The cost of Corporate Video

Are you paying too little for video?

"It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it’s aswell to add something for the risk you run. And if you have to do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. – John Ruskin (1819-1900)" I saw this quote on Facebook this week and it really resonated with me. I’ve written before about the ‘£99 video’, and the DIY effort of a longstanding business to generate its own corporate video, and ‘you get what you pay for’ has never been more true. Every business needs to monetize their own time and understand whether DIY is the best and most cost-effective approach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage vlogging and videos made by business owners on their own camcorders. These can be really effective ways of communicating with the audience. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. Time is money. A company producing its own video(s) MUST know how much that is costing. If an executive is spending two hours shooting and editing, what has that cost the company? Is that his/her best use of time? More importantly, what is the return? Value, as well as cost, needs to be understood. What leads has the video generated, how many customers? Even, at a basic level, how many people have seen the video? I’m sure that if more businesses took a hard look at their View count on YouTube, they ought to be having a light bulb moment that says “Is this worth the effort?” Or is the response really “It doesn’t matter, it didn’t take much time”? If it doesn’t matter whether a marketing effort has succeeded, why was it undertaken in the first place? Failures are not free, they cost money, both in time and lost opportunities. Yes, they are educational – mistakes are good learning points. A good point to learn is that you usually can’t pay a little – or nothing – and get a lot. It isn’t just video too – it applies to doing your own website, making up your own flyers in MS Word, or getting free business cards off the web. Your customers will find you out. You – like the professionals you should be outsourcing to – should sell on value, not cost. Everyone can have a stab at doing everything themselves  (well, expect maybe brain surgery.) A professional can’t work for free, but can probably get a much better outcome than a client who takes a zero-cost marketing approach. When it comes to the cost of Corporate Video, is ‘free’ costing you?