You know the commercials. The TV ads that are so bad – so poorly scripted, shot, and acted – that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So you do a little bit of both. You wonder why anyone would have paid money to have this ad made. And, after watching one of these commercials, actually purchasing the product or service advertised is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

The same goes for online marketing videos. I’ve written elsewhere on what you should expect to pay for an animated explainer video, but I want to re-iterate here: You get what you pay for! Animated video production quality runs the gamut from high-end, eye-dazzling works of marketing art that move people to action, to videos that are cheap, ineffective, and unengaging. So while the possibility of a $500 video might sound appealing, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do you want results… Or just a video?

Because if you want a video that delivers – increased conversion, boosted sales, etc. – then you’ll want to make something worthwhile. If you really want people to watch your video and respond to it, you have to produce one that is worth watching. Take a look at companies that are doing great things like Apple, Dropbox, Salesforce, etc – they’re not skimping on the budget of their productions, because they know the somewhat small investment (in the grand scheme of things) makes their brand stand out, and you respect it and buy from them.

Animated video production cost

2. Do you want people to trust you?  

Here’s the thing: Everyone is a video connoisseur these days. Consumers encounter visual advertising all day long, so they know good video from bad. And it might sound like a no-brainer, but the quality of your video has a direct impact on how people perceive your brand. They trust companies that invest in good branding, marketing, and video. Almost anyone can pick out bad audio, or low-quality animation, or camera work that was shot on some guy’s iPhone. So when people come across a quality video, they pay attention – because they know it took work. They know it took money and time, and not just anyone could have made it. People trust good video because they know it takes some expertise.

 3. Do you want a video that’s worth the investment?

What good is a shoestring explainer video if it looks like you made it in your basement? Whereas a high-budget production offers great ROI – making up for the dent in your checkbook – a cheaply-made video may do little more than cause embarrassment and make your company look unprofessional. Why invest at all if it’s not going to work?

 When you purchase an explainer, you’re not just simply buying a video, you’re paying for a proven, effective process. To put it even more plainly, you’re paying for the results you’re going to end up with. If you hire a company based upon their “cheapness”, you’ll unfortunately get exactly what you paid for…a cheap-looking, non-converting video. But if you understand that online video is not a one-time purchase, but a long-term investment in a forward-looking content marketing strategy, then teaming up with a quality video production house makes a lot more sense. Don’t settle for cheap video! Better yet, don’t settle for anything cheap.