The demand for digital videos continues to grow, with data suggesting that 8 in every 10 businesses globally now use videos as part of their digital campaigns. This, of course, means more business for video creators like you. Unfortunately, it also often means having to haggle with clients who expect videos that are good, fast and cheap.
Conventional wisdom suggests that you can only get two of three qualities every time. If videos need to be good and fast, for example, it won’t be cheap. This paradigm, which has come to be known as the triple constraint in video production, has probably helped you justify project quality, cost and timeline to clients.
This triple constraint model is however being challenged by the proliferation of digital videos and video producers who are willing to work on projects for cheap. Clients seem to think there’s always someone who can do it for the price they set—and they’re probably right. The prices on our marketplace suggests you can have videos for as low as USD 50!
Those rates might seem scary. “Are we doing ourselves a disservice by offering good and fast digital videos at low prices?” one asked at GetCraft’s Philippine Creative Meetup at the Century Café on July 26. It’s a valid question but also one that needs to be placed in the context of what’s good, fast or cheap when it comes to digital videos.
“The reality is that whether a video is good is not entirely up to you,” Raffy Casas, GetCraft VP for Network and Operations said in his keynote during the meetup. “[Good] is also no longer just a question of quality or technical value. For clients, most of the time, it will be about whether a video achieves its objectives,” he added.
Raffy in his presentation quoted Shopee Malaysia marketing lead Rachel Tan, who said shared with GetCraft an experiment where, using the same content concept and storytelling, they produced two videos: one of high quality and another with a smaller budget, but ended up getting the same engagement for the two videos.
Raffy, who’s been a producer for networks and production houses before joining the GetCraft team, said sometimes clients expect low prices because they also have low technical expectations. They’re not always after something for the Cannes Lions; they just need to get the message out.
But does that mean you should abandon your high standards for technical video quality? Definitely not, Raffy says, noting that there should still be minimum requirements. No grainy videos please, or shots that are weirdly framed. “What we’re saying is that clients might be willing to compromise if you are forthright,” he added.
Roxanne Sipin, senior executive producer at Brand New Media, agrees, noting that when clients lower the budget or directors want changes, something’s got to give. “If they ask for more lighting, for example, you need to explain to them that you can make it happen, but that means you can only give them one cam instead of two,” she said.
Director and Pixeleyes Multimedia co-founder Gino Montalvo also encouraged video creators to be transparent to clients about costs and inclusions not only for the shoot but also in post-production. “If you notice something during the shoot that could lead to additional cost due to post production work, you need to call it out,” he explained.
“As much as possible, you try to give what the client asks for as long as it’s within the limit of the agreement,” Roxanne said. But you also need to learn when to say no. “If you don’t, it’s your loss,” Roxanne added. Saying no does not always mean walking away from a project. It can be about making clients understand why it just couldn’t be done.
When it comes to budget, it’s all about compromise. Sadly for video creators, creativity and high standards on technical quality are the first things that fly out the window when the budget needs to be cut. That’s something you need to make clients understand: Yes, digital videos can be good, fast and cheap. Is that what they really want?
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