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In house vs outsourcing: what video production model is right for you?

As a business, how do you resource your video production? Do you take an ad-hoc DIY approach, commission videos from a production company or is your approach a mixture of the two?

When it comes to making business video, there’s no right way to go.

What works best for one business is different for another, but your decision will likely be determined by time, resources and budget.

Don’t make a choice based purely on the cash factor; external production doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg AND even if you create video internally “for free”, something else in the business has to give, so there is an indirect cost.

THE DIY OPTION

Making low-fi video in-house is a relatively easy and affordable way to start experimenting with business video. And smartphone cameras make it an achievable proposition on a next top nothing budget.

But the quality of output relies on identifying someone in your team with basic video making skills or a willingness to up-skill.

There are many free or low cost resources available – music, software and stock footage. And a plethora of DIY video-making apps (eg Promo, Slid-ly, Powtoon) to make the process easier.

The result will be simple no-frills video produced relatively quickly.

This model produces videos such as selfie-style vlogs (great for email videos) and event highlights.

As the skill and confidence of your team improves, you can record simple interviews with staff and customers, highlights of events and product demonstrations.

ADVANTAGES

This is an option that suits a business where budgets are limited and where retaining creative control and oversight is key. Your team understands your brand intimately and production can be absorbed into existing workflows.

DISADVANTAGES

Success with this option is dependent on the equipment, skill level and focus of staff.

Everything thinks they can do video – but it is far more than a point and shoot option. You’ll want a level of quality that matches your brand image.

Plus video making – particularly editing – is a big time suck so balance this with the loss of productivity in other areas by staff.

As production increases, so does the potential disruption. Balance this with limited production capability, lack of space to film and inward-focused creativity and it may be time to weigh up moving into a different model.

THE OUTSOURCE OPTION

This is an option for businesses wanting to increase the quality or quantity of their video output, and when your team reach a creative road block.

Outsourcing works best when specialised equipment (drone or underwater gear) or production and digital skills are needed.

It’s a sensible option when delivery date is key and your team are short on time. An actual allotted budget is vital.

The types of video this production model suits, range from brand videos and testimonials to animated explainer videos and videos with motion graphics.

They can include stylised and multi-person interviews, infomercials and advertorials and everything in between.

ADVANTAGES

The advantage of outsourcing, is the access to multi-skilled video specialists

and the full toolkit of technical hardware and software. Creators have a wide frame of reference for ideas and an unbiased view of brand.

It guarantees too that the video or videos will show case your brand, your story, your product or your people in the best possible way.

DISADVANTAGES

Naturally the production quality comes at a cost. And whilst it frees up staff from hands-on production, someone will still need to manage and oversee.

This less-hands on approach requires a level of trust that is hard to generate overnight, let alone the challenge of finding a creator who is a right fit for your brand and team.

But as you find your output and budgets rising as the success of your video marketing increases, it might be time to revert to a new and improved in house approach.

SETTING UP IN-HOUSE PRODUCTION UNIT OPTION

When demand for video across all parts of the business is high and continuous, it might be time to initiate in-house production on a more formal level than before

Not only does it make more sense financially, but an ongoing investment enables a video-first approach to all marketing efforts by creating resources and opportunity to generate ongoing and new content.

Hiring specialist production staff will enable you to plan and execute all types of video within sales and marketing functions (prospecting videos, product demonstrations, How tos) and all parts of the business. Recruitment and HR, Media and News, Internal Communications etc.

ADVANTAGES

Having a dedicated video producer to oversee all video gives you the ability to create volume, experiment with ideas and formats as well as introduce time and cost efficiencies. They will know your company systems, processes and brands well and this specialist knowledge will be faster and more efficient for other parts of the business.

You will also be able to create quality video with fast turnaround times and content that can be stored and re-used multiple times later.

DISADVANTAGES

Creating an in-house unit will necessitate ongoing personnel costs (Holiday and sick loading, super etc) and capability will be limited by staff budget and capability. You may still have to outsource some skills. The cost of buying and maintaining equipment and space a recurrent cost and technology can fast become redundant. Media management, storage and archiving can be a headache.

Bear in mind, whatever option you choose, it can be a fluid decision. Staff movement, budget changes and upskilling can change out of the blue, and it’s important to regularly review your production model to ensure you are getting the best quality product.

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