Video Trends in 2020: Internal and External Video Production

For our fourth installment in the “Video Trends in 2020” series, we’re shifting away from trends in video features and components to look instead at the way video creation itself is changing. Any brand that wants to generate video content has always had two main options when choosing an approach: in-house production vs. outsourced production.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Years ago, it was common for brands to partner with agencies and video production companies to completely outsource their video content. Production was expensive and required a level of expertise that many internal teams didn’t have, so hiring an external team to handle all video content made sense.

Today, the whole concept of production is viewed through a different lens. Making small-scale video content is cheaper and easier to accomplish with our digital devices than ever before, so the stakes are lower for brands that want to take over some of their own content creation.

There are still important benefits that external teams bring to the table. Agencies and video production companies often have proven expertise when it comes to what video content will be effective in addressing specific goals. Creatively, there are also benefits that come from adding an outside opinion and bringing new insight into creative discussions. Because internal teams work with the brand every day, they have knowledge that runs deeper than external teams, but that can also lead to stagnant content and outdated ideas. 

Logistically, there are other benefits to external teams. Agencies and production companies almost always invest in professional-grade equipment, which can be so expensive that even companies with robust video budgets wouldn’t be able to match it. Constrained resources are also important to keep in mind, with many companies finding that they’re unable to execute content at the scale they want because employees have other tasks to balance.

So, why are companies adding internal video production to the mix? In-house production can expand the impact of external video content. For example, if an agency produces four video projects a year for a given company, they might have two internal employees who post related videos on Instagram every week. The idea isn’t to replace external content, it’s to supplement it with bonus content that previously didn’t exist. 

With that in mind, in 2020, we’re expecting to see a continuation in the shift towards using agencies and production companies in conjunction with in-house production resources. Again, this isn’t to say that most companies will take their video content 100% in-house—agencies and production companies still offer valuable benefits in terms of equipment, expertise, and scale—but many teams will invest in their internal production capabilities in the hopes of expanding the scope of the overall content strategy.

Research supports this concept, with one study finding that teams that create some in-house content are able to create an average of 3-10 videos per month, while those that exclusively outsource their content are only able to manage an average of 1-2 videos per month. The addition of in-house work typically doesn’t replace the quality or value that external teams generate, but it expands the magnitude of the content.

Brands that decide to use a mix of internal and external resources in 2020 will also be in good company, with a survey finding that 52% of marketing teams in 2019 utilized the combination approach. In 2017, that figure was much lower at 37%, so the trend is already notable and will likely continue to increase. 

Finally, there are hiring implications to consider as a result of this organizational shift. Bringing some content creation in-house will mean that more companies need internal team members with basic production skills. Already, 84% of marketers say that video creation skills are important to consider when hiring for any marketing position. Job seekers may want to actively acquire skills related to video production, and hiring managers may want to gauge production experience as a differentiator between candidates. 

As with the other video trends for 2020 that we’ve covered so far, only time will tell where these ideas take us in the coming year and beyond. We can’t wait to see how video changes over the next 12 months, and look forward to continuing to report on trends as they develop and evolve. 

Alexa Nizam

Alexa Nizam