It’s the number one question we get at Promoshin. Which makes sense of course.
You want to know the price of an apple so you can compare it to other apples and get the best, juiciest, and ripest apple at the lowest price.
But unfortunately videos aren’t like apples and have lots of factors that affect the price and final product.
When I first got into animated explainer videos in 2010, you couldn’t possibly get one made for less than $5,000 to $8,000. And that’s on the low end.
Now, prices range anywhere from $50 to $35,000 – with tons of options to choose from.
But how much should an explainer video really cost?
Why is there such a variance in prices?
What’s the lowest price for a high quality video?
Before asking how much an explainer video should cost, it’s important to understand the work that goes into making one – and approximately how much each part in the production process costs.
The company you work with needs to spend time understanding your product or service.
This can include:
• Reviewing your website
• Reviewing your competitors websites
• Phone call(s) with your team
• Using or testing your product
The better your business is understood, the better your script will be. The script is the foundation for your video. It needs to be really well written to get viewers engaged and motivated to take action.
A great script writer should be able to fully understand any product or service, regardless of how complex it is. Communicating your business in a simple and easy to understand way is crucial to the success of your video.
The quality and experience of script writers varies significantly.
At Promoshin, we spend about 4 to 8 hours on the research and script writing stages. This also includes any time spent for revisions and updates to the script (we offer unlimited).
How much should that cost?
Low-end writer – $25/hour – 4 to 8 hours = $100 to $200
Mid-range writer – $50/hour – 4 to 8 hours = $200 to $400
High-end writer – $100/hour – 4 to 8 hours = $400 to $800
The storyboard is the first step of bringing the script to life.
The company you work with will come up with the best way to communicate your message with the right ideas for graphics. You’ll be able to review a black and white sketch of all the frames that will be in your video.
This stage involves:
• Coming up with visual ideas for each frame
• Sketching out every frame
At Promoshin, the storyboard stage typically takes 5 to 10 hours depending on the length of the video and other factors (we’re fast!). This includes time spent on revisions (we offer unlimited).
Low-end illustrator – $20/hour – 5 to 10 hours = $100 to $250
Mid-range illustrator – $50/hour – 5 to 10 hours = $250 to $500
High-end illustrator – $100/hour – 5 to 10 hours = $500 to $1,000
A lower end illustrator may be able to create the sketches, but they may not be so great at coming up with the best visual ideas to bring your script to life and to motivate viewers to take action (which is what’s more important).
Once you’ve approved your storyboard, it’s time for illustrations. This is when you’ll see the actual drawings for each frame of your video.
The way your illustrations look depends on the animation style you choose at the beginning of the process.
At Promoshin, we typically have our clients approve the first few illustrated frames before we complete them all. The illustrations can be done in various programs, but we use Adobe Photoshop.
Depending on the length of the script along with other factors, the illustrations stage typically takes us 15 to 30 hours (were fast!). This includes time spent on revisions (we offer unlimited).
Low-end illustrator – $20/hour – 15 to 30 hours = $300 to $600
Mid-range illustrator – $50/hour – 15 to 30 hours = $750 to $1,500
High-end illustrator – $100/hour – 15 to 30 hours = $1,500 to $3,000
Being able to make unlimited revisions at this stage is important if you want everything to turn out exactly how you want.
The voiceover should be done after the illustrations, just in case you want to make any changes to your script before then.
The prices for voiceover artists vary significantly across the board. It typically never takes more than 1 to 2 hours to complete a voiceover. This includes any needed revisions.
Low-end voiceover artist – $100/hour – 1 to 2 hours = $100 to $200
Mid-range voiceover artist – $200/hour – 1 to 2 hours = $200 to $400
High-end voiceover artist – $300/hour – 1 to 2 hours = $300 to $600
Once you’re happy with your illustrations and voiceover, it’s time to bring your video to life. The animation phase is the most time-intensive phase since animators need to work on all the little movements for every second of your video.
At Promoshin, this step can take anywhere from 15 to 40 hours depending on the length of the video, animation style you choose, the number of revisions needed, etc.
Low-end animator – $20/hour – 15 to 40 hours = $300 to $800
Mid-range animator – $50/hour – 15 to 40 hours = $750 to $2,000
High-end animator – $100/hour – 15 to 40 hours = $1,500 to $4,000
It’s important to use the right music and sound effects for your video.
The company you work with should take the time to choose the right track and sound effects to add the perfect touch to your video.
This phase shouldn’t cost more than $100 to $300 for time choosing the right music, mixing everything together, putting in the sound effects in the right places, etc.
Now you have a good idea of what goes into creating an animated explainer video, and the approximate costs involved.
Of course these are all just rough estimates and there’s just way too many factors that go into how much a video costs.
What’s listed above also doesn’t include all the emails, phone calls, back and forths, hand holding, recommendations, uploads, renderings, and overall customer support that great companies (like ours) will provide to ensure you have the best experience.
It also doesn’t include any extra features, benefits, and options a specific company may offer.
For example: at Promoshin our top plan offers these extras:
• Unlimited revisions
• Video landing page design
• More than 1 script to choose from
• YouTube advertising
• YouTube remarketing
• Video warranty
• And more!
Go here to view our pricing plans for more details.
When shopping for a company to create your video, you should try to find the most value at the best price (as with anything you buy, right?).
You don’t want to go for the absolute lowest price, because a video should be seen as an investment and not an expense.
That’s right. A video is NOT a commodity!
A good video can make you a lot of money in its lifetime, while a bad video can make your business look bad and actually lower your leads and sales. And having no video is actually better than having a bad video – which can devalue your brand and do more harm than good.
For example, DropBox spent $50,000 on their explainer video. That sounds very expensive out of context.
But what if I told you the video increased their sales by 10%, which resulted in 10 million additional customers and $48,000,000 in additional revenue?
Now $50,000 sounds like chump change, doesn’t it?
That’s why you shouldn’t look at an explainer video as an expense, but rather an investment. It will make you money for years to come!
Remember: The goal isn’t to get a video just to say you have a video now since your competitors have one. The goal is to increase engagement, conversions, sales, and your brand image. Not every video will do this.
There are a bazillion and one video companies out there (as with any type of business), but our clients choose us because they figured out that we offer the absolute most value for the absolute lowest price in the market. Along with all of these other benefits.
And we only hire the best writers, illustrators, animators, and voice talent. But don’t take our word for it!
Go here to check out 100+ video testimonials from past clients.
You can also ask us for contact details of any of our past clients we made a video for so you can contact them and get a reference. Just browse through our portfolio of 100’s of videos, and let us know which past clients you’d like to talk to. We have clients all over the world!