Video is a great way to entice your audience with something new and exciting. It has endless possibilities, from ads, to customer testimonials, use as a PR aid, a content marketing tool, and all that’s in between. While most small to medium-sized companies can’t justify hiring in-house videographers, they needn’t completely dismiss the use of video. Outsourcing is a fantastic way to leverage the expertise of seasoned professionals, while allowing your company to focus on its core competencies. That same opportunity arises for video.
When should you look to outsource video content?
You don’t know where to start. Or, you’ve tried incorporating video before and failed miserably. Sometimes you’re just out of ideas, and a fresh set of eyes would do wonders. A good agency will hold your hand through the entire process, from pre- to post-production. You’ll have access to a team of seasoned professionals who know what works, as well as what doesn’t. Better yet, arm those professionals with your audience’s demographic data, and they’ll make them go weak at the knees.
Conversely, you know exactly what you want. You’ve planned it out to a T. You just don’t have the skills to make that video a reality. An agency will work with you to achieve your vision – maybe even exceed it. With your dream video on the line, there are bound to be quite a few revisions sent back and forth. Don’t dismiss the agency’s ideas, and keep in mind that they, not you, are the video experts – that’s why you’ve hired them, isn’t it?
You just don’t have the time. Some content can be cranked out overnight, and still produce decent returns. This is not usually the case with video. It requires quite the time commitment from pre- to post-production. Outsourcing to a team of experts will inevitably take less time than trying to piece one together yourself. They’ll have a whole creative team working on it, while your own organization may only be able to spare a body or two, if that. You won’t get off entirely scot-free though. You’ll still need to spare a little time to give your stamp of approval during key moments in the production process.
You don’t have access to great equipment. Sure, your graphic designer or community manager might dabble in photography, and thus have access to an entry-level DSLR, and sure, you can rent lenses reasonably cheaply. But shooting video requires a highly specialized skill set, and equipment like high-grade microphones, lighting, and editing software (yes, better software than the novice programs on your computer. iMovie isn’t going to cut it, sorry, folks). More often than not, skimping on equipment in an effort to cut costs could actually end up costing you your reputation.
You’re not trying to produce something overnight. Understand that video creation takes time, whether you outsource it or not. Sure, there are some videos you can bung together quickly, like screencast software tutorials, or an interview that’s really nothing more than a talking head. Quality videos, however, will take both time and resources. Keep that in mind when contacting agencies – it won’t (and shouldn’t) be an in and out service. They’ll need to take time to understand the ins and outs of your organization before jumping into video creation.