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How Much Does An Explainer Video Cost?


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Ok, you’ve heard how effective explainer videos are, so you’re thinking about developing one to include in your marketing strategy.

It’s only natural, then, that your first question be: How much does an explainer video cost?

Truth is, that’s a question with many different answers. Video production prices may vary on a wide variety of factors, such as video style, length, customization, and quality.

Yes, we know – It sounds confusing and overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time getting involved with video marketing.

But don’t worry! Today, we’re going to help you figure out your explainer video’s cost. We’ll learn all about the different types of video production costs, what elements influence a video production price, if animated video costs are higher than others, alongside some tips to understand what to look for when hiring a video company.

1. How Video Production influences Explainer Video Costs

There are four ways to approach a marketing video production: hiring a full-service video agency, partnering with a small production company, outsourcing a freelance producer, or using templates.

Let’s go over their pros, cons, and different video production costs.

1.1. Video Production Companies

When you team up with a video production agency, you get a full-service experience from the get-go.

From writers, designers, animators, to marketers and project managers, these companies have purposely assembled teams of professionals to custom-make effective video content.

Tailoring it to fit the message you want to convey, your brand identity, and your marketing goals.

Video production companies also have robust portfolios, filled with hundreds of videos that showcase their creativity, professionalism, and the quality of their work. Plus, since they bring a lot of experience to the table, they take the guesswork out of the entire process –  Helping you figure out what works best with your brand, audience, and industry.

And speaking of processes, another great thing about these companies is that they have guidelines they’ve perfected over the years. Allowing them to consistently deliver their work on-time, or even speeding up the production if the client has a tight schedule.

Altogether, partnering with a video agency can help you to step up your game and get results. All while guaranteeing quality, experience, and top-notch services.

Regarding budget needed, video production costs can vary anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000. It’s a wide range given that explainer video prices hinge on a number of things, like the complexity and quality of the piece. (More of this in a minute!)

1.2. Small-Size Video Companies

Also called “boutique agencies,” small-size video companies have very small production crews of one to three professionals. If needed, they can outsource and hire more people for specific projects.

Now, even though their staff is limited, these boutique agencies often have the equipment, skillset, and knowledge to develop high-quality explainer videos.

Providing excellent, personalized services with a team working just for you.

However, they usually can’t handle too many projects at once and often have a waiting time –  which ultimately can be an issue if you are working with a tight schedule.

If time’s not an issue, though, you can get solid work at a reasonable price – When teaming up with small-size companies, explainer video costs are usually around $3,000 and $10,000.

What are the Top 10 video production companies? Go to post

1.3. Freelancers

If you have a limited budget, hiring a freelance video producer is a viable alternative. You can get a simple explainer video on a smaller budget.

These people often “wear many hats” and are great multi-taskers – From writing to storyboarding and animation, they handle pretty much everything – taking care of the entire process by themselves.

On the same note, they usually provide personalized services because they work on one project at the time –  Or, at least, that should be the case!

That said, these productions usually present many challenges, especially in terms of quality. You see, when a single person takes care of the whole process, parts of it will probably be neglected. Mainly due to having limited knowledge of certain areas, or lack of time.

All in all, even though it can’t be compared to a video developed by an agency, this option can be a good start. In terms of costs, video production prices usually range from $1,000 to $3,000.

1.4. Templates

If video content is not a top priority in your strategy or you didn’t have enough time to develop a solid plan to produce great videos, there’s the option of using explainer video templates.

Given that they use ready-made templates and stock images, one of the most important benefits of a video editor is how quickly a piece can be finished.

These platforms are much more affordable as well. Explainer video pricing with these templates goes from $50 up to $500, and there are companies that offer monthly services with fees of $50 per month.

Now, even though there are no marketing video production costs involved, templates rarely give you the chance of really customizing your explainer to your brand identity, general aesthetic, and message. Which often results in generic pieces with repeated content and very low quality.

