1. Figuring Out The Cost Requires Information
2. The Four Options For Making An Explainer Video
3. Option 1: Online Video And Animation Creators
4. Option 2: Hire Freelancers
5. Option 3: Hiring An Explainer Video Production Company
6. Option 4: Hiring A Full-Service Marketing Agency
7.1 Why Isn’t A Shorter Animated Video Much Cheaper Than A Longer Video?
7.2 Why Do Some Styles Cost More Than Others?
7.3 What About Hidden Fees?
One of the first things everyone wants to know when they contact us is the explainer video cost.
Now, this takes into account that you’re already familiar with what an explainer video is.
If not, here’s a quick answer:
An explainer video is a video that explains your product or service while fitting in with the message and tone of your brand. For more in-depth information, check out this post.
Figuring Out The Cost Requires Information
Asking upfront about video production cost makes sense.
It’s your hard earned money; you want to be spending it wisely.
The answer to the question, though, has many variables. I know, I know, it sounds like a deflection. But stay with me here for a moment.
If you only ask “How much does an explainer video cost,” you’ll get pretty much the same answer as if you ask “How much does a car cost?”
Without specifying any further, the answer you’ll receive is “Anywhere between $500 and a couple hundred grand.”
Not so easy, is it?
If you’re buying a car you need to add more details
-Does it need to be fast? Carry a family?
-Get great mileage?
If you’re buying a car you need to add more details
All of those questions (and plenty more) need to be taken into account in order to get an accurate answer. And, of course, none of these are even the most important question of all:
“Does it fit within my budget?”
When it comes to an explainer video, a similar collection of information is needed to give you an accurate answer.
Here are some of the aspects that need to be considered:
•What’s your budget? (Almost always the starting point)
•What information needs to be conveyed?
•How long does the video need to be to convey the information?
•What’s the visual style going to be?
•Do you need different edits for different homes (i.e., landing page, social media, boardroom presentation, etc.)?
•How soon do you need it?
•Do you need more than one video and if so, will it require a different style?
•Is a marketing strategy required?
If you can answer those questions yourself, you’ll be able to get a much more accurate answer, and probably even figure out roughly how much your explainer video cost will be.
From there, you have four directions you can go for an explainer video production.
Once I break them down, you’ll be well on your way to understanding the options at hand and where your brand fits along the spectrum.
The Four Options For Making An Explainer Video
Option 1: Online Video And Animation Creators ($50 – 500)
The first option you have for an explainer video is not a bad idea, just a very limited one.
It only really has potential to work for one type of situation – basically if you’re a solo entrepreneur with little money but a bit of time.
You’ll need the time because while you’ll be able to access simple tools and stock footage on the platform, you’ll still have to come up with your own script and ideas on how to implement your message.
With online video creators, you’re kind of getting an end result that only looks professional to viewers who aren’t professional.
Like one of those “celebrating five years of friendship” videos on Facebook that simply plugs in personal photos to a pre-existing template.
You’re not going to get much content customized to your brand, message, or marketing. However, you can customize the fonts, text animation, or color palettes of your video according to your branding.
That said, this is a great option and we can’t totally discount looking into it if, again, your budget is less than a dinner out with the family. Also, you should have a bit of time to write and edit a script, play with some ideas, and tinker around the online video platform to see what you can come up with.
Here Are A Few Online Video Makers To Check Out
Option 2: Hire Freelancers (Costs Vary)
This second option is another choice for special cases.
You wouldn’t want to make your entire video this way, but if there’s a piece of the video you need, freelancers are a way to go.
Why not make your whole video with freelancers?
Well, for one, you’ll end up paying waaaaay more than if you work with a video production company and have your entire explainer video created under one roof.
Freelancers charge 2-4 times what they would normally get paid to do the same work as employees of a production house or agency, and for good reason.
They’re out there hustling for every gig, the work is rarely steady, and even the best talent can go weeks or months in between jobs. Plus, there are all the headaches that go with it – like dealing with clients who refuse to pay making you ultimately have to take legal action against them after trying to collect for over a year. Ask me how I know.
There are also all the other issues that come into play when trying to assemble a team of freelancers:
•Finding and vetting talented people
•Aligning schedules (and the more talented they are, the less open their schedule)
•Getting everyone (who probably have never worked together) on the same page with your project.
Websites For Finding And Hiring Explainer Video Producers
Option 3: Hiring An Explainer Video Production Company ($2000 – 10000+)
Imagine a world where your entire explainer video is custom created from start to finish for your brand and the message you want to share!
That’s what you’re getting with your third option – a full-service experience from the first meeting to the final produced video.
Of course, there are differences with how each production company operates but generally speaking, the workflows like this:
1.Discovery – Starting with discovery, we are able to learn as much as possible about you, your brand, your goals, and even your competition.
