As the march towards video continues to dominate the discussion around marketing for small and medium-sized businesses, the inevitable question becomes, “Which is better, hiring a freelance videographer or bringing video production in-house?”
No one can argue that video has recently become an integral part of any effective marketing campaign – and for good reason; a good marketing video is usually fast-paced, engaging and can capture and hold the attention of the audience within a matter of seconds. For these reasons and others (video is also a fundamental part of search engine optimization, too), the use of video as a marketing tool is projected to continue to skyrocket.
As a matter of fact, video marketing is projected to increase by more than 25%, making it a $140 billion industry.
But, as a business owner, how exactly do you get started with video production? You generally have a choice:
- You can hire an in-house all-in-one video professional (videographer, editor, producer), or
- You can contract with a freelance video professional via a freelance video marketplace like VideoToOrder.com.
In today’s business climate, small to medium-sized businesses are generally better off hiring a freelance videographer for several important reasons. While you may pay a bit more upfront using a freelance video professional, the overall cost savings and finished product usually always outweigh hiring a dedicated video production employee.
Six reasons why hiring a freelance videographer is a better business decision than bringing video production in-house.
1. CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY
It is a commonly known fact that freelance videographers and freelance video editors are very competitive and will go to great lengths to maintain their competitive advantage – usually in the form of “gear envy.” It is very common for a professional freelance videographer or freelance video editor to invest in the newest camera equipment, upgraded video production software & hardware and using cutting edge video editing techniques.
If your business cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars required to set up an in-house video production studio, then hiring a freelance videographer who has his or her own gear makes perfect sense!
Ask any freelance videographer or video editor how he or she got started in video production and 99% of the time you will hear that creating videos has been a passion for as long as they can remember. Since freelance video editors and entrepreneurial filmmakers have been shooting videos for years, they have an enormous amount of experience under their belt. Additionally, they have a proven track record of continuously improving their technique and have the time and motivation to learn to produce a wide variety of video styles. It is not uncommon to see video editors go beyond assembling and color-correcting video footage and move into digital motion graphics or animation.
Another benefit of hiring freelancers is that you have ready access to video professionals with skills in a diverse set of disciplines. Via VideoToOrder.com you can find video freelancers who specialize or excel in many specific areas: video production, animation, editing, motion graphics, voice-over, scriptwriting, video optimization, and search engine marketing, transcription, and subtitling, creating soundtracks and so much more! It is very unlikely that you will find one employee that is capable of handling all of these types of processes in video production.
Successful freelance videographers and editors have faced and overcome the challenges of freelancing through passion, perseverance and developing their talent. Hiring a freelance videographer means that you are benefiting from that hard-won experience.
3. CREATIVE VISION
A marketing video can help your business gain the traction necessary to grow, but it will only be as successful as the creative vision and video advertising fundamentals. While an in-house videographer can shoot and edit a video, experienced freelance videographers are able to guide you through your ideas and help you clarify the creative vision of your brand. They often have the benefit of an outsider’s perspective and seeing what has worked and hasn’t work in other businesses’ video marketing campaigns.
4. EMPLOYEE COSTS
The cost of hiring a freelance videographer in-house goes well beyond the salary you are paying him or her. You are also going to pay for:
- Employment taxes
- Social security payments
- Healthcare and benefits
- Vacation and sick days
- Human resources
Using the services of a freelancer means that you will pay one price based on an hourly rate or a video production budget that was negotiated upfront. There are usually no additional expenses, paperwork, or headaches associated with this service.
Another point that business owners forget is that video production and distribution takes a lot of time. It might take one very skilled employee two or three full weeks to write the script, shoot the video and create the digital graphics then edit, optimize, upload and distribute a video. By hiring multiple video service freelancers not only can you cut this time in half, but hiring specialists in each aspect, you are likely getting better quality and a faster turn-around during each phase of the production, too.
5. VIDEO PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT COSTS
In-house video production expenses include more than just payroll and daily expense reports. As I alluded to earlier, hiring an employee to handle video production means also having to invest in video cameras, production studio equipment (microphones, lighting, backgrounds, stands, etc.), equipment repairs, a video editing station, software licenses and upgrades, as well as having the space to house your studio! Let’s keep in mind that these expenses are in addition to the non-negotiable cost of the employee discussed above.
6. LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
Finally, hiring a freelance videographer versus bringing an employee on board means you aren’t tied to a long-term commitment. If you are only planning on running one or two video marketing campaigns a year, it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time permanent employee. Hiring freelance videographers and editors are usually short-term and project-specific. Hiring and firing employees can be very, very expensive. If you don’t like your freelancer for whatever reason, canceling your contract and finding a new one isn’t really all that difficult or… emotional.
Having years of experience in this area, I can tell you with absolute certainty that for most small to medium-sized businesses, that are just beginning to realize the need for video content and video marketing, hiring a full-time employee for video production is NOT a good decision. It’s almost as bad as placing the burden of creating and marketing video content squarely on the business owner.
Making the decision between hiring a freelance videographer or an in-house employee to handle your video projects can definitely feel overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. Like all business decisions, it really comes down to budget, vision, and goals. If you are clear about what you want to achieve and can communicate your needs clearly and thoroughly, there is no doubt a freelance professional can catapult your marketing efforts while saving you time, money and stress!