.
Creator Tip: Learn how to shorten the creative process and keep video production cost even lower by learning how to make AI generated scripts for your media.
2. Choose the Right Content Creation Tools
One of the easiest ways to keep video production costs low is by using affordable yet powerful video editing tools. Successful content creators are streamlining their production process by making effective use of third-party apps to serve a variety of purposes.
A voice over app like MixVoice adds a powerful tool to go from text to speech in seconds. You can get the exact voice over recording you want for your media without having the added expense of paying for one or more human voice over actors. A video caption app like MixCaptions immediately increases social media accessibility and elevates your media to engage viewers immediately. There are also other creator tools like PlaceIt for product mockups, Later for social media scheduling, and even video collage apps for slideshows.
3. Batch Your Content Creation
Efficiency is vital when it comes to keeping video production cost down and streamlining your process. Batching your content creation is an effective way to create enough media to give you a backlog while you continue to produce more.
Setting aside dedicated days to shoot multiple videos in one go can save you time and money in the long run. Plus, shooting multiple videos at once can help maintain consistency in your content. Furthermore, editing your videos in batches ensures you’ll have multiple finished videos at once to continue a consistent posting cadence for your viewers.
4. Choose the Right Video Recording Equipment
While professional cameras and equipment can produce stunning videos, they come with a hefty price tag. Consider your niche and audience when choosing equipment. For many content creators, a smartphone with a good camera and a microphone attachment can deliver high-quality results without the need for expensive gear.
Creator Tip: If you're in need of specific equipment, check out our equipment guides at the end of this article and determine what you need to keep video production cost down without sacrificing quality.
5. Stay Nimble
The ability to shoot content quickly is a valuable skill for content creators on a budget. Invest time in improving your shooting techniques, like framing, lighting, and sound recording. The more you can do in-camera, the less you'll need to rely on costly post-production fixes. This is essential to keep video production cost low and stay on top of trends with high-quality content.
6. Keep It Simple and Direct
Sometimes, less is more. Complex video setups, elaborate special effects, and lengthy scripts can increase production costs and overwhelm your audience. Instead, opt for simple, direct, and engaging content. Focus on storytelling and delivering your message effectively. A straightforward approach can have a more significant impact than a flashy production and keep costs low.
Learning how to keep video production cost low as a content creator allows you to continue producing a steady flow of new media. The key to keeping costs low is planning ahead when possible, honing your skills to stay nimble, using the right creator tools, and streamlining your process from beginning to end. Quality takes priority over quantity, so allocate your budget where it’s most needed and find creative ways to keep costs low where you can.
Content Creator Guides for Choosing Equipment
If you're in need of specific equipment, check out our equipment guides and determine what you need to keep video production cost down without sacrificing quality:
- Choosing the Best Microphones for YouTube Videos
- Choosing the Best Lighting for Video Recording
- Choosing the Best TikTok Camera