Video Inhouse vs Outsourcing

video production outsource

The data is in and it shows that corporate video use is increasing. What’s interesting is that because of video production’s somewhat isolated nature (some videos can be made without any face-to-face or face-to-camera activity), the pandemic might have actually increased the number of videos produced.

As marketing teams staff back up and resources are engaged, we find that one of the early questions is whether to produce videos inhouse or engage with an outside vendor. It’s a good question and many larger companies have gone back and forth on the question.

Best to start with your needs
Because of video content’s impact, it’s best to have a plan, or roadmap. A video strategy might include the full array of video types – from event to explainer to blog to testimonial videos. Or it might include just one or two general company presentation videos. Also becoming more important are the shorter social media videos.

In addition to a video production, a budget is needed. Once you have the organization’s needs mapped out, determining whether you should go inhouse or outsourced (or combination of both) will be much easier.

Going inhouse means either using the company’s existing video production department, or perhaps using people in a media or marketing group that can do the work. If you already have an established department, then obviously you’ve determined the financial viability of going inhouse. Most companies don’t have an established video department however because video production is typically regarded as a one-off function. That is, historically, the need for video production within a company has been sporadic and hence difficult to justify on a full time basis.

The pros of going inhouse are that the team knows the brand well and understands the trends and changes organizationally, the company owns the video equipment, and there’s better control of the project schedules. The cons are that there is an isolated perspective of the organization, initial investment and maintenance of the latest equipment can be high, and, most importantly, it can be expensive carrying full-time video production employees.

Outsourcing means searching and contracting with an outside video production agency that can help you with either most or all aspects of video production.

The pros with outsourcing are that you get an invaluable third person perspective, typically updated/better equipment and software, specialized knowledge (including everything from storyboarding to editing), and typically better defined costs and timing. The cons are that it’s typically more expensive on a per video cost (if you’re needing many videos), the outsourced company tends to know less about internal aspects, and a general loss of control. The key to a good outsourced relationship is finding a video agency that fits your needs. Perhaps you don’t need script or storyboard writing. Or perhaps you have content and distribution, but just need it shot and edited. Some video agencies are more flexible in this context as others.

In addition to the plan, you might want to do a quick cost study. This is where you’ll put some comparative numbers together, along with the pro and con considerations. Of course, we’re a proponent of outsourcing. And I think most telling are the large organizations that have gone through periods with a full-time video production staff only to let them go after some time, then hiring an outside video production company for project needs. If this is where you are, let us know. We’d be happy to discuss your video needs and what we can offer.