Planning your internal communications video strategy

Looking to work video into your internal comms? Jon Mowat has some pointers.

When overseeing inductions or staff training, the worst fear for L&D managers is having a sea of glazed-over faces staring blankly in your direction. We’ve all been there, and it’s enough to give even the most cool-headed of characters severe pangs of anxiety.

Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put in, sometimes it’s human nature to switch-off when sitting through a presentation on the Ts & Cs of staff protocol. In fact, Prezi’s Science of Attention report states that: ”50% of people cannot recall one point after two days.”

But, the same report notes how using a variety of delivery methods – charts, images, music and video – can aid knowledge retention with visual content paving the way to memorable messages.

I’m sure this won’t be news to experienced L&D managers, so I won’t stress the point too much, but I think it’s worth briefly noting why video is such a powerful medium.

First, thanks to millennia of evolution, we’re hardwired to respond to movement. Our prehistoric ancestors had to be constantly alert, on the lookout for predators and ready to hunt, so moving images are innately more captivating than blocks of text or blah-blah-blahs of speech. 

Fast forward thousands of years, and you see this theory played out in the Internet Age. Social media platforms are increasingly favouring video content in their algorithms, and by the end of the decade video is predicted to account for 82% of all consumer Internet usage.

Using a variety of video techniques in your internal communications strategy can help educate and inspire your workforce, ensuring everyone is up to speed. With that in mind, here’s a few pointers on what you should produce:

Brand positioning film

To galvanize your team, it makes sense to showcase your company in a manner that stirs emotional reactions, facilitating senses of pride and ambition. This short video does a great job of succinctly positioning this law firm’s brand, informing team members of their prestigious pedigree:

From humble beginnings in Victorian times, the opening montage takes viewers on a journey through the firm’s history.

Overlaying snippets of bold text on a backdrop of high-speed cityscapes contrasts well with the slow-zooming still images of sportspeople, mountaineers, and engineers, painting a vivid picture of an ambitious, active partnership that carries real clout.  

The evocative soundtrack and striking graphics complement each other to connote a sense of integrity and authority, framing the organisation as a passionate, dependable party who pride themselves on being ‘More than just lawyers’.

This type of film can be particularly rousing for new starters, giving them a solid grasp of the company’s story and encouraging them to aspire to the brand values. Furthermore, aside from internal comms, such videos can also be used to attract talent, and even win custom, as it evokes a sense of strength and positivity.

Either way, it’s much more effective than plain text and standalone still images could ever be.

Explainer videos

If you have to distil complex subject matters, then explainer videos are great for conveying the right information. Several academic studies have highlighted how video content can be used to create a rich learning environment, and this extends to clarifying staff incentive schemes, as well as delivering more straightforward training.

For example, Asda does a great job of this using animation, breaking down the benefits on offer and how team members can get on board:

When it comes to managing finances and buying share options, it’s common for people to zone out and outright dismiss it, believing the whole process to be a complicated minefield that’s easier to avoid rather than attempt to navigate.

But, this simple, succinct video tells the story of what Sharesave is all about, subtly anticipating queries to allay concerns, and illustrating the advantages of taking part.

Again, video can be much more compelling than text, allowing you to accurately and efficiently portray what’s on offer.

Case studies

While you can use these to win new business, showing prospective clients how you achieve real-world results, you should also share case studies internally, ensuring that everyone keeps in mind how important their role is to the bigger picture. This reinforces loyalty and demonstrates what a difference their work can make.

This example from Power Electrics shows different stages of the process, with positive words from happy clients to boot.

Giving employees a voice in your video content is an effective way to boost training results, as hearing the thoughts of colleagues will always resonate in a meaningful way; they’ve been there, done that and know what they’re talking about.

The key to integrating video content into internal comms is to keep it short and simple. Hour-long training sessions, for example, can be easily broken up with video clips at 20-minute intervals, keeping your troops engaged with imagery that, hopefully, promises to live on in the memory.


About the author

Jon Mowat is the MD of Hurricane Media, experts in internal communications video strategy. You can follow @HurricaneMedia on Twitter. 


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