In-house vs outsourcing video production | Q and A Video Marketing

In-house vs Outsourcing Video Production | Q and A Video Marketing

Live Q and A Session #8 19 May 2014.

TOPIC: In-house vs Outsourcing


Hello and welcome my name is Marcus Seeger and I’m the owner and video profit strategist here at Video Experts. Thank you for joining me and welcome to our #8 session of live video marketing Q&A.

So today’s topic is the question of:

Is it best for me to produce my videos in-house or would I be better off to outsource my video production?

So let’s dive straight into it. The answer is, it depends on the outcome. So once again we start with the beginning in mind. So for example, the idea of producing videos in-house is very appealing for a number of reasons, so we’re going to delve into that first and then we’ll look at the benefits of actually outsourcing, and a lot of times the decision whether to outsource or produce in-house is actually determined by the video that you’re actually looking at getting made. So I’m just going to check my notes here, and excuse me for my cold, it’s been sticking around for a week or so, but hopefully I’ll be all clear for next week.

We’re going to start with in-house production. So there’s two options really for in-house, you could look at actually, depending on the size of your organisation, creating a media department and that might be just one full time person, but it is a dedicated division in the company or organisation that is responsible for content creation and specifically video content creation. So what that would mean is that you have a videographer in-house that can produce videos, has all the equipment for the shooting and lighting, editing, distribution etc. So that can be very cost-effective if you’re producing a large number of videos throughout the year, maybe you have some specific campaigns as well that you’re wanting to produce in-house, and you certainly need a certain economy of scale to be able to make that work effectively for you.

There are a number of organisations that have taken this step, they might have actually been outsourcing their video production for two or three years for example and they’ve come to a point where they’re just realising that they’re really just taking this video marketing to another level, they’ve seen the results and the ROI over the last few years and for one reason or another they’re wanting to bring that in-house, so that can happen.

The other example of in-house production is a team member that is maybe tech savvy, maybe enjoys making home movies or photography and you can allocate some resources to that person and have them be responsible for some content creation, particularly in regards to social media. I think this is a great idea to have somebody in your team that is able to pick up a smartphone or an iPhone for example and get some content, like fly on the wall, in the moment type of content that could be shared through social media. This will develop a deeper relationship with your community if they can see some video of what’s actually happening, like a day in the daily life type of, a day in a, you know, what is actually happening at this company, what things are they doing? So one example might be, actually one of our clients actually has a mechanic business and they’re working on a very specific performance vehicle project at the moment. So a great idea for them would be to, and this is what they’re doing actually, is in-house, every time they do something to that vehicle, like it’s a six week project, not only are they taking photos but they’re taking a little bit of video as well and uploading that onto YouTube and then distributing it through their social media channels.

So people can track that project in a way through video that is much more engaging than it would be otherwise. Other examples would be if there’s a particular event that’s happening at a large organisation, at a company that might have just hit their highest sales for the month for example, and they just want to celebrate that and put out a little video there.

So these types of things are typically quite short, like I’m thinking 15-20 seconds, shot on a smartphone device, with a little bit of training you can have a staff member that can be called upon, it’s not their main role in the company but they can be called upon when required, maybe a dozen times a month to be responsible for creating that video and distributing it through social media or possibly sending that video to the social media agency or person that’s responsible for that. So that can work well for some organisations as well.

The third example and final example of in-house is where you have somebody who’s a little bit more involved, this might be for a small business, maybe it’s a sole operator or maybe just with a few staff, and you might have that person saying “well I’m really keen to make some videos here, let’s get stuck into it, I’ll buy a little bit of gear, I’ll invest in this, I can see the benefits of video marketing, it’s going to be easier and quicker and more cost-effective for me initially to create my own videos” and there’s a lot of resources out there that can assist you in that.

So what typically might happen there where Video Experts is involved, is that they would come to us for strategy, so we can help them develop a video marketing strategy and identify the best ROI in terms of the types of videos that they could be producing in-house and provide some guidance and overview there that will help them actually get the most out of videos that they’re making, and then at a certain point down the track they might just continue doing that or they might start outsourcing a little bit of the higher end more important, for example the about us videos for the home page, to an external outsource company.

