Productions — 23.01.2018 by Simeon Quarrie
How to Choose Between In-House and Outsourced Video Storytelling Production

The best time to get started with video in your marketing and business was probably yesterday. Video has an unrivalled power to help companies and individuals engage, connect with, and move their audience.

Video is a marketing and a branding tool that has the ability to make people pause their lives in order to consume it. A well thought-out video makes people stop their social media scrolling and take immediate action. It can make them laugh, cry, learn, think; it can make a difference.

But there’s a challenge: video isn’t easy. It takes strategy, a learning curve, talented staff, a budget, and a defined goal in order for video to make a difference. This is what puts marketers through a dilemma between in-house video staff and an outsourced team of professionals.

There are pros and cons to both, but before we get to them, let’s begin by saying: a great video is the result of extensive planning. Even the most expensive video equipment can’t make a confused message better.

Good video will reflect well on the company and convey its values, professionalism, expertise and humanity. This is why over-planning and overspending will always win against low investment in video planning and quality.

That being said, let’s cover what it takes to make a decision between an in-house video team over outsourcing, and what are the advantages and downfalls of each!

Factors to take into consideration

Before we look into the differences between these two options, it’s important that you know what is it that goes into a single video project. In other words, not every video is made equal. To determine the nature of your project and get a clear picture, you should define:

What resources do you need? Some videos may only require a videographer and a video editor due to their simplicity. For other productions, you may also need a sound technician, a studio with professional lighting, or an animator. Sketch out what you want your video to accomplish and what will it take to make that happen.

How much can you spend? This will help your decision when you’ll be looking at several options for the same video project. There is a common belief that in-house video production is always cheaper, which isn’t always necessarily the case. Keep in mind that the real cost of a cheaper production is a non-effective outcome, or worse, a damaged brand.

How quickly do you need it? The timeline will make a big difference in your decision. Shorter timelines are usually very limiting for in-house teams, and can negatively impact the quality of the video.

Is the project one-time or ongoing? One-time projects will usually be better suited for an outsourced video team, while ongoing video projects may benefit from either in-house team or an outsourced expertise.

In-house video staff
Exclusive availability
Long-term investment
Videos at a consistent expense
Deep understanding of your brand
High up-front investment and hidden costs
Staff training and a steep learning curve
Longer commitment
Limited capacity
A risk of creativity flatlining
Lack of unbiased view
Let’s look at these lists a bit more.

The advantages of having your own video team is obvious: it’s your video team. They only work with you, they know your branding and marketing inside out, and it’s easy to change directions and try new approaches because of this dedication. It’s also a great long-term solution when you know you’ll have an ongoing demand to produce video and you can work with the same team consistently.

However, this comes with some risks and drawbacks. Initial setup of a video team is a large investment as it involves equipment ranging from cameras, lighting and microphones to studio setup and editing software, as well as the cost of hiring new staff. More costs come in the form of ongoing expenses such as equipment upgrade and new technologies.

An in-house team will always be limited with the amount of videos they can produce and the number of creativity sources. Finally, keep in mind that an in-house team almost exclusively makes sense only when you’re committing to long-term video projects as opposed to a one-off project.

When does it make sense?

You will probably get the most out of an in-house video team when you’re planning to have a consistent, frequent video production, as well as when you already know the basics and have some experience in video marketing and you are confident about your video goals and how to achieve them.

It’s also a good option when your videos don’t require the highest quality production, as well as when you want some initial time and flexibility to test different options before you figure out what works best for you.

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