Here’s part four of our series on what video costs. Each post focuses on one area of decision-making that impacts what video costs. This post will explore video distribution and how it will affect your video cost. In the first three posts we addressed filming and editing and producing.

Carolina Commitment Opening an excellent video with insufficient video cost alloted for distribution

Video Costs Have to Include Video Distribution

Not factoring video distribution into your video costs is like planning for a print mailing without budgeting for postage. Just like the print mailing would sit in your office gathering dust if you didn’t find funds to mail it out, your video will have very few views and, hence, limited impact, if your video distribution plans don’t take advantage of the wealth of options beyond just uploading to YouTube.

The Benefits of an Effective Video Distribution Strategy

The University of South Carolina fundraising video at the left, for example, is nicely done. It portrays a student speaking passionately about the his excellent music education at the university and closes with an appeal forCarolina Commitment YouTube Call to Action an excellent video with insufficient video cost alloted for distribution annual giving to the university’s “Carolina Fund.” However, the video’s placement on YouTube and on the annual giving page of the university’s website has netted fewer than 20 views even two weeks after launch.  This is an example of a case where investment in a video distribution strategy for this and similar videos could net a much larger viewership and fundraising results. In fact, investing in a strong video distribution strategy is often the best thing you can do to make sure that you obtain a good return on investment for your videos.  The coordination of options such as a branded video player with a “Donate Online” button directly on the video (rather than just the “THANK YOU” within the video as shown at right); video distribution via email, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook; and better titling, description, and tagging within YouTube would likely lead to vastly different results. So that you can think about how you want to investment in video distribution, either with your video production company or using internal staff, here are some of the options on MiniMatters’ menu of video distribution methods and how they affect your video costs:
  1. Branded Video Player.  Will a YouTube video player work, or do you want a branded white label video players such as Brightcove or Sorenson 360? YouTube is your cheapest option, and YouTube’s popularity makes it great. The majority of our clients put their videos on YouTube, but many also use a branded video player. This will add just a bit to your video costs, but you get a video player that matches the color and style of your institutional branding and looks great on your website.  You also get to choose what social sharing buttons the player should have and you can even use a clickable overlay to create an interactive button that enables a viewer to click to any URL you designate (such as your donation page, registration page, or any other landing page).  MiniMatters charges $300 for custom button design.  MiniMatters is a Brightcove partner, and so we offer free consultation if you sign up for their service.  Hosting video cost on these platforms is relatively low–Brightcove, for example, offers $5/month per video currently and has a free trial that you can check out.
  2. YouTube Channel Design or Enhancement.  If you do decide to use YouTube, we can establish and set up your YouTube Channel with a branded design and colors for your organization, with the tabs and features that would be most useful to you for upcoming video campaigns.  If you’re a nonprofit organization, you may wish to consider YouTube’s Nonprofit Program, and then your only additional video cost will be setting it up. (This post talks about YouTube Channels and the YouTube Nonprofit program.)  Read about our YouTube Channel services here.
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Whatever video player you use, you can increase your position on search engines such as Google through titling, description, and tagging, using effective techniques and key words. A transcript of the video also increase SEO. You can read all about how great these transcripts are here. These services represent a small addition to your video costs, and is well worth it because SEO will increase your views.
  4. Assistance with Video Distribution on Email and Social Media.  MiniMatters can provide video distribution consultation and assistance for any of the following: (a) Email (While email may seem old fashioned for your snazzy video, it’s more effective than other social media in gaining action or “conversion” from your viewer. Here’s a post about that.) (B) Twitter (C) Facebook (D) LinkedIn. Each of these make a small addition to your video costs, but they can definitely increase your video’s benefits.
  5. Blogging with Video. A blog is a great way to have fresh, SEO-promoting material on your page.  Search engines especially privilege pages that have fresh material. It can also be a great way to augment your video’s power to create a community. MiniMatters provides these types of services tailored to showcase your video.
  6. YouTube Premier for Virtual Events. How to use YouTube Premiere for Virtual Events is a great resource if you’re looking for a free and easy-to-use platform for virtual events. Not only is YouTube Premiere free, but it enables you to pre-record your event, promote the event, and then engage with your community during the event using the comments feature. It’s perfect for nonprofits, associations, and others eager to provide virtual participation opportunities during the pandemic and beyond.
MiniMatters includes four hours of distribution consulting in our multi-video packages. In other cases, we charge for distribution consulting on an hourly rate of $100-$200/hour depending on the service needed. We can design a custom package with a fixed monthly fee, as well, if that is more suited to your needs.

Summing It All Up: So, How Much Does a Video Cost?

MiniMatters can help you price your videos needs fairly and effectively based all the services discussed in this four-part series—including filming, production, editing, and distribution. Videos MiniMatters produces generally fall in the range of $3,500-$12,000, depending on the factors discussed in this series, as well as how many videos are produced at the same time.  As you might guess, the lowest cost is for producing many simple and similar videos for the same client at the same; the highest cost is from single, more complex efforts; and the majority of video costs fall somewhere in-between. We hope you’ll talk to us as the journey continues and you continue to assess video costs—and huge video benefits. If MiniMatters can help you with fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to talk with you at 301-339-0339 or via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia. To access the full four-part series, click here. We’re working on a link to a pdf suitable to distribute within your organization.  Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and you’ll definitely get it.