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

According to Huspot 99% of current video marketers will continue using video in 2021, so it’s a tool that ain’t going away!

And why wouldn’t you – it’s fast, effective and enables you to communicate at volume to build genuine emotional connections with customer. 

But what is the most effective way to make it happen? Putting the task onto your team and providing the equipment and resources needed, or “outsourcing” – hiring an individual or an agency to manage the project for you?

What factors should you consider?

Cost

Budget is a key factor, but making a choice based purely on a dollar figure is not as simple as it appears.

Outsourcing comes at a real dollar figure – the number on a final invoice is irrefutable.

Yet making video in house whilst technically cheaper, doesn’t equate to ‘free’.  The indirect cost of an individual or a team creating that video internally. comes at the expense of another task or project.  You’ll need to weigh this up.

Beyond operational costs, there’s the hardware (and software) involved.  Cameras, audio gear, editing computer and programme, a filming location and equipment storage.

There’s the cost of purchasing equipment should you decide to produce video internally.  Who will maintain it and how will you factor in obsolesce and the thirst for new technology?

And can you afford to invest in a specialist piece of kit – like a drone or underwater camera – just for one idea in one video.

 

Skills and quality

Whilst there may be a video skill set in your team, do they have the experience across multiple video projects to make your video shine?  There’s a big difference between someone who functionally knows how to use a certain type of editing software and takes days to craft an average product versus an experienced editor who can use their intuition and experience across multiple projects and platforms to quickly and easily create a high quality product beyond your expectations.

Do you or any of your team have the skills to facilitate production or is there a need for training?

Outsourcing enables you to utilise the skills and experience of dedicated video experts whose value is further enhanced with specialist equipment, knowledge and technical ability to deliver a higher quality.

Brand ownership is a key advantage to using your internal people to create video.  Your team knows your business inside out, but often a fresh perspective from outside the organisation brings fresh eyes and an ability to push the creative boundaries and topics way beyond the original plan;  in a good way.

Time

Weighing up whether an individual has time to take-on video production as part of their job role is important to consider.

And whilst creating ongoing videos for your business may at first seem a step to far for an already-overstretched team, delivery of video content may ultimately save the business time in repetitive tasks, in which case it makes sense over time.

It’s likely it’s probably faster to make video in house, people have pre-formed relationships with on-screen talent, can talk contributors into quickly being on camera and get it done pretty fast.

While quality maybe improved from outsourcing, chances are it will be weeks before your idea makes it onto their schedule let along being ready to publish.

What are the pros and cons?

The DIY Option

Low-fi video making in-house is a relatively low risk option to start experimenting with business video.  

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 and generally ends up being low-fi and frills-free.

There are many free or low cost resources available – music, software and stock footage to improve production.  Plus 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.

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

  • Where budgets are limited and retaining creative control and oversight is key.
  • Your team understands your brand intimately and production can be absorbed into existing workflows.
  • Shoots are easy to plan and execute.
  • Low fi delivers a relatable and authentic product – a fantastic way to build audience and customers.

Disadvantages

  • Success 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.
  • Need to invest in equipment which can be daunting and time consuming up front.
  • Video making – particularly editing – is a big time suck, so balance this with the loss of productivity in other areas by your team.
  • Quality is usually less than with a pro 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.

Want to skill up in DIY video?  get our free  SMARTPHONE GEAR GUIDE 2021.
The Outsourcing option

This is an option if your business wants to up 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 but an actual dollar 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

  • Access to multi-skilled video specialists (writers, animators, drone operators, colourists etc) 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.
  • Guarantees that the video or videos will showcase your brand, your story, your product or your people in the best possible way.
  • Frees up your team to concentrate on where they shine.

Disadvantages

  • Production quality comes at a cost. 
  • Requires an in-house project manager.
  • Cost per video is higher.
  • Less control of process, timeline
  • 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

  • Gives you the ability to create at volume, experiment with ideas and formats as well as introduce time and cost efficiencies. 
  • Utilises your company systems, processes and brand knowledge.
  • Makes processes far more efficient for other parts of the business.
  • Enables fast turnaround creation of quality video
  • Video can easily be accessed and re-used multiple times later.

Disadvantages

  • Creating an in-house unit will necessitate ongoing personnel costs (Holiday and sick loading, super etc)
  • Capability will be limited by staff budget and capability.
  • May require some outsourcing for specialist equipment or projects.
  • Cost of buying and maintaining equipment and space, plus technology can fast become redundant. 
  • Media management, storage and archiving can be a headache.

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.

When to use each option?

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

DIY Video

Low fi and frills-free production is authentic and can make you or your business more relatable to your customers.  It all suits projects that need to be turned around fast and where relying on inter-work relationships is key.

Where it works:

  • On-the-fly customer testimonials
  • Educational videos for customers
  • FAQ explainer videos
  • Internal communications
  • “As live” at events or during production
  • Social media video
In-House Production 

With a more focused production effort, the quality can increase as well as the type of content.

Where it works:

  • Company culture videos
  • Product explainer videos
  • Nurture videos
Outsourcing Production 

Outsourced video will deliver big on quality and experience but the per-video cost can be relatively high for one-off projects .  

A more cost effective way is to use an external outfit for a series to produce where you’ll be able to get cost efficiencies at scale.

Where it works:

  • Brand films
  • Homepage videos
  • Ads 
  • Website testimonials 
  • Explainer or animated videos

The best solution?

There are pros and cons to both approaches. In our humble opinion the best option for any business is a hybrid approach.

Set up a production unit in the business for low fi, intimate and regular video production but invest in bringing in the big guns for top of the funnel, evergreen content to raise awareness of your brand.

 

 

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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