In-house Video Production vs. Video Production Company
I see it in a client’s eyes after we complete the second or third video for them - they are ecstatic with the results achieved; a great looking video, a concept explained, video for social media, and improved SEO results due to video production.
They start to think, “what if we could produce video in-house, we could crank out a story regularly AND save the costs of going to a production company?”.
Half of the concept is correct, there is nothing better than video production for your website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, and marketing in general...but are you really saving money?
Let me answer that question…
There are several things to consider when thinking about in-house video production vs. hiring a local video production company. The following is a short list of reasons why in-house production might not be the best investment.
Labor, do the math. Think about your communications goals versus cost of a production company. You just produced your first video and it cost you $4K, or maybe only $2K. You want to produce 12 videos next year. Simple, multiply your single video budget by the number you wish to do. One a month? One a quarter? What number did you come up with? Payscale.com suggests an entry level video production specialist will expect between $32-69K in salary (without any additional benefits added), the median is $47,334! How much did you “save”? You probably didn’t 12 videos at $4K cost you $48K, which is about the salary of that person you needed to hire (now you still need to add in benefits)
Equipment. Is this bill right? These days anyone can purchase a subscription to professional editing software for $50/month, but then what? There’s a lot more to video than just editing. Going to shoot all your videos on your phone? Maybe. But better results come from professional gear, and that gear costs money. So you go buy a camera, then you need a tripod, then you need additional batteries, monitor, lights, etc. Audio into the camera? Buy a microphone. Then you might need an audio interface when you can’t get the audio into the camera….it goes on & on. It can be a huge outlay of cash. Most importantly, gear goes out of technology fast these days. The first camera Acclaim Media purchased was $16,500. In the end, it was sold on Ebay for $500 as it was only standard def, when the world moved to HD. Is depreciation something you can carry on your books?
Know-how. Acclaim Media has been producing corporate video productions since 1998 and produced thousands of videos. The entry level person mentioned above? Experience counts for everything in video production. After all, often we cannot go back and re-create an event. Miss the ribbon cutting with the Mayor? That can’t be re-created.
We are aware of several area companies who brought production “in-house”. That was a few years ago, and we’re now producing more content for those companies than ever. They discovered the concerns mentioned above through trial and error.
Their entry-level person could not keep up with the award winning level of production they expected. Video production deadlines were missed and marketing efforts scrapped. The gear they purchased is now sitting in a warehouse and technology is passing it by daily.
One client of ours even stated, “We’re not going down that ‘gear’ road again, that was a waste.”
There are many more factors we didn’t have the space to list. I would suggest you have a conversation with your production company about the volume of work you hope to produce and your video budgets.
Often video production companies like ours can creatively bundle production services to save you money when they look long-term. They can work with their video crews to deliver the best value possible to clients. This will save you a lot of time, work and money in the long run. After all, getting creative is what we do!
Acclaim Media works with several companies on a retainer basis to help them produce more video on a consistent schedule while keeping costs down. The relationship has worked well for both companies. Many of our customers consider Acclaim Media their “off-site, in-house, production company”.