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When we think about online videos in business, we usually think about them in terms of how a company communicates its brand to the world. There are a lot of types of video content that we can leverage, but we usually don’t realize that they can be used for more than marketing, they are perfect for internal communications .

In this article, I’ll discuss why videos are such an important tool also for internal communications within an organization, as well as how you can go about using them correctly. I’ve broken it down into the following sections:

  • Why use videos for internal communications
  • Live action vs. animation
  • Best types of videos
  • Production tips
  • Promotion and distribution
Why Use Videos For Internal Communications?

To begin with videos are naturally more captivating than other means of communication. A well produced video with a clear message is much more likely to grab people’s attention than an encyclopedia-like email message.

Ease of distribution

Thanks to today’s technology videos can be watched practically anywhere,at anytime. This allows organizations to circulate robust content at a moments notice. For example a business could choose to use video snippets for internal communications to train its staff on specific processes. These short snippets could then be scheduled so that they are delivered to each staff member at their most convenient time. This helps put everybody on the same page. Kind of like memos, except way more palatable.

For Events, Tradeshows, or Conference Invites

Videos can also be used to inform employees about upcoming events. For example, if your company is attending a world renowned trade show, it may be a good idea to put together a video about what the event is about and what the company is hoping to achieve by attending.

Using video puts a human touch behind the message. Including footage from previous events and getting coworkers involved in explaining the ins and outs of the event can go a long way in creating a sense of comradery.

Product/Company Updates

One way to keep employees informed about new product releases or company updates is with video. A compelling video showcasing such a release is sure to remind everyone why their work matters.

Live Action vs. Animation

If you are asking yourself whether internal communication videos should be live action or animated the answer depends on a few factors like your budget, brand style, and message you’re trying to communicate. If the purpose is to communicate aspects of a company that involve employees then live action is probably the way to go.

If the purpose is to explain a new process, then animation may be the better fit. It will allow you to concentrate on the process itself without having to deal with the visual surplus inherent to live action videos. This means you’ll be able to narrow down your visual choices. This will allow you to address abstract concepts like arithmetic, percentages and perhaps even the passage of time through the use of simple animated techniques. The possibilities are endless.

I should mention that using a mix of both is also a possibility. In some specific cases it may be the best choice. For example, say there’s an up and coming release for the newest version of your SaaS product. A combination of coworkers introducing the product along with brief animated sequences showcasing its interface may be the best way to demonstrate its overall value.

Types of Videos To Use For Internal Communications

Now that we’ve discussed the merits of both live action and animated videos, it’s time to dig into the types of videos that can be used to facilitate communication within an organization.

How-to-Videos and Process Videos

These types of videos allow you to get into the nitty gritty of how to perform a specific task. Like instruction manuals, they are straightforward step-by-step guides to one or several undertakings. This is the type of video you want to use when you need your staff to get acquainted with a new set of tools or a particular process.

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos make things easier to understand. That’s what they are meant to do. An explainer video is a basic and powerful video (either animated or live-action) that will help you showcase your business idea in an engaging, fun and attention-grabbing way.They should speak to issues that need an explanation or perhaps even a solution. Take for example the following explainer video:

Here’s a simple explanation of how to best tackle the competitive nature of online commerce. With the use of very vivid imagery, this video reminds Walmart’s suppliers that creating the right content is a key factor in driving sales. Not only does it take the time to explain why that’s the case, it also takes the opportunity to offer its self-served content management system as a solution.

Internal Webinars

Webinars have the added bonus of being interactive. This means participants have the luxury of asking questions, while the host has the benefit of getting feedback on their message. This makes for a particularly productive scenario, where people across an organization can follow along and interact with an expert on a specific topic. Without online video, this would require everyone to gather in one location. Not very practical for the globalized organizations of today if you ask me.

Finally, just like with how-to-videos, these seminars can also be compiled into a playlist for others to access later.

The post Using Video For Internal Communication appeared first on Vidyard.

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For most of human existence, we’ve been trying to come up with ways to say things to people who aren’t in the room. There have been carrier pigeons, smoke signals, semaphores, trumpets, and now SMS, emails, voicemails, movies, emojis, and snaps. But does it ever compare to face-to-face interaction?

Most would agree not. That’s because, with each of these forms, some of the messaging is lost. You miss out on the interplay of all the senses that comes with seeing, hearing, and reading all the non-verbal communication that we’ve evolved to receive. Yet in the device-addicted, always-connected modern landscape of business, one technology is bringing back the human spark: video.

Why is it new? Because with quick-capture technology like Vidyard’s GoVideo, it’s finally easy. And because video has a higher informational throughput—you can say far more with less effort—it’s opening up a world of possibility for internal communications.

Here are 11 ways that video is perfect for internal communications:
  1. Executive fireside chats: Fireside chats are far from a new concept, but what about selfie ones? With the power of webcams, there’s no need for heavy industrial camera equipment and a marketing-led, makeup-padded production. In fact, Vidyard customers are finding that engagement (which ViewedIt users can track) rises and internal audiences watch for longer when videos are informal. Just a little lighting, maybe a hi-definition webcam, and your executives have a direct channel to the entire company.

