Let's face it - Animation videos are expensive
In fact I have seen some companies charge several thousand dollars for a one minute video - WOW.
And yet, under the right circumstances, they do add a nice touch to a presentation or home page.
After all, I can personally attest to being a visual learner, and sometimes it truly helps to have a video to accompany a presentation.
At the same time, it's very debatable how much improvement a video will actually yield.
Jason Cohen, founder of hosting company WPEngine, said in a presentation at The Business of Software that including a video on the home page of his business did not yield any significant lift over the control - even after a bunch of tweaking and call to actions.
Of course, this doesn't mean that for YOUR business it won't provide any measurable lift,
But it is a caution that if you're a bootstrapped startup, you should probably keep your costs low when it comes to videos.
The thing is, $5k for a one minute video, for a bootstrapped startup, is hardly keeping your costs low.
So we found a happy medium where we got a decent video we could put on our home page for a fantastic price - $165.
Check it out:
Now perhaps you've seen this video before.
Maybe you thought it was good, or maybe not?
Either way, we've received more than a few compliments on the video.
And after we shared the price ($165), people were really impressed.
So I'd like to discuss a bit about that process.
Where To Get Animation Video maker For Your Startup
To keep things simple there are basically two options, assuming you're not going to do it yourself.
Option 1: Find A Freelancer
Option 2: Hire A Company
In general, if you're hiring a company you would expect to pay more. This is because companies are large entities that have overhead and charge a premium for being an established business.
So, if you're looking to do this on the cheap (which is what this article is about), you're probably going to want to find a freelancer.
Now I am far from an expert on this subject. In fact, this is the first ever explainer video I've ever done. But to keep things simple, because there are more important things to running a startup than making explainer videos, I considered two sources.
Fiverr and eLance (now Upwork)
First I took a look at Fiverr, and I found this listing which I thought was pretty decent.
For this listing, to get a 1 minute video, in HD, with background music and voice over, it would cost me $165.
For me, this became the benchmark of everything I compared it against.
I then went to eLance(now Upwork) to see what the competition had to offer. Here's how it went down.
- I posted a job description saying
- I got over 40 replies
- I went through each person's resume and decided if I thought they produced videos that were better than what was being offered.
- I selected two people I thought were decent. To be honest, the quality of the submissions was quite low (probably due to my price point).
- After back and forth with the two that I considered quality, I couldn't get them lower than $250 for an equivalent video.
At this point, I went with Fiverr, because I couldn't justify the extra $90.
How Did You Storyboard It?
Essentially I wrote the script myself, from scratch. Storyboarding is not part of the Fiverr deal.
But for me, that was OK. I consider myself a reasonably creative writer, and it's only a minute anyways.
What I did was simply write out everything I would want in the video.
I was told that about 150-170 words would be approximately one minute long.
Naturally my first attempt had me over by one hundred or so words, which led me to have to cut a few things that weren't uber necessary, and then fool around with the wording to be efficient.
In the end, I got it down to 165.
How Did You Come Up With The Images?
In the end, I handed the script off to the creator and let him work his magic.
I didn't supply him with any images directly, but I did share a little presentation I had put together of what I thought it might look like. This was just something I had put together for my partners when we were discussing a video.
It took about three weeks to get the video back, and when I did, I decided it was about 90% of the way there.
Mainly, I had some requests for different images and animations.
Once the animator fixed these, we were good to go.
All and all we're satisfied with the Animation video we produced. It was very budget with reasonable quality.
Most importantly, it didn't take us a lot of time to produce it, and we got it in a reasonable amount of time.