Create-Quality-Commercial-BudgetIf you are currently running a small business or startup, you may be interested in producing a commercial to include in your marketing campaign. However, quality, professional commercials can often cost much more than a small company can afford. Luckily, though, you don’t have to be a millionaire to have a commercial that looks like a million bucks. Use these simple tips to create a quality commercial that won’t give you sticker shock.

Stock Footage

One of the easiest ways to get great, professional quality film is to use premade stock footage. Stock footage is the film version of stock photos: film cuts that are for sale for private and commercial use. There are dozens of stock footage companies out there, like Stock Footage Inc., that provide footage for businesses and filmmakers. These film cuts are especially useful for establishing shots, nature shots, and even historical shots. Want a bird’s-eye view of the city, but no money for a helicopter? Aerial stock footage has you covered. Depending on what your vision is for your commercial, stock footage can be a cost-effective option.

Craigslist Crew

Finding people to help produce a commercial can empty your pockets quickly. Instead of relying solely on professional actors and crew, try reaching out to students and freelancers on job sites like Craigslist. You can often find students who are willing to work for free to gain experience for their resume and portfolios. Not only will this save you hundreds of dollars in production costs, but you can also expand your professional network for any future projects you might have in mind.

Social Media

No one can argue that social media is a powerful and effective tool. Don’t let this resource go to waste! Utilize sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to your friends and networks. If you need a large number of people for your commercial (e.g. crowd shots), social media can be a great place to start.

Don’t forget the power of social platforms to raise awareness and funds. Sites like Kickstarter are great outlets for acquiring the necessary funds for projects you can’t afford yourself. Let your networks know about your fundraising efforts and watch as the money flows in. Just make sure you sell it well—the more people like your project proposal, the more willing they will be to support it financially.

Rental Equipment

Instead of investing in expensive production equipment, look into rental options. A high-quality video camera, lighting, and sound equipment can set you back thousands of dollars. Shop around at different sites and companies to see what best fits your needs and budget. You can also ask your film volunteers if they have equipment they can provide as well.

The difference between a good commercial and a bad one is often found in its quality. Though in many ways, quality comes with a price tag, there are many things you can do to lessen the financial blow. With just a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can have a commercial worthy of an Oscar—or at least one that brings in more customers.

Author Byline: Jake Magleby has written extensively about effective marketing, sales, and financing strategies to help small business owners succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world. For more video resources, visit Stock Footage Inc.