Creating Video: In-House vs. Outsourcing

October 2, 2013
Pros and cons of creating videos in-house or outsourcing it

At this point I believe the question of whether or not video is valuable to businesses has been answered (spoilers: it is). Now companies must decide how that content should be created: in-house by existing employees, or outsourced to a professional.

Creating video in-house

Pros

  • You’re in control - You get to decide everything, from script to shots. You can make your video exactly the way you want it, with no influence from a third party.
  • It’s less expensive (possibly) - Professional videographers charge hundreds of dollars per day for their services. Going the DIY route can save you some cash — although you might end up having to invest it in your own video equipment.

Cons

  • It’s time-consuming - Creating a quality video requires a lot of time. Whatever amount you were thinking you’d spend, double it.
  • There’s a learning curve - If you’ve never written a script, worked a nice video camera, tried to get people to memorize lines, filmed, or edited, there’s a lot of knowledge you need to cram in. You’ll learn as you go, but time and budget drain faster than you’d think.

Outsourcing video creation

Pros

  • Work with an expert - No need to fumble through on your own when a professional already knows what to do.
  • Less nitty-gritty, more management - The professional handles details while you oversee the project and keep it on time and budget.

Cons

  • Loss of control - Hiring a professional means giving absolute control of the project. You’re still in charge, but you’re not the only one.
  • More expensive (possibly) - Hiring a professional means paying him or her, but it also means you don’t have to invest in your own equipment.

Go with your goals

As you can see from the lists above, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this question — instead, it’s about finding the right answer for you.

Think about your end goal. Do you want a simple video for your website’s homepage, a television commercial, a quick “talking head” piece from the CEO, or a sleek tour of your new offices?

Knowing what kind of video you want to create can help you decide whether to tackle the project in-house, or find a professional resource with whom to partner.

One critical caveat

A great video is the result of extensive planning, and involves managing budgets, expectations, experience levels, and egos. It’s a balancing act of the highest order.

Your video content should reflect well on the company, showcasing its value and professionalism, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a 30-second testimonial — you don’t have to use a mallet to kill a mosquito when a quick swat will suffice.

That said, skimping on video planning and quality can come back to haunt you, so in my opinion you should err on the side of over-planning and overspending.

What’s been your experience with video creation? Got any more pros or cons to share? Leave ‘em in the comments!

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