Key takeaways:
Travel and studio costs run up the budget on video projects
Socialive makes it easy to record high-quality video from anywhere
Presenters can seamlessly record on their own schedule

Video services teams are overtaxed — 95% of professionals said they were at or over capacity as recently as 2021 — draining content ROI. This means that increasing the capacity of each video team is a worthwhile investment — more video is needed to satisfy content-hungry audiences.

Content that features leaders, team members, and customers is often seen as too complex or too costly a project to take on.

The time, logistics, and travel involved to either get talent into a studio or send video crews across the country all impact the ROI of each piece of content created. And that’s if those are internal resources, never mind agencies and freelancers.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

With Socialive, video teams can easily set up their teammates in the field — who might not have as much technical expertise — to capture high-quality video of themselves and other subject matter experts.

Making a simple tweak to how teams record high-quality video makes a massive impact on the bottom line and boosts the content’s ROI. User-generated content like this goes a long way to scaling video output.

The camera crew and studio model drains budget

For widespread teams, the traditional route to creating high-quality content featuring their people doesn’t make sense. Traveling to and from a studio, sending people all over the country (or world), and pricing in a per diem for lunch means that there are associated costs with this method of content creation.

There are a number of factors that go into each approach, but the typical video that includes a company’s people could run between $1,000 and $25,000 per video if done the traditional, studio-bound way.

This lines up with the 7% of marketers who said they spend more than $10,000 per video in a 2023 Wyzowl report on video marketing costs. That’s the group on the premium end, but not much higher than the most widely-reported range of $1,000 – $5,000 per video.

Here are some of the underlying numbers.

Sending internal video teams into the field

Let’s say you have an internal video team. You have an office in a central location and plan to record employees attending a three-day conference. While you don’t have to pay your video team an additional fee for the project, you have to cover their travel.

Forbes has travel costs for a three-day business trip at $1400 per person. That covers round-trip flights, hotels, car rental, and food. Say you have a three-person crew — that’s $4200 in travel costs to record at the three-day event.

It’s great to be able to send a crew to events, but it’s limiting and isn’t scalable, eating into the ROI of each piece of content. The massive increase in demand for video means that recording all your content in one sitting isn’t viable.

Shipping physical media, hardware, and equipment

The other, perhaps hidden costs of the travel-to-record model are shipping costs. A studio-style setup that requires cameras, hard drives or memory cards, mixing consoles, switchers, and other bulky equipment likely can’t be broken down into someone’s carry-on.

If the total weight of the equipment is under 150 pounds, then standard shipping can help keep the cost reasonable. But beyond that, you may be facing nearly $4 per pound just to ship equipment to its destination.

Hiring freelance camera crews

So, what about hiring a local crew close to where your employees are?

While that could be a lighter lift on your team, it’s a heavier impact on the bottom line. estimates the costs of a professional video crew amount to $10,000 per minute of video they create.

We don’t need to do much more math there, that figure speaks for itself.

Of course, you can mix and match the model by renting a studio at about $50 per hour and fly your crew there, or hire a more reasonably-priced freelance team in the ballpark of $2000 per minute of video — either way, you’re probably facing upwards of $25,000 to outsource a corporate video that requires talent be on site.

Bringing guests into a studio

The alternative to sending around an internal or third-party camera crew is to bring talent to you and then record them in studio. Of course, we already stated some of the drawbacks.

You have to take the travel of the individual into consideration, so right off the bat, there’s that average of $1400 per person in travel costs for your video content. Given the demand to create content, that becomes an inefficient solution unless you plan to record a year’s worth of content in each session.

Plus, it isn’t the most scalable approach for your video crew to churn through recording sessions conveyer belt–style.

If you choose to fly an executive or thought leader out to a freelance crew you hired for the day, then you have to balance the added flexibility with agency costs.

If it’s on the lower end of agency fees at about $1000 per minute of the final video, with travel costs included that’s just shy of $5000 for a three-minute video.

So, the in-studio approach isn’t cost-effective at scale.

What about meeting software?

Some might want to jump in and say, “Why not record virtually in Zoom?”

You’re on the right track — make sure you’re using the right tools.

We’ve covered why Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other meeting platforms fall short. The main reason is that those platforms force video crews to sacrifice the professional look and feel of the output.

It’s not just a matter of lighting and camera quality, either. It’s down to the fact that it takes a lot of post-production to polish up those recordings before they’re ready to go to the masses.

That doesn’t even take into account that those platforms will almost always guarantee a producer is needed to guide executives, employees, or talent during the recording to avoid technical issues. So there’s a time cost, too.

What if it were easy for anyone to record a professional video, all on their own?

