DIY Video: Weighing When to Do-It-Yourself vs. When to Hire Pros

Do-it-Yourself video is a lot like DIY plumbing. Master it yourself and you can save money, fail and it could cost you a lot more money in the long run.

Regardless of which option you chose, keep in mind there is still a cost, even when you do videos in house. For example, if you opt to do them in house, you’ll need the tools, the time, and the talent — and possibly the training — to produce effective videos. Consider the cost of that investment.

If your organization has those resources, then evaluate the video to ensure that 1) the ROI outweighs your internal resources, 2) your results are of a quality to reflect well on your brand, and 3) the potential impact or reward is worth the potential risk.

Video is a great tool to educate, engage, and inspire people to action—if they are done right. DIY video generally is most successful for informal, low profile uses, such as internal how-to training, staff testimonials, and in-the-moment and behind-the-scenes videos. For external audiences, DIY videos can be effective for minor social media, video blogs, and even some product demos.

If there is a lot riding on your video, call in the pros. If the business objective makes this video higher profile and it’s impact comes with higher stakes and higher risks, it pays to go with outside expertise.

To help you compare, we’ve prepared a decision wheel that ranks video types and uses, as well as distribution channels based on ratings of high and low profile, high and low impact, high and low stakes, and high and low risks.

Bottom line: The higher the profile, impact, stakes, and risk, the better off you are to hire pros to do your video. The lower the profile, impact, stakes, and risk, the safer you are going DIY – provided you have invested in the tools, training, talent and time it takes to produce a quality video. In other words, unless you have an expert on staff, stick to the basics – the faucets, flappers, and floats, and leave the more complex dishwashers, shower pads and water heaters to the pros.