Communications: Communicating with video – Easier and more effective than you think

April 13, 2017
| United States

By Lisa Beyer, Senior Communications Consultant

Are you using video to educate your workforce about their benefits? Our communications team has seen increased interest in and use of videos from our clients, who use them to communicate important information about benefits and other topics to their employees. And, as technology evolves, the cost of professionally produced videos is decreasing, making them an affordable communication solution for employers.

Many clients use video as a recruiting and informational tool for prospects or new hires, while others take advantage of this “one and done” solution that helps them deliver a consistent message to all employees, who can view it at their convenience on their desktop, tablet or smartphone. More employers have realized that investing in video can save time and money, and keep managers at their desks instead of traveling to deliver the same presentation multiple times.

According to a 2015 Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study,1 “video rules, and it’s taking over the social media landscape with four times as many consumers preferring digestible video content over text.” The survey reported that:

  • Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read.
  • One in four consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video.
  • Customers are nearly 50% more likely to read email newsletters that include links to a video.

A recent Huffington Post article even notes that “live video will continue to become more dominant as businesses fight to get audiences’ attention.” Because live video is spontaneous and unedited, it can feel more honest, especially to employees who may be used to carefully written and legally vetted communications.

One HR director and her team are filming short benefit and wellness videos using their cell phones and iPads, then pushing them out to employees via email. That idea is easy, fun, fresh and a great way to keep employees engaged without asking them to make a significant time commitment. It can be used to invite them to a spontaneous all-employee meeting, a health fair, to get them out for a walk on a nice day or to share a quick benefits tip.

You can be your own casting agent, writer, producer and editor. It’s easier than you think.

Videos, whether live or scripted and edited, can be shared on an intranet or social media sites, emailed, texted, shown in group meetings and even conveyed via printed materials through a quick response (QR) code. This versatility is one reason why communicators have come to view video technology as a “must have” distribution channel for employee education.

One client recently worked with us to create six scripted benefits videos that sat within a video postcard (think about opening your email and seeing a postcard-like graphic with photographs, short content, a video and links to other resources.) The HR director was the on-air talent. The videos were posted on the company’s intranet site and distributed by email in the weeks leading up to open enrollment.

This client has 2,200 employees who do sales or administrative work. The main video announcing open enrollment was opened 1,599 times and viewed for an average time of two minutes and 30 seconds, on computers (1,529), tablets (19) and smartphones (51). In addition, 329 employees clicked a link to the online enrollment site; 432 accessed a medical plan comparison tool, and 388 linked to a plan cost calculator.

The cost for the project, including script assistance, graphic design, voiceover, editing and packaging, was $20,000. The videos can be used for new hires through 2017 and going forward, they plan to make minor edits if plan designs change.

If your organization hasn’t ventured into the world of video communications, I encourage you to do some research to see if it might work for you. When done correctly, whether scripted or live, video is a powerful method of communication and one that employers can’t afford to ignore.

1. 2015 Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study