So that leads us into outsourcing. Now that is typically where you get the benefit of a very clear strategy, that’s usually the first thing that we deal with, well it always is, it’s the why – the what and the how come later, it’s the why are we making these videos and by focusing on strategy we’re really able to achieve those ROIs, those return on investments that we’re looking for when customers are investing in video production and video marketing that we have the analytics and the tracking in place to actually see that the returns are there for the client.

So strategy is a huge thing, as I said before that can be separated, you can outsource video marketing strategy as a stand-alone offering and do video production yourself in-house, or you can also outsource the strategy and the production, so this is where the production go hand in glove with the strategy, with the outsourced studio, and typically what you’re receiving there is a higher level production than you will typically be able to do in-house unless you had your own media department.

So this is particularly important and useful for key videos within your strategy, such as the about us video that I mentioned before, it might be your unique selling position that outlines why you’re so different and amazing to your customers, it might be some really in-depth case studies that highlight the testimonials of your raving fans that will really generate some interest and cover some of those barriers of sale through the testimonial videos, it might be that home page wow video that just sets the tone for the brand.

There are many other examples but I just want to make the distinction between these types of videos and more of the social media community building short snippet videos that might be done in-house, I mean these can also be outsourced for example, you know we develop a content strategy for YouTube where we batch produce videos in one or two days, and that provides six months or 12 months’ worth of content that can actually be rolled out weekly through YouTube. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that these smaller videos are done in-house or externally through outsourcing, you can actually do it both ways.

So often if a company is new to video marketing they will typically explore this medium within their marketing department and then make a decision whether they want to dip their toe in the water so to speak with doing a few themselves to see what the response is, or they might straight away go to an outsourcing agency to arrange that video production for them.

So the question is, you know, do I outsource my video production or do I tackle that in-house? There’s really no one answer, it really depends on the organisation themselves, their resources, how much budget they’re putting towards video marketing within their marketing campaigns, the level of quality that they’re needing to produce to match their brand and their customers’ expectations of the types of videos and quality of videos that their brand is representing, and quite often what resources you actually have internally, on your team already, and a resource that you have excellently, you know, do you know a quality video producer/ex-agency that you’re happy to work with. So there’s lots of factors here as you can see that really are quite varied and will determine which videos if any are outsourced, or which videos if any are done in-house.

So I hope I haven’t made that too complicated, it really isn’t, it’s quite straightforward in terms of asking the question “how is it best, what is the best way for me to get these done” and that is actually, just on a final note here, getting them done is really the key, whether it’s outsourced or in-house, getting them done to the quality and the standard that you expect and that your customers expect is really the key. Either way it is great, the danger here is deliberating over this decision-making process for too long because a few months or even potentially years would go by without actually taking action, and this is a real loss to the business in terms of promoting themselves and starting to gain the benefits that are available through video marketing, such as increased conversions and sales and customer relationships and community, all these benefits are there for the taking and you’ll see that some of your competitors may well have started some video marketing but some may well have not, so timing is quite critical here, the sooner you can get in and immerse yourself to a varying extent in video production and video marketing, the sooner you’re going to be able to benefit from this medium; it’s only continuing to grow. So my point here is taking action is really the key, don’t deliberate too long on how these videos are actually going to get made, focus on which ones and why and then just get them done, whether it’s in-house or outsourced.

So I hope that helps, I’m sure it’s raised some other questions so feel free to leave some comments below, I’d like to hear from you, I’m always open to answering questions after the live Q&A and to answer questions that you might like me to cover in the future, we have these live Q&A’s every single Monday at 12.00 noon AEST in Melbourne and they’re recorded so you can watch them on the YouTube channel or on the blog.

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So thank you very much for joining me, enjoy the rest of your day, you’ve been listening to Marcus Seeger, video profit strategist at Video Experts. Bye for now!

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