  2. Capturing meetings: It’s always the webinar or the whiteboard brainstorming session that you didn’t think to capture that you end up needing. Erase those regrets and set up either screencapture or your laptop webcam to document the entire thing. Save them for easy recall by tagging them by date, time, and topic.
  3. Broadcasting standups: Saving team weekly or bi-weekly meetings via video helps teams remember what happened previously and allows team members who weren’t there to stay up to date.
  4. Keeping remote teams connected: Video communicates more than phone calls do alone and they help alleviate the alienation that remote workers can often feel. This is increasingly important as already, 43% of the U.S. workforce works remotely to some degree, reports The New York Times, and this figure is expected to grow to 50% by 2020. It’s important for your organization to nail down these video communication skills now to maintain that connection no matter what.
  5. Walk-throughs: Ever have someone circulate an internal email on how to change your HR benefits or update an Outlook setting that looked like an impenetrable wall of jargon-filled text? Suffer those email essays no longer. Technologies like ViewedIt allow you to screen-capture while you talk so that everyone can follow along. It’s like a webinar, but without the mind-numbing complexity.

  6. Onboarding: While many organizations have onboarding processes, it’s remarkably difficult to build a bullet-proof system. Instead, new hires typically pester more senior employees with corner-case questions until they’re ramped up. This is great for team building, but bad for productivity. Senior folk who record their answers in video, need only do it once, for all future new hires. These videos can then be stored in a simple video onboarding hub for easy access.
  7. Peer-to-peer messages: Some questions or problems transcend text or voicemail, and it’s easiest to ask them via video. This way, employees can walk through their thought process, lead their peers up to where they got stuck, and invite their responses.
  8. Tribal knowledge data dumps: Whenever a teammate reaches an “aha moment” and discovers something critical, it’s not unusual for people to gather around their desk to see. Usually, the knowledge transfer ends there. With video, however, teams can share their newly won tribal knowledge with a wider group and save it for future new hires.
  9. Product feedback: Constant feedback is crucial to agile development teams but more often than not, they either have to hunt through analytics or interview users to get it. With simple video capture, product teams can solicit feedback from across the organization to hear, see, and watch reactions from everyone in a client-facing role.
  10. Product announcements: If a product team wants to demonstrate a new feature, it’s not uncommon for leadership to gather everyone into conference halls or onto webinars for a demonstration. If your product team works in sprints that are measured in weeks, this is impractical, and announcements must either wait or developers must pack it all into the release notes and hope that people read it. With video, these teams can simply show how the feature works in real-time and track to see who has actually watched.
  11. Marketing announcements: As a marketer, there are few things worse than hearing what your new marketing message has evolved into after it’s gone through the telephone-game process of making its rounds through the company. Video, on the other hand, allows you to distribute your exact phrasing, intonation, and wording directly to everyone in the company to a place where they can return whenever they wish.

Video is ideal for internal communications and can be had for a fraction of the cost of raising a roost of hardy carrier pigeons. And the best part? We haven’t even discovered half of the uses yet. Be part of the video shift—download the GoVideo plugin and see what your organization comes up with!

The post 11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Internal Communication with Video appeared first on Vidyard.

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“If you build it, they will come” may work in the movies, but as any team that’s launched an employee portal, an internal newsletter, or benefits workshop can attest, it’s a recipe for an empty stadium.

In reality, if you want your company’s attention, you must realize that everyone is already incredibly busy. The average person gets 121 emails, 32 texts, and who knows how many notifications every single day. To compete with all this, you have to phrase things in a way that’s interesting and drives them towards action.

Simply, you have to do some internal marketing. And here’s what a great marketer would advise:

8 things HR and internal comms teams can learn from marketers: 1. Keep it short

Tell people only what they need to know. Readers today are practically allergic to text blocks over 3-5 sentences and they expect you to curate outreach for them. Make it easy and limit most communication to just the highlights. The New York Times does a great job of this. It now offers digital readers a daily briefing, the title of which is simply three keywords and contains a series of short, bulleted facts with links to learn more:

2. Use spacing, breaks, and graphics

Readers today skim. According to research by Nielsen Norman Group, people’s eyes follow an “F” shaped pattern on web pages or emails. They read the first header, skip to the next subheader, and then they scan the left side of the page from top to bottom. What are they looking for? Keywords that snag their interest.

Source: Nielsen Norman Group

To adapt your content to readers’ habits, use large, bold headers and subheaders, ample spacing, and eye-catching visuals—either graphics that highlight your point or GIFs that make your readers chuckle and keep them coming back for more.  

3. Front-load value

Another implication of the F-shaped reading pattern is that users spend the majority of their very limited time reading the top of the page and the beginning of sentences. If you want their attention, put whatever is most interesting or most valuable up front. This is known as front-loading value.

For example, write:

Save more for retirement by signing up for our 401k workshop.

And not:

Sign up for our 401k workshop if you want to save more for retirement.

