Multimedia For The Small Business

Multimedia is everywhere on the Internet, whether in the form of floating ads at major websites, streaming video or animated presentations. Of course, there is a good reason why multimedia has become such an integral part of the web experience: it’s an effective tool for capturing attention or provoking visitors to buy or contact the site owner. For these reasons, many educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations desire multimedia presentations. Unfortunately, at first glance multimedia, often appears prohibitively expensive for small businesses and non-profits. The following represent a number of ways to control the high cost that typically accompanies multimedia production without losing quality. We believe these suggestions will ensure that you save money but still feel good about your investment.

Let’s begin by understanding the components of professional multimedia production, which include creative development, actual production, and various stages for revisions.

The lion’s share of multimedia production costs typically stems from creative development. This is often the most controversial line item for frugal business owners, who may ask, “shouldn’t the cost of the creative be part of the design or production costs?” As with fine clothing, where the choice of designer adds to the cost of your product more so than the actual material or sewing, multimedia design costs depend on the creative input as well. For example, if you hire a designer with more experience or with a track record of creating unique, catchy concepts, your creative development costs may be higher. Of course, the final product may result in having a stronger impact as well. The solution isn’t to pick the least expensive creative professional, but rather to understand their process in order to help speed production (thus reducing cost).

The second component of multimedia production, the design and production of the piece itself, typically requires less guesswork in terms of defining cost. The cost per minute of production depends on a limited number of specific parameters, such as the complexity of the animation and the overall quality of the design agency selected. Generally speaking, there are three types of firms – from a cost perspective – you can choose to work with: a purely on-shore, purely off-shore, or a hybrid off-shore/on-shore firm. The type of organization you choose will have a strong correlation with the quality and the price you pay.

The third component, client revisions, is an area controlled most easily and typically is the cause of inflating or deflating multimedia development costs beyond a designer’s original estimate, or your expectations. The most basic revisions consist of three rounds: changes to creative concepts, changes to a draft version of the final product, and a final review. Often, more revisions may be needed when a designer is provided with inconsistent or incomplete information. This invariably results in a higher cost than expected.

With the extensive time that some multimedia presentations call for, requiring the efforts of creative professionals and skilled developers, it’s not surprising that multimedia presentations and ads can be expensive. Why, then, consider them? Are they effective?

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Multimedia presentations are very successful at grabbing people’s attention. Multimedia results in higher retention of marketing information by viewers, or more enthusiasm for an offer. When compared to static text, graphics, or even audio, multimedia is simply more compelling due to its ability to trigger multiple senses at the same time.