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One of the most common questions asked about promo videos is about the cost. Many times, businesses don’t fully grasp what goes into the process and other times, they believe the cost of video production is outside of their budget. Yet, putting a price on promo video development isn’t that easy to do. There are many factors that contribute to the cost.

What’s a Starting Point, Then?

How much does it cost to produce a business video? You can budget between $3,000 to $50,000 on a professional quality video for your promo. However, prices can rise significantly higher – even crossing the $200,000 market in some cases. Again, this depends on what you need, the length, the complexity, and the overall design. That’s a pretty impressive range. And, it can vary even more for some types of productions.

What Factors Contribute to the Price of a Promo Video?

What goes into creating a budget for a promotional video, then? Many factors. Here are just a few things to take into consideration.

  • Who is involved and who needs to be paid? If you are bringing in people to act, it costs more than having your company’s management discuss a product.
  • Which professionals need to be on set? This includes a director, crew members, as well as the team to manage lights and sound. You also need to consider the pre-work that goes into this setup.
  • Production process costs? From the development of the script to the completion of the editing, there are many factors that go into the actual production process. You may need graphics created or you may need very few edits.

This is, of course, just a basic outline. A variety of additional costs play a role in the actual production of your video.

What Is Really Going to Define Your Costs?

The most important factors to determine the cost of video production have to do with what you are creating. An animated video is going to cost much differently than a full on short story. The concept, the script, and the location are a good starting point. Then, there is the need to develop a plan based on the type of cameras and design necessary. Do you need props?

How do you know what to expect when it comes to creating a video budget? Work with a video production company to get an idea of what to expect. Discuss your ideas (if you have them) along with your end goal. Then, you and the team can work out a plan to address every facet of the process. You can end up with a high-quality production without overspending on your budget. The key is to learn what you need based on your business, product, or service.


Posted in: Video Marketing

You’re investing in a new video for your brand or company. Your ultimate goal is to ensure you get the most out of this investment as possible. Video can do many things for your company, but what is essential is to get the details right. Numerous factors can help your video stand out from the competition. However, there are three specific things that contribute the most to how well your video does.

#1: Create an Intriguing Story

To make any video truly memorable, allow it to tell a story – a great story. If you lack a story, no amount of other gimmicks or details will capture your attention. Of course, this can be the most difficult component of the process, too. You need a story that’s interesting, unique, and memorable.

#2: Design with Lighting Perfection

Lighting is more than just ensuring the space can be seen. It is also about creating a display capable of capturing the mood, feel, and overall atmosphere of the video. Getting the lighting, as well as the video’s composition right, can make or break it. Working with a professional can help soothe this concern significantly.

#3: Ensure the Sound Reflects the Video’s Goal

The sound within your video is more than spoken words. It is the music, the background, and the movements of each person in the video as well. If you lack sound, or you have too much or too little of it, you lack the type of emotion-grabbing, drama-for-attention design you want and need. Investing in sound is essential, but you also need to get the right type of sound based on the composition, goal, and the overall medium you plan to use the video in.

These are complex components to any type of video creation. This is what makes working with a video production company so important. But, even if you create a video yourself, if you focus on getting these three areas right, you will see your video perform well.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

Think for a moment about the location of your next video production. Whether you are creating a promotional video or a training video, one thing often overlooked is the actual background. What’s happening behind the person speaking? What should be present in this view? Making the right decision here sets the tone for the rest of your video. What should you know about that background?

Take a look at a few options and determine which one works best for your individual needs. Where you set up your photo shoot really does matter.

Block Out the Background: The Plain, Paper Background

A plain, basic background is one of the most common forms. If you are looking to take all of the focus off what’s happening in the background and instead just want that focus on the person speaking, this is the route to take. It’s easy enough to do with a roll of photo paper. And, this solution lets you set up your photo shoot anywhere.

Add Interest Background: An Office Setting

Let’s say you want to communicate your company’s true personality. You want your customers to see where you work. You want them to be a part of your company. An office background works well. It gives a lot more depth and character to the shoot, whether it is an authentic location or not. Proper positioning and lighting are critical here. You’ll need to ensure everyone in the shoot with you should be there and is doing what you need them to do.

Providing Communication Background: The Whiteboard

Sometimes, your videos need to convey a message that is a bit more difficult to understand. You want to draw on a blackboard or be able to write down information as you go. A whiteboard is an excellent solution for this. Set up your photoshoot in this area if you want to communicate information that’s taken seriously, but you also want to ensure that you can engage one-on-one with your audience. Of course, proper lighting is essential to reduce the risk of a glare.

Setting Up Professionally

Before you move forward with choosing the right background for your project, remember the importance of details:

  • Eliminate any risk of glare. And, be sure to use as much natural light as possible.
  • Color matters. The color behind your subject influences the thoughts of the audience.
  • If you plan to choose frequently, mount your backgrounds properly to ensure they are reliable and easy to manage.

