Video for Employee Communication: 3 Insights You Need to Know to Improve Your Strategy

December 12, 2017by Mike LepisStorytellingVideo

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Those who tell stories rule the world thank you, Denise, @AboutFaceMedia

Last week I had the honor of being the event chair for ALI’s Video Strategies for Employee Communications conference. It was great to be in San Francisco, where December is warmer than July. But what was more fun was being around other IC people who are passionate about video. At Vignette, we have produced over 1,000 videos for our clients so, I was especially excited to hear from my peers and share my experiences.

Leverage video to create an elevated employee experience

It was great to hear from so many energized, creative, and resourceful people using video to create an elevated employee experience. We heard from Bose, Bank of America, Jack in the Box, and many others big and small. Working in IC, it is difficult to benchmark or get inspiration based on the privacy of content. Many connections were made across those who attended, so I’m hoping we’ll see more peer to peer sharing and troubleshooting. We also had a few agency partners and software vendors who shared big thinking and promising platforms to bring video to the forefront of an employee communications strategy. Keep an eye on Social Chorus, Helpful.com, Vignette, and About Face Media. Throughout the two days of presentations and activities, I saw a few recurring insights that I sum up in my key take-a-ways below. These are also great ideas to keep in mind as you are going into 2018 and looking at how to leverage video in the employee experience.

Key Takeaways: 2017 Video Strategies for Employee Communications, ALI

#1 Video by itself is not a strategy

In many cases, video is a great choice for communications because of its effectiveness in communicating a lot in a very short time. But to use video strategically, you have to ask yourself two questions: 1. “How is this driving our business goals?” And, 2. “How do I produce video that is relevant to our audience?” The first question ensures your video has a purpose within your business. The second question makes you consider your employee audience including their ability to access video. A great looking video does not serve your IC strategy if it doesn’t support the business and is not relevant to your employees.

#2 Take risks and be resourceful

There was a lot of conversation around B+ is better than A+. Or in other words, don’t seek perfection in every video, being authentic and timely is very valuable when it comes to video. It’s easy for us to think our production values don’t match up to what we see online. But cameras and equipment have come a long way, and you can get great results with the gear you have in your pocket. We are truly living an era of ‘selfies,’ and the immediacy and transparency you get from turning your iPhone camera on yourself and leaders goes a long way in the employee experience. And if you have any doubts, just ‘pilot’ an idea, then track the results and make up your mind. You may be surprised that employees will engage with video content that is authentic and timely over something that is highly produced.

#3 Employee audiences are hungry for a diversity of content

Employees crave social immediacy and transparency, but they also respond to a well-crafted story. There are opportunities for two types of employee video content.

Type 1: Long form narrative–either scripted or loosely scripted documentary style, these productions tell deeper stories and leverage music, graphics, locations, editing, etc. to engage audiences.

Type 2: Short form social posts–as I mentioned in the previous take-a-way, short, social, user-generated video content can be very effective. Employees are armed with all the necessary equipment on their phones, and many have shooting and editing skills. Frankly, video has just become another way people to communicate. And with its power and immediacy, authentic and self-produced video content is only going to continue to be accepted, no matter the quality. What IC practitioners need to understand is that employees need both. Think of yourself as a ‘content programmer’ and find a place for both types of video content.

Video is an effective vehicle to communicate, share stories, and build connections with your employees

Video has become an expected storytelling medium in this age of smartphones and binge-watching and endless media at our fingertips. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the saying goes. I know it is hard to swallow, but this stat from Forrester puts it in context. Did you know that one minute of video content is, in fact, worth 1.8 million words, or the equivalent of 3,600 pages of text? With this in mind make sure to use video to your advantage. When you tell a great story and harness the power of video to communicate, you will build connections with your employees. We’ve had great luck using video for raising awareness, engaging, and activating employees. It’s an effective vehicle to spread your message.

Want to start leveraging more video in your IC? Reach out and let’s talk.

Mike Lepis

As a Creative Director, Mike is responsible for developing insights and mapping them to the creative solutions that drive employee engagement for Vignette’s clients.

Early in his career Mike worked for both consumer marketing and internal communication divisions at Nike. In event marketing, Mike saw how a strong brand can bring people together. In consumer marketing, Mike learned how modern practices and measurement shape effective messaging. In Latin American marketing, Mike was immersed in video and digital communications channels. And with internal communication, Mike saw how—when employees are challenged, encouraged, and supported—they will get behind a brand and its mission.