On top of that, you will still have to do some work or hire someone to do it for you: coming up with a concept, writing a script, recording the voice-over, editing the template according to your needs, and so on. So, while using a template reduces your video production costs to the minimum, remember it’s a very limited option.

2. Which elements define explainer video costs?

Length and video style are the two biggest indicators of an explainer video’s cost. However, video production costs are also influenced by other aspects, like scope (or complexity of the project), customization, and the number of revisions.

Let’s take a look at all the elements that define a video production price.

2.1. Customization

To stand out from the competition, your explainer video should be aligned with your brand’s guidelines, core values, and identity – That is, be custom-made from scratch and tailored to your project’s specific needs.

So, when you outsource and work with a creative partner –  be it a freelancer or a video production company  – they’ll ask you to share everything related to your brand and project. So they can fully understand what you need and how they can help you accomplish it.

The goal is to enrich your original idea, coming up with the general storyline, and defining the art direction. That way, they get to bring to life your brand’s voice through the right piece and get your message across as effectively as possible.

All things considered, bear in mind that producing a custom-made piece requires a lot of work, experience, and time. Which is why fully-customized explainer video costs are going to be higher than those for a generic, non-branded piece.

2.2. Quality

When it comes to video production prices, quality is one of the most defining factors.

But… What does quality really entail? Like many other things in video marketing, it’s not a simple question to answer because it involves different variables. And many of them are “hidden” within the production process.

It surely happened to you when you started analyzing budgets from different video companies – What you thought were rather similar pieces had actually very different explainer video price tags. One much higher than the other. Well, quality is probably what was making the difference there.

Now, the truth is that trying to identify good from bad quality is not as simple as it seems. It takes a keen and trained eye to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, how can you tell when a video is of good quality? Or, more importantly, how can you tell when it’s not?

For now, you can start with the following list – It includes some of the most important elements that define a video’s quality and ultimately influence the video production price.

Composition

Layout and composition give your content a structure, making it easy to read, navigate, or watch. Basically, composition involves five basic principles:

  1. Proximity: Using visual space to show relationships in your content. For example, grouping related items –  such as blocks of text  – together.
  2. White Space: Also called negative space, it helps you define and separate different sections – giving your content room to breathe.
  3. Alignment: Basically, it means arranging your content with consistency to visually organize your elements.
  4. Contrast: Contrast means that one item is different from another. In composition, creating contrast helps you create emphasis on your content and call attention to something important.
  5. Repetition: Finding ways to reinforce your design by echoing certain elements. Repetition gives your content a consistent look and feel.

Tone

Part of what makes an excellent explainer video cut through the digital noise is its tone. Depending on your concept, target audience, and industry, your explainer video is going to have a specific tone.

Now, it’s often believed that a video’s tone is defined by a single element – which is the voice-over or narrator. But, in fact, it’s given by the combination of several factors: characters, script, voice-over, and color palette.

Let’s say you want to develop a video to explain how people should take action in case of an emergency in your office. You probably want your video’s tone to be calm and secure, so your narrator should convey reliability. But the script, color palette, and characters should be aligned with that concept as well.

It’s only when all those individual elements come together and converge that your explainer video can work as a uniform piece. Helping you to deliver information more effectively and garner a deeper connection with your audience.

Colors

As we’ve just said, in video marketing, the color palette is one of the primary things that helps to set the tone and get your message across. All while making the piece more visually appealing.

To define an explainer video color scheme, designers use color theory  – that is, mixing and combining different colors to elicit moods and emotions in people. Depending on your explainer video’s tone and brand’s aesthetic, some colors are going to work better than others.

To pick the right colors for an animated video, there are different schemes, such as analog, triadic, or monochromatic palettes, to name just a few.

All in all, the rule of thumb is to find harmonious combinations – not too bland, dull, or chaotic. Avoid bright and oversaturated colors that can shock or tire the viewer’s eyes.

Emotion

One of the most important reasons why animated explainer videos are so effective is precisely because they appeal to emotions that resonate with the audience. This helps the viewer identify with the content by combining solid storytelling with meaningful visuals.

