Over the past six months I’ve had more than several clients inquire about how they can do social media video production efficiently and on a tight budget. It’s not always an easy solution. Most of our clients hire us to do “beefy” corporate and government videos, which come with appropriate budgets. Since most research shows you need video on your website and social media, the challenge is, how can you get professional results without breaking your bank with big budget video production? Here are some tips to keep in mind before embarking on any social media video campaign:

What is your goal? More clicks? More likes? In-store or on-line purchases? While you may answer “all of the above”, these are all different objectives which require different video strategies. Answering this question will have a lot to do with your video content strategy.

Can you do video in-house? For some, the answer is yes. There very well may be someone on staff who is technically savvy with video production experience. Keep in mind though, you will still need to invest in some equipment which may include an HD camera, tripod, mic, lights, and editing software. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars to get decent gear. I know what you might be thinking-how about our I-Phone? Yes, the new I-Phones shoot really decent video but the odds are still very strong you will not get the results you are looking for and the process will be extremely frustrating for the person responsible for the videos. I-Phones are best for capturing your kids first bike ride, not for video production projects because the video always ends up shaky and it’s difficult to hear the audio.

How can you get affordable external video support? Again, it’s not always an easy solution but there are ways to get it done using an outside vendor. Most professional video productions are staffed with at least two, and some times three or more people, based on the scope of the production (photographer, audio tech, producer, grip). However, for simple social media video needs, it may be entirely possible to get you what you need with a one man band crew. Again, this assumes a simple production which  may include a single interview and some B-Roll footage. One man band crews can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in crewing costs. Additionally, if you know you have a regular need for weekly or monthly video, you may be able to get more bang for your buck by offering a monthly retainer. Vendors love retainers because it provides them with regular work. You may be able to get a better rate that way.

Come up with interesting content ideas. This may not be as easy as it sounds. What may seem like a great video idea to you may not be interesting at all to your followers. All great videos are visual. They show something. They tell an interesting or compelling story. They move at a fast pace. Social media videos do not have to be long! People have very short attention spans. When is the last time you watched a five minute video on-line? When it comes to social media video-less is more.