3 Tricks to Create Premium Video Content on a Budget

While video content is becoming a more mainstream marketing strategy, it can be expensive. Here are a few strategies for creating top-notch content without spending a fortune.

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By Sujan Patel Originally published Apr 18, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're a startup trying to grow on a shoestring budget, you probably know two things about video marketing: (1) you've got to have them to get noticed among your competitors, and (2) they can be incredibly expensive to produce.

Fortunately, there are workarounds that'll let your organization create high-quality, premium video content without breaking the bank.

Give the following three strategies a try and watch your marketing efforts soar.

1. Rent, don't buy. Let's face it, the camera on your iPhone won't cut it for everything. At some point, you're going to want to use higher-quality equipment to produce your videos, but the initial buy-in costs can be steep.

Related: How to Use Video to Reach Customers (Video)

So instead of investing in expensive equipment, rent through your local photography studios, equipment retailers, production companies or video schools. It can cut down costs significantly but will still allow you to capture the footage you need.

2. Blend live camera action with digital graphics. Whether you've decided to rent or buy your video camera equipment, keep in mind "time is money."

Shooting live camera work is very cost-intensive, given the number of resources involved. Besides the equipment costs (lenses, memory cards, battery packs, timers, tripods and filters, to name a few), you may also have expenses associated with hired actors and locations.

Even the amount of footage that can be captured over a day's worth of live shooting is significantly smaller than what can be achieved by using video production software to create graphics or embellish upon screen-capture footage.

Related: Want to Make a Successful YouTube Video? Read This.

One solution is to create videos that blend live camera action with digital graphics. A great example of this is a video produced by productivity-tool startup Asana called "Plan your day." Although the video starts out with live camera work, it quickly transitions to digital screen capture after about 20 seconds. The result is a video that looks more expensive to produce than it actually is -- making the company look good without blowing its budget unnecessarily.

3. Crowdsource your video content. It's worth keeping in mind that you don't always need to be the one doing the video production work for your company. Don't underestimate the power of crowdsourcing.

Say you've got a highly devoted fan base of active users. Why not run a promotion asking them to film themselves using your product or discussing something they love about it? Then you can take their footage and compile it into a single marketing piece -- all without ever having to turn on a video camera yourself.

Keep in mind, if you go this route, you'll want to work with a lawyer to draft up a release agreement that grants you full rights to the content produced and allows you to use it in your marketing campaigns. But even this small amount of work will be well worth your effort, as consumers tend to respond better to recommendations from people they perceive as peers than from those they believe to be marketing to them.

Whatever strategy you use to create your video footage, one of the worst things you can do to is to sit on your finished product. Instead of letting whatever amount of time or money you've invested go to waste, make it a priority to get your content out there through as many marketing channels as you have access to. Track the results you get, and I'm sure you'll find that your initial investments more than pay for themselves in terms of future growth and revenue.

Related: 12 Strategies for Promoting Your YouTube Videos

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits

In his 14-plus years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits and Mailshake.

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