When it comes to business marketing for the digital age, you can’t go wrong with video.

Statistics have proven that rapid rise of video marketing among industries, with 85% of companies onboard. The effects are astounding – among a greater ROI, the ability to reach new audiences and provide information in an engaging, memorable way; videos have shown to boost your website’s organic search traffic by a whopping 157%

On Google alone, you’re also 53x more likely to show up first with a video embedded on your webpage. 

So how does one come up with a quality video – one that not only captivates, but converts audiences?

Below, we weight out the benefits and drawbacks of turning to a cloud production house, in-house, or freelance videographers for your next video project.  

Cloud Agency

Advantages

Cloud production houses are known for their large teams of producers, sales people and brand managers – Which can  provide you that extra manpower for more creative concepts, and in some larger shoots boost the overall speed and efficiency of the creation process.

Cloud based videographers typically work under their own project managers, ensuring strict deadlines are met through organised and professionally managed schedules. This also alleviates you of the burden in managing individual freelancers or in-house employees. 

They also come in handy when you need different shoots done at the same time in multiple locations – something either in-house staff can’t deliver, or is simply too difficult and time-consuming to manage on your own with multiple individual freelancers.

Disadvantages

Technically, you’re employing an entire team of experts to work on your vision, each playing their own unique role in the process – these including account managers, project managers, video editors, and the actual videographers themselves. A hefty price tag is thus expected for the high accountability, and high-speed delivery they offer.

With their staff exchanging large amounts of ideas (each having their own influence on the project), your brief is also likely to get lost “in transit”. This may result in a final creation that falls short of what you had in mind.

Additionally, with multiple people involved, you may not always be dealing with the same person each time. This can make communications messier and more complicated than they need to be, with messages potentially getting lost in the clutter (or some people being notified of specific updates – while others are left in the dark). 

Cloud agencies heavily rely on creators to look after all technical specs on the day of a shoot. Since cloud agencies tend to typically take on half the budget allocated for a project, leaving little to spare for videographers themselves, there is a real possibility that they will allocate you a cheaper freelancer to stay within your budget. This can lead to unpleasant surprises if they are not sufficiently experienced to handle your project.

In-house

Advantages

A primary advantage of hiring in-house videographers is having total oversight of your projects, as well as the convenience of direct, clear communication.  

With a team working in the same space with you, you can offer hands-on contributions, guidance, and feedback to any work in progress. Ideas are unlikely to get lost in translation, as you have the benefit of face-to-face communication with your creatives. 

Of course, if your company requires a large, frequent amount of video content, having a set department of experts can aid in the process. As full-time employees of your organisation, they’ll also know your brand inside-out; creating content that perfectly fits with the objectives and personality of your business. 

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, for all the convenience and accuracy they provide, having an in-house videography team is typically the most expensive option  and with video, you always get what you pay for.

Hiring full-time workers requires demanding financial investment in their salary, office supplies, the video equipment you’d like them to use, and the price of maintaining and updating your technology. Separate stations may also be required for editors or animators. 

Throw in a few peripheral costs – such as ongoing training, software licenses, greater electricity use – and you’ll easily end up with a major dent in your business budget. 

There’s then the issue of finding the necessary skills to build your team. Hiring experts of multiple specialties (such as video editing, sound editing, shooting, and voiceover) can be hard to come by; though employing a professional for each individual skill can quickly drive up costs.

In an effort to save, some companies may opt for “generalists” who can do multiple roles at once, though aren’t necessarily an “expert” in any. This can result in reduced quality – or greater expenses in training them as necessary.

Finally, turnover costs can be pretty steep, averaging to about six to nine months’ of one’s salary. 

To make matters worse, Hays statistics show that 33% of Australian companies reported a turnover increase in the past year, with 44% of employees seeking a new job in the next 12 months that followed. 

Only 7% of companies use exclusively in-house content, likely due to the grand costs of an in-house team. 

For major savings in budget, while still retaining high-quality work, businesses often find luck with our third option. 

Freelancer

Advantages

Freelance videographers are individual professionals outsourced by businesses, and are the most cost-effective, flexible solution. 

When seeking out freelance videographers, you have options of experienced specialists among varying industries and fields. Those who’ve maintained their business for several years likely possess multiple other talents – such as sound and video editing. 

Overhead prices are also considerably lower – a prime reason behind their popularity. Hiring freelancers don’t involve large capital and training investments, and you typically pay per project (and for one person, at that!), rather than on a set weekly or monthly schedule for their services. 

Freelancers understand the need to be flexible with clients, especially those just building their network; and are usually well-equipped to handle quick turnarounds or last minute assignments that pop up (though many are likely to charge a small additional fee!). They’re also open to both large and small projects, in contrast to agencies who generally accept larger assignments – though who also rely on freelancers to get the job done!

Have a large project in mind? No problem! Experienced freelancers tend to build their own network of professional freelancers over the years, and can easily reach out for help when the need arises.

Lastly, you can always hire the same videographer – familiarizing them with your brand image, tone, and general requirements. Communication is also made easy, as you’re only ever liaising with one person, and usually in close, face-to-face collaboration. These experts are additionally open are to sharing their own ideas and creative perspectives, and take time to fully grasp your needs to produce results accurate to your vision. 

Disadvantages

Sadly, a drawback to freelance services is the challenge of finding the best talents. Most quality professionals are in high demand, and often pre-occupied with an already demanding workload. There’s also the potential for freelancers to reject your requests – though this usually happens with unreasonable demands, such as unrealistic deadlines or requirements beyond the scope of their abilities. 

Differing time zones are also another disadvantage. These are typically overcome, however, with proper organisation and scheduling. Alternatively, you can always seek out freelancers who reside in the same geographical location as you.

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I write about video marketing and how it can help your business.