Do You Need a Brand Video and At What Cost?

We’ll cut to the chase: yes, you probably need video assets for your marketing mix, website, social media and so on. Let us hit you with quick stats from Forbes to prove our point:

  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@thejamesagency” suffix=””]Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019[/inlinetweet]
  • Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it

So while there’s (pretty much) only one answer as to whether or not you need video in your life, there are a few ways to make that want a reality.

1. Full-Scale Production
If you have the budget for a shoot with pro equipment, top talent, multiple locations/set ups and a crew of people to make it happen, this approach may be right for you. You can maximize your investment by finding multiple ways to use the final piece and obtain other assets during the shoot, like still photography, short snippets and social media content. You may even be able to repurpose behind-the-scenes footage as a teaser or case study.


  • Control almost every aspect of production
  • Top quality to fit any device or need
  • Ability to re-cut final piece to suit multiple needs
  • Professional actors offer range and ability to take direction
  • Offers more room for conceptual development


  • Pricier than other methods
  • More complications with licensing
  • Additional moving parts

2. Minimal Production
Maybe you don’t have a huge budget. No worries. A minimal shoot allows you to create solid video, albeit without the same production value or flash. You may have to compromise between top-notch equipment or professional talent; one cool location or a versatile studio space; an experienced director working solo or a young team. All in all, you can still get good assets—but you’ll need to dodge pitfalls throughout the process and creatively solve problems related to budget constraints.


  • More budget-friendly option
  • Often fewer moving parts
  • Smaller production team can involve less red tape
  • Maintain ability to capture other assets if planned well


  • Lose production value of higher-budget shoots
  • Less time/budget for crucial elements like voiceover, editing and post-production work
  • Make compromises on elements like on-screen talent, hair/makeup, props, wardrobe, etc.

3. D.I.Y. or Die
Many will tell you video is like any other tool: the best option is the one that’s available to you. To a certain extent, this is true. Consumers are used to phone-made videos that look native to Instagram or Facebook. But that doesn’t mean it has to look super low buck. Some of Hollywood’s preeminent filmmakers are moving to iPhones as their primary medium. That piece of tech in your pocket can go a long way with basic lighting equipment and inventive ideas. Adding elements in editing will up your production value, many of which can be incorporated before your footage sees a computer.


  • Very compact setups
  • Can be done solo if need be
  • Great for social media content or paid ads that appear user-generated
  • Freedom to operate without concern for crew or talent time


  • Almost certainly doesn’t allow for real actors
  • Can look amateurish if not done correctly
  • Limited use outside of social media

That’s a wrap
All in all, the video you should create all depends on your budget, your brand and your concept. Just one quick comparison to keep in mind. This process is a lot like renovating a house. Would you pay an expert to do it and use all the finest finishes? Would you opt for something livable, even if it’s not exactly your dream home? Or would you buy a fixer upper and learn to become a contractor in two hours via YouTube clips? Choose wisely.

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