Use video to grow your company from the inside out

CEO and co-founder of Wipster Rollo Wenlock outlines why video works to engage and enlighten consumers – and why companies should turn that same effectiveness inward

14Feb

With today's capabilities in video, a team of 10,000 spread across the globe can operate like a team of 15 in a small office. Bite-size shared video clips of works in progress – whether selfie videos of a status update or compelling additions to a pitch – help teams act, decide and share information quickly and easily.

Video works so well because, aside from meeting in person, it's the most human way of communication over other media. The rise of Slack, constant emails and shared documents communicate only so much. Without faces and emotions, written communications are just information in its blandest form — typing can't convey tone of voice, expressions, or body language. By using video to capture these things, teams can transform a humdrum update into a high-resolution personal experience.

According to the latest figures, 86% of businesses use video on their websites and 77% use video on social media. Marketers know that video works on consumers, so why don't companies turn that same effectiveness inward? Employees are just consumers who happen to work for the business, and they respond to the same engagement tactics and emotional triggers as everyone else.

Maximizing video for every audience

Think about all the different kinds of communication that happen within a business. Leaders communicate with investors and shareholders to secure more funding. Managers communicate with employees to keep projects on track and under budget. Employees communicate with one another to complete tasks and with their managers to address issues in their work. Executives communicate with everyone about the direction of the business and the strategies that will guide it.

In his book, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect," author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell explores what makes communication the most effective. "Tone, inflection, timing, volume, pacing – everything you do with your voice communicates something and has the potential to help you connect to or disconnect from others when you speak," he writes.

Video can capture those essential elements of communication, infusing life into any one of the messages involved in businesses in a way no other medium can. Because videos add an element of time to communication, requiring audiences to experience the message at the pace set by the video, they provide a four-dimensional experience no other format can match. A lackluster PowerPoint and a video presentation can be the difference between an unopened email and enthusiastic engagement. Where other types of messaging create communication, video creates connection.

Making videos with internal appeal

Companies that use video to communicate with their teams enjoy a host of benefits, but realizing those benefits requires more than just a camera and microphone.

When we opened an office in Portland, Oregon, we created an internal video to show our new space to our team back in New Zealand. Though we originally designed the video to communicate with our own teams, the content worked on external audiences, too. We posted a version of it on LinkedIn that received more than 10,000 organic views and gave us a boost in recruiting – an unplanned but positive outcome.

Videos like this one humanize messages. From the way the presenters carry themselves to the tone of voice they use, each element of a video communicates so much more than words on a page. As teams become larger and more dispersed, maintaining emotional connections becomes more critical.

Consider the following ways video can benefit internal communications.

Strengthen employee pride.

Our brains are hardwired to respond more strongly to messages that come from other humans, so nothing humanizes a brand like human faces. For instance, when brands share videos on their social pages that highlight the company culture with employees themselves, the company displays how much it values its workers and employees gain pride in where they work.

Now that 71% of social marketers use or want to use their employees as brand advocates, internal buy-in is more important than ever, and employee pride is essential. Audiences love to connect with real people who embody the brands they love, which means employees are the new influencers.

Apple understands this concept better than anyone. At the start of each day, Apple employees get their updates with an app called Hello. The app briefs employees on the most important news, ensuring everyone starts the morning fully updated on the company and on the same page. This gets rid of any communication barriers and ensures that employees feel heard and connected, making them better able to advocate for the brand.

Inspire current and future engagement.

When brands use video to share a bit about themselves on social platforms, they inspire consumers to deepen their interaction with the brand. Sometimes, that means communicating directly with the company. Other times, it means sharing the content or leaving testimonials.

These tactics can boost sales, but they also have a major effect on an internal priority: hiring and retention. Using video to communicate a meaningful message internally brings employees together and unifies the company's vision. Consumers get a glimpse of that unity when videos are posted to social platforms, doubling the effectiveness of every video.

Deloitte UK, for instance, created a masterful video to showcase its values and employee personalities. The video shows off the value of its teams to customers and reminds employees what working at Deloitte UK is all about.

Highlight the company as a knowledgeable source.

Brands today can no longer afford to just sell products and call it a day. Instead, they must contribute their thought leadership to their communities, sharing their knowledge while demonstrating their industry clout.

Most marketers believe in the power of shared knowledge. According to a study from last year, 61% of marketers engage in posts that teach something. Whether internally or externally, educational content positions the brand as an authority.

Wholesome Culture, for instance, is a plant-based fashion brand that caters to a health-conscious and earth-friendly audience. The brand doesn't just use videos to tout its clothing line, though. By sharing things such as vegan recipe videos, Wholesome Culture shows both consumers and employees that it's a source of valuable knowledge for the things they care about and that it understands the greater context in which it operates.

For these purposes, video is the next best thing to face-to-face, in-person conversations when it comes to effective, engaging communication. No other medium can match video's ability to delight audiences, communicate information, and create a common bond among viewers. Don't just turn the power of video on consumers – create internal videos to empower and connect teams, too.


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