When To Use An External Video Agency?

A recent article in Forbes says: “Video lends electroshock therapy to flatlining marketing strategies”. We couldn’t agree more. In this blog, we look at the pros and cons of producing video in-house and outsourcing to an agency.

'Video lends electroshock therapy to flatlining marketing strategies.


As I’ve said in previous posts, video is an indispensable business tool. In a recent survey by HubSpot, 81% of businesses now use video as part of their marketing mix, up from 63% last year. I expect this to continue to increase in the years ahead.

How will all this video be produced? The fact is, many businesses simply can’t afford to outsource every video project to a professional agency (like us). Some will have to be produced in-house. We don’t mind that. Part of our work as consultants means helping businesses make good quality videos, even when we are aren’t directly involved in the production process.

Companies will need to pick and choose. The question is: when should they use their own resources to make a video project and when should they use a professional agency?

In-house video production

Due to time saved engaging an agency and planning and organising a shoot (not to mention cost), in-house videos can typically be produced much faster than professionally shot projects. So, in-house is great for projects where several videos need to be produced, such as employee training, recruitment, or engagement.

There are also times when videos are better when they aren’t professionally shot. Viral videos are almost always shot on a shaky, muffly camera, and yet clock up more views than many professionally shot videos. Don’t believe me? ‘Charlie bit my finger – again!’ has over 800,000,000 views on YouTube. 

Similarly, on social media you’ll often want to be more informal. Facebook knows this. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Instagram’s new face-filters features in a video casually shot from his phone.

Lastly, it makes our job easier in the long run, too. Businesses with experience creating their own videos often understand the challenges involved, and know the right questions to ask when they do outsource a project to us.

Agency production

In-house has its downsides, though. Unless companies have a dedicated creative team, a video production studio, and all the right equipment, their videos simply won’t have the professional cut that agencies provide. Like I said, this is fine for when videos are meant to appear natural, but often this isn’t the case.

Take adverts, for instance. This is how consumers and other businesses see your company, so a professional, polished look is important. Indeed, all of the top 10 most viewed adverts on YouTube in 2017 were professionally filmed.

There are some things that agencies can do that companies working in-house can’t. Take animation for instance, which requires teams of artists. Or, there may be times when you need professional actors, something that won’t be possible on an in-house project (unless you have some exceptionally talented staff).

Lastly, video agencies are experts in postproduction processes, such as editing and colour grading, that give the final product that extra polish and edge.

To wrap up

In-house certainly has its place for informal social media campaigns, or on larger projects where the sacrifice in quality isn’t too important. And, the experience a company gains from producing its own videos is invaluable in a business world where video is becoming more important by the day.

If you are looking to produce in-house content, check out this blog, which sets out tips on how to set up your own production studio.


On larger projects, where your company’s reputation is on the line, such as advertising campaigns, it’s best to engage an agency.

We encourage businesses to use video wherever possible, even if we aren’t involved. We know that while in-house has its place, there are times when companies will want to outsource projects and, of course, Element 26 is happy to help.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk