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Production
In-House vs. Outsource? Building Your Video Production Capabilities
Jan 23, 2018

If you’re in marketing, producing video content will be your main priority in 2018. 

For marketers, producing and sharing video content offers a golden opportunity to gain higher engagement and increased conversions. We’ve all seen the immense growth of web video content, and consumer video consumption, too. Check these video stats for yourself. Search engines are also rewarding high rankings for video content, too.  It all adds up to a win-win for marketers willing to go visual.

It's time to set your marketing group up with the right video production capabilities. The big question for your team is how to go about producing video content - in-house or outsourced? Most marketing directors have two ways to create video content: 1) building an in-house video production team, or 2) outsourcing video production to an outside agency.

Video strategy: In-house or outsource?

In deciding whether to outsource your video production or bring it in-house, knowing your video strategy matters. Consider these questions first: 

1) How much video content do you plan to create? How much video content will you produce? Daily shoots? Weekly productions? 

2) What quality level are you seeking? Quality matters to viewers. Do you want only smartphone clips around the office for that authentic DIY spirit? Or are you looking for commercial grade quality, to use for marketing ads, social media, branded content and more? 

3) What types of videos do you need? Does your marketing require educational videos? Live videos? Explainer videos? How-to product videos? Step-by-step tutorial videos? Knowing this can help with your decision to outsource. 

4) What deadlines are you working towards? Working with a partner can help navigate the process and meet the deadlines for high-quality professional content, but in certain cases, can slow you down.

Once your strategy is in focus and connected to a strong budget and a production schedule, then it’s time to look at the pros and cons of bringing your video production in-house, outsourcing your video production, or finding a company that combines the best of both worlds. To make this decision, CMOs must consider video experience levels, cost factors, time savings, scheduling availability and more.

Pros & Cons of In-House

For companies that decide to bring video production in-house, here are a number of the pros and cons involved with that decision. 

Pros involved with bringing video production in-house are:

- Day-to-day oversight and control

- Availability of cameras, lighting, studio equipment, and production team on site

- Majority of creative ideas and insights are inwardly company-focused (biased?) 

- Control over time frame and deadlines

Cons involved in bringing video production in-house:

- Cost of equipment (cameras, stands, lighting, backgrounds, studio space, etc.)

- Subsequent equipment management and maintenance support

- New hires - internal experience level may be insufficient

- Another salaried cost center for marketing - budget restraints 

Bottom Line: Putting together an in-house video production team can be expensive for most companies, with all the purchasing of equipment and training involved. It can also be tricky hiring as well. Your marketing team may learn the rudiments of video operation, but it can take years to develop the expertise and the fresh creative vision that an experienced outside director can bring to your project. By hiring an in-house team, you risk having the same creative team work on projects day-in and day-out. This can lead to creative fatigue, and contribute to an overall sameness of your video projects. 

Pros & Cons of Outsourcing

Now, let’s take a look at the flip side, with the pros and cons of outsourcing your video to a video production firm. 

Pros involved with outsourcing your video production:

- No upfront costs for purchasing video production gear

- A greater range and higher quality options for cameras, lighting, and props

- An unbiased approach to your video ideas 

- Deep insights into latest video production trends and post-production options. 

- Opportunities for more creative approaches, with less corporate sameness thinking 

Cons involved in outsourcing your video production:

- Time involved in interviewing agencies and ramping up schedules

- Time involved in negotiating scope of project and budget parameters

- Travel and time spent at external production studio or off site

- Higher costs for the overall engagement

- More time necessary to build and foster a new working relationship with vendor 

- Higher amount of lag time to execute on video when creative inspiration arises 

Bottom Line: Many video producers and directors are skilled operators who also possess big-picture vision and a creative eye. They work with a variety of medium-to-large companies and can offer a depth of insights for strategies and productions that your own department may miss. It's a crucial element that can mean the difference between an average video campaign and an excellent one. But if you're short on time, outsourcing your video production may not be the right move. Negotiations, scheduling, and planning can get lengthy and tiresome, especially those on a tight budget and calendar. 

Choosing the right path for video production success will come down to your particular needs, budget, timing and project scope. For those companies undecided on how to move forward, consider working with the talented staff at Assemble. We act as our client's in-house production department, connecting you to a network of talented video producers, directors, editors and visual artists, helping you get up to scale rapidly with all your upcoming video content creation.

Video content will be one of the biggest marketing plays in 2018. The ROI is undeniable and video's sharability in social feeds is a massive plus for marketers. It's time your company gets started in video strategy, direction  and creative production.

Written by
Nate Watkin
Founder & Executive Producer