If you’re working with a trusted video production company, it goes without saying they’ll help you choose the right background for your next shot. Which method works the best for your needs?


Posted in: Video Production Tips

It’s time to get your company’s next video produced. You’ve spent a lot of time working on some ideas or you just want the production company to step up and do it all for you. You set up a meeting. You discuss your thoughts and needs. Then, the production company starts talking. What did they say? What does all of this mean?

There are a lot of terms and unique phrases you’ll learn during the video production process. You should know them all so you can play a role in making decisions about your product. But, let’s break down some of those that relate not just to video production but also to video marketing. Are you ready to get started?

Are we filming yet?

It’s a common phrase used by non-production companies. First, there’s no film involved anymore. It is all done using digital video. That’s a good thing because it means it’s more accessible and something we can meld into the right product. When it is time to get the process underway, you’ll hear the phrase “shoot” used. That’s the most common term used to start the recording process.

What is a videographer?

Today, you won’t work with a producer but a videographer. This is a person that operates the camera itself. This professional is one part of the larger production team.

All of that equipment

There’s much of it. Here’s a rundown of a few common terms you’ll hear:

  • Sticks – these are the tripods used to hold up the camera.
  • Sound bites – these are specific phrases or terms we pull in to create the film.
  • B-roll – this term describes additional footage that will go along with what we’re filming at that point to create a finished product.
  • Diffusion – a transparent sheet that helps to reduce the brightness of light.
  • Supers – this term describes the text or graphic that appears during a video presentation.
  • Cutaway shot – this is a shot that breaks away from the continuously filming shot and allows for the inserting of something else before going back to the continuous shot.

What does all of this mean to you, the company looking to have a video produced? Not necessarily much. In most cases, you do not have to play a significant role in the video production process, though your ideas are always gathered to ensure the final result is what you need and want it to be. Today, digital video production focuses on creating a stunning product in the most cost effective manner. Working with the right team helps ensure that you always get the features you want, but knowing a few things about the video shoot, like this terminology, is never a bad thing for your company.


Posted in: Video Production Process

Could video help you to train your team more effective and efficiently? You may be surprised by just how incredible your new hires or even cross-trained individuals do when they can use video as a key component of their learning process. Video offers many benefits – lower costs, more opportunity for customized education, and lots of better results than reading a how-to manual. Yet, pulling it together and ensuring that you can teach your would-be employee or another individual in video takes a bit of practice and organization.

Where to Start

If you are just getting started turning your big training manual into a video production, the first step is to take a deep breath. You have a lot to say and plenty of time to do it, but you need a game plan. You’ll want to first consider the options available to you including video with people and video with animations. Both can work depending on your format.

Next, Create a Plan

Once you know what format you plan to use, the next step is to create a video map. This is simply a diagram that shows what information will be included in the training videos as well as how the information will flow from one step to the next. It’s a good idea to make your content, for example, into smaller chunks. An important tip – don’t go for one long video. Instead, create steps in shorter, five-minute-long videos.

Create the Visual Component

Video is highly effective because it is visual. You’ll need to create a comprehensive game plan for how to make this work that relies on a combination of instructional information as well as visuals. You don’t have to describe every detail of the process – let your visuals such as props, layouts, and location, help to provide information.

More Tips for Success

Transforming your training materials into video format takes a lot of consideration. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • What is the best ROI for this video? Be specific. You need to know what you need the outcome to be before you create the video.
  • Where will this video be watched? You’ll want to consider formatting and design elements within the video based on where your viewers will watch it.
  • Should you include specific learning objectives in the video (yes!) and how do you wish to do this? Simply stating exactly what the employee should learn in the demonstration or training video is a good first step.
  • Who should be a part of this video? Use someone that is clearly spoken, easy to understand, and personable. Training videos are an extension of your company’s brand.
  • Work with a professional video production company to get it right. Don’t assume your smartphone camera is good enough.

Creating training materials through video makes sense, but doing it well means considering a variety of factors. Take the time to really break down what you need from this video and then create a plan to get you there. It may be easier to achieve with the help of a video production company.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

Here’s the bottom line – the lighting you use for your next video will play one of the biggest roles in just how good the final product will be. Lighting problems are not uncommon, but they do need to be resolved if you hope to produce a stellar final product. Here are four common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

#1: Natural light is an option, but not always

Natural light is an important source for video production, but it is not easy to work with. Most projects will benefit, instead, from the use of lights. Properly lighting the scene is essential, but natural light often doesn’t do a good enough job. Keep in mind that investing in lights is an expense that’s nearly always necessary and beneficial.

