It’s one of the first questions any company getting into online video needs to answer: Does it make sense to put together an in-house video team or would outsourcing that work be a better idea?
Tackling that question was René Lego, senior video production manager for SolarWinds, and Andy Garibay, video producer of SolarWinds, speaking during the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.
Both methods have their pros and cons, the pair said.
- High-quality video production
- Access to professional actors and voice-over artists
- Access to the latest equipment
- It frees up the in-house staff
- A strong choice for brand campaigns or commercials
- Lack of agility, since it takes more time to make changes
- Not good for timely or spontaneous work, such as videos playing off a trending story
- Limited quantity, since you only get the number of videos you pay for
- The producers will be less knowledgeable about your brand, products, and customers
- Can work anytime
- Can create any number of videos
- Basic equipment costs are minimal
- Strong familiarity with the brand, products, and customers; the department is integrated with other in-house teams
- Able to create a variety of video styles
- Studio and editing costs can get expensive
- Need to train people in-house or hire experienced video creators
- Quality limitations (depending on the equipment and staff)
- Hiring non-professionals results in lower-quality videos
- May have a less polished look
- Extra time and equipment needed for high-quality results
For smaller companies with limited budgets, one way to lower costs is by hiring someone just out of college and have that person wear many hats. Asking that person to produce one video per week is a reasonable expectation, they said.
If Lego and Garibay sounded a little gun-shy about outsourcing video, it was because they recently worked with an outside firm that simply didn’t get their company or the needed tone. What was supposed to be a simple hands-off job for the in-house team became heavily hands-on, and the pair ended up scrapping most of the outside company’s work. Lego admitted that she’s never worked with an outside video producer where the results were positive. When working with an outside company, spend time upfront making sure they understand the company and its brands.