4. Use video

When you email employees, you’re battling for their inboxes with the likes of BuzzFeed, and it takes fire to fight fire. You’ll notice that they and much of the world are turning to video—it will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic by 2021—and you too can harness people’s obsession with it. It’s also much easier than you think to create.

Simple video recording software takes less time than writing lengthy emails and gets you higher engagement, better retention, and conveys a tremendous amount of information in a very short span of time. Plus, if you send the video as a thumbnail within an email, you’ll get 5x higher click-through rates.

5. Use many touches

Marketers know that a message sent is rarely a message received—it takes a campaign to capture attention. According to Salesforce, it can take an average of 7-8 touches for someone to become a marketing lead. Hopefully, you’ll need fewer touches internally, but when delivering messages about new programs, upcoming system changes, and new policies, do as marketers do and create a nurture track of emails to gently remind people many times over a long period.

6. Use multiple channels

Today, people are migrating away from the email inbox and toward their “channels of choice.” This is what marketers mean by the buzzword, “omnichannel”: customers expect you to communicate with them on their favorite channel on their terms. It’s a huge ask because you must use multiple channels, but if you want to reach everyone with your message internally, you’ll have to reach them where they want to be reached. And speaking of alternative channels …

7. Turn employees into advocates

Great marketers know that word of mouth is the most persuasive channel there is. Recommendations carry tremendous weight—92 percent of people seek them out—and they’re always perfectly targeted because they get passed from interested person to interested person like homing missiles. Encourage sharing within your internal communications campaigns by explicitly telling (and perhaps even rewarding) employees for spreading the word.

8. Use the empty-suitcase method for headlines

This is our final marketing trick, and it’s a good one: leave a key fact out of your email subject lines and article headlines. Litmus, an email analytics firm, calls this the “empty suitcase method,” whereby you sell a suitcase, but neglect to mention what’s in it. For example:

  • This will make you jump for benefits joy
  • Can you guess what benefit 70% of employees forget to use?
  • Did you know you could buy a new car with this % increase in your retirement savings?

This approach creates curiosity and inspires them to click, read, and learn more.

And there you have it! If you’ve made it to the end of this article, you’re a real champ—20 percent of readers across most websites don’t, and those are the busy, attention-starved readers that you must tailor your HR and internal communications to.  

If you build it, they will come, but only with the right degree of brevity, formatting, video, many touches across the right channels, advocacy, and the empty suitcase method.

Want to boost internal employee response rates? Read 11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Internal Communication With Video.

The post 8 things HR and internal comms teams can learn from marketers appeared first on Vidyard.

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For most of human existence, we’ve been trying to come up with ways to say things to people who aren’t in the room. There have been carrier pigeons, smoke signals, semaphores, trumpets, and now SMS, emails, voicemails, movies, emojis, and snaps. But does it ever compare to face-to-face interaction?

Most would agree not. That’s because, with each of these forms, something of the message is lost. You miss out on the interplay of all the senses that comes with seeing, hearing, and reading all the non-verbal communication that we’ve evolved to receive. Yet in the device-addicted, always-connected modern landscape of business, one technology is bringing back the human spark: video.

Why is it new? Because with quick-capture technology like Vidyard’s ViewedIt, it’s finally easy. And because video has a higher informational throughput—you can say far more with less effort—it’s opening up a world of possibility for internal communications.

Here are 11 ways that video is perfect for internal communications: 1. Executive fireside chats

Fireside chats are far from a new concept, but what about internal ones? With the power of webcams or a quick camera + tripod set up, there’s no need for heavy industrial camera equipment and a marketing-led, makeup-padded production. In fact, Vidyard customers are finding that engagement rises and internal audiences watch for longer when videos are informal. Just a little lighting, maybe a hi-definition webcam, and your executives have a direct channel to the entire company.

2. Capturing meetings 

It’s always the webinar or the whiteboard brainstorming session that you didn’t think to capture that you end up needing. Erase those regrets and set up either screencapture or your laptop webcam (or both!) to document the entire thing. Save them for easy recall by tagging them by date, time, and topic.

3. Broadcasting standups

Saving team weekly or bi-weekly meetings via video helps teams remember what happened previously and allows team members who weren’t there to stay up to date.

4. Keeping remote teams connected

Video communicates more than phone calls do alone and they help alleviate the alienation that remote workers can often feel. This is increasingly important as already, 43% of the U.S. workforce works remotely to some degree, reports The New York Times, and this figure is expected to grow to 50% by 2020. It’s important for your organization to nail down these video communication skills now to maintain that connection no matter what.

Want to learn more on this? Check out this post on how video is reviving culture for remote employees.

5. Walk-throughs

Ever have someone circulate an internal email on how to change your HR benefits or update an Outlook setting that looked like an impenetrable wall of jargon-filled text? Suffer those email essays no longer. Technologies like ViewedIt allow you to screen-capture while you talk so that everyone can follow along. It’s like a webinar, but without the mind-numbing complexity.

