Animated Video Budgets – Learn The Facts

Because you’re reading this post, I assume you’ve decided to hire a company to create an animated explainer video for you.  How do you pick the right company and what should it cost?

At Buzz Animated Videos, I lead a team of talented scriptwriters, artists, and animators producing simple, informative and fun explainer videos.   I’ve run my marketing communications company for 26 years and have written and produced scripts for videos, television and radio.  I know first hand what it takes to work with a team to deliver a quality result and I’m happy to share some tips and insights to help you filter out the differences.

All video animation companies follow the same basic production process.

Discovery – Scriptwriting – Storyboards – Animation – Delivery

But the price they charge is based on so many factors, it’s hard to compare and make up your mind.
Your google search for animated videos turns up a host of choices.  It’s fascinating to me how many companies are spending big money on google AdWords.  Then they spend more retargeting me with their ads after I leave their website.  I only mention this because they have to charge more for their videos to cover this cost.

As you do your research, you’ll find animated video production companies fall into three basic categories and price ranges.

THE “VIDEO MILLS”

Prices range from $1,500 to $2500

What to look for
These are most likely “offshore” companies that churn out lots of videos.  Unfortunately many produce videos that are hard to understand, boring and not something you’d want to be the first impression of your company.
When you visit their website, look for misspelled words or language that indicates English is probably a second language.  If you speak with them, you’ll know how well they communicate in English.  But be aware that many have an English speaking front man who sells you.  But then, they hand you off to a non-English speaker and good luck getting revisions done via emails.

A lot of these companies use stock characters and templates to animate your video.  They don’t draw and create unique art just for you.  As a result, your video looks like everybody else and gets lost in the sea of sameness out there.
Some companies make you give them your email address before they let you “View our Pricing”.  Really?   Brace yourself for an onslaught of “Buy us, Buy us!” automated emails.  It’s your call, but I’d suggest you move on.

What to avoid
Don’t hire a company that speaks English as their second language.   Do you want to have to translate your ideas and preferences to them so they can write your script?
Many encourage you to write your own script.  Please don’t.   You are too close to your company and products. It’s not about the features and benefits you think are important.  It’s about what your prospect thinks, feels and wants. That’s why you need an experienced company and an expert storyteller.

THE “BOUTIQUE” FIRMS

Prices range from $10,000 to $25,000+

What to look for
When you visit their website, it’s obvious these companies turn out high quality videos.  They tend to work for the “Big Boys” and have Fortune 500 companies adorning their portfolios.  They have really nice offices in major US cities and lots of experienced people under one roof.  (Read: very high rent and a big payroll every month).

What to avoid
Obviously there’s a place for big budget animated videos.  If being associated with top name brands is important to your success, by all means, pull out all the bucks.

THE “WORKHORSE” SHOPS

Prices range from $3,000 to $6,000+

What to look for
You can tell a lot when you visit their websites. You’re looking for companies that will create a custom, high quality animated video.  Does their portfolio demonstrate they know how to make an animated video that –

1) Grabs your attention and doesn’t let go

2) The script is compelling, concise and clear.

3) At the end, you know exactly what the company, product or service does and why someone will want to take action.

Questions to ask

If so, it makes sense to get in touch to learn more.  I recommend a phone call so you can learn the following:

  • Is their production process well defined and does it clearly explain the details concerning revisions and timelines.
  • Are their clients raving fans and glad to tell the world about it?
  • Is their pricing simple, straightforward and affordable?  Make sure there are no hidden fees or surprises.
  • When you call, are you talking to the founder, owner or team leader…not a sales rep or “account manager”?
  • Is it obvious they know their stuff by the questions they ask about your business?   Your best bet is to hire a company that understands marketing principles and animated video production.

What to avoid
If a company in this price range doesn’t demonstrate these important elements, I suggest you keep looking.

Conclusion
I hope these insights help you navigate your way toward hiring a company that will make a video you love.  The most important thing I’d like you to take away from this blog post is:
An animated explainer video can be a good investment.  Do your research and find a company qualified to produce a high quality video that helps you attract prospects and win new customers.  See Our Pricing

Related Articles:
5 Must Ask Questions to Create a Killer Animated Video
3 EZ Steps to Animated Video Marketing
Why Do I need an Explainer Video?