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If you’re reluctant to incorporate video into your marketing mix, I get it. Compared to relatively inexpensive content tactics like blogging and social, video sounds expensive, risky and time-consuming.

But if you’re thinking you can ignore video because your customers don’t watch videos online anyway, here are a couple statistics to consider. According to Forbes:

  • Over 500 million people are watching video every day on Facebook alone
  • In four years, global internet video traffic will be over 80% of all consumer internet traffic

By my math, we’ve got about ten years before we’re all illiterate blobs hooked up to feeding tubes while AI-powered machines broadcast 24-7 cat videos directly into our brains and harvest our immobile bodies for energy. (I’m kidding, of course. We have at least 15 years until that happens.)

Regardless of what it says about the future of the human race, the video thing is more than a small trend. It’s not going anywhere, and there’s a strong chance that if your customers aren’t consuming video online now, they will be soon.

The good news is that it’s getting easier to make marketing videos that don’t suck without going bankrupt in the process. To provide some ideas and inspiration, here are seven examples of good, budget-friendly video marketing.

1. Nu-Era Bakery – Pepperoni Roll

Why it works: The best videos tell a good story, and this simple Nu-Era Bakery video tells the origin story of the pepperoni roll (I think it sounds good?) and how it’s proudly carrying on the pepperoni roll tradition in the coal mining community in West Virginia. Made with video building platform Animoto, this video makes use of text subtitles — which are critical for social media — and required no actors, voice-overs or extensive shooting.

2. Intelligentsia – Chemex Brew Guide

Why it works: Another social-friendly example, this video from Chicago-based coffee roaster Intelligentsia also has no actors, no voice-over and appears to be mostly shot in one location. The lighting is good and there are lots of cool slow-motion shots, so despite the seemingly simple production, it’s hard to take your eyes off it. Also, coffee.

3. Switchfast Technologies – The Future of Business Productivity

Why it works: This short video we made for Switchfast was created to play on loop at an interior design trade show at which Switchfast was exhibiting. In a setting we knew would be decidedly contemporary, Switchfast wanted to stand out by being playfully outdated in a mid-century modern way. The entire video was made in-house at Simple Machines using nothing but stock footage, a microphone and iMovie editing software, and it served it’s purpose of grabbing attention, getting some laughs and starting some good conversations. See how our own Scott Rogers created the video here.

4. DESTIHL Brewery – Packaging Crew

Why it works:
Breweries are generally pretty prolific with their video production. This simple, social video shows DESTIHL’s packaging team prepping for the release of their bourbon barrel-aged Dosvidanya. With no audio and no script, the execution with this type of video is all about getting a few good shots and getting it up on social. And now I want to drink bourbon barrel-aged beer. 

5. Jay’s Custom Creations – How to Build a Doghouse

Why it works: Here’s another how-to video that has almost nothing in common with the Intelligentsia example. The production here is well-done, but this type of video can be produced without any overly expensive equipment or a big film crew. More than anything, I think the lesson here is that if you can sync your staple gunning to the soundtrack of your video, you’re guaranteed at least a million views.

6. Soylent – Taste Buds

Why it works: I like this Soylent video because it’s funny and memorable, and while there’s a higher production quality to this video that comes with professional level equipment, lighting and acting, it’s a short, single-shot piece with one actor and no fancy effects or editing. Production quality aside, this one works because it’s a smart concept.  

7. Dollar Shave Club – Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Why it works: You already know this one, but here it is again in this list because the company spent only $4500 to make it, and it still holds up.

The commonality among these videos is that they didn’t need Super Bowl budgets to work because they featured quality content that spoke to their audience. There are times when higher end video productions are warranted, but hopefully these examples provide some inspiration and ideas for how you might start incorporating less cost-intensive videos into your marketing mix.

For a deeper look at how you can make great video content, click here.