“No more long, cumbersome marketing documents – no more boring presentations. Video is how companies and businesses should communicate.”

Mark Leaser, IBM

You’re looking to keep everyone within your business informed, motivated and connected. But your time-strapped employees don’t have time to read a long email and you don’t have the time or budget for dozens of face-to-face meetings.

Video is fast becoming the way to communicate within businesses. In a 2013 survey by Ragan Communications 71% of businesses are already using video communications, with 72% planning to increase video usage and 50% of businesses stating they use video ‘extremely regularly’. A recent Gartner report shows that the use of video within businesses is increasing by around 200% annually. Not surprising really, when 90% of information that comes in to the brain is visual, and those visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. The need for visual stimulation doesn’t just apply to staff, with 59% of Senior Executives preferring to watch video than reading text according to a study by Forbes Insights. Video not only brings a message to life visually, but it brings the human touch to company values and a much need emotional connection to communications. After all, people like to work with people. It also communicates a clear message straight from the ‘horses mouth’, meaning there’s no risk of your message becoming distorted by Chinese whispers.

Corporations of all sizes and sectors are enhancing their internal communications with video. Companies like IBM, Airbus, Specsavers and Lloyds Banking Group to name a few.

Internal Communications can encompass:

  • Employee training and education
  • Corporate announcements or changes
  • CEO messages
  • Employee orientation
  • Employee opportunities
  • Celebrating great work and milestones
  • Virtual newsletters
  • An overview of the company’s metrics

So, what do you need to remember if you’re considering producing a really engaging internal comms video?

“Always make the audience suffer as much as possible”

Alfred Hitchcock

This is obviously not what you’re going for. Ask yourself, who is your audience? What are you trying to communicate to them? What would they find interesting and useful? What style of video would they respond to best? Don’t punish them with a sadistic thirty-minute presentation of the inner workings of the business. If it’s not relevant don’t share it. Many companies are asking their employees to contribute their own video content to create a two-way channel of communication and establish a more personal work environment. Sharing ‘amateur’ video can often be a more authentic and inclusive way of reaching out to employees than with a polished professional production. This dynamic animation for Oasis Dental Care combines UGC (User Generated Content) with on-screen text within a virtual staff ‘pin board’ to bring the experiences of their employees to life.

The old mantra, show don’t tell. In a recent survey by HR Zone 92.4 % of respondents agreed that visual communications are playing a more important role in conveying information in the workplace. Graphics can help to explain complex information, whilst location filming introducing the viewer to employees ‘like them’ gives them an insight in to other facets of the business as well as being a refreshing change from the standard office setting. Animation is not only an excellent way to bring information to life, but it’s the perfect alternative for camera-shy business managers. This striking infographic for Sanofi’s employee benefits scheme takes the viewer on a journey through a virtual space, incorporating the company branding, upbeat music and a trustworthy voiceover to explore all the options available.

“To hell with facts! We need stories!”

Ken Kesey

How about you turn your facts in to stories and get the best of both? It can be difficult to inspire with stats and figures, but if you connect emotionally with your audience they’ll really start to engage. Whether you’re telling people about recent business successes or a new initiative, think about what it means to them personally. Stories build communities, promote unity and create meaningful dialogues. Employee orientation videos are ideal storytelling opportunities. This fun customer service training video for Touts Budgens uses role playing with real staff members to demonstrate various scenarios the viewer will encounter within the workplace.

“Make sure you finish speaking before your audience has finished listening.”

Dorothy Sarnoff

Friendly, inclusive and entertaining videos create a sense of transparency and increase morale, offering a refreshing alternative to dry written communications or event talks. Keep it relaxed, there’s nothing worse than an awkward man in a suit sitting behind a desk. These quarterly ‘Chat’ videos for Oasis Dental Care feature various heads of department introducing their new initiatives direct to camera in an informal and approachable manner.

“Make it simple, but significant.”

Don Draper

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute the average length video people watch online is approximately 2.7 minutes. This might not seem like long, but if you’re savvy this can be plenty of time to communicate your message. Keeping your video short and sweet will mean that your employees have a chance to absorb all the key information. If your video has done its job they will then be inspired to look deeper in to the subject. Regular, concise communications are recommended over sporadic longer ones, helping to build trust and encourage openness across the business. Whether it’s once a week, once a month or once a quarter try to keep it consistent. Limit the amount of information to two or three subjects per video. Remember, you’re telling stories. Complex information might be better suited to an email or newsletter where they can be poured over in greater detail.

Thinking about boosting communication within your company? Chat to a member of the Skylark Media team. We’d love to help you tell your story.

Author: James Sampson, Director. Skylark Media

Jo Feb 14th, 2016

About Jo Haywood

Jo is the Managing Director at Skylark Media. Before starting Skylark in 2005, Jo ran the BBC Lifestyle website and prior to that directed science documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. To switch off she can be found on the tennis court, at yoga, or planting trees in the forest garden.