How to outsource video production effectively and the benefits of doing so
Choosing to outsource can feel like a big step, however, it can often prove to be a significant and positive one. Whilst it may be tempting to keep your productions in-house to reduce costs, a collaborative approach with the right agency can be very worthwhile, and lead to a far more effective strategy than what you may have achieved alone. Here we have outlined 3 major benefits to outsourcing your productions.
1. Ability to React
Outsourcing your video production can save huge amounts of time where you would otherwise have to train yourself or others to fulfil this role, allowing you to be more responsive to opportunities as and when they arise. This is especially true for time-sensitive or emergency appeals. For example, an agency can create a concept, film and produce a film in as little as 2 weeks because they have the resources at their disposal. The ability to grow and disband a ready assembled team as your workload increases and decreases allows you to be more responsive and reactive when the time strikes.
To ensure that an agency can quickly and effectively produce a video on your behalf, make sure that you are ready with a brand bible and video guidelines which clearly communicate your brand, tone of voice and your charity’s audience. When resources are limited, creating these may feel like a big undertaking, however, these documents save you time and money in the creative process, as well as with communications between you and your agency.
In this example we had to react fast to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing government guidelines during the height of the Covid pandemic. With the help of multiple editors working simultaneously we manged to produce and edit this series of 3 films for User Voice, a leading prisons charity, in under 2 weeks. We were able to do this because of our existing relationship with the charity and our grasp of their brand and voice, which we had taken the time to understand prior to working with them.
When you outsource your productions to an agency you are investing in their expertise. The right agency will provide you with a new pool of creativity and skills to create effective and wider-reaching campaigns. An effective agency can create something bespoke and unique, embedding their understanding of the industry, such as why people give and donate, how they relate emotionally and how people interact with different platforms. They should also utilise their understanding of fundraising tools available to charities online to make sure your campaign reaches not only a wider audience but the right one.
Make sure your agency is an expert in their field and one that is relevant to you. You wouldn't go to a Japanese restaurant for a pizza, and you should apply that analogy to ensure you are talking to the experts for your sector and your needs. Before the creative process even begins they should help you to identify the key objectives, messaging, and target audience so that all creative ideas are built around this.
Nowadays more and more professionals are working from home and so having a relationship with a creative agency is increasingly valuable, allowing you to make use of their sizable network of inhouse and external filmmakers, animators and set designers to create something truly bespoke. Don't be put off when an agency pulls in outside resources to ensure you have the best team for your project. Just make sure they are upfront about how they work and who they work with to ensure it’s right for you and that you’re happy to be aligned with any external partners .
Working with an agency
When choosing an agency, it is important to find one that understands the importance of taking the time to understand what you are about. Their experience should also reflect the type of work you are looking for, and their values should sit well with yours. Here is a 12 questions you should be thinking of when planning to outsource.
1. Communication Objectives
What is the primary communication objective for this video content?
2. Target Audience
Exactly who is the target audience for this campaign? What are their demographics including age, gender, nationality, language, education etc ... ?
3. Key Messages (3-5)
What are the most important key messages you would like viewers to take away from this content?
What action would you like viewers to take having watched the content? And how would you like them to feel emotionally? What would you like to think?
5. Viewing Platforms
How will the content reach its target audience? Which online platforms will be used? And will captive screenings also be arranged?
6. Distribution Plans
Are there any comms plans currently in place to distribute the content online, such as Google Adwords or blogger outreach? What about offline methods such as physical video brochures or branded memory sticks? How will social media be used to drive web traffic to the content?
7. Territories & Usage
Which countries will the campaign be targeted at? And what is the intended shelf-life of the content?
8. Measuring Success
Which metrics will be used to measure the campaign’s impact and effectiveness? What would be deemed a successful campaign?
9. Decision-Making Criteria
How will the production agency for this campaign be selected? Are there formal weightings for relevant experience? Price? Concept?
10. Brand Guidelines
Are you able to provide our team with a copy of your latest brand guidelines?
11. Budget Range
What is the available budget range for this particular project?
12. Delivery Deadline
By which date do you need the content delivered?
Need help with your next project? Get in touch with us here.