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John Becker

By John Becker

Apr 11, 2024


Video Marketing Hiring a Marketing Team
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Video Marketing  |   Hiring a Marketing Team

Is Hiring an In-House  Videographer Worth The Cost?

John Becker

By John Becker

Apr 11, 2024

Is Hiring an In-House  Videographer Worth The Cost?

According to new research, 91% of consumers would like to see more videos from brands. But if you're a small business, you've got a limited marketing budget. And, between YouTube, social media, and your website, you've got a lot of video needs.

So, how do you solve this problem? Do you bring on a full-time videographer who can be in charge of all things video? Or do you work with a production company for every video you need? 

Below, we'll dive into the pros and cons of hiring an in-house videographer so you can make the right decision for your business. 

Hiring a videographer: PROS

Hiring for a new position can be scary. We know that bad hires are costly and that sub-par videos can hurt your brand. At the same time, there are substantial benefits to bringing your video needs in-house.

  1. Efficiency. Dollar for dollar, n in-house videographer will produce way more content than an external agency. While the initial ramp-up period might be a bit slower, they will soon know the staff, style, and tone of your company. They will be able to make judgement calls an outsourced company won’t be able to make, like when to use humor or emotion. Here at IMPACT, our internal team can turn around a video in a day, whereas an outsourced production company will typically take much longer.
  2. Comfort. When it comes to interviews and other content featuring your team members, they will be much more comfortable with an in-house videographer who is a familiar face. We find that this results in higher quality content because your subject matter experts will be more at ease.
  3. Knowledge: Because this in-house videographer is embedded in your business, they will know your business better than any outsourced production company. They’ll know the product or services, they’ll know your buyers. Thus, they will be more helpful creating the strategies and covering the topics that your audience is looking for. 

Hiring a videographer: CONS

So, what are some of the downsides?

  1. Delay. The process of hiring and training can take time; outsourced production can happen immediately. 
  2. Personnel. You could make the wrong hire. It’s possible that person might not be a culture fit or have the skills and ability you thought they did. We all know how expensive a bad hire can be, and getting this one wrong can impact the way your business is seen in the marketplace. 
  3. Management. On top of that, someone will need to manage this person. If this is your first videography hire, this might prove challenging
  4. Unclear strategy. An in-house videographer without a clear strategy isn't all that helpful. Conflicting internal priorities can make it easy to get distracted from creating content that actually makes a difference. If your videographer isn’t producing the right content, your company won’t benefit and the investment in a videographer won’t be justified.

How much does video production cost?

To make an informed decision, you need to know what you can expect to spend, whether hiring or outsourcing your video needs.

In-house video production

According to Glassdoor, the average videographer salary is $57,000. Now, keep in mind that this number could vary widely depending on location, experience, and the expectations of the position. 

According to Glassdoor, the average videographer salary is $57,000.

On top of this, you'll need equipment and software, which can range anywhere from $5,000-$15,000 or more, depending on quality.  

This makes your all-in cost for in-house video production about $67,000 for your first year. 

But, because in-house videographers are really efficient, you can end up with a ton of videos in that first year. 

We teach our clients to produce two long-form videos per week. On top of that you could have social videos, shorts, and other content.

You're looking at 150 videos in a year. 

Outsourced video production

Although you don't have to buy the equipment, outsourced video production can get very expensive very quickly. 

Outsourced video production will cost you between $1,000 per video on the low end — and up to $5,000 per video on the higher end, depending on the length of the video and production difficulty.

Social media videos will be less, but still could be $250-$500.

This means that if you outsourced the same number of videos per year as above, your cost would be $100,000 at the bare minimum.

Skills to look for in-house and outsourced videographers

No matter which you decide, you’ll want to be sure that whoever you hire is qualified, so let’s go over what you should look for whether you are insourcing or outsourcing video production.

Hiring in-house: Skills and culture fit

If you’re hiring someone in-house you’ll want the person who fills this position to be the visual storyteller of your organization.

Because of this, they’re going to need to be a good culture fit and an excellent verbal and nonverbal communicator. Why? Because they will have frequent contact with employees within the organization, and in some scenarios, may have to give and receive feedback to develop the best video content.

Someone who is uncomfortable, overly introverted, or doesn’t jibe well with the culture just won’t be effective.

Then, look for these skills (HINT: work experience is not always necessary)

It certainly helps if they have previous work experience, but it’s not always necessary. Many journalism, video production, and film school graduates have excellent demo reels or portfolios from their hands-on experience during school, internships, or seasonal on-set production work. 

Ask them to show you examples of a project they’ve completed from start to finish so you can get a sense for the quality of their skills across the video production process. 

For example, ask for storyboards, scripts, or concept processes of their work. Make sure they can operate a camera proficiently and ask what type of equipment they’ve used in the past.

While you’re reviewing their portfolio or demo reel, look for after effects and graphics and ask them if they did the design and effects work. Then ask them specifically about the tools they have experience using. Abode Effects or Motion and Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are all programs that will help polish your videos in post-production. 

Again, don’t disqualify a candidate just because they haven’t worked in-house for another company. There are many candidates looking for work that have all the filming and production experience you need, even if they’re directly out of school. 

Outsourced video: Technical skill and industry understanding

Any video production that you outsource must be quality work. A production company should certainly have all of the basics of video production mastered, such as exposure, composition, and lighting, as these make all the difference when creating impressive content.

"Every video is an important touchpoint with your audience, so keep in mind the perception you want to create."

Alex Winter | Director of Video Production, IMPACT

And don’t forget about audio. It’s often overlooked, and it can either add or subtract from the viewing experience. It’s often an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be.

Make sure they understand your company (and the types of videos that have an impact)

While high production quality is important, the visuals are only half of the battle.

Be sure you find a partner who not only understands your sales, marketing, and customer experience goals, but who always understands the type of video content that will directly impact sales.” (We call these the selling 7).

When a production company understands all of this, they’ll produce effective videos that move the sales needle. 

If not, you might end up with a cinematic "about us" video that's beautiful but doesn't actually drive commerce. 

Is it worth having your own in-house videographer?

So, is it worth it? It depends on your budget and your needs. However, if you;re serious about embracing video as a company, an in-house videographer is the way to go. 

At IMPACT, we work with businesses of all kinds — and many are reluctant to hire and grow their team. 

We advise them to hire a videographer as soon as they can. In every case, they are quickly glad they did. 

In many cases, that company that "couldn't afford a videographer" soon hires a second!

In-house video production is more cost effective and efficient.  

We believe that the role of the in-house videographer will become as common as the role of sales manager in the next few years.

However, keep in mind there are valid reasons why you should outsource from time to time. 

If you need help determining which option is best for you and your company based upon where you are in the digital marketing journey, we’re here to help. Click here to book time with an IMPACT video specialist for a free video marketing consultation.

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