At Vidyard, we just switched from using Google Hangout video calls to Zoom video calls for our meetings. Our handy Greg Bowen made these videos for us all to learn how to switch our calendar invites:

6. Onboarding

While many organizations have onboarding processes, it’s remarkably difficult to build a bullet-proof system. Instead, new hires typically pester more senior employees with corner-case questions until they’re ramped up. This is great for team building, but bad for productivity. Senior folk who record their answers in video, need only do it once, for all future new hires. These videos can then be stored in a simple video onboarding hub for easy access.

7. Peer-to-peer messages

Some questions or problems transcend text or voicemail, and it’s easiest to ask them via video. This way, employees can walk through their thought process, lead their peers up to where they got stuck, and invite their responses.

8. Tribal knowledge data dumps

Whenever a teammate reaches an “aha moment” and discovers something critical, it’s not unusual for people to gather around their desk to see. Usually, the knowledge transfer ends there. With video, however, teams can share their newly won tribal knowledge with a wider group and save it for future new hires.

9. Product feedback

Constant feedback is crucial to agile development teams but more often than not, they either have to hunt through analytics or interview users to get it. With simple video capture, product teams can solicit feedback from across the organization to hear, see, and watch reactions from everyone in a client-facing role.

10. Product announcements

If a product team wants to demonstrate a new feature, it’s not uncommon for leadership to gather everyone into conference halls or onto webinars for a demonstration. If your product team works in sprints that are measured in weeks, this is impractical, and announcements must either wait or developers must pack it all into the release notes and hope that people read it. With video, these teams can simply show how the feature works in real-time and track to see who has actually watched.

When we first launched ViewedIt internally, our product champion, Daryna Kulya, shared a video with us all with the details we needed to know:

11. Marketing announcements

As a marketer, there are few things worse than hearing what your new marketing message has evolved into after it’s gone through the telephone-game process of making its rounds through the company. Video, on the other hand, allows you to distribute your exact phrasing, intonation, and wording directly to everyone in the company to a place where they can return whenever they wish. It’s also really great to communicate a marketing launch to the whole company. Check out this video I created to announce the launch of our Video Selling Institute:

Video is ideal for internal communications and can be had for a fraction of the cost of raising a roost of hardy carrier pigeons. And the best part? We haven’t even discovered half of the uses yet. Be part of the video shift—download the ViewedIt plugin and see what your organization comes up with!

The post 11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Internal Communication with Video appeared first on Vidyard.

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Workers around the country are packing up, purloining potted desk succulents, and trading their work desks for the ones at home. Today, 63% of workers are remote (for at least one day per week) according to The New York Times, up from 34% in 2005. 

There are a number of reasons behind this shift. Sure, communication technology makes it possible, but workers are also demanding more flexibility while companies are finding less value in paying for high-priced real estate. Together, they’re agreeing on a new contract for work-life balance but, without everyone in the same building, they’re also finding that it’s harder than ever to maintain their office culture.

Remote workers bring home new challenges

Remote working offers both advantages and disadvantages. The Harvard Business Review reported that when the travel website Ctrip allowed workers to telecommute, the company not only saved $1,900 per month per worker, but those employees also “started earlier, took shorter breaks, and worked until the end of the day.” With no commute or line-of-sight supervision, employees had time to handle personal matters and were overall more productive. But, precisely because of that self-focus, company cohesion also suffered, and in Ctrip’s case, many employees felt isolated and opted to return to onsite work.

Without the chit-chat around the water cooler, life can be stressful. According to a study by the International Labour Organization, 40% of remote workers reported high levels of stress compared to only 25% of their onsite colleagues. It can also lead to less cooperation: According to Fast Company, “company culture doesn’t necessarily translate virtually” and remote peers are more prone to disagreement. The cost of cohesion has been enough to convince very large companies like Yahoo!, Aetna, and most recently, IBM, to reverse their remote worker policies. IBM, in particular, cited a desire to “improve collaboration and accelerate the pace of work.”

Yet, as remote working marches on, companies will have to find a solution to the remote culture challenge, and some are discovering it in the use of inter-office video.

Video killed the never-ending email thread

The next big internal communications wave is video, and it’s being used to revitalize remote company culture. Much of what leads to remote worker isolation in the first place is that all the classic inter-office communication channels like email, message apps, text, and phone calls cull down people’s personalities. When so much of our communication is nonverbal, video brings it all streaming back.

Check out this example that I sent around to our entire team, across the globe, when we launched a recent content asset, our video in business benchmark report:

When peers can see the smiles, gestures, winks, grins, yawns, and scoffs of their peers, they bond. And when video is even easier than composing an email, people can share more unfiltered thoughts and pipe more personality across the airwaves.  

Some executives have realized this and are encouraging video from the top-down. Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, a social media software with offices in eight countries, has chosen to use recorded videos for communicating real-time thoughts to the company. “These quick smartphone videos are the best way I’ve found to deliver that,” Holmes told Fast Company. Even here at Vidyard, our CEO Michael Litt shares monthly video selfie updates (although he’s eager to try virtual reality for a remote work experience, too!) that are informal and brimming with personality. He’s constantly on the road, but we barely notice it (sorry Michael) because we’re always hearing him and seeing his mug.

