No more cumbersome internal emails. No more boring presentations. Companies and organizations are using innovative internal video to engage and inspire.

We have all been on the receiving end of a long, tedious email or never-ending slide presentation from a boss or higher-up. Whether for news, or to improve internal relations, multi-paragraph internal emails and droning slide presentations leave everyone bored and uninspired.

Luckily for all of us, forward-thinking companies have started using web videos for internal communications and professional development. Well-suited for training and team building, and often published through online video platforms, internal video is a more engaging, personal, and effective way to communicate with employees.

Ragan Communications recently published a survey of 713 communications professionals from a variety of companies around the world. The Engaging Employees with Video report presents some compelling statistics, demonstrating a high percentage of companies already using video to improve internal communications and employee engagement:

Source: Engaging Employees with Video, Ragan Communications

WHY USE INTERNAL VIDEO?

Maybe you’re already using video for marketing and public relations. Why should you change your approach to include internal communications? There’s no secret here. Companies are using internal video for the same reasons they use external video – to deliver a message and connect with an audience. The difference is the type of video that’s created. In many cases, external video is promotional, or focuses on educating the viewer. Internal video is used in a variety of other ways as well.

 TOP 5 USES FOR INTERNAL VIDEO

 Source: Engaging Employees with Video, Ragan Communications

6 WAYS VIDEO IMPROVES INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

Source: Engaging Employees with Video, Ragan Communications

IDEA BANK

Want to give it a try, but don’t know where to begin? The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started.

The Benefit: Employee engagement

When you were a kid going to school, do you remember creating classroom rules together with your teacher and classmates? Bring that approach to the workplace, and have employees defend or negotiate the policies that affect them.

The Approach: Stage a friendly debate, and have employees make their case in a persuasive video. Your staff will buy into workplace policies if you actively involve them in the process.

The Benefit: Learning and development

Adult learning theory suggests audience members that interact and participate in their own learning retain more information and engage their brains more.

The Approach:

Break your organization into teams and create a friendly “Family Feud” competition, or enlist employees to create an entertaining and educational training video for new hires.  It’s always fun to parody a popular television show. You could, for example, model a video on workplace dress codes after Extreme Makeover.

The Benefit: Employee interest

To foster workplace synergy, companies often devise experiences and incentives to get employees actively involved.

The Approach

Create a trivia video! Request some interesting facts about staff members and create a puzzle in your video newsletters, matching facts to the correct employees. Videotape the winner who has the most correct answers or the first to complete the matches. This is a great way to get your employees interacting and learning about each other.

The Benefit: Reduce travel costs

There are times when it’s almost impossible to physically gather all your remote employees in the same location, at the same time. But you can still get everyone on the same page with video.

The Approach:

Follow the lead of a popular television show, like Trading Spaces, and put together a video focused on creating an ergonomic and productive home office. Explain the benefits of having ergonomic office equipment, and why it is important to have a dedicated space to get work done. This video will accomplish several things – first, it engages work-from-home employees. Second, it allows your organization to provide fun and useful suggestions without delivering a mandate…and it doesn’t require any travel!

The Benefit: Executive mandates

One of today’s biggest challenges is keeping employees up to date with the latest policies, regulations, and company practices. Video can solve this problem.

The Approach:

Instead of writing a lengthy email that addresses dress code violations, host a fashion police show. Or, rather than explaining why you must protect company trade secrets, create a show that focuses on the issues involved with protecting trade secrets (with a nod to Judge Judy).

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Will these ideas or examples work in your company? There’s no guarantee. The point is, if you dedicate some time, resources, and effort to creating an innovative internal video, you will see some sort of benefit. You can streamline communications, connect with your mobile staff, enhance company culture, and even develop your workforce.

SO, WHO CREATES THESE VIDEOS?

While the benefits of innovative internal video are clear, there are some logistical questions to consider. For instance, who will film and produce the video? There are a few options, depending on your commitment to innovative internal video and your budget.

 Source: Engaging Employees with Video, Ragan Communications

The numbers speak for themselves. But not everyone has the luxury of hiring an in-house production team, especially not when starting out. Here are some considerations to help you decide what’s best for you:

Who Creates the Video?

Pro

Con

In-house team
You hire video production professionals and video editors.

  • Dedicated, hand-picked staff

  • Staff threaded into business culture

  • High production value

  • High overhead (salaries, benefits, equipment, software)

  • Difficult to find application pool in some regions/areas

Outside agency, consultant, or vendor
You outsource video production and marketing to a group like Vidaao

  • Diverse talent pool and excellent skills set

  • Low overhead (no salaries, no benefits, no equipment purchases, no software)

  • High production value

  • Managing vendors can be difficult

  • Need to find affordable and reliable consultants

Employees create video
Find simple video capture and creation tools and let your staff create video content.

  • Empower employees to get involved

  • Leverage current workforce

  • Company not paying for new staff

  • Company not spending on vendors

  • Limited video production experience

  • Could distract workforce from day-to-day responsibilities

  • Low production value

Hybrid approach
In this approach, you may hire an in-house video production staffer, and/or outsource some projects and you encourage your staff to create and upload video.

  • Diverse talent and skills sets

  • Leverage current workforce

  • High production value and some low production value content

  • Could distract workforce

  • High production value and some low production value content

  • Managing vendors can be difficult

SECRETS TO SUCCESS

In the end, we want you to be successful as you create and deliver innovative internal video. Stick close to this checklist, and you can’t go wrong:

  1. Determine which production option works for you, your organization, and your budget.

  2. Be sure you are delivering well-written, well-produced videos that are informative, engaging, timely, and honest.

  3. Offer diversity in the types of videos and video messaging. Make sure the videos include stories from the staff floor to the boardroom.

HOW DO COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS STORE AND DELIVER VIDEOS?

So what happens to all these videos after they are created? Are they uploaded to YouTube? In most cases, internal videos are not shared on YouTube. They usually contain proprietary company information, trade secrets, or personal information.

Today, many companies are uploading and delivering video content through a private, YouTube-like solution, referred to as an online video platform or video content management system. These tools enable easy management and delivery of your content through secure video portals, video playlists, or on public webpages. Additionally, an online video platform will offer ingestion and transcoding options, plus some of these video content management systems provide live-streaming and webcasting functionality.

One good example is Ensemble Video. Ensemble is an easy-to-use online video platform. It is built for organizations that want to effectively manage and control their video content. Here is a great online video platform-buying guide if you want to know more about online video platforms.

THE TAKEAWAY

  • Innovative internal video is an excellent way for an organization to communicate information with employees.

  • Innovative internal video helps build organization culture and achieve consistent messaging that resonates with all employees.

  • Innovative internal videos can communicate a variety of topics, such as new organizational policies, updated procedures, company achievements, and employee stories.

  • No one said creating and using innovative internal video was easy, but it’s time to be honest about how useful it really is!

A warm welcome to guest blogger Scott Nadzan. Scott is the VP of Marketing and Sales for Ensemble Video, an online video platform for organizations that want to effectively manage and share their video content. Hundreds of organizations use Ensemble Video every day to manage, coordinate, secure, and syndicate their video.