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The Art of Budgeting While Crafting Explainer Videos 

Imagine you have a groundbreaking idea, a product that’s destined to revolutionize industries or a service that could change lives. You’ve heard the buzz about explainer videos – the golden ticket to conveying complex messages in a matter of minutes. But, as excitement bubbles, so does the pressing question: How do you budget for the creation of a stellar explainer video that not only captivates your audience but also aligns with your financial compass? 

Main Elements to Consider While Budgeting 

Either you’re a startup entrepreneur looking to make your mark or an established business aiming to refresh your brand narrative. To do this, you’ll need compelling explainer videos. Behind the scenes of these engaging visual narratives lies a strategic art: budgeting. Crafting an outstanding explainer video demands not only creative finesse but also a meticulous approach to financial planning. In this guide, we’ll dissect the key components that deserve your attention when budgeting for the creation of exceptional explainer videos. 

Video Length and Complexity

Length: The duration of the explainer video is a significant factor. Longer videos generally require more time for scripting, shooting, and editing, affecting the overall cost. 

Complexity: The complexity of the video can influence pricing. Like in the case of animation whether it’s 2D, 3D, motion graphics, or a combination, cost can vary to a great extent. In the case of live-action commercials, costs generally inflate because of location, permissions, equipment, actors and allied crew members like art designers, make-up artists, etc. 

Animated vs live action ad films of Coca-Cola 

Script and Storyboard Development 

The cornerstone of any successful explainer video is a compelling script. A well-crafted narrative ensures that your message is clear, engaging, and memorable. 

Script Quality: The quality and depth of the script contribute to the overall effectiveness of the video. A chunk of your cost will go away for scriptwriting services if extensive research or creative input is required. Skilled scriptwriters who understand your brand and can distil complex concepts into a concise and captivating storyline charge higher. 

Storyboard Detail: A detailed storyboard outlining the visual sequence helps streamline the production process.The script writers charge based on the complexity and level of detail in the storyboard. The charges further go up based on the level of creative inputs they give in terms of mood board, setting a unique tone of the narrative, fixing the colour palette, and so on. 

Pic Courtesy: careerfoundry.com   A scriptwriter drawing a detailed storyboard 

Style of Video 

The visual style of your explainer video sets the tone for your brand and impacts the overall production cost.  

2D vs. 3D Animation: 2D animations are often more budget-friendly, complex 3D animations can add a layer of sophistication but come at a higher cost. 3D animation is generally more time-consuming and resource-intensive, leading to higher costs. 

2d Animation. Copyright Disney 

3d Animation. Copyright 20th Century Fox 

Motion Graphics: If the explainer video relies heavily on motion graphics, companies might adjust pricing to reflect the skill and time involved in creating visually appealing graphic elements. 

Live-action Videos: Live-action videos can escalate video production budgets due to several factors. Firstly, the inclusion of professional actors demands higher fees, adding a substantial cost. 

Secondly, securing specific shooting locations involves expenses such as permits, set design, and crew travel.  

Additionally, live-action productions require a larger crew and specialized equipment, contributing to increased costs.  

The intricate post-production work, including colour correction and audio enhancement, further adds to the budget.  

Lastly, unforeseen challenges during live-action shoots, like weather conditions or unexpected script changes, may necessitate additional resources, impacting overall production expenses. 

Voiceover and Sound Design 

The voice that narrates your story and the sounds that accompany the visuals play a crucial role in the overall impact of your explainer video. 

Professional Voice Talent: Hiring professional voiceover artists can contribute to the overall cost. The reputation and experience of the voice actor can also influence pricing. 

Sound Design Quality: High-quality sound design enhances the viewer experience. Budgets increase for intricate sound effects and music composition. 

This explainer video by PayPal is a great example of how the creators have weaved professional voice talent into the video. 

Professional Expertise 

While DIY approaches may seem cost-effective, the value of professional expertise cannot be overstated. It not only ensures a polished end product but also streamlines the production process, saving both time and money in the long run. 

