How to Get Your Boss to Approve Your Video Budget

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Marketers need to make great videos. But great videos cost money. Ahhh, the modern marketer’s dilemma. So, how do you get access to the right budget to make great videos? That's the $50,000 question. Typically, the answer involves convincing someone who holds the “purse strings.” At VeracityColab we’ve made thousands of videos for hundreds of brands over the last decade, and we’ve seen some incredible marketers convince their budget-ambassadors enough times to notice a few patterns.

Below is a summary of our findings. That way, the next time you need to make a great video, you can confidently “fight” for the budget you’re convinced the project requires. “Just trust me” works sometimes, but when it doesn’t, use the following three rules to get your video budget approved.

(Side-effects may include deeper trust with your VP & increased video performance. No nausea or diarrhea.)

Create Context

Video budgets can range drastically, so it’s important to offer your VP perspective. First, we recommend finding several video examples that are similar to the video you want to make. It’s important that many of these video examples are priced differently so that you can help associate perceived value with price. In other words, create a menu.

Not sure where to start? We suggest working with a video agency or someone on your internal team who has worked with video before. That way, when you compile a list of videos with links, they can provide you with corresponding budget ranges and descriptions. Again, the goal here is to develop a matrix for understanding the perceived value of video.

Okay, that’s great, but how do you establish the actual value of a video? I’m glad you asked.

Work Backwards

Ask yourself, what’s that one thing you plan on measuring after this video is finished to determine how it performed? Is it conversion rates to a landing page? Is it whether or not people connected emotionally with your brand? Is it how well they understood the value of your product or service? Before you do anything, determine what you’ll measure, then write it down in a single sentence. We call this the Key Persuasion™, and you can learn all about it here. Once you have your Key Persuasion™, here are three ways to work backwards toward finding your action plan.

  1. If it’s conversion rates you’re looking for, then data is your best friend. Tell me, how many leads does it typically take your business before you close a deal? Do you know your winning percentage of deals? How about your average deal size? If you know these numbers, then you’ve got a case to make. Because if you can find a way to attribute an increase in conversion to an increase in revenue, and you can, then that’s something your boss is gonna want to hear about.

  2. But what if your Key Persuasion™ is to get your Key Persona™ to feel relief because your product will save them time? How do you measure that? Easy. Instead of measuring quantitatively, you start measuring qualitatively. Allow we to explain... Imagine if you were to spend a bit of time researching your sales cycle, and after a few days you learned that it takes 15 days to close an average size deal. Now, imagine how excited your boss would be if you told them you could cut that number down to 12, or perhaps even more? You can. Because when it comes to videos that are measured qualitatively, one thing can be certain, they build trust. And the faster you build trust with your prospects, the faster they’ll start doing business with you. A reduced sales cycle equates to more revenue. And all bosses love to hear about more revenue.

  3. Alright, but what if your video is designed to educate your audience? How can you work backwards to get to the bottom line with this type of video? Perhaps this means another trip to your favorite sales reps to ask them how many hours they spend educating each prospect before a deal is won. So, if you multiply your number of Sales Reps, by their “educational hours,” by two years (a conservative estimate of the typical video shelf life), you should get a pretty good idea of how many man hours it takes to equal the amount of deals they average in two years. Which is good, because the case you could make to your boss would go something like, “Hey, it takes “X” many hours to get this many deals. What if we just made one video that explained all that for us so we could eliminate all those hours and still get this many deals?” My guess is that when you compare the man hours to the video investment, it will more than pay for itself.

Paint the Future

So, at this point, you have enough “ammo” to create an excellent deck explaining how the video will impact the bottom line, and you’re ready to present it to your VP. But there’s one more point of impact worth noting. If the video ISN’T created, there’s an opportunity cost. Not only will your brand not experience the benefits as explained above, but it will possibly lose brand equity and trust in the marketplace by not having what most consider a “basic minimum.”

Think about what your VP’s main pain point is and how this video will solve it. If you’re in B2B, perhaps he/she is adamant about shortening the sales cycle. Maybe you're in eCommerce and they are very concerned about lowering the cost of customer acquisition. Whatever the pain point, be sure to paint a clear picture of what the future would look like with and without this video. And when you do that, compare the value of the video to that specific pain point.

We recommend enlisting the help of a video agency to put this information together. Put the work on them to help you gather the materials needed to make your presentation incredible. Team up and work together to present the best argument for why this video must be produced and why the investment is worth it. If they won’t or can’t, then perhaps they aren’t the right partner for the job.

Making great videos is a highly collaborative process and you need someone who will work with you. Whether you need help designing a video budget or assembling a team to execute it, we're here to help.

Charlie Matz