For that connection to happen, though, it’s critical to develop characters with unique stories, attitudes, and personalities. From adding hand gestures to using the right body language to convey the right emotions, your explainer video characters should feel authentic, with credible and real expressions.

All in all, emotionally-resonating videos –  driven by well-accomplished animated characters  – are going to make an impression on your audience and inspire more engagement – helping you strengthen your connection with them.

Animation

Back in 1981, a group of animators in charge of creating Disney’s style introduced the twelve principles of animation: squash and stretch, exaggeration, anticipation, staging, etc. These have now become the theoretical backbone of all artists working on animated video productions.

1. Squash & Stretch - 12 Principles of Animation

For example, the “Squash and Stretch” principle gives animation an elastic quality to emphasize an object’s speed, momentum, weight, and mass. This principle applies to characters and their facial expressions as well.

The “Staging” principle covers many different areas of animation, such as acting, timing, camera angle, and setting. It basically tells the audience where they should be looking. The idea is that, instead of competing for stage presence, all the elements in the scene work together to move the viewer’s eyes around the screen.

Now, even though these are just two of the twelve principles, keep in mind that a high-quality explainer video should be perfectly animated. And sticking to the very basics is critical to achieving such results.

Design Trends

It’s been a while now since animated content made its way into the digital world. Helping brands of all sizes and industries to reach their audiences faster and more effectively.

However, as everything else does, trends in animation and design change all the time. So, being up to date on styles and tendencies is paramount to develop high-quality and compelling animated video content.

As for now, after a long period with flat design, neumorphism is here to stay, with soft shadows and lights that remind us of 3D. Strong, vibrant color palettes are another major trend, often used to create memorable compositions with a lot of texture.

Isometric and gradients with fresh colors, especially used in typography and icons, are also having a strong impact on animation. The same goes for discreet outline flat illustrations and mixed media  – that is, combining filmed video, animation, and still typography.

Bear in mind that these are just some of the most important trends. The bottom line is that, when it comes to successful animated videos, it’s important to create them with a modern and updated design. And any professional vendor should include such services in their video production price.

Expertise

In a way, everything we’ve just mentioned about quality can be condensed in this section – the video agency’s expertise.

To begin with, experienced video companies have the skills to transform your brand’s unique message into an engaging explainer video. One that’s not only beautifully designed (latest trends included!) but is also capable of connecting with your audience and encouraging them to take action.

When you team up with a video production company, you get a team of specialists and collaborators from different areas working just for you. Writers, directors, illustrators, animators, voice artists, sound editors, project managers… all committed to bringing your project to life and developing the explainer video your business needs.

Plus, working with one of these companies is going to guarantee a certain level of professionalism and efficiency. They have the resources and necessary tools to develop multiple videos at once – covering possible contingencies or setbacks throughout the entire production process.

So, a big part of what’s going to define your explainer video’s cost is the video company expertise. The more experience and milestones they have, the higher the video production price will probably be.

2.3. Number of revisions

Every agency has a process that defines its video production price. In general, these processes come with a specific number of revisions that clients use to provide feedback on the development of their video.

Now, there are certain agencies that provide fully customizable production processes – meaning that if you’d like or need more rounds of changes, you can get that as well.

That said, a higher number of revisions translates to a longer production process. Something that ultimately is going to directly impact your explainer video’s cost.

2.4. Video Length

Every video production price conversation between the agency and the client starts with length.

Even though these videos are short –  the sweet spot for an explainer is 1 to 2 minutes long  – establishing its target length is critical. Mainly because a two-minute video takes as much effort as developing a one-minute piece.

So, defining your video’s duration will help the production studio budget the amount of work that will go into your piece. Understanding how many animators and designers they’ll need to create it, turnaround time, schedules, concept, style creation, storyboarding process, and so on.

Summing up, the longer the piece is, the higher the explainer video’s cost.

2.5. Turnaround time

As with the number of revisions, turnaround time depends on the video company you partner with.

