5 Tips for Creating Videos on a Small Budget

Megan O'Neill


Last week, we shared an infographic about explainer videos that revealed the production costs for various types of videos: a Live action video could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $50k; animation could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $30k; and a testimonial video could cost up to $500! But what if you don’t have this kind of money to allot to video marketing? We’ve compiled some tips to help you create business videos on a low to zero budget.

Repurpose photos & videos you already have

You may be able to save money on production costs by repurposing photos and videos that you already have. If you have a business website, a Facebook page, or brochures, odds are that you’ve already got a collection of photos (and maybe videos too) that you can use to create a new video. Here are some things to look for photos and videos of:

  • Your product(s)
  • Storefront or workspace
  • You and/or your employees
  • Customers
  • Your logo

These items can be compiled, along with titles and captions that tell your story, to create your video.

Familiarize yourself with DIY video techniques

You don’t have to pay a professional to shoot your video for you – you can do it yourself using an inexpensive consumer camera or even your mobile phone. If you’re going to shoot it yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your video looks professional:

  • Lighting – Always make sure to shoot in plenty of light so your subjects will look their best. You don’t need a fancy lighting kit;shoot in natural light or in a bright room.

  • Stabilize your phone or camera – Shaky footage looks anything but professional, but you can stabilize your phone or camera by holding your elbows against your body, using an inexpensive tripod, or building a makeshift tripod out of books or other items you’ve got lying around.

  • Shoot photos and videos in landscape – Most video players are wider than they are tall. For this reason, it’s important to shoot landscape photos and videos, rather than holding your phone vertically.

For more tips, check out our recent blog post on shooting video on your smartphone, featuring tips from professional photographer Stacy Murphy.

Use internal talent

You don’t have to hire actors for your video – use internal talent. When you and your team are the stars of your video, it helps give your company personality and adds authenticity to your business. Here’s a video we recently created here at Animoto for recruiting purposes, featuring a bunch of our team members.

Use free & affordable editing tools

You also don’t have to hire a professional to edit your video for you. There are a number of free and affordable tools that you can use to compile your photos and video clips to create your video on your own.

Free consumer editing tools include iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, if you’ve got some basic video editing know-how. If you’re short on time and looking for an easier option for creating a professional video quickly, an affordable video maker like Animoto can do the trick. Animoto makes it quick and easy for you to compile your photos and video clips, add titles, captions, and music to create something that looks like it was created by a professional.

Use affordable licensed music solutions

Music is a crucial part of conveying the right message in your videos, but it can be expensive to license music for commercial use. Luckily, there are a variety of free and affordable resources for licensed music. Animoto, for example, offers Professional users a collection of over 3000 commercially licensed tracks.

Have you created a low or zero budget video for your business? We’d love to see it. Drop us a link in the comments below and you may be featured on our blog.

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