In this article, we’ll look at exactly why prices can be so expensive and why I think you shouldn’t go for a video under a certain threshold in terms of budget.
One thing I learned over the years is that in life 9 times out of 10 you get exactly what you pay for. And if it looks too good to be true, it most probably is. And I’m saying all this from experience because I made all those mistakes myself. Multiple times.
Depending on complexity and duration, an explainer video can cost on average anywhere from $1,000 or $2,000 for a simple and shorter one; all the way to $10,000 – $15,000 or more for a very professional one.
Now, no matter what sort of offers you might find online from various freelancers or companies, I would recommend you have a budget of at least $1,000 to get started, because any company working for less than that, they probably don’t really know what they’re doing. Because if they were any good, they would be charging more.
That being said, I don’t want to discourage you from getting an explainer video if your budget is smaller or you’re just starting out, but just try to manage your expectations a bit better, because quality will definitely suffer to a certain extent.
Now, in order to understand why the pricing can be so high, we need to look at how many people from different areas of expertise come together to produce this amazing piece of video content called an explainer video. And you might be surprised as there are probably more people than you’d imagine.
And I’m not even going to include all the people in the company that are not directly involved in producing the video, but still need to be paid and be there for the company to run, such as sales and marketing people, IT, accounting, and so on. Not to mention office rent and the costs for computers, monitors and even software and plugins which can add up to quite a lot actually.
Every explainer company producing more than 1 video at a time most probably has a project manager. They will be your point of contact and be there for you 24/7 to help you with anything or jump on meetings with you.
At this point, you’re probably thinking we’re getting a little bit fancy here, but nothing beats having a Creative Director, also known as an Art Director. Because there are multiple people involved in the creative process, each one can come up with his or her own vision, and then the whole video is just a mess. That’s why you need someone with experience to create a unique vision and make sure it’s being followed at every step of the way by supervising the work of everyone else on the team.
A better way to wrap your head around this is to think of cinema, because it’s much easier to understand why you need a film director. Why can’t the camera guy just direct the film? Because he’s an expert in cameras and making sure the image looks exceptional, not an expert in managing script, sound design, acting, and so on and putting everything together.
Every respectable explainer company has a professional copywriter in-house that specialises in writing scripts for animated explainer videos. Now you might be thinking, it’s just a bunch of words, what does it matter? And actually, it matters quite a lot because the script is the foundation of any great explainer. Even if you’re trying to save on budget, you can still have a great script with a more simple-looking video and it will still work, while if you have a terrible script with the best-looking video possible, it might be fun to look at but it won’t connect to your audience at all.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, almost all explainer videos out there have a voiceover artist narrating what is happening, basically reading the script. These are usually professional actors with years of training and experience, not to mention access to studios and professional recording equipment which is actually quite expensive. The last thing you want is to have your video sound like it was recorded on an old phone in an echo-y room with background noise. It literally screams amateur and makes people run away.
A great voice artist will read the script in such a way that it adds a lot of emotion depending on what is being said and depending on the values and tone of your branding, taking the listener on a journey that communicates a lot more than just words about who you are and what you do. To find out more about how to choose a voiceover artist, check this article.
An illustrator will be there to conceptualise how your video will look like visually. Basically, he or she takes the script, breaks it down into different scenes, and together with the creative director, they come up with the visual storytelling. There’s a lot of sketching and brainstorming being involved before actually designing anything. Nowadays it’s very easy to find people who are skilled in using the technical tools, but it’s hard to find people that are actually talented, creative, understand color theory, branding, and other design concepts to make your story come to life in a dynamic and engaging way.
Motion Graphics Designer
Sounds like a fancy title, but this is the person that does the animation. Once the illustrator finishes creating fully designed scenes, they are still static at this point. So this is where the animator comes in and starts putting everything together in a smooth and creative animation.
Last but not least, is the sound designer. And depending on your budget, you might skip this one, but if you can afford it, it really adds a lot to the video. We might not realise it, but video and audio are both equally important and it’s super nice to have a professional sound designer available to record and add relevant sound effects for your video and to mix your music, or even create unique music, in such a way that it matches the emotional tone of that point in the story. Because you want the viewer to not just see what’s happening, but also hear, feel, and get immersed in the video.
VIKTOR AI – Explainer Video with Sound Effects
So there you have it. That’s why explainer videos can cost so much to produce, because they bring together even up to 7 people from different areas of expertise to produce this short 1-2 minute animation.
To find out more, check out our entire Explainer Series on YouTube for free or check out our blog Explainer Guides where we go even deeper and cover everything related to Explainer Videos.
And if you want to get an amazing explainer video for your company to stand out from all the noise, produced by a professional and experienced team with over 10+ years in the industry and more than 400+ videos produced for clients all over the world, then browse our website, check out our portfolio and get in touch!