Take into account that any production process is time-consuming. From start to final delivery, putting together an animated video takes between 8 to 10 weeks.

You can always speed up the process, but that’s going to impact your explainer video’s cost – To accommodate the increased production effort necessary to meet tighter deadlines and maintain the expected quality standards.

3. Video Styles

To establish a video production price, video style plays a major role. From creation to revision, some types of videos require more time, energy, expertise, and money than others. This results in higher, more complex marketing video production costs.

So, how much does an animation cost? Do marketing video production costs increase when you want to develop a live-action piece, or is the same as the cost of an animated video?

In hopes of providing some clarity, let’s take a look at all the different video styles and how their processes can affect the explainer video’s costs.

3.1 2D traditional animation

This is one of the oldest forms of animation. In it, the animator –  or team of animators, actually  – draws every frame to develop the animation sequence. Quickly placed one after another, these sequential drawings create the illusion of movement.

The thing with traditional animation is that it consists of hand drawings, called frames. These days, this is mostly done on computers or tablets (instead of light tables as was done in the past.) Still, it’s a very time-consuming process that requires a qualified team of accomplished animators and illustrators to achieve a solid piece.

So, if you choose to use 2D traditional animation, your explainer video’s cost is going to be much more expensive than with cut-out animation or other styles. All in all, the video production price for 2D traditional animation usually starts at $10,000.

3.2 2D Animation

2D animation –  also known as digital animation  – is one of the most popular and broadly implemented video styles today. From animated movies and games to explainer videos and ads, more and more businesses are choosing this technique for promoting their products or services.

Just like in 2D traditional animation, both characters and scenes are developed in a two-dimensional space. Meaning they only have width and height, using perspective to create the illusion of depth.

What makes this style different from traditional animation is it uses the cut-out technique – Instead of drawing the character over and over again to create the animation sequence, the animator can produce rigs for the characters and then move the body parts individually.

In terms of production, 2D animation is simpler and can be handled by just one –  experienced  – animator. Resulting in a faster, more affordable explainer video production price – ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

3.3 Motion Graphics

In a nutshell, motion graphic is animated graphic design, with text as a major component.

Thanks to its power to synthesize a lot of information in the most compelling ways, it’s a perfect option for companies that are trying to illustrate numbers, stats, or technical facts. Especially those in the technology or financial industries.

What makes motion graphics videos so powerful is they’re always very dynamic, engaging, and fun to watch. Especially when you combine it with character animation. However, to achieve such results, it’s necessary to have at least two skilled animators, one specialized in animation and another one in motion graphics.

As for the marketing video production cost, a motion graphics explainer video’s price usually ranges between $5,000 and $15,000. But the video production price is mainly going to depend on the length and scope of the project.

3.4 3D Animation

If anything, 3D animation stands out for delivering a cutting-edge, high-quality finish.

If well-executed, 3D animation is great for catching your audience’s attention and creating an impact on them. Thanks to its unique aesthetic –  where actions can rotate around or zoom in for narrative emphasis -, it makes it easier for the viewer to feel instantly immersed in what’s being shown.

However, it’s important to highlight here that 3D animation calls for a bigger, more experienced team. Especially for certain processes or techniques, like rigging, texturing, lighting, and so on.

Plus, it usually has a longer production time frame –  as any adjustment or change requires longer to implement  – leading to a more expensive explainer video price tag. 3D video production costs start at $20,000 and can go higher than $70,000.

3.5 Live-Action

Pencil. Think With Your Hands

Even though most explainer videos are animated, live-action still is a viable alternative.

Essentially, showing real faces it’s a perfect way to humanize your brand and build product trust. Doubly so if you use the video to illustrate how to actually use a product. Highlighting its key features, benefits, and differentiators.

Done right, live-action explainer videos can help you create a stronger bond with potential buyers—something particularly important when you’re using video content to increase your conversions.

