Video offers many benefits for internal communications in ordinary times. With more employees working from home due to coronavirus concerns, video is becoming even more valuable for internal communications.
Most marketers and PR pros recognize that customers generally prefer video over text when consuming content online. Likewise, employees often prefer learning with videos.
“When was the last time your employee excitedly opened a corporate email, or eagerly read your company’s training manual?” asks Maham S. Chappal at Wipster. “Never.”
They’re far more likely to view videos and remember what they learned. Research shows that video engages people quickly, improves their understanding, and helps reach dispersed workforces. By boosting employee engagement, videos increase motivation and productivity, experts say. Stanley Black & Decker increased employee engagement 20% after switching to a video-focused digital training program.
Executives and in-house experts appreciate explaining something once instead multiple times to different groups. Employees appreciate being able to access the content when they choose – and repeatedly if they wish.
Different Purposes of Videos for Internal Communications
Carnina Rampelt at Vidyard explains different types of videos for internal video communications:
Onboarding. Videos can educate new employees by answering frequently asked questions.
Training. Training videos improve engagement and information retention and help reduce costs.
Updates and announcements. Corporate communicators can use videos to announce product updates, product launches, closed deals, and other company news.
Team communications. Video updates simplify collaboration between team members, as they avoid long email threads that hamper communications. They’re especially valuable for workers in different time zones.
Troubleshooting. Videos can help workers resolve technical issues. They’re ideal for quickly providing product feedback or flagging issues with IT.
Special events. Live-streaming company events helps off-site workers feel more connected to the group. They can also be recorded for workers in different time zones.
In a very real sense, all employee communication videos are also motivational, attempting to inspire or create enthusiasm. Inspirational words resonate best when illustrated by uplifting imagery.
Recommendations for Internal Communications Videos
Host onboarding and training content in a well-organized, centralized location, Rampelt says. That allows employees to easily access videos when needed. To improve recall, try quizzing viewers at the end of the video with interactive calls to action.
Employees are busy. Respect their time. Grab their attention within the first five seconds and promptly state what they’ll learn. “Each communication should be concise, to the point and above all relevant to the audience it’s intended for,” stresses Johnathan Savage at Bold Content.
Emphasize delivery. Writers of internal communications videos often agonize over scripts, but ignore how the speaker will read the content, leading to a stilted, unnatural delivery. For a more natural presentation, list bullet points and let the speaker fill in the script in his own words, Savage suggests.
The most effective videos don’t rely solely on talking heads and graphics. Use other video formats and include some entertaining, eye-catching elements to punch up employee videos. Consider employing professional narrators and outside subject-matter experts for learning programs. Use sound effects to add realism and authenticity. Such elements make a more engaging and persuasive video.
To improve attention and engagement, emphasize the problem the group faces with a shocking statistic or compelling story, advise experts writing in Harvard Business Review. Give virtual meeting attendees meaningful responsibilities by assigning tasks to groups of no more than three. Groups can report back after brief breakout sessions. Avoid overwhelming viewers with endless slides by following the minimum viable PowerPoint (MVP) rule. In other words, select the least amount of data you need to inform and engage the group.
Bottom Line: Corporate communicators can educate and motive employees with videos more effectively than text. As more people work from home, video will become an increasingly popular tool for keeping employees engaged, motivated and informed.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.