How video bolsters your internal communications

With more employees working from home due to COVID-19 concerns, video is becoming increasingly valuable for internal communications.

Internal comms video guidance

Video offers many benefits for internal communications, even in ordinary times–and these are anything but.

With more employees working from home due to COVID-19 concerns, internal communicators can turn to video to help their make messages land and stick with employees.

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.

Accelerate staff engagement

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 of multiple times to different groups. Employees appreciate being able to access the content when they choose—and repeatedly, if they wish.

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 announcement 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. Livestreaming company events helps offsite 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.

More video essentials

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, yet they 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, 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.

A version of this post first appeared on the blog.

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