Top five tips for making content on a budget – By Alex Shane
You know you want it. You know you need it. Yet, there is a deep and nagging doubt. A stark reality, in fact. One that is preventing you from having the thing that you know your business truly needs to ‘stand out from the crowd in a digital age’. Sorry, I had to get that company tag line in there somewhere. I mean, what sort of new media marketer would I be if I didn’t, huh? Certainly not one that you’d wanting to reading advice from! I digress. That nagging doubt. That stark reality. Does having professionally produced video content feel a little out of your budget range?
Come on. We’ve all been there people. Well, fear not, because here are my Top Five Tips (notice my use of capitals to make it sound better than it is) for when producing video content on a budget…

1) Enquire at your local media college. Making video content, much like creating websites, is second nature to some people below a certain age. There is an entire generation of under-25s that not only know New Media inside out, but are annoyingly good at it, too. Most importantly for those on a budget (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), these fresh-faced amateur Vloggers are cheap. Your first port of call should be the local media college. These students likely need example course work as much as you need affordable content. In many cases, ANY money you pay them is a massive bonus that they can quickly spend on Pokemon cards, hard liquor or whatever else it is that kids do these days. To get paid AND to have something with real world value to show their examiners is a big deal to these students. Find the right ones, with the correct knowledge and work ethic, and you’ve just saved yourself a fortune.

2) Buy in bulk. Just like using commercial printers for T-shirts, flyers, DVDs or similar items, the bulk of the cost is always the set-up fee. The same rules apply for video content. The price of ten talking heads is likely to be a far better deal than the price of one alone. The promise of a weekly video is likely to get you a far better bargain than the cost of a monthly one. Plan your attack in advance and think in volume. The more video you create, the more cost effective each one will become.

3) Make content that can be rehashed. I have made massive strides with a YouTube channel I run by cutting up shorter videos made from our TV show as online video ‘extras’. I’ve even done the same by taking the audio from my podcasts and making them into videos, complete with moving graphics and scrolling text information bars. These have helped the channel in question reach the top 1% of all YouTube channels in the world. I’ve even used uncut interview outtakes from the TV show as exclusive content that encourages VIP sign-ups to one of my websites. Equally, I used the audio from video interviews and adverts to buffer podcast content. Look for ways to get the very most out of the same content, use it over and over again in different forums to make it appear new in some way.

4) Split the cost with another business. Much like the principle of bulk buying, increasing the volume of work you can bring to a business will often reduce the price. This is particularly true with the lower end video production companies. See if any of your friends or business associates are interested in the same thing and negotiate on the price based on bulk buying. You’ll be surprised at the vast difference this can make to the end cost.

5) Use a webcam and do it yourself. You don’t need fancy, state-of-the-art HD cameras to make video content these days. Many ‘Webinars’ (online seminars) are filmed entirely on Skype using a webcam. If people can charge real money to customers with content using the low-quality webcams on their computers, why can’t you create videos on them, too? There are teenagers making £2000 a week from their bedroom who began with less technical knowledge than you now have from reading this book.

I hope that was helpful, insightful and sucked some of the often unnecessary fear out of that all important video content decision. Remember, if you want something badly enough, there is a nearly, always a way to make it happen. More times than not, there is an ‘angle’ you’re not seeing. Often, the road less travelled, turns out the be the one with the very best damn view. A view that most others never see, because they are too busy thinking inside that pesky ‘box’, everyone keeps going on about. Do not go where the path leads. Go where there is no path, and leave a trial.

Thanks for reading,
Alex