Video: DIY-it or outsource-it?

Videos are powerful brand tools to capture audience attention and pause thumb scrolling across digital newsfeeds. Research has shown that video can help improve brand retention, engagement rates and increase reach. But at what point should you use video internally and when do you need to outsource it to a professional organisation? We outlined a few suggestions that we picked up at Good Stories 2019.

  1. Consider how complex your video production needs are.
    As a Founder, you can probably safely shoot short videos from your phone for online use. For example, every month we live-stream our own Founders’ Friday events on Facebook using a phone and tripod. However, if your video requires more complex edits, you may need more specialised skills. Examples of edits can include the use of multiple angles, infographics (particularly useful when simplifying technical information), and filming within noisy environments. For example, when we conducted our first interview during a networking break at Founders’ Friday, we found we needed to use subtitles as there was too much background noise.


  2. Consider your own time-resources.
    Shooting a quick interview video for social media can probably safely be done in-house. However, anything more complicated can become too time-consuming. Outsourcing video can help take that time off your hands so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

    To save time, some organisations may choose to opt-in for volunteers. Although this can be useful for quick video production, it can also present a risk of losing control. As volunteers do not have obligations to necessarily respond to organisational requests, there is a risk that the final video may not meet your organisational needs with little flexibility for edits. In the worst case scenario, video material may remain on the volunteer’s devices, limiting access. Working with professional organisations can help reduce this risk, as final projects often require sign-off prior to official completion. To determine whether volunteers or organisations are more appropriate for your video needs, you can balance pros and cons with project risks, rewards and complexity.

  3. Consider video ‘recyclability’.
    In some instances, you may be filming materials which could be adopted within different formats or videos in the future. For example, if you just launched a new product or moved into an office, you might want to take multiple videos which can be applied to different contexts. In our case, we had professional photos taken of our ‘day 1’ event at Newcastle Startup Week which you may have seen circulated around social media throughout the year. In these cases, it might be useful to appoint a professional company who can help you gather a variety of quality materials that can be used in the longer term. However, make sure to check your contract for content rights.


  4. Understand your key message and audience.
    Understanding the key purpose and audience of your video can help you determine your minimum required quality to get your key message across to your target audiences. Short DIY videos on social media may add a humanising feel to the brand, helping those who are already aware of your products to develop a more emotive connection. This is particularly suitable for staff videos, interviews, and testimonials. However, if you are using your video to convince others of the quality of your brand and product features, the quality of the video should be more reflective. Examples of these types of videos include advertisements, demos and documentaries. In these cases, professional organisations with better filming equipment might be more suitable.

Do you have any other tips for filming? Let us know in a comment below!

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