#2: Those white walls aren’t a good thing

One of the common myths many video makers have is placing subjects against a simple white wall. Let’s be clear – white walls are unflattering to nearly any subject. They offer nothing to your video. Even one that’s freshly painted and sparkling can look dirty and too cheap. Instead, look for the use of backgrounds instead. What about all of those videos you’ve seen with white walls? They can work, but to make them work, you have to put a lot of effort into those walls including lighting them properly to get the right effect.

#3: Too much light on faces is a big problem

Another common mistake made with lighting in videos has to do with how much light you are placing on your subjects, particularly their face. First, start by not using direct light on a person’s face. Doing this makes the individual uncomfortable and he or she will look less put together. Now, that’s not to say you don’t need to light faces. You do, but you need to consider the use of filters or diffusers on that light. You can try to bounce light off ceilings and walls to create a softer feel. It can help to add in light where it is needed, but will not create shadows that otherwise harm your shot.

#4: Those shadows make everyone look strange

Shadows are distracting in any video. Light should always pull in attention to your target or the person in the video who is supposed to be the focal point. However, shadows can easily pull the attention of your viewer in another way. Many people make the mistake of believing they don’t have shadows until they wrap up the photoshoot and begin the editing process. Take the time to really get this right. Make sure you specifically are checking for shadows throughout your shoot.

It’s quite necessary to master the use of light in any video production, but the process is rarely easy to do. With a bit of focus on the right lighting, you can create an impressive video and one that truly puts the spotlight where it is supposed to be – on your subject. These tips give you a fantastic starting point.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

Hiring a video agency could be one of the best decisions you may for your business or personal needs. Let’s face it – video is incredibly important today. It has become the marketing tool for most companies and, without a doubt, it continues to play a role in brand awareness as well as sales material. Yet, many companies make the mistake of trying to producer their own product. While this may be more possible than ever, it rarely provides the same, outstanding quality that is always provided by a top-notch video production team.

Why You Need a Video Production Agency

Hiring a video production agency provides an opportunity for companies to achieve their underlying goals. It also helps to avoid some of the most common challenges present in this industry. If you need great content and video quality, this is where you need to focus. What challenges will you avoid when you bring on a team like this?

#1. You get a solid foundation

The first step is to create a foundation. Know what your goal of the project is. Create a plan that is going to get you there. For example, you’ll need to consider your audience, your script, your location, and your overall goal. Your video production agency can help you to achieve these goals so you have a solid foundation from which to start.

#2: You keep your budget in line

It’s easy to get off track when it comes to creating and building a budget and then trying to produce content for your video on your own. If you want to (or have to) stay within a budget for your video shoot, these professionals will ensure it. You can still have a fantastic end product without the over-the-budget concerns.

#3: The tools are already in place

When you try to shoot your own video, you’ll need to invest in equipment and setup. You’ll need to spend time with lighting configurations. You’ll need to learn how to script a script and edit it. It’s a lot of work not only to complete, but also to learn how it is done. When you hire a professional, on the other hand, they have these skills in place already.

#4: You don’t have to create the story yourself

Sometimes, the hardest part of the video production is the storytelling. You need to develop a story through your video that hits home with your audience. Being so close to the project, this can prove to be very difficult. However, a video production agency can streamline the process for you and ensure your success.

#5: You can achieve a strong ROI

When you hire your video production company, you get a better bottom line and return. They keep the costs in line. They create a story that’s going to get attention. You see better profits. The fact is, you end up with a better ROI if you let the pros do the work.

These factors play an important role in your success. Do you really want to overcome these challenges on your own?


Posted in: Working with a Video Production Company

Before You Start Recording Your Next Shoot, Do This First

When it comes to video production, the details matter. While most people are focused on the video and images, it’s important not to overlook the sound either. A video with poor sound is simply unwatchable. If you’ve invested in a video production company or even your own audio system, you still need to avoid a few common mistakes that can leave your entire production day behind.

Pay Attention to the Sounds Around You

There are very few locations with no sound. Even if you are in a building, there’s still sound outside or around you. It’s important to focus in on the sounds you hear before you begin to produce the video. Listen to the wind, the people you can hear, and even the sounds from people’s phones. It’s important to know what sounds are present and, if necessary, plan around those sounds.

Don’t Forget the Unexpected Sounds

Sound hazards are another risk for any video production. These are sounds that can occur at any time that you may not be thinking about. They include everything from the sound of a car horn to a fire alarm. Most commonly, the problems related to sounds stem from things like smartphones or alarms. Some of these you can plan for by simply turning them off and ensuring they remain off. Other sounds are hard to control. In all cases, you should be aware of the sounds that could happen.

Don’t Ignore Those Ruffling Noises Either

If you’ve worked in sound or video production, you’ve been annoyed by this concern. These are noises that happen due to the materials being used on the set. For example, it may be the clothing that those onset are using. It could be the sound of shoes on the floor as you are filming. Again, in some cases, you can control these (and should do so). In others, you may have to plan mic locations around them. Be mindful while filming of these often unnoticed sounds.

