Budgeting for Video 101: Everything You Need to Know

January 1, 2024 by dan stafford

Video marketing has emerged as the undeniable powerhouse. It can captivate audiences and drive engagement like never before, on a number of platforms. As a dynamic and versatile medium, video marketing enables your business to tell compelling stories, showcase products, and connect with your target audience.

But while the impact of video on audience engagement is clear, the challenge for many businesses lies in understanding how to allocate budget and resources effectively to harness the full potential of video marketing and get maximum return on the investment. Many marketing managers and marketing directors will find themselves grappling with questions such as:

  • How much should we allocate for video marketing?
  • Do we need a separate TikTok video marketing budget?
  • What types of videos should we invest in for our current goals? 
  • Can we achieve a high-quality video within this budget constraint? 
  • Should we work with video marketing agencies or video freelancers?
  • Can our video investment work across multiple platforms?
  • Will my video investment actually bring a return? 


With trends shifting every quarter and video rising in importance within every marketing strategy, marketing managers are having to take a video-first approach. In this blog, our team at the Bearded Fellows will work to demystify the process of budgeting for video, helping you to understand how much you need to invest, the nuances of production costs and tips for maximising your video marketing budget.

Budgeting for Video 101: Everything You Need to Know | Bearded Fellows | Video Production Agency

The 3 Stages of Video Costs

When planning for your upcoming video project or campaign, it can be easy to ignore many of the important (cough – expensive) elements that play a fundamental role in the success of your video. From casting fees to graphic design, there are so many skill sets that come together to make an engaging and successful video. All of this is worked into your overall quote from your video agency or animation studio


Costs pre-production

Before the cameras start rolling, it’s crucial to outline the scope of your project comprehensively. What is the story you wish to tell, and how will you bring it to life? The script requires writing, becoming the backbone of your video and therefore investing time and resources in developing a script that aligns with your brand voice and resonates with your target audience is crucial. 

So once all the above is done are we ready to go? Not quite. First we need to spend time sourcing locations – a much more intensive job that many expect. Selecting the right location is more than just choosing a picturesque backdrop—it’s about enhancing the storytelling experience. We always recommend you allocate budgetary resources for location scouting, enabling your video agency to find environments that complement your narrative, ensuring a seamless integration of visuals and storyline. You’ll also have the costs associated with talent sourcing and auditioning. 

Take a sneak peak of our recent project for BBC’s Peaky Blinders to see how location scouting can sometimes take a different turn (although, we make it work, every single time).


Costs during production

When it comes to the actual process of shooting, you’re largely paying for the actual time and skill, rather than the planning processes. Each location will have its own fee, every person their own day rate and your video agency may also need to hire additional equipment and props for your planned video project.

Of course, you’ll also have the essentials. From transportation to catering, small expenses can add up. Don’t stress about remembering everything – that’s what your video agency is for and they’re likely to work these costs into their quote to ensure that all logistical aspects are seamlessly managed. 


Costs post-production

Once everything is shot, what else is worked into your overall video marketing cost? Once the cameras wrap and the footage is captured, there is still significant work to perfectly craft a polished final product. From editing to sound design and graphics, to multiple repurposed edits for different channels; video agencies have to account for many more days or weeks of work to get your video campaign up to scratch. 

Video agencies require skilled editors who can bring your story to life, ensuring a seamless flow and visual continuity. Whether it’s motion graphics, visual effects, or on-screen text, graphics play a pivotal role in elevating your video’s visual appeal and video agencies have to account for having these skilled professionals in their organisations. Further, sound designers will add depth and emotion, or your video agency may even incorporate musicians or source licensing to use specific songs within your project. 

Finally, your budget should also anticipate the need for revisions during post-production. Allocating a portion of your budget for additional edits ensures that your video agency has the flexibility to refine the video until it meets your vision, or repurpose into different formats for other channels and campaigns in future. 


6 Important Considerations that Will Affect Your Video Cost

As you can see, budgeting for your video project is no easy feat and it can be hard to estimate how much you’ll need for your dream video marketing project. We recommend you speak to a few agencies or potentially an award-winning video agency to discuss your idea – this will give you clarity on your budget and what’s possible. It’ll also enable you to find a team that fits your style of working and see who understands the brief best.

