Tuesday Tips: How to Make Compelling Videos on a Budget

Making videos to distribute online can be overwhelming, especially for campaigns working on a low budget. The good news is cheap videos with minimal production are often more persuasive online than expensive and over-produced videos.


The most effective campaigns focus on producing many low-budget videos and strategically select which few messages merit professional production. Here’s how can campaigns can embrace cost-effective video production to drive social media engagement:

1) Capture Everything including events, volunteer action, and media coverage.

With the help of volunteers or campaign staff, film every campaign event, including speeches, rallies, the candidate engaging with constituents, or volunteers canvassing their neighborhood. Campaigns can also collect news-coverage to supplement videos of campaign action and reduce the cost of production. Campaigns can often find salient coverage of key issues and integrate it with campaign videos at almost no cost.

2) Feature Face-to-Face Messages from the candidate, supporters, and volunteers.

Try to capture the candidate, volunteers, and supporters talking directly to the camera to make every video personal and compelling. Candidates can film monologues for stand-alone posts, live streams or as videos integrated with quotes, images, and related visual content. Campaign volunteers, interns, and passionate supporters can also serve as featured subjects in video ads. Even when audio and video quality isn’t perfect, this kind of approach can highlight the real, candid campaign environment and add authenticity.

3) Use a Low-Budget to your Advantage with volunteers with smartphones, selfies and home videos.

Campaigns can utilize phones, tripods, and low-budget means to record videos for social media. More and more advertising and media companies are embracing their smartphones as recording and streaming devices, and campaigns need to do the same. Old home videos or photographs can also help add a personal dimension and build the candidate’s authenticity. This footage can be compiled into simple, compelling videos without high production costs.

What’s the takeaway? Don’t rely solely on high-cost video productions.

Producing only expensive videos can waste resources and time, especially on social-media. Relying only on highly produced footage can be a detriment to any social media portfolio that should be varied, interesting and believable. Low-budget videos are easy to produce, lend authenticity to a campaign, and help build online engagement with real campaign messages.

Previous Tuesday Tips:

Tuesday Tips: How to Drive Voter Engagement with Digital Content

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