Boost video content ROI by empowering contributors

The easiest way to keep those costs down is to have people record on their own in an easy-to-use setup. User-generated content is far more cost-effective than asking a professional to babysit them during a recording session.

This is where Recording Booth is incredibly valuable to video teams. Just create a link for the talent, leave them with a set of instructions, and let them get after it on their own.

High-quality recordings straight from the field

With Socialive, there’s no need for your talent to log into a platform or learn a new piece of tech. Guests can use any mobile or browser-based device, set up a virtual background, and they’re ready to record crisp video.

Sure, they can still go into a well-lit studio or a nearby office, but the point is that the video crew doesn’t need to be in the room or online while talent records.

Another huge difference between Socialive and other recording platforms is that recordings are instantly available to edit. Once the video is recorded, it’s automatically sent to a secure content library, where editors can take over. No more downloading and transferring files or asking people to scour their desktops for the right file.

Teams can then finesse the clips in Socialive, do additional editing, or transfer it to a number of collaboration tools in just a few clicks.

This type of workflow, gathering video straight from the field with Socialive, saved VMware $100,000 in a 150-video project based on time savings alone. Of course, they also didn’t need to worry about paying agency fees or flying talent or crews across the country.

Scalable, cost-effective content creation

Aside from the time and cost savings in the logistics of studio-based recording, the remote recording workflow also allows video teams to set up a repeatable process to create video content — outsourcing content creation to teammates rather than agencies.

Set up a template, give instructions for what you need from talent, they record, and then whoever is tasked with editing jumps into Socialive and then adds branding, graphics, and anything else needed in an instant. It’s so simple that anyone in any line of work can apply those edits, from a veteran financial advisor to a professional video editor.

Enabling talent to record asynchronously also pushes the entire timeline up. Removing the need to sync up busy schedules means that in-house video teams can now make anyone, anywhere, the subject of their video content. This increases the number of internal content creators exponentially, making it easier for teams to create more video, increasing each piece of content’s ROI.

Less time worried about recording people means your video experts can spend more time focused on editing and polishing high-quality recordings.

Create more video content, grow top-line revenue

Long gone are the days when business was done completely offline and video was a nice to have. Video content drives business. Brand videos, product videos, educational content, employee introductions, sales assets — you name it. There are countless ways to find value through video marketing.

That’s why more than 90% of marketers in Wyzowl’s 2023 survey said video marketing increases both leads and sales. Video is a huge revenue generator, it’s not optional.

With Statista putting the figure at about $8 of video marketing revenue per internet user, digital marketing is at the core of any business strategy — not just for marketers. That means a rising amount of content is needed to help fill the funnel, and it’s more important than ever to keep costs down while creating it.

The IKEA effect: the benefit of democratizing video creation

One question that will surely come up for savvy creators is, “Why not just hire an actor to be in videos? AI-generated avatars are a thing, too!”

Well, aside from the fixed costs, the main reason we advocate against going down that route is because we believe there’s an inherent value in featuring your own people in your videos.

It’s not just about another way to cut corners and costs. People love authentic content. Your people make the video both authentic and dazzling — generic talent misses the point.

Videos with famous actors or spokespeople can see spikes in engagement, sure, but if that was the only way to do business we wouldn’t need case studies or testimonials. Yelp, TikTok, Twitter, and G2 all have that in common — everyday people have the loudest say in the content.

Plus, there’s also the fact that people featured in videos or who personally know someone in the video will be the biggest advocates for that content. It’s why professional creators will joke about a video with millions of views received almost all of them from a loved one.

The IKEA effect is real.

Studies show that people involved in creating an item or putting labor into it tend to have a stronger sentiment toward it. Yes, there’s science behind the pride felt from a DIY project!

The beauty of Socialive is that video teams can put the IKEA effect to work by featuring their teammates in content and keep costs down while doing so.

The ROI of crowdsourcing video content creation

Having to rely on in-person shoots for each and every piece of content drains budget. Putting the power to record high-quality video content into the hands of the talent — no matter where they are — cuts out massive costs from the video creation process, boosting the ROI of your video content.

Empowering contributors and crowdsourcing that first piece of the puzzle not only allows in-house teams to create more video but also has an impact on top-line revenue for teams as an asset in a video marketing strategy. This type of user-generated content is both cost-effective and way more authentic than anything else that can be done at scale.

Of course, videos that feature your internal subject matter experts not only drive engagement within your own sphere of influence, but it’s also content that others are likelier to engage with, as well.

The pride and joy that comes from seeing yourself or people you know in professional-grade video is palpable, and it’s a great way to truly humanize your content.

When it comes to crowdsourcing your recorded video content, Socialive’s intuitive platform makes it easy for talent to record themselves or to receive instructions from a video expert. Check out how Socialive makes recording easy for everyone by taking a tour of the platform.