The Real Reason to Love Video in Internal Communications

Photo by @marinahanna

Some research shows that as much as 75% of employees prefer video updates over text-based articles. (As a word nerd, that hurts.)

100% of internal comms editors and strategists love video (unscientific survey). That’s because with a little snip here, cut there, freeze this and snap that, re-purposing video is a killer way to elevate your editorial game.

Spreading the video’s content and elements — not just the video itself — across multiple channels is a huge return on investment for your team and it doesn’t take that much extra time or effort.

  • Producing a video takes a lot of energy and resources, including cash money. So why wouldn’t you want to squeeze every last drop out of that rock?

Rethinking the One-channel Mindset

Tactics support strategies, and you do have an editorial strategy in place, don’t you?

Re-purposing video:

  • Grows one piece of content into many
  • Increases return on investment
  • Increases the likelihood of employee engagement
  • Increases your team’s value
  • Gets your creative juices flowing

Say you have a three-minute video of anything — one of your execs giving a quarterly update; frontline workers showing off new assembly line equipment; new-hires participating in a community cleanup event; whatever.

  • Don’t publish just to one channel (e.g., the video section of your intranet).
  • Do publish across your platform (e.g., think about how to use all of the outlets you control, and some you don’t).

That complete three-minute video could (should) easily publish across several channels:

  • Newsletter
  • Internal newswire or intranet
  • Internal blog that’s specifically geared to an employee population (e.g., country, department, interest area)
  • An external blog, like the corporate website
  • A town hall playback to reinforce a story or as an intermission or transition item
  • YouTube and Youku channels
  • Social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn (assuming you’re not sharing state secrets)
  • Internal TV channels

These are the most obvious outlets for your short video.

Get Out the Scissors and Glue

Photo by @acreativegangster

Now get out your audio and video editing tools, your keyboards and your screen capture widgets. With just simple editing you can post that video to other channels:

  • Digital signage (keep it short, 30 seconds max, with captions or explanatory graphics; then direct employees to the intranet to see the entire video)
  • Instagram (again, keep it short, 25 seconds max, and add the captions)
  • Twitter (45 seconds)
  • Snapchat (try 60 seconds)
  • WhatsApp (90 seconds max)
  • Weibo ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

Side note: What’s the ideal length for the videos on each of the channels? I suggest you do some serious A/B testing, but these sources will give you some initial guidance: Instagram and Twitter | Snapchat.

With more effort, the video’s content can appear in different formats:

  • Podcast (rip the audio from the video file and voilà, you have a three-minute segment for your next episode)
  • Text story (transcribe the video and post it to your intranet or blog)
  • Photo essay (capture six stills and publish them collectively as a photo essay, each with a caption; the photo essay can play on your digital signage or be used in Instagram stories or appear as a blog post — or all of the above!)
  • Gif (animate the photos you captured!)

Takeaway

Photo by @tamarabellis

DON’T FORGET: Your employees consume content in myriad ways at all times throughout the day and the week. The wider you publish the content in different formats, the better chance you have of engaging them where they are.

Foresight is key. If you are aware a video will be produced, you can start to lineup the time, tools, people, and channels in advance. I’ve been able to publish a video content six different ways in just a couple of hours because the team has had enough advance warning that this cut will be needed, this channel calendar date saved, this still image captured, etc.

  • Be constantly thinking: “where else can the video content go?”

There you have it. We took one asset — a three-minute video — and published the content many ways across 20+ channels!

That’s the real reason internal comms editors love video so much: It’s a content farm.

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