Budgeting for Video Marketing in 2021

It’s that time of year, again. The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, and turkeys are nervous. And, you should be nervous too, if you haven’t properly accounted for video in you marketing budget for next year.

With budget season upon us, we’re fielding a lot of questions from marketing executives and small businesses who want to add video to their marketing mix.

What will it take, and what will it cost?

2020 Budget

So, how do you budget for video marketing in 2020? In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The two ways you can budget for video marketing
  • Using specific types of videos to achieve specific business outcomes
  • Five success factors you’ll have to consider when planning and budgeting to bring a video marketing program online
  • Whether you should do video marketing in-house, outsource it, or take a hybrid approach
  • And an easy way to prepare yourself for video marketing success this year!

Two Approaches to Budgeting for Video Marketing

There are two different ways you can look at budgeting for video marketing; one as a sort of experiment, and the other by reverse engineering for specific business outcomes.

Budgeting for a Special Video Marketing Project

The first approach looks at video as a special project, something you might want to try next year, just to see if it works.

How much are you willing to throw at a project like that?

Well, you might come up with a nice round number, say $10,000. Or you might try throwing a percentage of your budget at it.

Two per cent is a nice round number. Let’s make it two per cent.

With numbers like that, you should be able to create something useful in the way of video. Maybe.

And, in a worst case scenario, you can always scrap the video marketing project, and use that money for something else.

There are worse things than having $10,000 to throw around at the end of year.

That’s one approach. But, there’s a better way.

Video marketing is an investment. Treat it like one.

How to Buy Video Marketing Services Guide Cover

Most businesses need outside help to get video done right, but hiring the wrong agency or studio could be a disastrous waste of time and money.


Download the Video Marketing Buying Guide and get it done right!

Budgeting for Business Outcomes

If you’ve been in the marketing game for a while, you’ve probably learned to budget for outcomes.

Do you need to add an additional 100 leads a month to your funnel? How will you achieve that outcome, and what will it cost?

Or maybe you need to increase the percentage of leads that move from stage four to stage five of your sales pipeline. How will you achieve that outcome, and what will it cost?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What challenges do you have?
  • What solutions can be deployed to meet these challenges?
  • And, what do those solutions cost?

Of course, it’s easy to make budgeting much more complicated than that, but those are ultimately the questions at the heart of any good marketing budget.

What Type of Video Content Will Help You Achieve Your Desired Business Outcomes?

So, you probably already have a pretty good idea of the challenges you’ll be facing next year. So, what video(s) will be the best fit for helping you overcome those challenges?

There are different videos for every stage of your marketing funnel and sales pipeline. It’s just a matter of choosing the right one for the job.

Do the Video Marketing Math

Each of these video solutions, like all your other marketing solutions, can be budgeted for discretely.

Like all your other marketing solutions, it’s possible to define the solution, set the scope, determine the cost, and execute on a project plan. Video is no different.

So, just as you would never just guess at what a new marketing automation solution might cost (at least, I hope you wouldn’t), you shouldn’t attempt to just throw a number at the video marketing solutions you need.

Budget Responsibly for Video

Video-first marketing strategy is a real thing, I’m happy to say.

It’s predicated on the notion that in today’s digital marketing environment, as a marketer, you should be thinking first about how to use video to meet your marketing challenges, and not relegate video to the margins of your marketing plan.

Whether you’ve already drunk the video-first marketing Kool-Aid or not (and trust me, one day you will), it’s important that you treat video marketing solutions just like your other marketing projects, with a definable scope, a predictable cost, and reasonably anticipated outcomes.


Before you start adding costs to your budget spreadsheet, there are five major things to consider when determining what it will take to begin doing video marketing in a serious way.

These factors will have a major impact on how successful you’re likely to be, how much help you’re going to need, and how much it’s going to cost.

Note: We’ve developed a free service that helps you take a closer look at where you stand, from a video marketing perspective, and helps you devise a strategy for adding video to your marketing mix.

1. Content Readiness

Regardless of the type of video you’re thinking of producing, it’s all content at the end of the day. How good is your organization at knowing what kind of content is needed?

Video, like other marketing content, is most effective when it is designed to support a particular phase of your marketing funnel. So, ask yourself:

  • Where are you struggling?
  • Where would video content help you move the needle the most?
  • Are you familiar with the different types of video needed at different stages of your pipeline?

2. Marketing Readiness

Will you have what it takes to convert video content into business results? Creating great video content is one thing, but if you’re not prepared to market the hell out of your video content, you’ll have to find a video marketing agency that is.

  • If someone gifted you the perfect video, would you know what to do with it?
  • How good is your organization at conceptualizing and executing campaigns?
  • Have you used video in past campaigns?

3. Technology

The modern marketing technology stack grows more complex each day. In fact, a recent survey shows that Martech costs make up nearly 30% of CMOs’ budgets. In order to succeed with video marketing, you have to have the right tools at your disposal:

  • What does your marketing technology stack look like?
  • Do you have marketing systems in place to allow you to distribute your content?
  • Are you set up to track the success of your video content?

4. Production

Video production is probably the one capability that most organizations outsource. It’s specialized, and it can be expensive. That said, you can save yourself a lot of money, if you’re able to shoot and edit some of your own content. More and more organizations are shooting their own video, these days.

  • Does your team currently possess the skills and resources required to produce your own video content?
  • Where would it make sense for you to draw the line between what you outsource, and what you do yourself?

5. Executive Support

This is the one thing that can’t be outsourced. Everyone likes talking about video, these days. But, getting serious about video takes commitment, time, and money.

  • How willing is your executive team to back your efforts to bring a real video marketing program online?
  • How much funding are they willing to front?
  • How soon will they need to see a return on their investment?

Where do you stand?

These are all important questions you need to ask about your business, before diving into video production and marketing.

Need a little help gauging where you stand? Schedule a free guided video marketing assessment.

Outsource, In-House, or a Hybrid Approach to Video Marketing

There are three different approaches to consider for pulling your video marketing budget together.

Depending on how much help you need (see the considerations listed above), you can outsource everything, outsource nothing, or choose a hybrid approach.

For budgeting purposes, outsourcing everything is the easiest option.

Keeping in mind that video marketing involves both video and marketing, you’re best off working with a qualified video marketing agency, if you need significant help with both sides of the video marketing equation.

Your video marketing agency will provide you with the pricing for everything you need, and a timetable for making your video marketing dreams a reality.

If you’ve got a good grip on the marketing end of things, there are lots of really good video studios out there that you can ask to help you with pricing, on a video-by-video basis.

Be forewarned, however, that video studios are principally in the business of producing video for their customers.

They are not in the business of developing program strategy for their customers, diving into sales pipelines, to figure out where you need video support, and promoting your videos to achieve maximum return on investment.

Finally, there’s a hybrid approach to consider. If you need some marketing support, and/or some production support, a video marketing agency is the way to go.

A good agency will even work with you to help you take on more marketing/production responsibilities as your team becomes more proficient at different phases of the process, over time.

Get Ready for Video Marketing Success in 2020

It all comes down to how much of your video marketing program you’re willing and able to take on.

Take a good hard look at the Five Success Factorsto determine how prepared you are to bring a successful video marketing program online.

If you take a brutally honest look at where you currently stand, you’ll be well positioned to make an informed decision about how much help you will need, and therefore how to approach the task of pulling together a video marketing program for your organization.

Video Marketing Readiness Score

Not sure where you stand? Get your Video Marketing Readiness Score.