Video is one of the strongest sales and marketing tools. It is also quickly becoming one of the most easily accessible – since the majority of the population is carrying around an HD or even 4K video camera in their pockets (i.e. smartphones). Basic video editing and animation are becoming easier and easier through the use of free, or very inexpensive softwares and online tutorials. For these reasons, and more, many marketers are choosing to do video themselves, resulting in mixed outcomes.
As a content agency who specializes in video, we always encourage our clients to work with a video partner whenever possible – simply put, companies such as ourselves are always keeping on top of content trends and strategies and will help you build out the best content for your needs. However, sometimes you will have a need for a piece of content and for any number of reasons are not able to engage your content partner.
In situations like this, producing content in-house is definitely an option to consider. In this post, we’ve listed out 8 major factors to consider when contemplating using in-house capabilities to produce a video.
1. Who is the audience for this content?
Is your content just going on your website, or will you be pushing it out via email to thousands of subscribers? Who is your intended audience – junior to mid-level purchasers or VP’s and CXO’s? As with all content marketing-related decisions, it is essential to know your audience and what they expect to be seeing from you. Not to say that you would not be able to produce amazing video in-house, but if your main competitors are working with a large agency on all of their content, yours may not measure up.
If you are planning on putting advertising dollars behind this piece of content, we definitely recommend working with a production partner. The right partner will have experience in creating content for paid media and will be able to help you create the best possible content for your campaign.
2. Do you have anyone with video expertise on your team?
While resources to create video content are readily available to you, it does require some technical know-how and there will be a learning curve for anyone who is looking at creating video content for the first time. If someone on your team has experience in creating video content – either in shooting video or in post-production – this would be a huge benefit to your team when looking to create your first piece of content in-house.
3. Do you have the budget to create this content?
Many organizations see this as a barrier to entry for creating any sort of content – however lack of budget should never be a barrier to entry when creating content. If your marketing team has time and resources available, I would highly recommend investing some of those assets in creating your own content. If you are able to achieve an ROI from your in-house content, this will help your case to invest more budget into content creation. This can result in continuing to create content internally or to hire external partners to assist you with your content.
4. What is the actual cost of producing this video in-house?
Many people think that producing video in-house is a good option because of all the cost savings. However, before starting a video project it is worth doing an analysis of all related costs. What hard costs will you have for this project (buying/renting equipment, purchasing props, purchasing software)? How much of your marketing team’s time will be devoted to this project – in pre-production, production, and post-production? What is the effect on the rest of your team? Will anyone in the office be needed or need to be relocated during a video shoot? These are all factors that many companies forget to take into consideration when choosing to produce content in-house.
5. Is this piece of content one-off or part of a larger campaign?
The larger the piece of content, and the campaign surrounding it, the more I would recommend seeking a partner to help you with this campaign. If you approach a content partner with a campaign and multiple assets – video, graphics, etc. – you would be able to get much better value than if you were creating only one video.
Working with a content partner for all assets related to a campaign also gives you the advantage of ensuring a consistent strategy and look across the whole campaign. If your content was spread out among different production partners and your in-house team, it will be harder to control overall strategy and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
6. Are you confident with what you want your video to say?
The pre-production process is one of the hardest parts of creating a piece of video content – figuring out what you want your video to say, and how you want to say it. It’s very easy to create a piece of video content that has all of the information required in it but may miss the mark in terms of delivering that message in an effective format. A great piece of video content must convey your message to your audience in a way that will keep them engaged all the way through. It must also include a strong call to action – what do you want your leads to do after watching the video? If you are not confident that your video’s message will do a good job in converting leads, we would recommend working with a video partner – or at minimum perhaps hiring a consultant to help you shape the idea for your video. No matter how amazing your video turns out, the core messaging has to be correct in order for it to be a success.
7. What other content do you have out in the market right now?
When it comes to content marketing, consistency is one of the most important factors. If you already have professionally-created, polished content in the market, you want to make sure that every piece of content you release is at that level. When you are releasing any piece of content – whether it be created in-house or by an external partner, a final quality-control check to ensure that it’s in line with the rest of your content is essential.
8. Is this content time-sensitive?
Great content takes time to create. And while doing it yourself may seem like a faster option, that is actually not the case – especially for newer content creators. If you work with a content partner, they will have a team dedicated to your project – and when you set a timeline at the beginning of the project, they will work with you to fit your timeline. If you create a video in-house, there are a lot of factors and unforeseen delays that could move a timeline back. Unless you have dedicated content creators in-house, your team will also be juggling your video project with all of their other day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.