Budgeting is a hugely important component of any video campaign because it effectively sets limits on what you can do — and also compels you to think creatively to get around those limits.

In this post, we’re going to lay out what you need to consider as you set your video production budget. Then we’ll suggest some opportunities to cut costs. There is no rule that says a great video is an expensive video; in fact, many of the most viral videos of 2012 were produced on tiny budgets, so the sky is the limit.

Things to include in a budget

Knowing exactly what you need is key. Below is a basic list of resources that will help you tally your costs. You may not need everything listed but this list should help set you down the right path. If you’re relatively inexperienced with video production, be sure to check back next week for our posts on lighting, sound, filming and editing for more information on the various elements that may add to your overhead.


  • Staff time for video planning, production, and editing
  • Camera
  • Sound Equipment
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Props and set
  • Actors
  • Hair and makeup
  • Transport to filming location
  • Accommodation if overnight
  • Studio or building rental
  • Crew: camera operator, sound technician, lighting technician
  • Professional video editor
  • Graphics and sound files

Where to save money

There are plenty of ways to minimize cost if you’re on a tight budget, and you can still come out with a fantastic video. Here are a few to start you off.


The digital revolution means you don’t have to spent a fortune on a digital video camera. In fact, you probably already have an excellent camera in your pocket. Modern smart phones have excellent video cameras and are often more than adequate for your video needs and often exceeds the quality of stand-alone budget camcorders.

Lighting and sound

Shooting outdoors or in a well lit area is a great way to save on lighting, for example. Also, consider DIYing lighting and sound with willing members of your team rather than hiring technicians. You might discover some natural abilities that make technicians unnecessary, and this is more sustainable in the long term.


Instead of paying a professional editing company, consider purchasing editing software and training your team on it. This is a bit time-consuming up front, but will pay off in no time for companies that plan to use video content on a regular basis.


To avoid paying royalties on borrowed images and video, purchase packages of stock images and stock video to fill in gaps. You can purchase stock videos from sites like Getty Images.


Renting studio space can be costly. Instead, consider shooting your video in your workplace, giving your audience an authentic feel for your brand.


The best brand videos feature real members of a company’s team, rather than paid actors. Again, this creates a feeling of authenticity and transparency around your company.

Ultimately, with a decent camera and a good idea, you can create an engaging branded video on a very small budget. So what are you waiting for?

Have anything to add or ask? Leave us a comment below, or give us a shout at @SproutVideo on Twitter.

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted March 11, 2013

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