Everybody needs content. Whether it’s for a website, a profile, a product, a campaign, a post, an interview or just about anything online. Good video content means good communication with your followers and potential clients. Sometimes you will be tempted to shoot images and videos yourself instead of hiring a professional.
People often think the decision is based on the type of content. For example: headshots, interviews and short shots should be homemade whereas longer videos and face-to-camera takes should be outsourced to professionals. But it isn’t that simple! It depends on other factors, such as the destination of your content, its audience and its lifespan. For example: a 30 second action-packed promotion post, destined to be seen by a large audience can require more skills and attention, than a longer testimonial video published on your company blog.
Regardless of the type of content and the size of your company, there are pros and cons of homemade shooting VS hiring a professional. Let’s review some criteria that can help you decide which is better:
When posting on social media and making live posts, like on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, opting for a homemade shooting is beneficial because you can film and upload instantly. In some cases, live posts are not always planned and happen spontaneously. For example, you have been invited to a networking event and decide to post it online to contribute to the company’s social media. A short sequence can be filmed and instantly uploaded to the company Instagram account.
Also, frequency is key to success on most social media platforms. So if self-shooting allows you to post more often and more regularly, it is preferable. On these platforms, a bit of quality can be sacrificed in view of more quantity and more frequent posts.
On the other hand, if you’re making content that will be hosted on your website then deeper attention should be given to detail and quality. This would be a good time to turn to professionals in order to get the best shots and high-quality post-production. Content on your website will directly represent your brand to viewers that are genuinely interested in you and it’s worth the input of consulting with professionals in that field.
The same goes for pinned posts on Social Media, they could benefit from more attention. These posts with important information are pinned in order to stay easily visible and accessible and not get buried by more recently created content. Since this post will be seen at a much higher rate than other posts, it’s worthwhile.
Content comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. You might feel comfortable making some elements yourself because you have the skills, manpower and equipment already at your disposal, and reach out to pros for other projects.
Good quality material is essential to content creation. It’s important to consider what you already have available. Does your company have cameras or editing programmes available for use? Do you personally have a good quality cell phone or computer? These factors could convince you to roll up your sleeves and create the content yourself. Today’s cellphones can (almost) work miracles and several free editing programs offer basic post-production elements. There are useful tips to avoid having to use pro material, for example instead of having professional lighting, shoot in front of a large window on a cloudless day.
Who is going to work with you? Maybe you have a colleague with a good eye for portraits and video shoots. If you have the manpower, the time and the motivation (as well as the tools), your content will appear genuine and authentic. But remember that filming, editing, writing and directing are real professions because they require real skill and experience. Directing an interview or face-to-camera video is not as easy as it looks. People get nervous in front of the camera and tend to stiffen up. Experienced cameramen and directors know how to get them comfortable in front of the lens and they know how to get the script flowing. The professional team has extensive experience shooting and will give your office-actors advice and tips to get the best possible out of every shot. Their input will save you energy and time during the shooting.
Lastly, when it comes to post-production, having access to a professional team and advanced editing tools can make your video look amazing and save you loads of time and energy.
When you are going to shoot outside or in a rented space, hiring a professional could save you precious time and get your content together in record time.
On the other hand, when the main setting will be your own office, it is tempting to put yourself and a couple of co-workers to the task.
But if content creating is not your primary role in your company, always consider the time you will have to dedicate for each content starting with brainstorming, planning, scripting, production, post-production. If this time could be better spent doing other (paying!) tasks, then calling in a professional team will be beneficial.
Some content is expected to have a short lifespan, as for example live posts, or temporary updates. In these cases, homemade content usually does the trick.
Your viewers are not expecting a premium quality, TV-like commercial video with sound-effects and amazing post-production skills. The aim of a temporary content is usually a straight-forward and simple message, for example in a short-term testimonial video or a provisional presentation. Then a good homemade video is enough to get your point across and be understood by your audience.
When your content is about communicating on the essentials of your business, it is aiming to be permanent or at least long-lasting. This type of content could call for a more professional input. Hiring a team will ensure the quality, professionalism and attention to detail in the content representing your brand in the eyes for your viewers. Knowing that over time, your content will be viewed over and over again by your audience, makes it a good investment to being assisted by a professional team.
Your investment can go a long way if you plan to reuse the same material on different platforms and various websites. For example, an explainer-video of your business can be hosted permanently on your website, but also on the company’s LinkedIn and other platforms.
If your company has different branches, making a video that you can host on several of your websites is a great advantage and a long-term corporate asset.
If you or a colleague is comfortable doing a homemade shoot and you have access to the appropriate material, you can opt for an in-office shooting and later be assisted by a professional to edit the footage for you to give it a highly professional look :)
I hope this article has helped you decide whether a homemade shooting or calling out to a professional team is more fit for your project. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments, like the article, or share it to help your own audience as we hoped it helped you.
Wendy is the project manager at Takeaway Content. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, she is really easy to talk to and she's an expert in content strategy.