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March 19, 2015

How to Build a Video Marketing Budget [Free Template!]

The majority of marketers are making, watching, and sharing videos. It’s hard to even be on the web without encountering a video. And lucky for us, it’s becoming more and more financially accessible. Which means the need for giant video marketing budgets is dwindling.

Your budget will, of course, vary with the type of video you’re creating and the complexity of production and editing required. So, while I wish we could tell you the exact dollar amount to allocate for each video you produce, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, your budget and the things you’ll need to account for will vary depending on things like whether you produce in-house or outsource, what types of videos you produce, and your production quality.

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Budgeting for Outsourced Production

Outsourced production generally runs from $5,000 to upwards of $10,000 per asset for an explainer-style video. Of course, as you opt for higher production values, the budget will steadily climb. Advanced videos of an “advertising look and feel” will range anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000. On average, most budgets for a polished production (the kind that comes equipped with a full production crew) usually land somewhere between $20-30K.

Budgeting for In-House Projects

If you’re looking to go the in-house production route, you’ll likely be hiring a videographer. This person – depending on their skillset and experience – will know how to conceptualize, capture, and edit footage from concept to completion. The average salary in the US for a videographer is around $71,000 according to, and this person will likely be able to create a video per week depending on the scope of the project. This amounts to about $1,365+ per video after equipment cost.

You may also need a writer to help build the video scripts and a designer for animated videos. Of course, if you already have a great content team, you likely have a fantastic pool to draw from who can help you get started!

While some of these expenses may seem negligible to you now, they can add up. And both when it comes time to fork over the cash and to measure ROI on your video marketing, you’ll be thanking yourself that you were thinking about these details ahead of time.

Planning for Different Types of Videos

Another attribute that will impact your budget is the types of videos you create. The commercial, high-end quality production with top-notch actors and special effects will obviously cost more than a local talking head testimonial or how-to video shoot.

But before making the decision on what video content you’ll create solely based on budgetary constraints, consider how to get the biggest bang for that buck – regardless its size. In other words, what videos will help you drive more leads, close more customers, and do so at a faster rate?

To answer this question, consider what you need at each stage of the buying process and map your video content plans to this. A high-quality, acted production is likely top-of-funnel; but so is a talking head, how-to video. Mid-funnel content often consists of more meaty content like webinars, while bottom-of-funnel content is frequently full of product or company-specific content like feature videos and demos.

Map this out first and then decide how you will allocate your budget across the buying process.

What to Consider for Different Types of Videos

Here’s a quick guide on the varying types of videos you can produce throughout the funnel, and a few things to consider from a budgeting perspective for each.

Top of Funnel

  • Explainer: will your explainer be animated? If so, will the design be done in-house or outsourced? What about the animation?
  • Helpful how-to: where will you record the video? Do you need a backdrop? Lighting? Do you have the right recording equipment?
  • Thought leader interviews: where is this thought leader? Will you travel to record them in person or conduct an interview from a distance? Will you need b-roll footage?
  • Live-action: who will be acting? What space will you use? WIll you have to pay for either of these? What will the music tracks cost?

Middle of Funnel

  • Product Feature: do you have product shots already? Will there be people in the shot as well? Will you have to travel to meet them?
  • Event Marketing: Who will you need at the event to film it? How will you transport all of the equipment or will you rent some?
  • Webinar: How will you get the webinar from your webinar software to a hosting solution? Will anyone be editing the final cut?

Bottom of Funnel

  • Customer Testimonial: where is the customer located? Will you have to travel or hire a freelancer? Will you capture your own b-roll footage or use stock footage?
  • Product Demo: do you have demo software to record ahead of time? How about a method to track if the prospect has viewed it?

Making your Dollar go Further

Once you’ve created your video plan and mapped them to the funnel, you’ll certainly want to make sure that you’re being as efficient with your funds as possible. There are lots of opportunities to create videos on a budget. Check out our previous post: Creating Amazing Videos on a Budget.

Don’t Forget these Non-Camera Line Items

When you do go to assemble a clear video marketing budget, don’t forget to account for more than the agency costs or the camera and lights. Download our video marketing budget template to see what a typical budget looks like for the year, and for specific video projects.

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Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe is the previous Manager of Content Marketing at Vidyard. She loves all aspects of content marketing and has a special place in her heart for using video to drive real business results. She is also moderately (okay extremely) obsessed with her fluffy chow chow, Noah.

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