Visual Effect: How Video Can Be Used as an Internal Communications Tool

If you could watch your employees open the company’s weekly email update, what do you think you would see? Would they roll their eyes at the constant changes they have to read two or three pages about every week? Would they sigh before skimming the blog post or article you told them to read?

The solution to lack of employee engagement isn’t as simple as bringing in doughnuts every Thursday for office morale. You’ll need to use a stronger internal communications tool to keep your team engaged and informed.

As more and more studies reveal, the key to improving communication in the workplace is video. In fact, you could double or even triple your rates of email engagement and have some fun while you’re at it. 

From how-to’s to remote webinars, improve communications at work with a new and effective internal communications tool. 

Video as an Internal Communications Tool

Why should you waste the effort and resources to create a how-to video for your team when you could just type out the information in a single afternoon, hit send and move on? Because you want them to actually retain the information.

Most people don’t actively choose to watch advertisements. But even then, 80% of the people who do, remember the ad if it was a video. 

Your team will retain the detailed information you want them to know much better if you double down with visual stimulation. 

Providing audio, visual, and textual representations of information accommodates most types of learners. Throw in a little dance routine over a catchy recap of the information, and you’ve got the kinesthetic learners captivated too. 

You know your audience very well. You sit in a building with them every day. So take this opportunity to connect with them and give them information in a new and exciting way that shows you care about their time and interests.

Here are some benefits of using video as an internal communications tool:

  • Get information to the 43% of Americans who work remotely in a more personal and engaging format
  • Provide a rich explanation of your message through a story and visual aids
  • Test new ideas to see how people who know the company best will react
  • Produce a reusable training or education-based resource for the company
  • Engage your employees directly with webinars and open dialogue
  • Improve a common communication channel (email) with an increasingly effective medium(video)
  • Circulate detailed and digestible content instantly
  • Inform your team about new practices, products, and upcoming events in a way that gets them excited to participate

How to Create a Successful Video for Internal Communications

The jury is still out on the ideal video length for optimal viewer engagement. Some suggest keeping internal communications content shorter than four minutes to ensure employees watch the entire thing. But sometimes, a longer video makes sense for more intricate topics related to work.

Test your specific team members to see what they prefer. You can review the engagement analytics to see how many people clicked on the video and how long they watched it before clicking off. 

Since this internal communications tool has more variables than text, try out different approaches before deciding if video communication is right for your team.

Style

You make assumptions and have feelings about certain content based on the way it is presented. If your employees see over the top, highly polished graphics on the new product video you send them, they might make assumptions about the company’s fund allocation. Especially if you just denied their request for a raise.

A video looking too expensive might not concern you during production. But don’t forget, successful content speaks to its specific audience. 

You wouldn’t send out a marketing video full of acronyms and inside jokes to a potential client. But you might include them in a protocol update video to IT. 

You don’t have to sell the company to your employees. Just talk to them like normal people. 

Storytelling

You could tell your team about the new follow-up email protocol, or you could show them a day in the life of your average customer: someone busy with kids, work, and a to-do list a mile long. Storytelling helps get your point across at a deeper level because it targets our innate human empathy.

Show your team, rather than tell them the importance of their position, the use of a new product, or the benefit of updating a practice. Making the effort to explain new information will not only help your team remember and value it, but show them that you value them. No one likes to be told what to do just because ‘you said so.’

Flex your creative muscles (or hire a copywriter) to put your core goals and ideas into a captivating story. Boil down the script to the essentials and have fun creating the footage for a meaningful method of improving communications in the workplace.

A little dramatization goes a long way as far as memory is concerned.

Visuals

The script is sure to be a hit. It’s got references from last week’s meeting, fits the tone of the company and the vibe of the employees. But, what will it look like when it comes to life?

Animation and motion graphics can illustrate abstract concepts or events that are difficult to go out and film. The process may require contracted work, so it might not make sense for lengthy or frequent projects.

Motion graphics work well because they frequently stimulate the audience. A new animation appears about once every 2-5 seconds. When combined with colorful visuals, dynamic movements, and infographics, your story (and the information) won’t be forgotten. 

Live action allows a more personal touch. Use footage from last year’s trade show to generate excitement about the next one. You might even recruit a few employees to share their experiences on video. Seeing these familiar faces is sure to grab your employees attention and connect them to the notification.

Your footage can be casual, perhaps filmed on a smartphone, or more structured depending on the topic. Watching a live action video of your boss demonstrating the new sales technique is way more engaging than just reading a memo about it.

General Tips to Improve Your Internal Communications Videos

1. Set a schedule with your future self and audience in mind

You might discover after a test video that the team really loved it and shows signs of increased engagement already. You’re motivated to make more, but don’t get ahead of yourself just yet.

Create a production and publishing schedule beforehand. Understand the process involved and how much time is needed for each task.

Once you have that, begin staggering production. Script the second video while you storyboard the first, and so on.

Let your team know when they can expect to see another video and maybe let them know what it’s about. Consistency and expectations are more ways to engage your audience, so make sure they can count on a new installment every so often.

2. Make it accessible

Look at any coffee shop, bus stop, or park bench and you’ll see faces glued to screens. While most employees view work-related materials on a computer, aim to make your content mobile friendly as well.

If you have multiple videos in a series, how are they displayed and organized?  ‘Binge watchable’ video content is often preferred due to our simultaneous desire for novelty and familiarity. If the next video is not easily found, you’ll lose engagement unnecessarily. 

Features such as autoplay or hyperlinks at the end of a video encourage viewers to stay tuned. Why do you think Netflix loads the next episode without asking? You can track user activity to see which videos hold attention longer and which juxtapositions of content encourage the viewers to keep watching.

3. Keep it fresh

The content may differ from video to video, but if someone can’t differential one from the next without looking at their notes, you’ve got a problem.

Small changes, such as using unique and topical introduction screens, can help keep things interesting. Try approaching the discussion in a new way during the video. Keep the audience on their toes so they’re attentive to your content and looking forward to more.

4. Get a second opinion

When delivering sensitive information, it’s best to get a new set of eyes on the video before sending it out to the whole company. It can be nearly impossible to get everyone back on the same page when some thought you opened a new book entirely.

The idea is to improve internal communication, so verify information associated with a specific department and check those facts. There’s enough fake news out there already.

Make Some Video Magic

If you’ve decided to start adding video to your weekly emails but don’t really know where to start, take your idea to Viva Media and let them do the hard part.

The experienced video producers at Viva Media will create a visually stunning internal communications tool your team will look forward to receiving.

Get a quote and start improving communication in the workplace today.

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