Budgeting for Video 101: Everything You Need to Know | Bearded Fellows | Video Production Agency

That said, there are some key considerations that have the biggest impact on your video cost. Here are six important questions to consider when budgeting for your video marketing project.


1. Is it video or animation? 

The fundamental decision between live-action video and animation sets the tone for your budget. As above, live production involves location scouting, talent fees, and equipment rental as well as pre and post editing time and the skill sets associated with this, while animation itself demands highly skilled animators and graphic designers. The intricacies of each choice carry different cost implications, steering your budget in distinct directions. Generally speaking, video is more expensive due to the number of individuals required on the project, as well as the number of skills required and the logistics to make it happen. 

Take a look at our handpicked animations in our recent blog post: Top Animations We Love.


2. What kind of video or animation? 

For both types of video work, the variety of styles is vast. A simple explainer video, a product demonstration, or a cinematic brand narrative—each has its unique requirements. The complexity of the chosen style will inevitably impact the level of expertise needed, subsequently influencing the budget required and the quote provided by your video agency. 


3. How many people and skill sets will be required? 

Again, this is largely influenced by whether your project is video or animation. Consider the size and expertise of the team required to bring your vision to life. Skilled professionals, from directors and cinematographers to animators and graphic designers, contribute to the quality of your video. The larger and more specialised the team, the higher the associated costs.


4. How long would you like the video to be, and how many videos will you require?

The length of your video and the number of repurposed edits required will have a direct impact on costs. Longer videos may necessitate additional shooting time, editing, and post-production efforts. Similarly, producing a series of videos for your YouTube channel or to A/B test within your marketing strategy will require a comprehensive strategy as well as plenty more additional editing time. 


5. Is there any voiceover, licensed or bespoke music, SFX or soundscaping required? 

The auditory dimension of your video, including voiceovers, music, and sound effects, adds a layer of complexity and cost. Licensing bespoke music or employing voiceover talent incurs additional expenses, contributing to the overall budget. Striking the right balance between audio quality and budget constraints is crucial.


6. What is the turnaround time for your project? 

Finally – urgency can have a heftier price tag. If your video or animation campaign demands a swift turnaround, the need for expedited processes and additional resources may increase costs. Planning for a realistic timeline allows for a more balanced and cost-effective production schedule, so this is worth considering when scoping your budget.


Potential Unexpected Costs for Your Video Project

No matter how well-planned your video project, it’s likely there will be some unexpected costs during the process. Trust us, we’ve been making video campaigns for global brands and organisations for over 12 years! 

Unforeseen location fees, last-minute script revisions, or unanticipated post-production requirements can all contribute to hidden costs. Licensing fees for music, voiceovers, or even unexpected talent needs can also emerge as curveballs. 

Acknowledging the existence of these potential unexpected costs is the first step towards a well-prepared and resilient video budgeting journey and should always be taken into account when planning your video cost. At Bearded Fellows, we always work to a fixed fee and charges will only fluctuate if there is a change in scope, which we will flag at the earliest opportunity.

On the other hand, you can always maximise the use of your video content for multiple platforms. For our top tips on how to do this effectively, take a read of our blog post “Video Content Repurposing: The Smart Way to Boost Your ROI“.


Working with the Bearded Fellows 

At Bearded Fellows, we’ll always do our best to maximise your ROI on your video or animation investment and aim to work with you closely as an ongoing video content partner. We provide clear quotes to minimise any hidden or unexpected fees and with over 15 years experience, we have a good understanding of where there may be costs that you didn’t expect. 

Further, we’ll always do our best to get the most for your budget, presenting our best creative ideas for your brand or organisation. Contact our team to discuss your upcoming video or animation project. 

Do you want to discuss a project? Get in touch with us

What our clients say about us

"I was provided with a clear schedule, with regular check-in points, and provided with opportunity to flex where necessary. Deliverables arrived on time, every time, and were to an incredibly high standard with very little feedback from us."

- Ross Garner, Head of Learning Experience, Emerald Works

"Their work has been the driving force behind us redefining our brand within the marketplace. We now have a stronger social media presence, and our video performance has increased year-over-year."

- Senior Content Marketing Executive, Kaplan

"As a result of the new content, third-party clients have seen marked increases in ROI"

- Laura Murphy, Managing Director, NBE Digital

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