Experience and Reputation: Established video production companies with a strong portfolio and reputation in the industry may charge higher rates for their expertise. Experienced cinematographers, models, animators, scriptwriters, and voiceover artists are adept at bringing your vision to life. Hiring them for your project will inflate your budget as well. 

Take a look at the professionally crafted explainer video of Airbnb. It employs a captivating blend of live action and animation to showcase the distinctive and affordably priced offerings available through its platform to users. 

Distribution Channels 

The choice of distribution channels can significantly impact the cost of video production. Different channels have varying technical specifications, formatting requirements, and delivery methods.  

Pic Courtesy: buzzflick.com   Different Distribution Channels of Videos 

Platform-Specific Requirements: Producing content for traditional broadcast television may involve higher production standards and costs compared to creating videos for online platforms with more relaxed technical specifications.  

Streaming services like Hulu, often require specific video and audio codecs, bitrates, and resolutions for optimal streaming quality. This may also affect the pricing. If you plan to distribute your explainer videos across multiple channels, the cost will go up because of separate technical and formatting specifications. 

Modifications and Revisions 

The creative process often involves iterations and revisions. Allowing room for revisions prevents unnecessary financial strain and ensures that your final product aligns seamlessly with your vision. 

Number of Revisions: Companies often include a certain number of revisions in their pricing. Additional revisions beyond the agreed-upon amount may incur extra charges. 

Timeline Considerations 

Video production companies may charge additional fees for projects with tight deadlines or those requiring expedited delivery.  

Tips for a Fair Budget: Quality Without Compromise 

Crafting an exceptional explainer video on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. Here are practical tips to ensure your financial plan aligns with your creative vision. 

Prioritize Key Elements 

Identify the core elements crucial to conveying your message effectively. Prioritize spending on high-impact components such as a compelling script, professional voiceover, and clean sound design. By focusing on these key elements, you ensure that even with budget constraints, your video retains its efficacy. 

Embrace Simplicity in Animation 

While complex animations can be visually appealing, simplicity can be just as effective, if not more so. Opt for a clean and straightforward animation style that complements your message. This not only reduces production costs but also enhances viewer understanding. 

The explainer video of Google employs a simple animation and straightforward visuals to demonstrate the functionality of the router’s ‘congestion sensing’ technology. 

Explore Cost-Effective Software 

Take advantage of cost-effective animation and video editing tools. Many tools offer a balance between affordability and functionality. Research and choose software that aligns with your project requirements without breaking the bank. 

Consider Stock Assets 

Incorporate stock elements such as stock footage, stock images, music, sound effects, and even animation templates. This can significantly cut down costs while maintaining a professional finish. Just ensure that the stock assets seamlessly integrate into your unique narrative. Check out stock libraries for your b-rolls in your live-action explainer videos. 

Optimize Video Length 

The length of your explainer video can impact production costs. Optimize the duration based on your message and platform requirements. Shorter videos often not only save time but also cater to today’s audience with shorter attention spans. 

Bundle Services 

When working with external professionals, explore bundled services. Some studios or freelancers may offer package deals for scriptwriting, location scouting, animation, voiceover services, etc. This not only streamlines communication but can also result in cost savings. 

DIY within Limits 

While professional expertise is invaluable, there may be aspects you can handle in-house without compromising quality. Consider DIY options for tasks that align with your team’s skills, such as initial script development or basic storyboard sketches. 

Leverage Student or Emerging Talent 

Consider collaborating with students or emerging talent in the video production field. While they may be building their portfolios, their fresh perspectives and enthusiasm can contribute to a high-quality end product at a more affordable rate. 

Budgeting for an explainer video is not about cutting corners; it’s about finding the balance between cost efficiency and quality. By understanding the essentials and employing smart budgeting strategies, you pave the way for a visual narrative that not only captures attention but also delivers a compelling message. 

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