To produce your own videos or to hire the pros, that is the question.
Most companies arrive at this fork in the road when embarking on their video marketing journeys. There are valid arguments for each route in regards to money, time, resources, talent, and overall objectives, so the decision is not always an easy one.
Unlike Robert Frost, who was remorseful that he could not travel down two different paths, Yale Appliance and Lighting has taken advantage of both options. This family-owned business has hired production companies for some larger projects and also created their own low-pressure videos in-house on a regular basis. Their video producer, Pat Palingo, was completely new to video production when he joined the company as the director of marketing, and he has since created multiple engaging videos about dishwashers and grills, while honing his shooting and editing skills.
In-house production vs. hiring a company
Now, a quick game. Can you tell the self-produced video from the professionally-produced one?
Okay, we'll tell you. The video on the left, a delivery process video, was produced by an external group. Pat created the product video on the right in-house.
Working with a production company
Yale Appliance and Lighting hired a professional videographer to produce an informational video about their delivery process. Pat explains, "That video was really important for us, and was going to include a lot more production-wise than we had ever done before (or have done since). It was actually done a few years ago when we were just getting started with video. So we didn't have any real ideas for how to go about that, hence looking to some help from the pros."
Yale Appliance and Lighting sends this video out to every customer who schedules a delivery. The average engagement (the percentage of the video watched) is 78%, which suggests that the information is relevant and effectively conveyed. By anticipating common questions and outlining the process, the video helps to ensure seamless deliveries. After watching it, customers double check their measurements and call ahead about potential issues. "This saves headaches for everyone," Pat notes.
"We know that a safe, successful delivery is the best possible experience for our customers. It's really important that we don't damage any property, our delivery team avoids injury, and we complete deliveries the first time as much as possible."
Producing video in-house
Pat produced the video about Bosch dishwashers, which lives on Yale Appliance and Lighting's blog, to provide a comparison between American and European dishwashers. This video, along with many other product videos, provides customers with detailed, in-depth views of different product options.
While the text in the blog post provides thorough descriptions of Bosch dishwashers, the video enables customers to actually see unique features in action, like that sweet third rack. The video also features an email collector at the end, which gives viewers an easy way to sign up for future blog updates.
"The goal of all our content is to help educate people about the products or problems they're researching," Pat notes. "We'll keep creating videos to complement our blog articles and help give our business a voice."
In addition to humanizing their brand, the videos on Yale Appliance and Lighting's website have rendered one of their salespeople a local celebrity. Pat explains, "Chris, who's on camera in most of our videos, gets recognized and sought out by customers visiting our store."
"For this video, we first went through a scripting process to make sure we answered the most common questions and discussed the important features," Pat says. "We then set up the camera in an office to record video and audio. After that, we shot some B-roll of the product. Then we used Adobe Premiere to edit everything together."
Pat admits that the scripting process is often a time-consuming obstacle to overcome, but he affirms that getting it right is well worth the effort in the long run. "The video is easier to shoot if you have a good script, and you end up with a better result," he says.
If you are looking for some advice on scripting, or you're just generally curious about the process, we made a video about this potential pain point.
Here are a couple other examples of videos on Yale Appliance and Lighting's blog:
We really appreciated learning about Yale Appliance and Lighting's video marketing journey, and we are excited to see their future video content. Here are some lessons to pocket:
- For some situations, it makes sense to self-produce videos, and for others, you may want to consider hiring the professionals.
- Creating informational videos can help educate customers and prevent headaches.
- Giving the script some extra TLC before shooting will save you from issues later.
- You can create engaging videos about nearly any subject.
- Videos can foster trust and transform salespeople into local celebrities.
How does your company decide whether or not to self-produce videos? Have any of your video subjects achieved celebrity status in your customers' eyes?