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How to Develop In-House Video Competency, Part 5: In-House vs. Outsourcing

This final installment of our 5-part series on in-house video is focused on outsourcing. What functions or roles should you consider to outsource to vendors after you bring much of your video competency and production in-house?

In this final installment of our 5-part series on in-house video, I’ll focus on outsourcing. What functions or roles should you consider to outsource to vendors after you bring much of your video competency and production in-house?


Once you get a little savvy with video production, you’ll find that with today’s tools and resources, you can create videos much more inexpensively than you could have even a few years ago. You can use stock footage to mock up something that you would normally go out onto the street and capture, and never have to send anybody out into the field. (discussed in Part 3 of this series) is a really good place to start looking for things to plug into your video that will simplify your process and reduce costs.


When hiring staff, look for people that are really plugged in, not just in terms of understanding video, but also understanding how to do video affordably and effectively. You want people who are aware of all the different tools out there because there are so many different things that you can use.

For example, whiteboard/explainer videos (as described in the clip above): Those are an interesting, very popular approach to corporate and training video right now. We get a lot of demand for that. That may be something that you can hire someone to create internally if that's part of your brand portfolio. It depends on who you hire and what skills you choose to bring in-house.

Among our client base, even companies that have an in-house hiring team tend to still work with us on some key elements in pre- and postproduction (Figure 1, below). These elements include producing and on-camera direction. There are a lot of parts of video that are fairly straightforward to do, but some are very difficult. One of the most difficult things is script writing: What am I saying, and how can I say it in an engaging way that is going to make people want to watch and not drop off after those first 10 seconds? You need great scriptwriters for that.

Figure 1. Components of pre-production--what to bring in house and what to outsource? Click the image to see it at full size.


Because you’ll be filming executives, other staff members, clients, customers--real people, that is, not actors--you need to be able to coach them on how to present effectively on camera. They’re usually nervous; you put a camera in front of someone's face, and it's scary for them (or at best uncomfortable). You need to coach them through it: How do you use a teleprompter? How do you present effectively? How do you present with a smiling face? How do you look natural? How do you make sure your eyeline is not reading when you're reading from a teleprompter? How do you gesture?

There are so many elements that need to come together to turn an average video into a great one. Directing, like scriptwriting, is not necessarily an ability that you’re going to be able to bring in-house. What competencies you can or should bring in house without sacrificing the mastery necessary to make your videos as effective as they can be is something that you're going to want to think about; producing, direction, training, and coaching, of in-house talent may be worth outsourcing to get the best out of the people you put on screen.


When it comes to advertising, I like to say, "Leave the creative to the agencies." Real creative is hard to do. At videoBIO, we’ve built a whole business around non-creative, if you will; working from companies’ stated objectives and goals and key messages and creating everything else except for advertising content.

Traditional ad creative typically still resides with the agency, but as online video has exploded in recent years, people are creating video in all areas of their business. Creative is really hard to do. All the time, people ask us, "How do I create a viral video that's going to just take off?" There's no formula. People are paid big bucks to do that kind of creative.

Content and Scripting

If you have someone on your staff who can write a good script, and you want to start creating things that are more uniform with a template shared across the organization, then you can start to think about how do I productize your ideas, and actually do it. For example, if you’re working realtors or financial advisers, there are certain core elements of every script that you want to make uniform across the enterprise. Those are the components that you’ll definitely want to generate internally in terms of content creation and script writing. But as for the tougher elements of scriptwriting necessary to create something powerful and unique--writers are writers for a reason, right? They're really good at what they do.

There are fundamental differences between creative writing and corporate message writing, and just because you have in-house competency for the latter (which you should), that doesn’t mean you should be producing the former. It’s simply a different skill set.

Ultimately, what competencies you choose bring in-house and what to outsource to experts is just as important a strategic decision as anything we’ve discussed in this series, whether it’s how to set up your studio, how to create and distribute your content, how much content to produce, and what kind of content you should be producing to guarantee maximum engagement from your target audience.

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