DIY Video Production VS Video Production companies – which should you choose?
Recently a slew of disruptive video production companies has launched, claiming to innovate the video production business with cheaper video product offerings. These services offer a different model than traditional video production companies, allowing clients to create larger volumes of content for a lower price. Here are some of the options available:
Some companies will install camera equipment to the place of business, train selected staff then ‘top and tail’ or edit the footage with the company branding. Whilst the concept is a cheaper option for businesses that require a volume of content to be produced (think product instructions, training, internal comms etc), this needs to be resourced – staff must produce the content, taking them away from their regular roles.
PROS: cheaper option for high volumes of content, manage the content in-house.
CONS: requires in-house resources, template driven editing look and feel, overall costs tend to exceed the price of engaging a video production company.
OUR VERDICT: video production (done well) takes time, planning and execution to create content that is palatable to watch. This means a person nominated to be the videographer suddenly has responsibilities they are not well trained for and an expectation to deliver on. When contemplating this option, it’s worth considering the salaries of the staff involved and time they spent outside of their regular duties to produce internal content when preparing a budget.
SMARTPHONE/USER GENERATED DIY
Another service is shooting content on a smartphone and supplying the footage to a third party to edit. Whilst smartphone video quality is getting better with each new model, they require third party products to use correctly, such as a tripod, microphone and lighting. If none of these are handy, then the content turns out shaky, dark and the audio poor. No amount of editing can save poorly captured video content!
PROS: cheap, do it yourself
CONS: no training, footage tends to be un-professional, template driven editing look and feel.
OUR VERDICT: suits start-up businesses with tight budget constraints, so consider if it’s more important to save money over paying to showcase a product professionally.
CLOUD PRODUCTION COMPANIES
This service offers video production projects to a list of suppliers via a cloud bidding process for a fixed fee. Whilst this concept is totally outsourced (and apparently cheaper than engaging a video production company directly), it offers a capped rate to suppliers considerably under the market rate, thus attracts videographers with little experience. Whilst we have never used this service (we’ve been a supplier), it would be good to know if they charge the actual market rate to the client, which reflects the cheap rates they pay the market.
PROS: Outsourced – no need to resource in-house, video suppliers bid on a capped fee which (hopefully) leads to cheaper video production costs as a result.
CONS: Capped budgets attracting low experience operators, aggressive business model seeking to productise the video production market relying on suppliers to work at reduced fees for profit.
OUR VERDICT: Good option for start-ups who are budget conscience yet require a semi-professional product, however for larger companies we believe it’s important to maintain brand consistency through a relationship with a video production company.
BUILD YOUR OWN PROMO
There a seemingly hundreds of create your own promo sites that use library of stock footage, effects fonts and logos to knock out a personalised promo.
PROS: cheap, quick to produce, semi-professional.
CONS: uses a library of stock footage – the best clips tend to get used over and over so your promo ends up looking like others! Stock can look too polished, or too American (where most of the services reside).
OUR VERDICT: This is a good option to test out if video production is good for your business, however your audience will know its stock, so don’t pretend it isnt!
IN SUMMARY: creating your own video content may be appealing from a cost perspective, but consider the time, resources and hidden costs required to produce the content. Using video production services on the basis of saving money has unintended consequences: local video production companies are small businesses that employ people in your community, they resource their field of expertise and they offer a one and one relationship with your business where they truly want to see your product, service or business succeed, so they too can succeed. We’ve always believed its better to pay for a professional service to do the work for you, rather than pay to do the work yourself!