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Outsourcing video marketing services: Are retainers worth it?

Are long-term video marketing retainers worth it? When you’re considering whether to outsource video creation for your next brand marketing campaign, you may find yourself weighing up the pros and cons of a once-off project versus committing your organisation to a long-term contract.

In our decade and a half of delivering award-winning marketing video production services to some of the world’s leading brands, we’ve found each approach has pros and cons. What is best for your company depends on so many factors there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Here are five key insights that help you determine whether a long-term retainer would be better suited for your particular goal, at this particular time (or whether a once-off project is all you need for now).

Five reasons a long-term retainer trumps a once-off project

In most cases, the benefits of outsourcing video production in a retainer model far outweighs those offered by hiring a brand video production agency on a project basis. Our top five pros include:

1. Retainers are cheaper than projects

Retainers are structured to maximise the leverage of your budget — typically making them cheaper than project contracts. For example, if you have a standing retainer with a brand video production agency and your project will only take half a day to shoot, you’ll typically only pay for what you use. Video crews don’t charge half-day rates — if you’re signing up for just this project, you’ll end up paying more.

2. Long-term partnerships are more efficient

Not only do you avoid paying a higher price for every individual project, retainers are more efficient as you save on administrative costs and onboarding time. With a long-term marketing video services partnership, you’ll enjoy streamlined communications, a deeper understanding of each other’s processes (and your brand), save on repetitive onboarding and/or briefing costs and gain valuable production time.

3. There’s space for proactive work

With every outsourced video production, your agency partner gains more insight into your marketing campaign needs, brand ethos and preferred way of working. That means there’s more opportunity for them to offer unique ways marketing videos can help achieve your particular goals. They’d also be your ideal partners in helping you make your investment stretch — by knowing your brand deeply, they’ll know exactly how to make your video content go the extra mile with existing footage, social cut-downs and the like.

Related: Explore how video can help your brand connect deeply with its audience in our Guide to Marketing Video Production.

4. You’re guaranteed accountability and quality

Signing a long-term retainer with a reputable marketing video production agency is a sure sign that they don’t plan on going anywhere. For the duration of your contract, you’re guaranteed high production quality and accountable practices for every project (big or small), as they’ve a vested interest in delivering on your overall agreement.

5. Retainers allow for more accurate forecasting

Billing surprises are never a good thing. Thankfully, long-term retainers allow for more accurate forecasting as you’ll have signed off on scope of work and budget ahead of time. Certain agencies, like Casual Films, offer line-item costings that ensure you know exactly where your money is going.

Related: Find nine more reasons to choose Casual Films for marketing video production in this blog post.

The case for project-based video outsourcing

Committing to a long-term working relationship with anyone can be daunting and does come with shortcomings if you sign on unprepared. Here are some reasons why you might consider outsourcing video for just one project at a time.

1. You don’t have enough work for a retainer.

A great video production agency will make sure that every penny you’ve committed to a retainer will help you solve your business challenges and hit your goals through the power of video. You may only have an idea for one project, but an experienced team can consult on long-term video content strategy, ensure you get extra mileage from every minute of video, and make proactive suggestions for more content that ultimately boosts your ROI.

2. You’d be committing to an unknown video production agency.

Nobody commits to marriage on the first date, and signing a long-term retainer with an unknown agency can feel just as unwise. Thankfully, some agencies such as Casual Films offer both project-based and retainer-based contracts — so feel out potential long-term partners with one or two smaller commitments first. Doing some digging on potential candidates is also a great way to minimize the risk of bad investment.

Related: See what our clients have to say about us on the Casual Films Clutch profile page.

3. Video isn’t an essential part of your marketing strategy.

If video marketing isn’t a major part of your plan to build brand awareness and positioning, you may be putting your organization at risk. According to HubSpot Research, 54% of global consumers want to see video content from their favorite brands. Find out why video is key to your brand success in this blog post, Why Is Video Such A Powerful Communications Tool?

How Casual Films can help

We’ve delivered on thousands of briefs for Fortune 500 companies and some of the world’s leading brands, and many of our valued clients started by signing on for a single project. We’d love to help you achieve your brand marketing goals with outsourced video production, and can help you tease out whether you’d get the best value from a single project, or a longer-term retainer with us (and you never have to commit immediately).

Check out our portfolio for a taste of what we could do with you.


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