As for the video production price, developing a live-action explainer video costs more than making an animated piece of equal quality. Mainly because these types of productions require cameras, props, actors, location, and special equipment that can increase the marketing video production costs from $50,000 and up to $200,000 (and sometimes even more than that.)

3.6 Live Action & Animation

Switching from live-action to animation and vice versa is a perfect option to engage the viewer.

These explainer videos combine live video footage with animated elements. Creating a feeling of interaction and dynamism between both elements that ultimately enhances the experience for the viewer.

When you add animation and effects to a live-action piece, you can push the boundaries of reality and add personality and charm to your message –  all while making the explainer video more enticing, intriguing, and engaging.

If you choose to go with this option, take into account that it has much higher video production costs. It may vary, but a video production price for such projects is usually over the $30,000 mark.

3. 7 Stop Motion

Stop motion combines live-action film making principles with traditional character animation.

Technically, stop motion is based on a simple yet very detailed process. In it, a person places the object that’s going to be animated and takes a photograph. Then, that object is moved to slightly different positions, all while taking photos of each new placement.

Once the process is finished –  often involving hundreds of photos  – the animator digitally and rapidly displays the images in order to create the illusion of movement.

There are many different styles for developing a stop motion explainer video, such as claymation, puppets, or cut-out characters made out of cardboard.

The bottom line here is, whatever style you may choose, it’s a long process that needs an experienced, qualified, and detailed-oriented team of professionals. Meaning that video production costs are higher than other types of animated pieces, resulting in higher explainer video prices.

4. Things to look for when hiring a vendor

With video being one of the most effective and popular marketing resources, hundreds of production companies sprung up to satisfy that demand. The thing is finding the right video agency for you can get a little overwhelming.

So, to help you with that, here are some crucial elements you should pay attention to when looking for the best provider available:

  • Portfolio: Portfolios should always be a crystal clear demonstration of professionalism, creativity, and quality of work. We recommend taking the time to check how rich and diverse the agency’s past work is, and see if it matches your expectations and needs.
  • Timetable: Learning from the get-go how the video production process is going to unfold is critical. Make sure to find a vendor that includes in their video production price a customized timetable based on your specific needs (deadlines, video content needed, desirable feedback, etc.) Doing so is going to help you understand in advance when things should be delivered and by whom.
  • Account Manager: An account manager is the main point of contact with the agency, and the person in charge of walking you through the entire process. So, working with a company that provides an account manager can make the production much smoother and simpler for you.
  • Art Direction: Every explainer video is a visual statement. Therefore, it needs to follow an art guideline to achieve a well-balanced color scheme and a design that translates your brand’s voice. When looking for a production company, check that their explainer video costs include a unique art direction developed just for your piece.
  • Feedback: No one knows your brand and project as you do. So, you should team up with a company that listens and includes their clients’ feedback into their work. When considering a video agency, make sure to check if the timetable provides a certain number of revisions after each stage of the process.
  • Quality Controls: Speaking of revisions, working with a vendor that offers a production process that’s supervised by different layers of quality control is always a plus – From Head of Production, Art Director, and Head of Animators to even the company’s CEO. With such supervision, you can make sure that every part of the production process is being checked several times.

Final thoughts on explainer videos costs

Most people are surprised when they first find out how much an animated video ad costs. But now you know how many talented people and hundreds of hours of work it takes creating high-quality, beautifully designed pieces.

You also learned that explainer video costs might vary according to the style you choose – Marketing video production costs for developing a 3D video are much higher than for 2D digital animation, for example.

Do keep in mind that video production prices will also depend on the vendor you choose – Explainer video prices tend to be lower when you work with a freelance producer or a DIY platform. However, the counterpart is that you’ll have to be willing to sacrifice your piece’s quality.

So, instead of asking, “How much does an explainer video cost?” or “How much does animation cost?”, you should ask yourself, “How much is it worth for you to stand out from your competitors and achieve your business goals?”

So, before saying “yes” to a specific explainer video’s price point, get acquainted with as many types of video production costs and budgets as possible. That way, you’ll have all the info you’ll need to make the right choice.

 

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