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

A DIY approach, outsourcing to a videographer or appointing the project to a video production company: sorry, but there’s no textbook way to go!

So how do you decide?

Your choice shouldn’t be based entirely on budget; 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.

What works best for one business is different for another, but your decision should be determined by a mix of time, resources and budget.

And here’s what you should consider.

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-to-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.

Download our free cheatsheet on how to make video using just your smartphone.

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 works well to create selfie-style vlogs (great for email videos) and event highlights.  And 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.

Everyone thinks thinks they can do video, but it takes far more than a just-hit-record-and-see-what-happens approach.  You’ll need to be confident that the quality of the video 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 your team.

When to reconsider

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 Outsourcing 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 pros of outsourcing are access to multi-skilled video specialists and the full toolkit of technical hardware and software.  External creators have a wide frame of reference for ideas and an unbiased view of brand.

It guarantees that the video or videos will showcase 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.

When to reconsider

As you find your output and budgets rising as the success and volume of your video marketing increases, it might be time to revert to a larger scale in-house approach.

The in-house production unit option

An in-house production unit is a more professional and structured approach to video production.

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 specialists enables you to plan and execute all types of video within sales and marketing functions such as prospecting videos, product demonstrations and how-tos.  Video can be extended to all parts of the operations, recruitment and HR, public relations, operations, Internal Communications and so on.

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.

Whichever option you choose, it can be a fluid decision. Staff movement, budget changes and up-skilling 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 and outcome for your business.
If you’re still struggling to work all this out, we’d love to have a chat and steer you in the right direction, so please give Amy a call on 0404 839 393 or contact us via the interweb.

And to get your creative juices flowing, you might want to swing by our portfolio page.

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