So, you’ve decided you’ve just got to have an explainer video on your site. That’s great stuff – congratulations on taking that first step towards a better performing site.
The question remains, however, of how you’re going to have your video built. There are a number of options on the table, all of which have their ups and downs. Your budget, skill set, quality standards, and tolerance for frustration will all help you decide which option might be best for you.
Whichever price bracket you aim for, there will be a number of options that you’ll want to consider within that will determine your final price point. Building assets of any sort is a very personal thing, so think carefully about what resources you have available, how much time you can dedicate, and where your own strengths lie.
For a total of $0 you can get your hands on the software used (https://opentoonz.github.io/e/) by master animators Studio Ghibli. Once you’ve downloaded it, all you need to do is learn to draw, write, animate, compose, and compile sound effects like a master filmmaker. Then you’ll be on your way to a cost-free development phase. (P.S. The manual is in Japanese).
You see, if you have the time, patience, and discipline to produce quality work yourself then the platforms are out there for very little cost. The question is, do you have the resources available to master the varied disciplines required to produce something of decent quality? Only you can answer that one but, in the meantime, let’s look at some more options.
Assuming you need a basic level of outside expertise, freelancers are going to be your go-to option.
Let’s say you’re able to write, storyboard, record the soundtrack, and find stock music all yourself, but you still need an animator to put the whole thing together. In this case, a freelancer is a cost-effective option for you. You can find all sorts of animators and artists over at Upwork.com.
However, great freelancers are notoriously hard to find. Beware of bad communication, slow delivery times, and lacklustre quality. You also face the problem of accountability – if a freelancer gives you rubbish or rips you off, there’s nobody you can complain to. Building a strong team of freelancers that will deliver everything to a high standard can take up to a year and cost even more than an agency. If you have a low tolerance for frustration, this one definitely isn’t for you.
For most marketers, this is the goldilocks option. A dedicated agency can deliver a decent quality animation for as low as $1000 dollars. That’s everything built from the ground up. You can even lower the price on this by doing certain aspects yourself, like writing the script or creating a soundtrack.
Between here and the $10,000 dollar mark is where you’ll find the bulk of variation in quality. A $1000 animation will likely use a lot of recycled sprites and sound effects whilst videos up over $5000 will use mostly custom built characters, quality sound effects, and top-level script writers.
A dedicated, full-service animation agency is definitely the best option if you want everything done for you at a reasonable price. If your USP is to compete on price, a cheaper video may even be more in line with your brand.
Finally, you could always take a look at the creme-de-la-creme. Studios that charge these sort of prices are used to working on big budget productions, including movies, games, and ad spots for multi-national brands. Everything you get in an animation, from the sprites to the music, should be custom built for you at this level.
This can be a good thing and a bad thing for you. Whilst the quality of animation at this level is going to be top-notch, a higher-level studio is likely to be used to highly-creative work. If you just want to convert customers as quickly as possible, they may not have the marketing know-how to do it. However, a top-level marketing studio will be able to create testable variations for you to find the best fit.
Now that you know the options, the choice is yours. To find out how much we would charge for your next project, get in touch here.