Here’s a recent example he sent the team:

Other companies are encouraging peer-to-peer video messages where co-workers can connect with each other on a daily basis. Virgin Pulse, an HR software firm with ten offices around the world and hundreds of employees working remotely, finds that using apps like FaceTime and other video chat tools help remote employees feel included, reports Fast Company. And across the country, we’re seeing workers utilize Vidyard’s own free video sharing tool ViewedIt for sharing peer-to-peer thoughts, employee onboarding, capturing meetings, sharing weekly stand-ups, working through problems, product feedback, and in lieu of long-winded emails.

As companies become more and more global, even staying in touch across different offices and different countries can become a challenge. While formal company updates are always shared, it’s the smaller moments full of personality that often contribute more to building a great remote culture. With our second office opening up across the country in Vancouver, we’ve been putting this into play. Here’s the first video we received from the Vancouver team to give us a not-so-formal tour of their digs:

The result of all this video is that remote employees have exposure to the personalities of the people they work with and can build those core bonds and a cohesive culture that makes companies successful.

The future of work may be remote, but with the use of video, your culture doesn’t have to feel like it.

Want to light the video spark at your company? Download ViewedIt to capture and share videos with one click.

The post How Video is Reviving Culture for Remote Employees appeared first on Vidyard.

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Marketers have long understood the advantages of video: it’s multi-media, it’s exciting, and it conveys a lot of information. According to Hubspot, 87% of marketers use it and according to Google, 50% of customers expect it. So if video is so clearly the preferred method for communicating with our customers, then why are we still doing so much emailing internally?

For many organizations, there are a variety of reasons. Video isn’t how things have traditionally been communicated and email culture has a lot of momentum. There’s also the fact that we’re all a little camera shy, and that recording technology up until a few years ago has been cumbersome. Yet with the emergence of simple sharing video technologies like ViewedIt, you can wipe all those excuses aside. Video is the internal comms tool of the future. Here’s why.

3 reasons why video is ideal for internal communications: 1. Video is far more effective

Video allows you to get your point across in less time. Just take this common office scenario: a new employee needs help getting set up in a software system. They ask a colleague for help, and after a few back and forth emails and screenshots, their coworker just walks over and points at their screen. Why? Because the combination of talking and showing is more effective. You can now easily perform this point-and-show maneuver through video and once created, that clip can be stored for the next person, or shared at scale from the start. Your employee isn’t just saving one walk across the room, they’re saving tens or hundreds from all the people who will be hired in the future.

Are you starting to see the possibilities? Video can speed up and streamline onboarding, weekly team updates, and peer-to-peer tribal knowledge sharing. It can disseminate information from product teams to salespeople, from salespeople to product marketing teams, and everyone in between. Even finance can get in on the action. Here at Vidyard, our finance team put an end to silly expense reports errors with a series of how-to video snippets that really showed off their sense of humor. Check out this one from Lucy as an example:

2. Video is simple and secure

Tools like ViewedIt make video even easier than email. Within a few clicks, you can record yourself, your screen, or both, and send it in email or share the link directly over a messaging platform like Slack. Research by Forrester suggests that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words which, were you simply typing, could take quite some time. Video conveys more information with less effort.

For many organizations, video still seems daunting. For example, assuming create-your-own video tools like ViewedIt didn’t exist, how would you send a video around to your company? If you tried sending an MP4 file you’d likely find that it doesn’t fit within the 20 to 25 MB file limit for your email provider. And if you tried uploading it to YouTube and sharing the link, you’d likely have to play with the privacy settings to limit the rest of YouTube from seeing it. Plus, if you wanted to prevent Justin Bieber’s new single ‘Baby’ from auto-playing after it, you’d have to pay. At the end of this desperate journey, some poor souls have even yielded to the siren’s call of Sharepoint, but were never heard from again.

With ViewedIt, videos are stored instantly and securely, and you can track when they’re watched. Want to know which employees are engaged and see who watched the fiscal year review from your CEO? No problem.

Previously there was no simple way to create, share, and track video, but now there is, and there’s no excuse not to.  

3. Video is engaging and fun

With time, video becomes the internal communication path of least resistance. Employees find that in many situations, it’s easier to record themselves talking through a problem than to find the precise words to put into an email, and they start to have fun with it. It becomes a way to reinsert some personality into the workplace and builds bonds of fraternity. But how do you push an entire organization past their initial camera shyness? The same way you treat film: exposure.

We know this because every new employee here at Vidyard goes through it. First, they start sending videos to trusted audiences where there’s no judgement. Then, they start sending three to four bite-sized videos per day and graduate to sending to audiences of peers who can provide minor feedback. Before they know it, video is barely different from an in-person conversation, and while it’s never a replacement for face-to-face, it’s the very best next thing. So move over marketing, it’s time for internal communications to take the mic.  

The post 3 Reasons Why Video is Ideal for Internal Communications appeared first on Vidyard.

