98% of marketers said they will include video marketing in their marketing strategy, according to a 2022 survey of Lemonlight. That’s just one of the marketing trends you need to look out for.
There’s just no way around it. Video is big. Real big. And that’s good news! It means there’s this way, that you haven’t used before, to reach more people and communicate your message with them.
In other words - you need a video marketing strategy, and you need it now.
The thing with strategies and plans, though, is that…well…somebody actually needs to make it happen.
And video marketing strategy means you’ll have to make some videos.
There are two viable options - you can either hire an in-house creative team to produce videos for your brand or pay a video content agency for their services.
But how do you choose which of these two options is the right one for your business?
Let's break down the most important aspects that should factor into your decision.
How Particular Are You About Your Brand Story?
We're kicking things off with a tricky one! When you opt for an in-house team or an external video marketing agency, this decision can result in very different videos and very different directions for your brand.
An internal team is likely to know your brand better. It might take them a little while to get into the groove of things.
But once they are on the roll, they are going to have a very clear vision of your brand story, and all of your video content is going to align with that vision.
An external video marketing agency is not going to have the same brand clarity when coming up with your video marketing strategy. At least not right away from the start.
However, that doesn't mean that they are necessarily at a disadvantage. What they could bring to the table are fresh ideas.
Sometimes you need an outsider to give you a new and unexpected perspective that could help you reel in new audiences.
They might also be able to see your needs and your company with more objectivity.
So this one really depends on whether you want strict adherence to the brand voice, or whether you're in the mood to mix it up a little.
What’s the Scope of Your Video Content Project?
One of the most important factors to take into account when deciding whether to outsource your video production to a video production company or keep it in-house is the scope of your video project.
If you only need occasional social media videos or a one-off batch of product videos, for instance, then it might make sense to hire a video agency.
If you already have a marketing agency that you work closely with, they might have a video production team that can help.
It can take a lot of time and money to hire new employees who have the expertise to handle your video marketing and keep paying them month after month if there isn't a sufficient and constant flow of work to keep them busy.
If, on the other hand, your video production needs are constant, then maybe you should start looking for your own team to handle video marketing. Additionally, don’t forget that you need video SEO services - no matter if they are DIY or professional.
One of the options, of course, is to train somebody from the team who’s willing to take on video production tasks. If that’s the case, make sure you start with video editing and subtitling tools that don’t have a steep learning curve.
You don’t want to discourage your eager team members with tools that they simply don’t understand or it takes them ages to master.
That’s why, you know, we made our own tool.
That’s precisely the origin story of Subly - it was made because it was soooooooo hard to do subtitling and it took hours.
So, we fixed that for you.
How Much Creative Control Are You Willing to Let Go?
Creative control over your video content is a tricky one. Being hands-on with your video marketing strategy is important, but how much is too much?
With an outside video marketing agency, in most cases, you will give them a general direction or overview of what you want, and then the rest will, for the most part, be in their hands.
Of course, a certain amount of back and forth is expected, and you can ask for revisions, but the reality is that you can never have as much of a say as when you have your own team working on your digital content.
The other side of that coin is that an in-house team usually demands much more of your time and involvement. Just like any other team, they need proper management.
How Much Focus on Your Project Do You Expect?
Spoiler alert: the perfect balance doesn't exist.
With an outsourced marketing services team, you can usually achieve much greater versatility. Top video marketing agencies usually have extremely versatile talent.
If you hire a marketing agency, they will most likely have experts for all of your needs - someone who does animation, a social media specialist, someone with the expertise to help you find your target audience, and whatever else you might need.
The flipside is, a good marketing agency typically has many clients, and you might not be their first priority.
If you decide to hire talent, you will always have someone whose only job is focusing on your marketing and video production needs.
However, finding the right people might be a little bit like finding a unicorn. Small businesses are rarely in a position to hire huge teams or offer experts competitive pay. If you only have the money for one or two employees, they need to be jacks of all trades, and that's hard to find.
What Is Your Budget?
The matter of cost once again comes down to your needs. This is where you need to sit down and make some serious calculations.
People who are running small businesses mostly do the hiring process themselves if they don't have an HR team.
Unless you just happen to know some awesome video marketing experts who are available to handle all of your video production needs, then prepare for a lengthy hiring process.
Finding the right person can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. On average, you can probably expect the recruitment and hiring to take around a month. If you don't have that much time to wait, a video marketing agency is usually a more immediate solution.
Consider also the long-term pay. Put it all down on paper (or, you know, a spreadsheet) so you can have a clear picture.
Consider how many employees you would need, and what a realistic yearly salary for those positions would be. Now write down the work you need down on a yearly level and check the price for those video marketing services at a video marketing agency.
Compare and contrast, and you will have a much clearer picture.
What Are Your In-House Resources Like? Video Production Demands
You need to think long and hard and actually work out the precise demands of your video production. You need to figure out your people, tools, and gear - in relation to the extent of your video production.
Video Content Complexity
The complexity of the videos you need is one thing to consider. If you need simple things a small in-house team can probably handle your video marketing from production to video editing and posting to social media.
Keep in mind - amateur is not necessarily worse than professional. Video testimonials, walkthroughs, lives, and demos can be even more useful and persuasive when they are done by using a simple smartphone. That can make them more authentic.
Almost all small teams can probably handle some live streaming, explainer videos, and short snippets for social media and YouTube.
Also - doing videos in-house can give you a GOLDMINE of bloopers.
Come on! Who doesn’t like bloopers?! They are fun. They are excellent cold traffic content. They make killer content for video shorts, TikTok, and similar formats.
Video Filming Equipment
You don’t need a studio for starting your own video marketing production. You definitely need some budget for it, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Video production equipment can range from a decent smartphone camera with a stative to a full-blown studio. However, some proper lighting can do the trick in many cases. Add a good microphone to that equation, and you actually have all you need for your marketing videos.
Video Editing Tools
This pretty much depends on the skill set of your team. Even the most eager beginners can become discouraged when faced with the amazing Adobe Premiere and ALL of its options. It can be quite overwhelming.
For simpler content, investing in a few useful tools could also help you cut down on the number of employees you need to hire. Think Canva - but for videos. Something that people can learn on the go and don’t need months to master.
For instance, with a tool like Subly, it's easy to create subtitles for videos, generate transcripts that can be used for other kinds of content, or make short video snippets for social media marketing.
Every business has its own particular video marketing needs. Whether you opt for a video marketing agency or an in-house team, it's not a decision to make lightly.
The choice should be based on what your company needs and what makes the most sense financially for your business.
Also, your decision needs to be sustainable in the long run. You can hire a video marketing agency, but will that be your answer for all your video filming needs in a year’s period, as well?
Take your immediate needs into consideration, as well as where you want to be as a company in the future. Figure out your resources and desired outcomes, and make a call. After all - the best way to start producing videos was yesterday. The next best is today!