Video Essentials

4 Smart Ways to Use Online Video For Internal Communications

EmployeesWe’ve all heard the outstanding results and statistics surrounding online video. Most large publishers measure video success by views and engagement on YouTube, Facebook, and other external channels.

Views and engagement on external platforms are important, but online video can do a lot for internal communication, too. We’ve worked on many internal video campaigns over the years. Here are a few interesting ways we’ve seen brands capitalizing on them.

Making the CEO Personable

We recently worked with a tech company that had gone through a massive personnel change at the executive level. One of the goals of the newly appointed CEO was to open up the lines of communication. Essentially, he wanted to make things more transparent in a company that has been around for more than 100 years.

We made this happen for our client by producing monthly videos with the CEO that are available on-demand on the company’s TV network and across its internal website. The videos are simple, straight-forward, and never scripted.

In fact, the videos are only lightly edited, and the CEO prefers to keep in certain mistakes or flubs that happen during the shoot.

This approach humanizes a high-level executive. The results were so positive that the client now produces similar videos with other members of the executive staff.

Interestingly, this client recently ran an internal culture survey that showed the majority of employees favored this type of presentation and communication.

Creating a Town Hall Experience

Another way this same tech company used online video internally was by live streaming quarterly communication meetings.

The live streaming process is more cumbersome than the video-on-demand approach, of course, but it allows the company’s executives to present important corporate information to large audiences. Built-in tools from the streaming platform let the audience ask questions, answer polls, and remain engaged.

The live approach creates a sense of urgency for time-sensitive topics such as quarterly financials or new product releases. While many companies stream audio from these events, video is more engaging and allows for a two-way experience between the crowd and presenters. These events help get employees involved and establish trust within the company.

Company Tutorials and Training

Large companies have a lot of moving parts. There are multiple departments, specialists, and teams spanning the company roster. Online video is a great way to educate employees.

Whether the training is part of a recurring certification program or delivered to one particular audience, video can do the job.

One approach we like to encourage is creating a Lynda.com style training model. Essentially, these are short videos presented in a chapter-style hierarchy. Each video lesson covers one or two topics related to the main subject.

Production can be simple using screen capture software such as Camtasia or iShowU. Both programs include voice recording. Webcams are perfectly acceptable for these internal videos and give presenters the freedom to shoot on their own time.

This training model helps boost productivity and eliminates the need for instructors to teach the same lessons and answer the same questions. The ability to point employees to video lessons streamlines training for the human resources department. Employees like the videos because they’re available on-demand and can be consumed quickly since they’re all short and snackable.

Telling the Brand Story

There’s often a misconception that internal video has to be dry or can’t include high production value. That is not definitely the case! Internal audiences will be more engaged with good storytelling.

A few years back, we produced a campaign of videos for Microchip Technology. At the time, it was growing and acquiring international companies. One of the company’s core values was to always keep employees connected. This was a difficult task considering it had facilities and employees all over the world.

Working with its human resources department we produced a campaign of videos that highlighted each facility. The videos offered dynamic footage of each facility along with interviews from a wide range of employees. The videos gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the production facilities, labs, and inner-workings of each location.

Don’t underestimate the power of showing employees how products get made. Some people may never get to see these things, and it helps them to understand the bigger company picture.

In each video, we spent time introducing viewers to the culture and surroundings of that location. We took viewers to remote areas, highlighting local music, cuisine, and everyday life.

Employees felt like they had a better understanding of worldwide teams and colleagues.  They were able to see what went on at each facility and could better relate to their foreign counterparts. All of this created an alliance amongst employees and put to bed some of the myths they previously believed.

These tips worked for these particular companies, but it’s important that each company test and analyze its own videos. Gather feedback through surveys, polls, and other forms of communication—as these companies did—to make sure your strategy is heading in the right direction.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with internal video. Taking risks is fine, as long as you understand your employee base and properly represent the company brand.


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