How to use video content for internal communications in your company

by | Jun 22, 2021 | Public Relations

Has a little misunderstanding ever got you into trouble? Then I don’t have to explain why effective communication matters so much! Not only for your personal relationships, but in the workplace as well.

A team can’t succeed if its members aren’t on the same page. It’s that simple.

If they are working towards the same goals, then all of them should share the same information on updates, protocols, project shifts, etc. Or it can end up costing you a great deal of money! After all, a misinformed staff is not only inefficient, but also prone to make mistakes.

The good news is that, as more companies become aware of these issues, more are turning to effective video content to deliver crucial internal messages effectively, allowing them to communicate clearly and leaving little room for mix-ups or confusion.

If you, like them, could benefit from a tool like that, you’ve come to the right place! As we’ll go over some way in which you can implement video to improve your internal communication pipeline.

Let’s take a look!

How to use video content for internal communications in your company

Why use video?

However! Before jumping into tips and tricks, it can be extremely useful to compare videos to the two other most popular platforms for internal communications. As to determine where the format excels, and what it can (and can’t) do for you!

Videos vs emails

Sending an email is possibly the most popular way of communicating messages within a company. And while agile and quick, it’s not always the most suitable platform.

Sometimes the message you need to convey revolves around certain issues that call for emotional context. And many of those times, written words fail to express it correctly, no matter how many emojis you add to it. That alone can lead to unwanted misunderstandings.

The way video content works, the tone of your message can be expressed through the mood of the speaking voice, the music, the art department, and so on. If your video is well-done and those aspects are aligned with each other, there’s little room for misinterpretation.

Then you have the fact that people tend to be more engaged and entertained by videos than they are by text or still images. We can all understand and process things better when we are invested into the content we are consuming, and that’s far easier to accomplish with multimedia.

Videos vs face-to-face meetings

A big plus of meetings –besides the occasional free snacks –is they allow real-time discussions, which can be enriching.

The thing is, sometimes, all you want to do is to deliver a piece of information that doesn’t really require further discussion. In that framework, carrying out a meeting can be too much of a fuss. It interrupts your employees’ regular workflow and usually ends up taking more time than necessary.

Then, sometimes holding a meeting –in person or by video call –is not a viable option. Your employees might be in an entirely different time zone, making live conversation tricky.

For those situations, videos can be life-savers. They allow you package all the information you need to say, efficiently and effectively.  Live-action content allows you to communicate not only verbally but also through your facial expressions and body language –a crucial part of any communication process. And hybrid/animated content lets you create more thorough, visually interesting explanations which can be later accessed by workers on their own time and convenience.

How to use video content for internal communications in your company

Which type of video should you use?

Not all videos are equal!

Inside a company, there’s always a flow of very different types of messages: announcements, project shifts, instructions and guides, you name it. It stands to reason, then, that not all of them will go well with a single type of video. You should choose one that matches the nature of your message best.

So, let’s explore some of the most popular alternatives!

Live videos

Speaking to different people in distinct parts of the world at the same time might have sounded like a crazy idea in a boardroom 30 years ago. But live streaming should be ubiquitous for most businesses today!

Distance is not a challenge for this type of content, which works particularly well for communicating time-sensitive, important information to remote workers in real time.

Those employees can also participate in the streaming: some live video tools allow for viewers to comment and ask questions, enabling two-way interaction. And do so in a more in-depth, personal fashion than a mere phone call would allow.

Explainer videos

A well-made animated explainer breaks down a topic into a clear and entertaining description, ensuring your staff understands it. They are a win-win for both companies and staff alike.

The brand benefits since they are a onetime investment – unlike hiring an instructor every time you need to teach something new to your current staff, or something old to newcomers. Besides, explainers excel at turning long lessons into compelling short pieces.  So basically, explainers can end up reducing training time and costs.

Employees tend to love them too. They can resort to the videos anytime they need to refresh their memories on a particular topic. Plus, watching a video tends to be more fun than going through a handbook.

Culture videos

For your company to succeed, your staff has to work as a single team, with all members moving towards the same goal, right? Now, for that to happen, they need to have a clear idea of what that direction is.

Otherwise, without having a bad intention, some employees’ behavior might divert your business from its desired path.  And who can blame them! How would they work under your company’s values and priorities if those aren’t clear in the first place?

One of the most effective ways of teaching and reinforcing your company’s mission, vision, and values is through culture, or “company story” videos.