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If you’re on an internal communications team, you’ve probably felt at some point that you’re in a bit of a thankless job. You don’t have a direct line to bringing in sales and increasing profits or building product lines. Yours is the job that’s tougher to measure – you’re focused on communicating with and engaging employees, and helping them feel connected to the business, leading to an increase in morale and productivity. But employees are too busy for you and your messages! They have work to do and don’t want distractions or uninteresting information.

Your role is vital to your business, yet your efforts may not be getting the recognition they need and deserve. But why? You’re using email, communicating on your company intranet or social platform…you’re trying to strengthen your strategy with all the best internal communications tools.

But are you using video? 54% of internal communications professionals say their employees expect video. Not only do they want it, but employees have come to expect it! So if you want to give employees what they want and need, video is key. But how do you do it? You can’t put internal (and confidential) information on YouTube, and you probably don’t have a background in IT or development to figure out how to embed video files on your site.

That’s why the smartest internal communicators look to a video platform to enhance their communications tools and strategies. Why? Let me count the reasons for you, so when you’re considering the best internal communications tools to strengthen your own results, you’ll know exactly what to look for:

1. Securely share your internal and confidential information

One of the biggest concerns for an internal communications team? That any of the materials disseminated to employees may find their way outside of the company, which can lead to product patent issues, security leaks, or any other breaches. With a video platform, you can lock down your videos so they are accessible only through certain domains, or by predefined groups or email addresses. So no matter how you share your information, you can rest easy knowing that it’s well protected, and can only be viewed by the audience you intended. 

2. Embed and share your videos where your employees are

YouTube isn’t always a great solution for internal communication teams due to security, and also because some locations around the world block the site. If you’re a large company with offices around the world, you need something better. No matter what size company you are, you need a solution that reaches your employees on any device, using multiple communications vehicles. If a video platform is one of your internal communications tools, you can easily embed your video content on your Intranet, or even in your email (by including a clickable video thumbnail that opens up on a branded ‘sharing page’). You can even include all your content on a Video Hub, which acts like your own internal YouTube channel, where employees can search organized content. No matter where they are, or if they’re using a mobile device or computer, you’ll be able to get your employees video content that will help them feel connected to you.

3. Edit your content easily, without the mess of tearing down and resharing

One of the constants about internal communications is that it’s always changing. Often messages need to be edited to heighten urgency, revise dates or action items, emphasize key points or remove outdated ones, or even fix accidental errors. But if you’ve shared content through a variety of vehicles it can take a lot of time and effort to pull down all the content and reshare it – you may even lose track of where it’s been shared. When you’re using a video platform as part of your internal communications tools, you can edit a video in your library, and wherever that video has been shared by you, it will automatically update with the new version. You’ll have the confidence of knowing that your employees will always have the latest and greatest information.

4. Get the analytics you need to strengthen your content

However you’re disseminating your messages, how do you know how they’re being received? Are your employees deleting your emails or only skimming them? How often are they accessing your Intranet? If you’re using a video platform to manage your video content, you’ll get detailed analytics on what your viewers are watching, skipping, and rewatching. You’ll know for certain, in greater depth than with other communications mediums, how your content is resounding with employees. That kind of data can help you plan your future communications content and goals, so you can give your employees what’s most useful and relevant to them. You can access this unmatched insight into your audience’s digital body language any time, giving you a more honest and real-time look at employees’ true engagement levels.

5. Take advantage of the full power of video live streaming

Town hall meetings, executive messages, company events…with live streaming, you can share whatever you want in the moment, bringing your employees into a relevant and exciting experience. If you’re using a video platform, you can live stream your videos and offer the content to employees on any device and through multiple vehicles. Your video platform can even give you analytics on this live streamed content, like who watched, which parts they watched, and where they dropped off. You can even turn this live streamed content into immediately accessible on-demand video, so the content can live on and continue telling its story (how useful is that for out-of-office or sick employees, or those who work in different time zones!).

6. Control your story by providing a distraction-free journey of relevant content

If you’re sending out internal communications messages in a one-and-done format, you may keep your employees’ interest for one message, but how do you hold on to that engagement for the next and the next communication? How are you offering related content on the same or similar topics?

If you’re using a video platform, you can add annotations and calls-to-action into your videos (during playback or when the video ends), so right when your audience is interested in learning more or if you want them to take a required action, you have a way for them to do that. Like this:

You can add ‘playlists’ of videos into your video as well, so you can link related content and keep your audience moving along a journey without making them sit through one giant, long video. Then they can pick the video that’s most relevant to them, especially if you’ve created content based on team or skill/knowledge level etc. Like this:

If you’re using the right video platform, you can also create a Video Hub, which I briefly mentioned above as a place where your videos may be embedded and shared. A Video Hub is essentially your own YouTube channel but better, so they’re perfect for creating a journey of content: there are no distractions, no ads, no trying to dig through videos and find what you’re looking for. You can organize all your video content in one place, in whatever searchable categories you like, so your employees can easily and quickly get what they need. Your strong content can live on, continuing to drive action and improve engagement. Here are a couple snippets of one of our Hubs, showing videos broken down by category:

7. Create an experience for your employees that’s part of your brand

You know when you’re searching the Internet and you come across a video on a website and you know instantly that it’s a YouTube video that they’ve embedded on their site? That’s because of YouTube’s easily recognized and ubiquitous branding: their play button, red colors, and logo all give it away. But do you really want to be representing YouTube (or any other video player) to your employees? While it is actually possible to remove the YouTube logo from your videos, a video platform can take your branding even further – you have the ability to brand your own video player (the container that holds and plays your video file) with your brand colors and logo so you can strengthen your brand’s power with your employees. After all, credibility can be influenced by the small details; just like you wouldn’t want your communications going out with spelling and grammar mistakes, a branded player can tell your audience that you’ve worked hard to present them a polished, professional, and strongly relevant and engaging message.

