Why is video so expensive?

Too many times, we have heard this remark and many times we have to inform them on why it is so. Here is a clearer understanding why video is expensive but something that pays its dues many times over if executed properly.



A video is measured not in the length of the clip, but in the amount of manpower it takes to pull it off. Take your TVC or superbowl ad for instance. Those are a huge crew of at least 9-12 people to capture the footage. That does not take into account the talents, the production crew that sets up the logistics for the shoot as well as your post production team to handle it. Even for a small and inexpensive youtube video, it would take a generalist who can shoot, edit and produce a video anywhere from 2-6 weeks to do it by himself. Taking into account that video is a skilled worker similar to an accountant, how much would he cost before considering all the other few factors?


Location and Casting

I put location and casting together because it is what we refer to as production cost; amount of money spent on set during production. Even staging, make-up, equipment and transport falls under this category. Location and casting can get extremely expensive very quickly based on 2 factors; namely fame and numbers. The more well known a location or a talent is, the more expensive it would cost to execute it. Likewise for numbers of cast and location.


Equipment Cost

Think about video as cooking a meal for a group of people. Sometimes, it can be a simple catering effort (aka doing basic videos to put out information) while other times it could be a 8 course meals at a Michelin Restaurant (aka branding and strategy video). The equipment varies based on what is needed to capture the scenes and how the video is to be distributed. You will not want to shoot a video with your iphone and then use that footage to be placed on tv even though it is HD ready, right?



Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TV, Outdoor Media. In the industry, we called it platform. The more offline the platform is, the more expensive it is to make. This is because in order to make the video visually stunning for that platform, we need to get cameras that allows us to shoot video in RAW in order to preserve as much colour and data for us to maximise in post production. If we shoot with a camera that does not preserve those data and simply creates a video with the colours burnt into it already, it will then become near impossible to increase the saturation, boost the contrast without the video becoming pixelated or have noise everywhere (like how you try to take a picture in the dark with no flash).


This is the most subjective item in the whole list. Ideas can range based on which company came up with it to the amount of justifiable man-hours it takes to arrive on this idea. However, ideas are erratic and not like other forms of labour where it is justifiable by a certain amount hours it takes to execute it. Generally, ideas and gross profit is counted together as an easier sum to bill clients with based on the potential time and effort takes to execute it. This means an idea could account for around 10-15% of the price charged to clients. This does not mean you should play hard ball and press the price down further, but rather understand that it is a measure of the amount of sleepless nights, snacks, coffee and major department efforts to come up with an idea that is succinct and speaks to your viewers directly.


With those factors in mind, it is then easier to figure out what works best for you in terms of video and perhaps you will have a greater understanding how cost is calculated in the video.

The benefits of hosting videos on Facebook

Previously, we discussed the key factors that you might want to consider to host your videos on Youtube. Today, we are going to everyone’s favourite platform, Facebook. Here are the key benefits of hosting your videos on Facebook.



Even the best videos fail if no one is around to watch it. A lot of marketers chose to use Facebook as their default hosting platform for videos because it allows them to leverage the audience they have put considerable amount of effort into getting. Since you are already talking to them with your post, articles, pictures (hopefully not only with cute cats), why not put some video along with your other media instead? This is an ideal approach for companies that have to sieve through loads of different content from different departments, regions or different events to take care of. Place it all in one place where everyone is already seeing it.


Erratic Posting

The secret sauce to success of social media is frequency, how often you post something of value to your audience. Unfortunately, business demands are very different. Imagine having to sort out your scheduled post on Facebook when suddenly an in house event requires your attention, or worst, your colleagues turn in sick after a long weekend away and now you are stuck with double the workload and half the time to complete it. Erratic posting of videos are still sort of acceptable for the online community because it is like a dessert after a meal; unexpected and is the sprinkles on top of your marketing cakeĀ (sorry for the heavy dessert reference). As long the bulk of your post are scheduled ie. articles are sent out same time every day and suddenly there is a video that either replace an article or on top of what they usually would get from you, your online audience will not only be surprised but also grateful something extra came unexpected, making it easier to buy into your brand.


Versatile Ad

Most people turn to Facebook for a more inexpensive approach to ads. Instead of creating a video ad purely for Youtube, you can use any article as an ad basis for Facebook. Select the post you are intending to use to garner views, pay Facebook for the reach you are looking for and sit back and wait for the corresponding results. It allows you to not only figure out what kind of content they are looking for but also which audience demographics you ought to change for each of the medium types. Having this versatility allows you to market yourself even better and gauge right down to the time, age, preference of medium and messaging; all of which use to cost millions of dollars to achieve.



Think about the last time you saw a viral video. Was it a link from Facebook? Yea of course, some videos would be found on Youtube but mainly the aggregator of content is Facebook. This means that if you are shooting for the stars with a potential piece to go viral, distributing it on Facebook is the way to go. It has a wider reach due to the social effect of people liking and sharing the post compared to Youtube’s algorithm and suggested videos which seems a little primitive against Facebook.


Now that you know which platform you are looking to host it on, time to find out the details on how to optimise for each platform so you can maximise the reach with your marketing budget.