Size doesn’t matter: $10,000 is ‘optimal spend on filming a video ad’

Nov 20, 2018 | Content marketing, Online advertising

How much should you spend on a video ad production? A new experiment pitted three ads against each other to discover the optimal amount to spend on filming a video.


Wistia sought to answer the question of how to place budget on video ads, using their platform and resources to do the type of research only they could perform.
The results indicate that ad quality is more important than the video budget.
Entrepreneurs don’t have to break their bank; for example, an ad costing $1,000 performs equally as well as an identical ad made on a $100,000 budget.
The Wistia One Ten One Hundred research project produced three adverts (for $1k $10k and $100k) measuring which ones performed the best. The report shows that video advertising is easily within the budgets of small and medium sized businesses.
The research found that the $10k video advert performed twice as well across all platforms compared to the $1k and £100k ads. The $10K video had nearly half the Cost Per Install (CPI). On YouTube, the $10K ad had an average CPI of $6.66 vs. >$10 for the other two ads, and on Facebook, the difference was even greater.
For all the insights and analysis of the performance, you can download the report “Does Production Quality Matter in Video Advertising?” available here.
The report reveals how and where, businesses should spend their money to make video worth it. This makes it the ideal resource for those budgeting and planning to take advantage of video marketing in 2019. The report details:
• What does this mean for big business?
• What does this mean for SMEs?
• What does this mean for digital marketers?
• How much you should spend on video production
Furthermore, there is a companion documentary ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’, where veteran and budding filmmakers can see how each video was made.
The study was designed to shine a light on business videos – where there is a current lack of transparent data on how much they cost and what you can expect to achieve with the investment. In a time where the conversation focuses on blockbuster adverts such as the John Lewis Christmas (UK) or the Super Bowl adverts (US) Wistia shows that even SMEs can benefit from the rise of video on the internet and provided your core creative idea is strong, anyone can produce a video that has meaningful impact.
“For us, the $10K video ad was the overall best performer. If you look at a lot of the feedback it really struck the right balance for us between professionalism and authenticity. That said, the $1k ad performed just as well as the $100k ad, and this demonstrates that with the right idea and narrative you can get as much out of $1k as $100k.
“Our research really helps add some clarity for businesses as to what is achievable for a wide variety of budgets and helps show video advertising is now within reach for most small businesses.”
While initially the report shows that YouTube is the stronger platform for driving installs, Facebook appeared to drive more brand awareness as we saw a 234% increase in searches for Soapbox.
Other headline findings include:

Glossy doesn’t mean great results

• Throughout this campaign, Wistia discovered that production quality did not matter much at all. The $1k ad shot on an iPhone performed just as well (if not better) as the video shot with a full Hollywood film crew.
YouTube doesn’t give preference to the best performing ad
• In the tests, the ad which was ordered first in a group of uploaded video received the most impressions, and the ad at the bottom of the group had the fewest.
A Facebook ‘video view’ is unclear
• Scrolling past an autoplaying video on a phone or browser appears to trigger a “play” in the Facebook ads platform, but what triggers a publicly visible “view” is unclear. This was observed in the video campaign on Facebook which has had approximately 1 million total plays, of which 32% constituted a view of more than 3 seconds in length and 11% a view of more than 10 seconds in length. The publicly visible view count is 260,000
Our favored metric was cost per install (CPI), meaning when an individual actually installed the Soapbox Chrome plugin. The advertising campaign ran during September.
More in depth methodology can be found in the full report.
All the adverts can be watched here

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