8. Don’t worry about coding or bugging the IT department

The best may have been saved for last! Communications teams need to work fast – imperative messages can’t wait. You need tools that work as fast as you do, and make your job easier. The right video platform handles all the nitty gritty work so you don’t have to. No coding to embed or update videos, or share live streaming content, or add calls-to-action. No having to work with IT to get your video content and platform working seamlessly with your other tools and communications vehicles. With the right video platform, all you need to worry about is your message, and the platform handles the rest! Isn’t that a relief!

Still unsure if video is right for you? Here are a few more reasons why your employees really want video!

Are you using a video platform or looking to add it into your strategy? What excites you the most about it? Do you have any burning questions you’d love to get the answer to? Let us know!

The post Why the Video Platform Reigns as the Best of Internal Communications Tools appeared first on Vidyard.

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There’s a reason why we see video everywhere. Okay, many reasons. Marketers use it to attract buyers and salespeople use it to sell because audiences love it. It’s human, relatable, engaging, exciting, educating…so why shouldn’t other business teams use it, too? Like Human Resources. HR is all about people, so why not use the medium that is considered the next best thing to being there in person?

If you’re part of a recruitment or Human Resources team, maybe you’re already using video to attract talent. Many organizations have a video on their company website, giving potential candidates a taste of what it’s like to work there and what drives the company forward.

Is that you? High five for using video! But…is a basic video on your website really all you can do? You know as well as anyone that if you want to attract top talent, you have to stand out and do something special. Think about it this way: Would you hire a candidate who just did the bare minimum or even the standard? Probably not. You want someone who jumps out at you, impresses you, and makes you feel like they’re going to do an amazing job for you.

Well, candidates want to experience the same thing in their job search. After all, we spend most of our lives at work, so the best candidates want to make sure they’re choosing the best employer. These eight tips to turn your basic HR video into an amazing and useful tool!

1. Brand your video for instant recognition

The play button and YouTube logo are probably so familiar to you that you could describe what they look like without looking. So many videos live on YouTube, even company videos that are embedded from YouTube on company websites. But your video is supposed to be an experience of your company and your brand, so why let YouTube take all the glory and recognition?

If you’re using a video platform like Vidyard, that play button, the YouTube logo, even the red status bar (called the scrub bar) all disappear, because your videos live in Vidyard, and not on YouTube. That gives you the power to embed a video directly on your careers page (or anywhere else) that is branded with your company’s logo (as a watermark) and colors. Something like this, where you can see the logo in the bottom right of the video:

This screenshot, from the same video, shows the green scrub bar, a color that is associated with the Plugin brand. (This last shot is the end slate – the video’s branded book end – so it makes the small logo watermark redundant.)

2. Hunt top talent with personalized videos

You want to hire top talent, and sometimes that means hunting down the best of the best from LinkedIn or other sources, and reaching out to them. But if you’re really interested in this candidate, the likelihood is other companies are, too. So how do you reaaaally get their attention and stand out from the crowd?

With Personalized Video! You can weave a candidate’s name and other unique personal details right into the story of your video. You don’t have to create one video for every candidate – Personalized Video just requires one video that automatically generates for each person. It’s an undeniably engaging and incredible experience, which is exactly how you want candidates to feel about you!

Check out a Personalized Video that University of Waterloo created to attract new students. Keep in mind, this is the generic version, so anywhere where it says “You” in the video would be replaced by the viewer’s name and other details (e.g. Blake’s stuff, or Emily’s room).

(Isn’t Personalized Video cool? Learn more about it and try it out with a video made just for you!)

3. Improve your recruitment videos by giving audiences what they’re interested in

Recruitment videos are meant to excite potential employees while educating them on what it’s like to work at your company. But what should you say? Do you give an office tour? Talk about health and safety? Show pictures of the latest company picnic? Get the CEO on camera? You’ve got a lot to say, and you want to make sure you’re saying the right thing.

If you’re using a video platform (*cough* like Vidyard), you can see exactly how candidates are responding to your video. You can discover where in your video most people are dropping off – if they’re holding on 60% of the way through or more, you’re doing fairly well, but if they’re dropping off 10 seconds into a two-minute video, you’re in trouble. You can see which parts they are rewatching – is this section of the video exciting? Maybe you should show more of it! Or does it give detailed information that audiences are trying to catch? Maybe you can slow it down. You can also see which sections people are skipping; if they’re whizzing right by your photo montage set to music of the office holiday party, you may need to realize that only current employees enjoy seeing those, and stick to what will attract the best talent.

