Video Content: Outsource or Keep It In-House?

Video Content: Outsource or Keep It In-House?
As a digital publisher, It’s easy to answer the question of adding video to your content offering (YES!), it’s much harder to understand what is the best way to do it. Video production is one of those tasks where it can be tough to decide whether to do it alone or bring in the experts. The fact that there are new, innovative and low-budget video creation tools, further complicates the matter. There’s no simple answer, but let’s break down the factors that could influence your decision and try helping make the right one for you.

The Bottom Line

While the precise figures will vary from market to market and with the type of video content you want, it almost always comes down to quantity. If you’re looking at a continuous schedule of regular content, outsourcing will likely work out more expensive on a per-video basis. Bear in mind professional producers often have a high base rate, so the length of the video has less effect on the price than you might think.

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While you’re still establishing and growing your website, in-house can be far more expensive simply because the up-front costs are so high. Not only do you need expensive equipment and software to produce quality videos but you’ll need to recruit specialist staff: learning on the job isn’t always an option given the high expectations of today’s audiences. As always, you’ll need to factor in recruitment costs and other HR expenses such as employee benefits.

Direct Approach vs. Fresh Perspective

One drawback of outsourcing is that you’re adding an extra layer between yourself and your audience, which can dilute the benefits of having built up an insight and understanding of who’s watching your content. On the other hand, outsourcing can bring a fresh perspective. That can be particularly useful when thinking about what might attract and engage new viewers.

Flexibility vs. Waste

Setting up an in-house video operation brings greater flexibility. If you’ve got an idea for some content, for example capitalizing on the latest meme or trend, you can get creating straight away. You can also pull the plug if something isn’t working. When outsourcing you can’t guarantee the most skilled producers will be available on short notice, while changing or abandoning a project midway through becomes expensive.

With in-house, however, there’s a risk of getting caught up in a “use it or lose it” approach where you create content just for the sake of keeping staff busy and using your equipment, with quantity replacing quality. There’s also a danger that having staff on the payroll means you don’t pay enough attention to the specific cost and return of individual video projects.

Creativity and Cliches

External production companies may fall into a rut of producing similar content regardless of the client, but in-house staff can just as easily try to copy the approach they’ve seen elsewhere. An outsourced producer might be more creative, but sometimes that takes priority over the actual goals of your video.

Twin-Track Approach

While both in-house and outsourcing have their pros and cons, most companies don’t need to make a binary choice. A common approach is to stay in-house for short, punchy, informal content such as social media clips that are designed to be casual and approachable, for example to attract people to your website in the first place. You can then outsource for more professional and detailed videos designed to retain viewers and increase the time they spend on your website. One of the most important things to include in this process is developing your own unique voice, which will help you stand out through all the clutter. 

Whether you produce your own video content and want help monetizing and promoting it, or you are looking to outsource production, Primis can help. Contact us today to find out how we, together, can make the most of your video.