How to Make a Spectacular Promo Video on a Budget

Are you absolutely clueless about shooting a promo video for an upcoming event or fundraiser and a little worried about how you’re going to pull it off with no budget?

Well, don’t panic.

Here is how to make a spectacular promo video on a budget.

Sometime last year I was asked to come up with a new way to promote a foundation’s annual fundraiser. Video was on the up (still rising, get with it!) so I suggested a promo video without a second thought.

I ran into some snags early on. One being I’d never been to the fundraiser or knew the kinds of people who were loyal supporters to the foundation. The event hosted California sanctioned boxing matches and net proceeds were split between two charities, that’s all I knew.

Boxing wasn’t a sport I grew up watching or fell into later on in life and didn’t want to flub a boxing promo video to an assuming boxing crowd.

These are the list of questions I asked myself to get the creative juices flowing.

  1. Who’s the audience? – if you don’t know, ask the boss and dig through the photo archives of  previous events. Trust me, pictures help.
  2. What would make me watch a promo video? – Do visuals matter? Humor appropriate? Can I put the audience’s favorite people in the video?
  3. What are the video tools? – hint: they don’t have to be fancy. The foundation had a small budget and by small I mean non-existent.

With a zillion question marks fogging my creativity, I kept my ears open hoping something would spark.

Never forget to listen. 

Low and behold the receptionist was getting multiple phone calls a day from Fight Night guests, all with the same question. What should I wear?

Ding-ding-ding! I’ll make a video about what guests should and shouldn’t wear. But where do I even begin? I’m not a professional videographer and have almost NO resources (meaning fancy video editing software to hide my non-professonalism).

Get crafty. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. 

I used a camera, my coworkers, and standard “video editing” software, a.k.a. Windows Media Player.

This is what I got.


It took me FOREVER to edit because I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING, but I did it and it was a huge hit. In the end that’s all that matters. Us social media marketing people love it when our work, works.

Materials Used:

  • Pixabay for graphics
  • Photoshop to stick them on each photo (you can do the same concept in Powerpoint)
  • Music came from YouTube’s free audio library.

In the end, a little bit of humor helped. Everyone likes a good laugh.

Keep these questions in mind the next time your boss asks you to make a spectacular promo video on a budget.

Have you made a promo video on a budget? Share the link in the comment section, I’d love to see it! Have you made a fancy-schmancy video? I want to see those, too! 

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