When you get the best quality video analytics, you can make sure your video continues to be one of the best out there. Don’t be scared, that doesn’t always mean a complete reshoot – maybe just a trim and edit! It’s worth the effort to get an in-depth look at how your candidates are responding to your content. After all, you want your company to be considered one of the best employers, and a really awesome video is a great help in showing you off!

4. Ask about interview requirements and test knowledge with interactive video elements

Video is no longer just a one-way medium where you just push your message to an audience. With interactive elements like forms that are built right into your videos, you can use videos to have a more engaging conversation than you ever felt possible. It won’t just be a more exciting experience for the candidate, it will also be useful for you. Add a form into your video to ask about accommodation needs, ask for feedback, or even ask skills-based questions that would be applicable to the role. Imagine what you could do when you can turn some of the boring steps in a recruitment process into an experience where the candidate feels heard and engaged!

Calls-to-action are another interactive element that HR professionals can put to use. Right inside your video, you can ask your viewer questions, pose options, and suggest they take an action, whether that’s completing a form, moving to a different part of your website, emailing a specific recruiter, or selecting which team they want to work for and watching the next appropriate video (maybe you have different videos for different teams that you recruit for!). The point is, these elements in your video help keep your audience engaged, and create a two-way ‘conversation’ before you even speak to them directly. Who wouldn’t be impressed with a company and a recruiter who puts so much effort into the candidates’ experience?

You’re probably aware that YouTube has some basic annotation tools that you can add to your videos, and if you’re comfortable with that platform, try them out and see what you can do! But if you’re looking for something a little more that will really step up your game, you can find out more about the best interactive elements for your videos! (While the video is geared toward a marketing and sales approach, it’ll show you a great taste of what you can do with forms and annotations right inside your video!)

5. Identify the most engaged candidates

Many companies hiring processes are automated to some degree. Often, candidates can find a position on a job board, click the link to apply, send their resume, and bam, they’ve applied. And that can all happen without talking to a recruiter, or even looking at the company website. Now that it’s so easy to apply (no more door-to-door job seeking!), this can mean an avalanche-like onslaught of applications for recruiters. And, just as software is great at identifying keywords, candidates are almost as great at jamming all those keywords into their resumes.

What candidates can’t fake? Their true interest in a company and a job. Their actions speak volumes, actions like watching your recruitment videos! If you want to identify who these engaged candidates are who are doing their research, just add an email gate to your video from inside your video platform. Candidates will have provide their contact information to you before they can click play. You’ll get a complete list of candidates who went beyond just clicking ‘Apply’ and actually wanted to hear what you have to say. Now that you have their emails, you can get cracking on putting those ones on the top of the pile!

Note: You probably don’t want to put an email gate on your main video on your careers page – after all, audiences have to know something about you in order to get excited to learn more! But if you have follow-up videos (say, based on team/location/role), these could work well with an email gate.

6. Quickly and efficiently get a grasp of culture fit

Resumes and cover letters are great, but they don’t necessarily show you who someone is, what they’re like, and if they’re going to fit into your company culture. Which means recruiters have to book interviews and go through many first rounds before narrowing down the list to candidates that could be right at home in your company. What if there was a way to narrow that list down without having to book countless interviews and sit through some awkward meetings?

Video doesn’t have to be just for the recruiter. You can ask candidates to create their own short video and send it right to you so you can get a sense of them in person without, well, having to meet them in person. Sound intriguing? Video interviewing “increases speed of hire, allowing recruiters to focus more time and energy on the best candidates”, according to one leader of a UK-based recruitment firm.  

Sound too tricky to ask of your candidates? ViewedIt allows anyone to create and send videos (for free!), and all it takes is a computer! They can even keep their resume on screen while recording, so they can reference certain skills, past jobs, or even answer questions that you provide. You’re dreaming right now about blasting through all those first-level interviews and snatching up the best candidates, aren’t you?

7. Share video interviews with the right people, quickly and easily

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates that seem like they could be a good fit, then comes the struggle of booking in interviews with hiring managers, and briefing them in detail about each candidate’s qualifications and benefits. Or, you could let hiring managers (and any other appropriate coworkers) check out the candidates themselves, as quickly and easily as you did. Actually, even quicker and easier. How? With a Video Hub.

A Video Hub is like a library where you can store and organize all your videos (by team or role or hiring manager…whatever you like!). Managers can take a gander through the videos you share, and help narrow down the list of candidates they want to meet (and you don’t have to worry about these videos being seen by unintended audiences because your Hub can be locked down by permissions). And just like that, you’ve sped up the process for everyone, and got that much closer to bringing top talent on board before they’re snatched up by another company.

Have you done some awesome things with video for your HR department? Or watched or created any awesome videos you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it!

The post 7 Ways HR Can Use Video to Better Engage and Hire Top Talent appeared first on Vidyard.

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