This is the research stage that helps set us up to create great work for you.
2. Script – Once information is collected, we’re able to get to work on the script.
We have a team of talented writers who specialize in digital media, animated videos, and making tech easy to understand.
The script is the backbone of the video, and points the direction for visuals to take.
3.Storyboard – With the storyboard, we start making the connection between the ideas and concepts in the script with visuals. We start with rough sketches to make the ideas tangible, and to see how the words fit with each sequence.
4.Style Frames – One of our goals during discovery is to establish the tone and visual style that will best suit your brand and message. The storyboard is only rough sketches to provide a blueprint, but the style frames give the actual first look at how the visuals will end up.
5.Audio – While our talented artists and designers create the visuals, our experienced team of editors and audio crew are choosing music that fits the tone and working with VO talent before ultimately editing it and mixing it all together to fit the rhythm of the animation.
6.Animation – The first real look at how it all comes together. While not totally polished, you’ll still get an accurate understanding of where your explainer video is ultimately going to be.
7.Finalization – Exactly how it sounds. The final tweaks are made, the timing is perfected, and the finishing touches are put on. It’s always an exciting moment when we get to deliver the final video.
Remember earlier when I mentioned the challenges with hiring a band of freelancers? Well, here are distinct advantages to hiring a video production company to counter that:
•You get a full team of professionals who have loads of experience working together
•With an established production house, you’ll be able to see plenty of work in their portfolio and know the kind of quality you’ll ultimately get
•There will be far less work and hassle on your end
•You can rest assured that the best choices are being made to represent your brand
•You’ll have a project manager that you can communicate with at any time as a point of reference
This is the option that best fits most businesses looking for an explainer video. You can get incredible work for a reasonable price (our prices begin at $2000), and you can also go higher up the cost spectrum and hire a production company who will spend months creating something more like an actual piece of moving art.
There’s also the final possibility, which adds an extra element to all this.
Option 4: Hiring A Full-Service Marketing Agency ($15000 – 100000 And More)
The main difference between this and Option 3 is that you’re getting the added benefit of a marketing team who will be working with you on strategic plans to take your explainer video and maximize the ROI.
But would you like to know a secret?
Sometimes they aren’t even creating the video themselves. Sometimes they outsource the entire production process to video production companies just like ours. Now, don’t be mistaken, this isn’t meant to be shady or under the table. Sometimes it happens when the agency workload is too high or it’s a style that we may be better at then they are.
But it does happen, and it happens all the time.
So why would you even consider this as an option instead of coming straight to us?
Simple – we aren’t in the marketing game!
We’re a tight family that loves making animated videos, and we prefer to focus only on that to do as great of a job as possible for our clients.
For those of you with enterprise or corporate video needs, though, we totally understand, which is why we’re happy to provide you with a list of great marketing agencies should you go that direction.
Now that you know what your four options are, hopefully, you’ll have a much sharper idea of what will work best for your business needs. In closing, I do want to cover just a few more things that will surely help.
Why Isn’t A Shorter Animated Video Much Cheaper Than A Longer Video?
With live video, everything you film can basically only be used once.
Ever see an old B-movie where they use the same shot at two different points in the film? Even if it’s quick, it takes you right out of the movie. With live video, you can’t just reuse the same assets.
But that’s exactly how it works for animated video.
The most resource and time-consuming process is creating the original art, but once those assets are created, you can animate them to do anything you want.
That’s why a two minute animated video will almost never be double the cost of a one minute video – much of the assets are already created.
Why Do Some Styles Cost More Than Others?
It’s all about the time and energy it takes, and creating assets in 3D is literally adding an extra dimension worth of visuals that need to be designed.
Every part of that process requires more time and money (that we must pay our designers as well), from creation to revision.
Even finalizing (rendering) the video takes much longer than with, say, a 2D or motion graphics animated video.
That said, the most popular styles anyway are 2D motion graphics and 2.5D. Sometimes adding a 3D element or two really makes the video pop as well, and it’s much less time-consuming for that than if the entire video is 3D.
What About Hidden Fees?
At Yans, we never have hidden fees. It’s bad business, period. There can be extra fees, but we will always be transparent and let you know if you are in danger of accruing any. This usually happens when it is requested that we work beyond what our contract states. Here are some examples of where extra fees can arise:
•Major revisions (we include 2 rounds of minor revisions with most stages of the process, but if you decide to start from scratch halfway through a production, this will result in extra fees)
•Changing the VO after it has been approved and recorded
•Purchasing stock footage to include in your video
Hopefully, this clears up a lot of the confusion about explainer video costs and why they can vary so much. If you have any further questions, we’re always happy to chat, so please reach out to us any time!