While most SMEs would like to have professionally-made marketing videos available to promote their products and services, most don’t have the budget to afford them. Recognising this as a problem he could solve, commercial video producer Luke Murphy set up Training Reels in September 2021 to provide DIY production facilities where companies can make high-quality marketing videos at a fraction of the normal cost.
“Content marketing can have a three-fold return compared to traditional marketing. However, it is way too expensive for many businesses,” Murphy says. “It can cost up to €150,000 a year when done by an external production company whereas with our service it’s possible to produce high quality marketing videos for around €20,000 a year.”
A graduate in film & screen media from UCC, Murphy first became of the extent of the cost barrier aware four years ago when he began producing videos for clients through his production company Waking Dreams Media.
“I wanted to help my clients increase their social reach with video but I soon realised that my rates, and the rates of many production companies like mine, were too expensive for most businesses to create weekly material for content marketing,” he says.
“I noticed that in-house video production is an option ignored by a lot of businesses and that prompted me to start developing the idea for a self-service production kit to help my clients increase their video output. However, this was only tackling one of the issues, the equipment. They also needed help to tackle the other aspects of production and that’s how the idea for the Training Reels self-service studio was born.”
Murphy’s plan is to locate small studios in 40 co-working hubs and business centers around the country. Companies can then book the studio online to make their marketing videos. They will be guided through the process from setting up to editing with step-by-step instructions via a tablet and will leave with a finished product despite having minimal technical knowledge, Murphy says. The pricing model is still being worked on, but it is likely be a combination of a flat fee for one-offs and a discounted annual rate for weekly videos.
Typical customers will be SMEs that want to use content marketing as a primary sales channel but whose budget doesn’t stretch to regularly using a production company. “We are offering companies two options,” Murphy says. “They can make their own videos and/or if they want something more bespoke. We can help them to do this through our production company.”
Murphy expects Training Reels to be in beta within six months with the full version coming on stream in Q1 of 2023. The business has been developed with sweat equity and a small stipend from the Ignite accelerator at UCC.
Murphy is now looking to raise about €250,000 to make key hires and kick off the commercialisation process. He is starting with the Irish market but says the real potential lies in the US where video marketing is better established.
“Video marketing is already popular but there’s a lot more room for growth. For example, research shows that 79 per cent of non-video marketers say they expect to start using video as a marketing tool in 2022 and video is expected to continue to grow as a percentage of overall ad spend for at least the next three years, Murphy says.
“We know from customer interviews that almost 50 per cent of businesses identified budget as an issue in using video as part of their marketing plan but emerging such technologies as AI-assisted editing, automated equipment and cheap quality cameras will soon allow anyone to make high quality -quality videos without much technical knowledge.
“A studio just needs to bundle the tools together within a customer-friendly environment and this is exactly what we’re doing with Training Reels.”