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Why You Need More Than $500 For an Explainer Video and Why Neil Patel May Be Wrong!

Mar 14, 2017 9:43:23 AM

As a Sales Professional in an explainer video production house, my peers always come back to me and say, hey I have this client, who will close, but he has a very low budget, can we help him? My constant response is to advise them not to make this video at all, save that $500 or $1000.  All it takes is one poorly made video to destroy the years of hard work and investment that a company took to build a brand and if they are trying to establish themselves, they are digging a hole so deep that there is no way up.

What irks me the most is that even influencers on the internet seem to have simplified the creation of an animated video as if it were a modular approach (Stop Creating Explainer Videos, You’re Doing It All Wrong! - by Neil Patel). What one needs to know is that even if you get the best script writer, the best illustrator and the best animator working on a project without collaborating, the chances are it will fail. In the same manner, hiring a neighborhood teenager to make you a simple animation video using some fancy easy to use software, isn’t going to work either.

Take a moment to think about it, if someone comes to you and says our explainer video cost is $75 or even $500. Do they know about your industry? Do they know what your target audience’s preferences are? Do they even care about it? Do they understand why they are using a certain style of video? Are they handcrafting a video for you?  There are so many elements, a concept, a strategy and putting in the emotional anchors, relating and moving an audience through their buying process, overturning their mental objections in the video making process. It’s a skill, it’s an art and it needs a team of artisans with experience to pull it off.  Shopping around for the cheapest quote to make your explainer video without introspection is JUST PLAIN WRONG!

While an explainer video is offered anywhere for $100 to $35,000 for the same style, what is right and what is wrong and who do you choose? I have a simple answer for you, take what you pay your top sales guy each month, your video will be doing his job 24/7. So you multiply it by three and multiply it by the time taken to make that video. That should be your budget, if you don’t have that budget, don’t make one. Create a corpus, hone your strategy, time it perfectly and then go ahead and find an Agency to make one for you.

Yes, creating a very good animated explainer video can take time, sometimes even a couple of months, trust me, a good studio will make sure that this time and the money spent, translate into an unbelievable ROI for you for years to come. See what happened to Dropbox, all it took is one simple explainer and they have never looked back, Millions of subscribers flocked to them like a moth to flame on account of the video in their landing page and a very smart marketing strategy.

During my Engineering days, there is a story that always interested me, it was about an engine that wouldn’t start despite the best of minds trying to weave their magic, and they call a grand old man, who turns a screw and the engine gets going. He charges a bill of $10,000 and when asked why he says, $1 to turn the screw and $9,999 to know which one to turn.

Making an animation video is much like knowing the right screw to turn, it’s not often the best script, the best-looking video that turns attention, it is the culmination of the experience of knowing what works when and bringing that to life so that it makes an impact on the target audience. It’s juxtaposition of the four tenants of video making:

  1. The Objective of the video - What do you want to do with your video? Sell more, create awareness, explain a complex feature?
  2. The Message of the Video - What would the video say, a story, a ground-breaking idea, statistics??
  3. Target Audience - Who are your target audience, not everyone is going to buy your product.
  4. Use Case - Are you making this for your website, social media, for a conference, for your television.

The combination of these pillars, decide the style of the video, the approach, and the pricing. (Checkout the various animation video styles here).

So next time, when you shop around for prices, please shop around for an agency. Ask them questions about their team, what their backgrounds and credentials are.Chances are that if they still offer you to make a video for $500, they aren’t an agency, you are going to get one person to make your video and will be the project manager, the script writer, the illustrator, and the animator.

Ask about their process, ask about their assets and ask for case studies and references, find out where their strength lies, are they experts in infographics? are they specialists with Software SAAS? do they have specialization in not-for-profits? Once you can sort the quotes from a multitude of agencies, you have a level playing field. You can compare the prices now. Remember to compare apples to apples and not to oranges.


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