What does it take to begin video marketing? Before you can get started, you'll need the right equipment--and unfortunately that costs quite a bit.
Small and medium-sized companies across the country are adding video marketing to their repertoire of client acquisition tactics. With the widespread adaptation of social media, video serves as a platform to communicate with clients and to spread a company’s message to a global group of listeners. But what does it take to begin video marketing? We’ve already outlined what goes into the perfect small business ad, but before that can happen you’ll need the right equipment. Below you’ll find our recommendations for getting all the equipment you need to start adding video marketing to your company.
Please Note: Mintleaf is not sponsoring any of these products, nor does it receive any compensation for the products listed in this article. This is simply equipment we use in our day-to-day operations as a video marketing agency.
Video Camera (est. $1,295-$1,995)
If you’re into videography, you’ve heard of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera by now. The camera has uprooted the market, giving everyday filmmakers access to a cinema-quality camera. It comes in two versions—a 4k and a 6k version, which makes it overkill for most small and medium-sized companies. And here’s the kicker, the cameras are listed at $1,295 and $1,995, respectively. You won’t beat that quality at that budget.
Unfortunately, buying a video camera doesn’t mean you can start shooting video. You’ll need various accessories—from tripods to special lenses—in order to start producing cinematic-quality videos. We’ve broken the following section into two components: video accessories that are essential, and accessories that are nonessential (but still pretty important).
Essential Camera Accessories (est. $480)
Let’s start with the basics, a video camera needs to have a substantial memory card in order to save and store the clips you capture. A single terabyte card will likely run you around $170, but will allow you more time on location without having to upload files and clear storage.
Additionally, you’ll need a lens (if not a lot of lenses). Let’s be clear, this can easily be the most difficult piece of equipment to gauge. Some companies have one lens; others make use of a rotation of many lenses. You should ask yourself, what kind of shots will you need to get the most of? If you primarily film close ups, we would recommend a Nikon 35mm ($167). It’s a versatile lens that can easily get the job done. But the unfortunate reality is that you’ll likely need a small rotation—and that can quickly add up. And don’t forget speed boosters you may need if you buy lenses from certain brands ($143).
Rewatch the Patterson–Gimlin bigfoot film (linked below). That’s what your footage looks like when you don’t have a tripod. It’s no myth, you’re going to need a tripod—most are on the cheaper size, but if you have a heavy camera, or are planning on placing a crane (referenced in the next section) on the tripod, you’ll need a heavy duty one—which runs about $220. But we promise, you’ll get the best ‘squatch footage around.
Nonessential Camera Accessories (est. $3,635)
Let us be clear, these are essential if you want your videos to look professionally produced. However, you may be able to get by without them initially. First, we recommend looking into a crane or a jib. Basically, these are pieces of equipment that help your camera capture smooth video clips, while allowing the camera to move freely. Things like interviews and product videography are made simple with a camera crane. The only issue is the price—ours runs at $1,299.
Other minor accessories like an extended monitor ($160), a camera cage ($224), an extended battery ($245), a teleprompter ($179) and a gimbal ($229) are all worthy of consideration. Scratch that, getting a gimbal is absolutely essential because setting up a heavy crane is not always the most feasible option when on-location.
Professional Lighting (est. $398-$597)
We covered this briefly in our article last week on mastering product photography. But professional lighting is essential—especially in indoor environments. Our setup is nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. We have two LED panels and two softbox lights. We’d recommend potentially skipping the LEP panels and instead just going with three quality softbox lights so that you can easily adopt a 3-point setup (i.e. key, fill and back light). A set of two can be purchased for $398.
Audio Capture (est. $149-$179)
The RØDE VideoMic goes for ($149) and is a vast improvement over the internal audio capture system in a camera. Additionally, if you intend to capture interviews or any on-location audio, it’s an absolutely essential piece of equipment. Nothing gives a video a low-budget feel like crackling audio. If you’re willing to spend just a bit more, you can also land a stand for the microphone ($179)—if holding it on your camera isn’t quite your style. The video below—an about us video filmed by mintleaf—uses the RØDE VideoMic:
The Final: Most Essential Piece of Equipment (est. $99)
Whatever you do, don’t forget to pickup a color checker for the ripe old price of $99. Yep. Only in videography would a set of plastic color tiles retail for almost an entire Benjamin. But, it’s one of the only ways to perfectly match colors in post-production. And let’s face it; no bride on her wedding day wants to be 5 shades too blue and those company picnics don’t look as good when they have a pale orange shade to them. Simply put, a color checker is absolutely essential—even if it seems insanely overpriced for a pocket-sized piece of plastic.
The color checker is the perfect example of why so many companies want to get into video marketing but can’t. It’s just too expensive. All the essential equipment that you need to get started rings up to $2,641. If you add in the non-essentials, you’re looking at $6,276. But don’t let this be a source of discouragement—social media is booming now more than ever. Which makes it the optimal time to invest in the correct equipment for video marketing. In the future, we’ll address getting into video marketing on an even tighter budget. But for now, stay frosty and go tell the world (and your clients) your story.
Tell the world your story
Looking for videographers in New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts? Get in touch with us.
Mintleaf is a creative marketing agency based out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It serves the greater Seacoast Region and specializes in videography, content marketing, social media and web design.