Without a doubt the biggest thing in the communications toolkit now is video. Simply put, video conveys more information with less effort making it ideal in the enterprise. And it is easier, cheaper and faster than ever before to make it happen.
Cisco tell us that by 2019 it is estimated that video will account for 80% of all internet traffic and research by Forrester suggests that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words which, were you typing it- or reading it for that matter – could take quite some time! The challenge surely for the enterprise therefore is to bring the power of the consumer experience into the corporate world.
“Anything is possible these days using video” says Steve Garvey of Moving Image. But he adds a word of caution: “It is still imperative that as communicators we understand what the business outcome is to be. We have to ask the right questions to make sure that video is a strategic choice and the reason why we use video is made abundantly clear. It also needs to be deeply integrated with other content and business systems in order to capture the analytics and measure its impact.”
Build capability across the business
There is no shortage of business use cases for video and used well it can enhance business processes and build engagement in all areas of an organisation. It is this ability to drive effective communications, engage distributed workforces and augment current business practices that make video in the enterprise so appealing. Rob Dumbleton, Consulting Director at 27 Partners who help organisations make strategic decisions about the use of video, stresses that: “Video should be seen as a cross-functional capability in a business – it is so much more than a channel for internal communications.” This point is picked up by his colleague, Chris Lloyd, in the video from smilelondon 2017.
Live vs on demand
While live video is not yet used as broadly as on demand video, it is especially valuable and popular for large virtual meetings and conferences, executive communication and investor briefings. Expect its use to rise as user confidence grows. Sarah Platt, owner of Kinura, who are specialists in live stream productions, told us: “In the last two years the interest in live streaming has increased hugely. Facilitated largely by the big social platforms, it is easier to deliver than ever before. Organisations are able to get pretty sophisticated even with mobile phones these days, but increasingly there’s an appetite for better production values especially when you consider that costs are no longer prohibitive.”
There are certainly opportunities in the corporate calendar that lend themselves to live and especially those that enable a Q&A format, or at least some interaction. Live video is compelling but it does carry some inherent risk. A common sense approach may be to produce on demand video – which is safer – but make it appear as a live broadcast. In some cases organisations are held back from live streaming by their technical infrastructure and in-house production facilities. It is essential of course to ensure that your broadcast and IT strategies are well aligned.
User generated or brand led?
There is a place for the finely crafted brand communications and the more informal user generated content. Arguably a blend of both is a good idea but this must be determined by your video comms plan. Content is still king! You will need to decide who, when and how content can be created and which use cases certain styles of video are suitable for. Whether on demand or live, the authenticity of user generated video counteracts the mistrust of corporate branded output but Chris Lloyd does recommend staff are given some training and guidance on producing better quality output.
If you are not happy letting your people loose with video, there are many excellent and successful examples of crafting brand videos that make the people the stars of the show. At last year’s smilelondon we showcased HSBC and how they had used video to restore employee trust. It’s an excellent example of using real people in the business to tell their story by crowdsourcing content from across the globe.
Obvious use cases
Video is ideal for:
- News and updates – connect with your employees, share important announcements, increase visibility of senior leaders
- Discussion – capture a viewer’s full attention as you talk about important topics and explore hot issues
- How to guides – save time, empower colleagues, upskill workers, share expertise and solve day to day problems
- Live streaming – include everyone ‘in the moment’, maximise engagement, ideal for breaking news, CEO messages, new product releases, success celebrations, events, town halls, large virtual meetings and conferences
How long should a video be?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Some people like a little information on a lot of things; others prefer a lot of information on a few things. Unless you measure exactly what is going on with video consumption in your organisation, you will never know the answer. Good analytics will tell you who watched what and how long they watched for. You can also see the social impact by measuring likes, shares and comments. Sound advice from the experts seems to be to create a short (30 second), medium (2 minute) and long (20 minute) version of your video to serve different audiences and measure and compare the impacts of each version. Common sense must prevail surely, taking message, audience and viewing capability into consideration.
There are plenty of new products coming to the market making video easier to capture, manage and distribute. Make sure your IT infrastructure and your new social platform can accommodate video on-demand and live streaming. Sarah Platt advises: “There are some excellent video platforms out there and they may well be right for you. Do your research and make sure that whatever you choose will integrate with your established business systems and enable you to get the best outcome.” Chris Lloyd adds, “You have got to take the content to where the people are, so that means delivering the right content to the right people, in the right places, at the right time. And that’s where they are doing their daily work. Find the technology that helps you to do that.”
It is well understood that video is the best tool for influencing attitudes and emotions and it can be used to great effect in our corporate lives. Organisations are already using video in many different ways, ranging from internal communications to training, to new staff onboarding. Knowledge sharing, team-building, success sharing, celebrating, problem solving, conferencing, town halls, CEO updates and more. It is no longer a question of if, but rather when will you get involved. And there is no shortage of advice available.
In our screen-dominant world, where nearly everyone has a cinema in the palm of their hand, video is becoming essential for communication, collaboration, training and engagement. The risks of incorporating video have never been lower, with the potential to create huge impact. What are you waiting for?