One of the first questions we get from new clients is how much does an online video cost? Which is always an impossible question to answer since we don’t know anything about what they want yet. There are just so many variables in the production of a video, asking how much one will cost is almost like asking how much will it cost to build a house.

A much better way to look at the problem is how much is this video worth to to my business. And then find out if it’s doable at that price. Ideally, any video produced by a marketer should be solving an existing or predicted problem that has a business cost/benefit ratio.

An easy to justify example would be a new product video featuring a demonstration and some beauty shots. Provided the product isn’t a car that’s racing through the desert, a simple product video would be a relatively inexpensive video shoot. This is likely doable for a smaller budget and will likely fit most ROI models.

The opposite end of the equation would be branded content. BMW Films is the perfect example of this equation. It features car chases filmed by A-list directors and starring A-list actors. No doubt was this extremely expensive but no doubt it has got a lot of attention and will continue to get more. This is harder to justify with a simple ROI calculation for most marketers.

Most online videos are somewhere between these two extremes. We suggest that rather than approaching a production company with “how much does an online video cost” ask them if they can help you solve your business problem on budget. We suspect you’ll like the answer a lot better.