GUEST BLOG: Why Outsource Video Production?

By on December 11, 2013
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What goes into producing a successful video that will engage faculty, staff, students, or alumni?

A lot, as I’m sure you’re well aware. If you’re looking to record a simple training session, board meeting, talking head video, or weekly video blog, then you could realistically shoot your own videos and save a bunch of money in the process.

But as project visions get grander in scale, and budgets get tighter — at some point, the time you invest in-house can begin to outweigh the money you saved by using the DIY approach. Saving money is great, but you wear a lot of hats already, and at some point you have to get back to actually doing your job, and not sweating the small stuff.

So, when is it the right time to outsource your video production? Ask yourself five simple questions to find out.

5 Questions To Help You Decide When It’s Time To Outsource Video Production

1. Do I want to go past the 60-second mark?

Shorter videos are easier to make and enjoy higher engagement, which is why most execs swear by them. Six-second Vines are growing in popularity because they enjoy almost 100% engagement, and 15-second Instagrams are just as popular. All videos under 60 seconds in length retain at least 60% of viewers by video’s end, according to Wistia.

But videos longer than 60 seconds begin to see a lot of viewer dropoff. Two-minute videos enjoy only 50% completion, while 5-20 minute videos get dropped by 60% of viewers. When you think about how much more time and effort goes into putting together a 10-minute tutorial as opposed to a 30-second teaser, making them in-house suddenly doesn’t seem so appealing anymore.

Perhaps more importantly, viewers (especially young viewers) become much more critical and unattentive towards longer videos. You might be able to get away with some gaffes in a 60-second promo, but make the same mistakes in a five-minute virtual campus tour and suffer the consequences. At some point, it begins to make more sense to rely on the expertise of a midsize video production team that has over ten thousand hours experience shooting engaging video.

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2. Is editing taking a lot longer than shooting?

No, seriously, this is an important question. Video post-production should take some time (and sometimes does take longer than the actual shooting), but if you spent a day shooting your 60-second video, you shouldn’t be taking a week to edit it.

Software programs like Final Cut Pro try their best to be comprehensible and easily usable, but it goes without saying that unless you’re an industry creative you’re not going to have an expert level of familiarity with post-production software. Even a hired videographer will have his or her limits, since they’re just one person. Not to mention the possibilities for editing literally become endless the longer a video becomes.

Even if you still want to shoot your video in-house, it would be wise to link up with a professional editor for longer projects.

3. Am I producing new video each week?

If the answer to this question is ever “No”, then you should have outsourced your video production yesterday. Having a full-time videographer would be a waste of resources, and relying on staff that happen to know how to use Final Cut Pro would be irresponsible.

frustrated guy 210 times out of 10, freelance videographers are going to be extremely experienced, and are already used to having to learn the likes and dislikes of each new client. With the immediacy of e-mail, chat, and online video conferences, there’s no reason you couldn’t get a freelancer up to speed just as quickly as a new hire. Freelance videographers won’t eat up your budget, but they can be just as reliable as full-timers.

4. Are my videos getting shared?

If your videos aren’t getting shared, it’s not because you aren’t putting them through the right channels. We share things we find enjoyable, so if shares aren’t up to your expectations, your videos probably aren’t engaging enough.

We see this happen a lot even with clients who are very good at producing their own videos on a weekly to monthly basis. They ask us why their videos aren’t getting viewed or shared as much as they want. We tell them it’s because they aren’t scriptwriters, voiceover artists, actors, directors, or editors by trade. That’s when they realize they should have outsourced their videos some time ago.

5. Am I running out of ideas?

American novelist Jennifer Gilmore once asked herself, “What is it about the blank page that makes me want to hurl myself into a game of solitaire?”

We all know what she’s talking about. Videos start with blank pages, too, and pre-production can be absolutely daunting. Coming up with new ideas and new ways of spinning old stories is not only difficult, it takes a lot of time and brainpower that most of us just can’t spare.

Even if you do want to keep shooting your own videos and editing them, it might be worthwhile to start outsourcing pre-production. A freelance scriptwriter is basically an idea generator, and any decent artist can storyboard keyframes.

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A warm welcome to guest blogger Han-Gwon Lung. Han is a writer for for Vidaao, a video production marketplace that connects marketing teams with creatives and provides them a collaborative project space. Vidaao empowers enterprises to find cost-effective video producers through an online marketplace, and provides a project management layer to increase efficiency.

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