Should You Outsource Your Video Production?
We here at Nickel City Graphics LLC like to make video production as smooth and easy as possible for our clients. While we shoot and edit video content on a daily basis, we are completely aware that not everyone is in the same boat. If that were the case, then you probably wouldn’t need this blog post.
In all seriousness, this is a topic that we deal with quite a bit. We work with a lot of companies that have in-house marketing departments but not necessarily in-house video production capabilities. Conversely, there are quite a few companies who can invest (both with time and money) in bringing video production in-house. Which is the best for you and your business? So, should you outsource your video production? Let’s talk about that.
It’s Not Only About Gear
Before anyone sets up a camera and hits record, there needs to be some TLC given to pre-production. This is the part of the video production process when you start to concept your idea(s), find location and props, gather your talent and so on. If you’d like a more in-depth look at what goes into this stage, check out this post here.
From a marketing and concept standpoint, you’ll want to figure out what your content is going to be about. Whether you’re creating something for an ad campaign or a series of testimonial videos, they all tell a story. Make sure to figure out what story you’re looking to tell. You can have the best video equipment in the world, but if the story you’re telling doesn’t hit home with audiences, then you might be in trouble.
To figure out if outsourcing video is right for you, at this point you might want to determine whether or not this pre-production phase is something you’d be able to do comfortable in-house. If your marketing department is comprised of multiple people, great! If your team can spare the time, you may be on your way. However, if YOU are the entire marketing department or your team is spread thin, outsourcing might be the smart play.
Okay, Now Let’s Talk Gear
This part is exciting. Now it’s time to talk about the gear you’ll be using to capture your video and audio. Where do you start? How much money do you spend? Should you rent from a production house or buy a RED from B&H?
If you’ve never made a video before then this might be scary for you. When you start to hear things like “white balance” and “ISO” and “V-Log,” it might get confusing. Luckily, we’re going to assume you either have a smartphone in your pocket or a laptop with a webcam. Both of those have cameras attached to them, and that’s more than enough to make your first video. Wistia, a video hosting platform for businesses, has a great post on shooting video with your computer’s webcam.
For your first few videos, there’s nothing wrong with using your cell phone or laptop webcam. Being resourceful is key. However, you might get to a point where you will need more. In that case, it may make sense to invest in something a little more stable. Most modern mirrorless cameras or DSLRs have video functionality built into them but aren’t always a perfect solution. A lot of online content creators use high-quality production cinema cameras to shoot their videos. These are great, but they can cost a few thousand dollars, and that’s just a starting point. We haven’t even talked about getting clean audio yet.
Now’s the time to answer whether or not this makes sense to you financially. You can go down a massive rabbit hole trying to find a camera, especially if you’re new to this. Does it make sense for your business to invest in a camera that people might not be comfortable with using? How will this affect your ROI? Are you okay with spending the time to figure out the basics on a smartphone before moving to something more “professional”?
Time To Edit
If you shot something on your smartphone or your laptop’s webcam, you probably don’t need a ton of editing. This is great because in itself, editing can scare people away if they’ve never done it before. Most modern computers will include a basic NLE, or non-linear editor, for you to use if needed. Heck, you can even get iMovie on iPhones these days. For some free options, check out this post.
There will come a time, however, where you will have to pull out the big guns. We’re talking either Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro X. Now, these aren’t the only editors, but these are the two a majority of professionals use. You can find a ton of [free] tutorials online that will explain how to use these. 657,000 videos on YouTube, 14.6M links on Google and 216 books on Amazon to be exact.
You’ll want to make sure that your computer has the horsepower to handle editing your footage. Many recent computers will be able to handle 1080p footage just fine. However, if you shot in 4K, then things get tricky. If you don’t have the right processor, graphics card, amount of RAM or storage device, that might make editing a nightmare. Not to mention, you have to store all this data on a reliable and fast hard drive or SSD.
So Get To The Point – Should You Outsource?
There are quite a few different angles this blog post could have taken. Each section discussion pre-production, production, and post can each have their post (maybe they will one day). This topic can go immensely in depth if we wanted, but you’re probably just looking for an answer at this point.
If your company is willing and able to invest in bringing on a small staff of people to be in charge of video production for your company, then, by all means, bring it in-house. But it all depends on the types of videos you’d like to create. The more involved they are, the more people should probably be involved.
Keep in mind if your company were to go this route, they would have to cover the cost of bringing someone (or multiple people) on at [probably] a full-time rate with benefits and the like, followed by an investment in camera gear and capable editing computers. The cost can add up quick. The major benefit, however, is that you’d always have someone readily available to create video content if you need something ASAP.
On the other hand, if your company isn’t willing or able to invest in internal video production, outsourcing is fine. Depending on your needs, the production company you choose should be able to scale with you as your video needs grow. Whether you need videos for a social media campaign or a motion graphics explainer video, it might be best to find a nimble production company who can do just like (like Nickel City Graphics… but this isn’t a sales pitch).
By outsourcing, your marketing department will be able to relax and get their work done knowing professionals are working on video content for their company/brand. If video production or editing isn’t your specialty, then don’t stress yourself out by trying to force it. Time is money, and money is time. Your boss may be looking for the highest ROI they can get. People who create video for a living will be able to manage their time effectively and deliver that ROI.
We hope you got some new information from this blog post. Again, this topic can go on for a while. We wanted to simplify things as much as possible while also trying to give as much information.
Whether you choose to outsource video production or not comes down to the investment your company wants to make – it’s nice to have it in-house for a super fast turn around time, but the investment can be expensive. On the other hand, outsourcing will allow you to work with industry professionals who create various forms of high-quality content. We recommend finding a production company in your area. If they aren’t super close to you, check to see how far they travel.