You see, a genuinely engaging and powerful video would not only capture your staff’s attention but also make them feel inspired by your objectives. It manages to connect them with your company in terms beyond the basics of their post, which can be extremely beneficial in the long run.

Live-action or animation?

Tough question! And there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the type of message that you are trying to convey and the goals you want to achieve! In any case, let’s go over the pros and cons for both styles so you can figure out which one suits your purposes the most.

Live-action

In many cases, the workplace is the most logical setting for an internal live-action video, so there’s where the production takes place. The thing is, that can be somewhat uncomfortable for your staff, whether they appear in it or not. It can mean having to keep their voices down, reducing the space to move, and can be a big distraction.

Some companies prefer to go for a live-action video thinking it would be cheaper than producing an animated one – which is not always true. And even when it is, the cost of inconvenience and time can be quite steep!

I will say, though, that live-action tends to work well when featuring the heads of the enterprise. These videos can reinforce the empathy with the CEO, and with the brand, strengthening the staff’s engagement with the company. Just check out the video below, doesn’t it make you want to work for that man?

Animation

Animated videos are a boon for those times when your message involves complex instructions and involves/delicate messages. When you need to explain something complicated to your staff, in a way that will stick. Whether it’s instructions for upcoming product launches, a company-wide change in protocol you are about to implement, the handling of a software application, etc.

Animated videos can use almost any number of resources to break the topic down into an understandable and lighthearted explanation. Live-action videos, on the other hand, are limited by the possibilities of reality.

Animated pieces also do the trick when your content requires displaying a lot of numbers, graphs or stats. Let’s say hard data is not precisely entertaining for most people. Still, animation allows you to show it in a way that’s playful and dynamic.

How to produce a great internal video

So, effective internal communication is crucial for exponential growth in any company. And video gives you a great platform to help it along! Unfortunately, your video is not going to create itself. But luckily for you, here are the essential aspects for producing a good one.

Make them short & sweet

I bet your staff has many unticked boxes on their to-do list. In that framework, the last thing you want is a video that takes up too much of their valuable time.

Therefore, your video should be as short as possible. There are no hard and fast rules on how short that is, though. It really depends on the amount of relevant information you need to get across, and your employee’s expected availability.

Regardless, a good rule of thumb is to keep your message concise and to the point. That way neither your video consumes more time than necessary, nor does it bore your staff to death.

Strive to entertain

If you think work videos can’t be fun, you are wrong. They not only can, but they also should.

I assume it’s crucial that your staff fully understand the information being conveyed, and that requires them to actually focus on the content. Your video should aim to capture their undivided attention from start to finish; a repetitive, uninteresting, or confusing piece would defeat that purpose. Halfway through it, most viewers will be thinking about what they’ll have for dinner!

But making your video fun isn’t just about grabbing your staff’s attention. It’s been proven that learning and retaining information is closely related to enjoyment. In plain English, your message sticks better and for a longer time when transmitted in a lighthearted manner.

Although it’s not easy to make complex concepts sound appealing, many resources come in handy.  Sound effects, animation, music, and images are just a few of them. A bit of humor in the script doesn’t hurt either.

Don’t compromise the quality

Some companies decide to skimp on the quality of their internal videos, with the excuse that they will only be watched by employees. By doing so, they are neglecting their staff’s impression of the brand, which may have a toll on their work engagement and effectiveness of the piece.

It’s a well-known fact that engaged staff tend to be more efficient in their tasks. Now, it’s hard to take pride in working for a firm you regard as ‘stingy’.

The truth is your company should give internal and external content the same importance. And that means creating videos with solid and creative scripts that are visually enjoyable.

So, if you go for animated pieces, the graphics should be appealing, with fluid animation and smooth transitions from frame to frame.

If you chose live-action, it’s essential to leverage at least semi-professional equipment. There tends to be a notorious final quality difference when the video is made with consumer-level devices.

Parting thoughts

Video is the type of content that most employees would prefer, and that most companies should implement. There’s just no two ways about it.

Through effective video content, firms save on time and training costs, while delivering the message more understandably and efficiently. And that inevitably reflects on the bottom line, and a well-informed, more capable workforce.

The employees benefit too. The multisensory strength of videos not only makes the information more entertaining and easier to remember. With the right audiovisual resources, it can also make viewers feel more motivated to work.

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Victor Blasco
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.

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