In-House Video Production vs. Outsourcing
You already know that video is a necessity in marketing. The question isn’t whether or not you’re going to produce videos for your company— but rather how you’re going to do it.
You can either enlist the help of videographers at your organization, or you can outsource the projects to a professional video production agency. But what’s best for your specific situation?
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of in-house video production vs outsourcing.
In-House Video Production vs. Outsourcing: Pros and Cons
There are many types of videos that are beneficial for marketing purposes or company operations, including:
- Social media videos
- Company culture videos
- Product demonstration videos
- Customer testimonials
- Brand videos/commercials
- Animated videos
- Employee training videos
As a marketing manager, you’re used to creating content or delegating content creation. You may assume you have to tackle video production yourself, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s better to take the large project off your plate and receive a high-quality product from the pros.
Keep in mind that a standard video production process includes the following steps:
- Writing a brief
- Location scouting
- Hiring crew members
- Acquiring equipment (cameras, lights, props, mics, video editing software, etc.)
- Day-of filming
To help you get a clearer idea of what to expect, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and outsourced video production.
✅ Pros of In-House Production
Sometimes, producing a video in-house just makes sense. Some of the benefits include:
- Full creative control
- Comfort with your brand
- Set your own schedule
- Usually cheaper
- Easy to reschedule if needed
- Feeling at ease in your own office
❌ Cons of In-House Production
On the other hand, filming a video in-house isn’t always ideal. It can be inconvenient or stressful, especially if you have a large workload.
- May not have the necessary video equipment or editing software on hand (or the experience to use it)
- Result can be lower-quality
- If you have a small team, a lot of the work can fall onto one person
- Scheduling co-workers for long periods of filming can be difficult and disruptive
- Can be challenging to remain unbiased with the result
✅ Pros of Outsourcing Video Production
An alternative option is to hire an outside video production agency to tackle the projects for you. There are many positives to going this route, including:
- Expert filmmakers and scriptwriters
- Don’t need to buy or rent any equipment
- Agencies have experience creating many different kinds of videos for different clients
- High-quality result
- Use professional actors if wanted
- Unbiased, third-party perspective
- Ability to create animations and special effects
- Don’t need to take employees away from their work
- All capabilities can be handled at the agency, including scriptwriting and editing
❌ Cons of Outsourcing Video Production
Even though there are a lot of benefits to working with an outside production company, it’s not always the right choice for your company. Some cons can include:
- Higher-quality products cost more
- It takes time to interview different filmmakers or agencies
- You have to let go of some creative control
The Best Times to Outsource
Outsourcing isn’t always the best thing to choose, but hiring the pros is a fantastic choice when you want to prioritize high-quality production. When you have a large video campaign that ties in with your brand strategy, it’s best to hire a professional agency to ensure a pristine product.
Other times when it’s ideal to use a video agency include:
- When you don’t have a large enough in-house video team
- You’re on a tight timeline
- You need a lot of videos at once
- Your team’s work capacity is limited
Certain videos that are often best when outsourced include:
- Customer testimonials: If you want high-quality testimonials on your website, this is something easily handled by an outside agency. You don’t need to find time to schedule it in-house, and professional filmmakers have plenty of experience filming testimonials.
- Brand films: Do you have yearly or bi-yearly brand films that align with your marketing strategy? When representing your brand, it can be best to have an outside eye give an unbiased opinion.
- Advertisements and commercials: Running social media or online ads? Actually hold the attention of prospective customers with a high-quality production.
- Product explainer videos: Whether you’re B2B or B2C, an agency has the equipment and resources to help your product explainer videos shine.
- Animation or special effects: Unless you have a substantial video department in-house, it’s best to leave these videos to the pros.
- Employee training videos: Training videos are often a huge undertaking. Outsourcing to an agency ensures someone else takes on the scriptwriting, filming, and even finding professional actors so you can focus on your other important tasks.
When to Keep Production In-House
Usually, in-house videos have a “homemade” feel, which can be ideal in some circumstances. If you have a small marketing team, you probably don’t want to shoot a large brand campaign in-house, but there are types of videos where this type of production can shine.
Using your internal team makes sense when creating more informal videos or when your company culture needs to be front and center.
You can find success with your in-house team when creating the following videos:
- Company culture videos: The “DIY” or homemade feel is ideal when doing “Meet the Team” videos or filming a recent company event.
- Social media videos: No need to put on a full, top-quality production when doing a TikTok trend!
- Internal communications: Sharing video content with your own team can absolutely be produced internally.
- FAQ videos: FAQ explainer videos do best when they have a homemade, person-to-person feel.
- Informal customer testimonials: Sharing casual customer testimonials on social media can be successful when produced in-house.
- How-to videos: YouTube videos that show viewers how to use your product or service can successfully be produced internally since your team knows the product inside and out.
It’s Great to Do Both!
Don’t feel like you always have to produce videos internally or always need to hire an outside agency. It’s okay to mix and match depending on your capabilities, the production value you want, and the number of projects you need completed.
If you have a smaller company, you may be limited on budget, which will lead you to produce more videos internally. But if you work for a larger company, there may be a higher budget for using professional resources.
However, the opposite can also be true! A smaller company may simply not have high-quality camera equipment and software or enough employees to take on the projects. And a larger company could have a full-blown videography department with highly-experienced employees and all the necessary equipment.
6 Video Outsourcing Tips & Tricks
Maybe you’ve hired a freelance videographer in the past, had a poor experience, and sworn off outsourcing forever. We understand how frustrating it can be to rely on someone else to produce high-value content for your company, only to be let down.
💡 Tip #1: Ask potential agencies or freelancers to share past work they’ve completed that’s similar to your project. Don’t work with someone if you don’t like their style!
💡 Tip #2: Prioritize working with an agency that has plenty of experience in the corporate space. Hiring someone who has only worked on feature-length narrative films will give you a result that’s pretty to look at, but they may not have the eye for what converts in the business world.
💡 Tip #3: Share your brand guidelines, tone of voice, company values, and any other resources that would help the agency get a clear idea of your company’s brand.
💡 Tip #4: Be clear about your timeline and any deadlines. Sign a contract to ensure everyone is on the same page and that you’ll get the completed product when you need it.
💡 Tip #5: Clarify how many rounds of edits the agency or freelancer offers.
💡 Tip #6: In addition to talking with a video production agency in person, read online reviews and testimonials to see what other customers have experienced.
Your Video Content Partner: In Minnesota and Beyond
We hope this guide for marketing managers helped you narrow down when it’s best to create videos internally and when it’s ideal to outsource the project. Here at Stringline Pictures, we’ve been helping businesses across Minnesota (and the entire country) take their video marketing to the next level for over 15 years.
Brand campaigns, training videos, commercials, testimonials, and so much more— you name it, and we can produce a high-quality result that takes the stress off your plate.
We’d love to meet you and hear about your company! Reach out today to let us know how we can help your business.