Props and Movement Sounds

Finally, there are the sounds made that you may find very hard to manage. The scraping of a plate across a table, the sound of a person walking making too much noise, and the sounds of papers are all sounds commonly heard in the production later. It’s important to take steps to minimize these types of sounds whenever it is possible. For example, use carpeting to muffle the sound of footsteps. Avoid using props that are hard to hear over (that is a very important step in the planning stages). Taking every effort you can to control the noise of these types of movement and prop sounds on the set during filming is critically important.

There are situations when you cannot stop an unwanted sound from occurring. In these cases, you’ll need to plan for alternatives, such as moving your audio recording to a different location or changing the position of the set. Being mindful of sound, though, can help to lead to a successful shoot.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

Videos are one of today’s most important mediums. Promotional marketing can be expensive and in a downturn economy, every dollar makes a big difference. Your company needs to spend money to get customers in the door, but spending wisely is essential. Many of today’s medium to small companies just do not have the budget for large-scale commercials or big marketing promotions. Yet, with the help of video – created properly and used in the right way – you can achieve your goals and work towards growing your business.

What Are the Benefits of Video Production?

As you take into consideration what you need for your company, zero in on one key factor. What can video production do for your company’s marketing that other products cannot?

It Is Cost Effective: Perhaps one of the best reasons to turn to video production is because it is far less expensive than other methods of marketing. The use of video in your social media content or website can help you to get attention, but it does not cost nearly as much as other products.

It Is Highly Within Reach: Many individuals are spending more time at home. They are spending more time on their smartphones, paging through the variety of posts on Facebook. Video is what many people are looking for on those devices. They are more likely to see this than any commercial you invest in.

It Is Interactive: Another important feature about any type of marketing you are doing today is being interactive. You need to engage and hold the interest of your customer or client. Video makes that possible. You’ll be able to offer something unique, for example animation, that grabs their attention and provides them with key information.

Overall, video production is an excellent investment. It may be a powerful tool that helps your company to stand out from others that are not using this medium yet or as effectively. It comes down to who you decide to work with in fact.

Is It Right for You?

Video should be one of the many marketing tools you use especially when the economy isn’t doing well. It may be one of the best investments you make in any market condition, in fact. Done properly, but true experts, it can help tor provide your customers with more information in a more interesting and interactive way that they will remember. And, it is information that is going to be remembered later, when they are in a buying situation.

In short, when you use video as a key part of your promotional marketing strategy, you get the results you need without having to spend a lot of money to get to that point. Take a closer look at the large amount of flexibility you have with video production today. You may be impressed with just how easy it can be to achieve your goals and still maintain your budget.


Posted in: Video Production Company, Video Production Tips

2012 saw a giant increase in awareness about content marketing as the newest way for businesses to connect with people and create a lifetime customer. What’s new in 2013? Adding video to your content marketing campaign. That’s right – with the unprecedented advent of internet in our lives and YouTube becoming the second largest search engine, video is the newest, most innovative and effective means of content marketing.

What Makes Video So Appealing?

Let’s keep that answer simple – because people love it! Videos are interactive, they move, they talk. They are simply more entertaining and attractive. Plus, videos require much less effort. There is no reading, scrolling through images or typing in detailed search queries. You just press play and watch. That is how convenient videos are, and of course, a one minute video says much more than a 1000 words.

Videos Are Informative On a Whole New Level

A recent Boot Fit Fundamentals video by the retail giant Nordstrom gives its customers a quick video tutorial on how to buy perfectly fitting shoes online. This video has greatly helped boost the company’s sales, and more so, its customers’ loyalty, even though the video is devoid of a classic sales pitch and purely informative.

That is the key to good content marketing. Keeping content genuinely informational and non-salesy, one that gives real value to its customers, goes a long way. Doing so with a video makes the viewers believe in the credibility of your company and result in repeat business and ardent fans.

Two Dimensional Marketing vs. Videos

There will always be a place for text write-ups and image directories. However, video will always be the preferred choice of people. Videos bring your products to life. They can actually show how the product works, as well as showcase its remarkable results. Trying to explain in writing how a vacuum cleaner pulls out dust from the folds in your upholstery using a tiny dismountable attachment can be a lot more tedious and simply, boring. Compare this to a video that shows just how beautifully a dainty looking hostess/homemaker attached to the small brush and swiftly collects all the dust, works much better.

So if you are looking for that perfect platform to launch your online sales campaign, come to Kicker and we will craft you a perfect video that highlights all the strong things about your products and shows its value to the customers, increasing your sales by large numbers.


Posted in: Online Videos, Video Marketing, Video Production

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