Piggy bank shoestring budget

Video is understandably an attractive medium for brands – it’s creative, gets the message out and stylishly shows off products and services in action.

Take Ted Baker, for example. Last year, the brand teamed up with with film director Guy Ritchie to launch a short video that allowed consumers to click and buy featured products. It even launched its own video series using Instagram Stories in March.

Campaigns like this require the type of budget that most smaller brands can only dream of. And as marketers are under ever more pressure to prove their worth, taking a savvy approach is never a bad idea.

Managing any kind of campaign or production can be daunting, though, especially when trying to do it on a smaller budget. Brands need to make sure they achieve the right look and feel, while at the same time making a big impact.

With that in mind, Marketing Week has lined up some straightforward tips to make the most of a small budget when making video.

1. Fail to prepare = prepare to fail

While this might seem slightly superfluous, it is easy for brands to dive straight into filming without any consideration of the video’s message, timing or desired outcome. Planning ahead means the project will be less likely to go over budget, helping brands avoid expensive reshoots and wasted investment.

Brands should firstly define their goals and what they want the video to achieve. Clarity on the video’s key messages will ensure marketers stay on track.

Each piece of video content should also include a call to action, which acts as an instruction for the viewer and helps to provoke an immediate response. If the goal is to drive traffic to a website or sign people up to a newsletter, then define this at the outset and build a call to action into the video that looks to achieve this.

“For example, if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, your call to action could be something as simple as including a clickable hyperlink at the end of your video,” says Dror Ginzberg, CEO of online video creation platform Wochit.

Is your video meant to be lighthearted and funny? If you don’t know, then your audience won’t know either.

Dror Ginzberg, Wochit

“As with any form of marketing, you need to define a clear brand style, or build upon your existing style. Is your video meant to be lighthearted and funny? If you don’t know, then your audience won’t know either.”

Another important starting point is audience identification. Much like you’d never release a product or service without undertaking market research, the very same principle applies to creating and distributing video content.

“There are a host of tools available which can help with audience identification, but if you’re short on time a really quick shortcut can be researching and analysing your competitors’ video output. The chances are they are likely to be going after the same audience and this approach can help you to identify your target audience quicker,” Ginzberg adds.

Finally, it’s also worth considering what the video is for. If content is pinned on a time-limited issue, such as an event in the news, brands need it quickly and therefore won’t have time for a big production.

Conversely, if it’s a video that will sit on a corporate website for 18 months, it must look polished as it will represent the brand for a significant period. In this instance it’s almost as important as a brand’s above-the-line activity.

“If a…