Ever work on a project, and hear someone shout, “We should make a video!” near the end? Or, find that your company always treats video solely as standalone one-offs?
Video should never be an afterthought. In fact, if current trends continue, it’ll soon be the standard for business communications.
We’re not just talking about marketing. In many ways, marketing is already there with video.
So, how can you ensure your company is ahead of the curve? By integrating video throughout your company culture. It has to become your professional way of life.
Here’s how you can get started. Follow this in-depth guide to build habits and establish default behaviors to promote the use of video throughout your organization.
This post is so thorough that we’ve included a Table of Contents to help you navigate it.
- Why You Need a Video-First Culture
- Get the Right Tools for the Job
- Designate Responsibilities
- Thinking Video First
- Centralized, Secure Sharing
- Reporting and Improvements
Why You Need a Video-First Culture
A video-first culture is one where videos are created and shared as a central part of everyday workflows. Video becomes a way of doing business, rather than just another project to manage.
Video is too powerful a medium to leave relegated to marketing departments. When used properly, it can drive employee engagement, facilitate training and on-boarding, and enhance corporate communications across the board. Did we mention it could also save you money?
Here’s a quick breakdown of why a video-first culture will help your organization better prepare for the future.
Would you rather sit through a PowerPoint presentation, read a lengthy email or PDF, or watch a short video with all the info you need? We thought so.
Video gets the message across better than other mediums. The importance of this fact can’t be stressed enough when it comes to corporate communications. Beyond engaging viewers in the moment, video results in higher retention rates of information compared to other medium.
The fact that you can hear, see, and read information simultaneously helps reinforce it in your memory, helping you to clearly recall it later on. Video also often contains emotional triggers, helping to promote the formation of memories.
Think about the time before email (really, there was a time). We predict video communications will become as pervasive for the modern workforce in the next few years. So, you better start now if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
Video offers specific advantages compared to other mediums for communication. Ultimately, it’s all about the personal connection. Humans are hardwired to respond to faces and emotional expressions. A lot of what we communicate is nonverbal. Unlike text or audio, video allows you to speak more directly to your audience.
Training doesn’t just happen when you’re first hired. Maybe you’ve been promoted to a new role, changed departments, or want to learn new skills.
This is where an engaging video resource center can really shine. By investing in tools your employees can access at any stage of their careers, you’ll help drive retention and advancement.
Video is perfect for training because it makes it easy for workers to refer back to a lesson if needed. Since it helps employees retain information better, it’s more efficient, too. Finally, it’s less disruptive to their workflow when training can be accessed whenever its needed, rather than at scheduled meetings.
Often thought of as expensive and time-consuming, producing and leveraging corporate videos can be highly cost-effective. It all comes down to your priorities, and how you tackle it. In fact, we’ve often heard from our users that they realized substantial cost-savings by using video throughout their companies.
Take training, for example. It’s often one of the costliest aspects of on-boarding new employees or implementing new procedures. By using online video, you can save significantly on transportation, staffing, and more. Even better, you can reuse video time and again, so the savings accumulate in the long run.
Get The Right Tools for the Job
Having the necessary equipment on hand is as much about reducing friction as it is about getting the job done. If you’re scrambling to find cables or charge batteries every time you want to make a video, you’ll never get around to actually filming anything.
A basic camera kit consists of three main components: a camera, a microphone, and a tripod. Professional lighting can also be extremely useful, but technically isn’t necessary for basic video projects.
Here’s what your kit might look like if your phone is your main camera:
The kit above includes a Joby Gorillapod tripod, a lens, and a microphone, and would cost around $150 (plus cost of the phone) to put together.
We also have a detailed video guide to making a professional 4K camera rig using an iPhone:
If you have a camcorder or DSLR camera with video capabilities available, your setup won’t be that different. You’ll still want to use an external microphone and a tripod.
For a full rundown of video equipment you might want to consider, read this post about the ten most essential pieces of video equipment.
Finally, if you don’t have any sort of camera, you can still make plenty of videos using just a laptop.
Just announcing you’d like more video won’t get you anywhere. Each team needs a point person for ensuring video is an integral part of their project planning.
Even teams that you might not regularly peg as creative assets can help produce interesting videos. From accounting to sales to support and even c-suite executives, interesting perspectives and useful information can come from anywhere.
The point person for video should be relatively tech savvy, and see this new responsibility as an opportunity rather than a burden. Ask them to come up with a handful of ideas for videos they could produce, and see which get traction on the team.
If they’re not sure where to start, look to other teams for inspiration. Or, brainstorm topics that could be useful internally. Training, special learning sessions, quarterly reporting, new hires, and more can all be excellent opportunities for video.
The people you select to help spread video across your organization aren’t necessarily the ones producing the actual videos. It might make sense to have a specialized person or team in charge of that, depending on the size of your company and the resources available to you.
If you’re not quite ready to expand this across your whole organization, you still need someone in charge of ensuring videos are regularly planned and produced. That person could be you, or a colleague with a passion for video. Ask around for volunteers, and you might be surprised at how many you get.
Thinking Video First
Most companies have plenty of opportunities for capturing great video content. They just don’t seem to know where to start.
Here’s are some common endeavors most companies will undertake at some point. If you plan on capturing video from the get-go, you’ll find yourself with a wealth of content at the end of the year.
Planning a conference, round-table, panel, or similar event? Be sure to capture it all on video.
This high value IP can be reused in numerous ways. For instance, you could leverage it for employee education, marketing for future events, or repackage it for attendees.
An ideal setup for filming an event would involve more than one camera, and a microphone for each speaker. By having at least two cameras, you’ll have two perspectives to choose from when editing your clips. This will help smooth over any awkward pauses, coughing, or other audible interruptions in the dialogue. It also reduces the chances a speaker might wander out of frame.
Giving each speaker their own mic also avoids a few annoyances. Ever sit in an audience, waiting to hear from a panel speaker while a microphone is slowly passed their way? Yeah, us too, and it’s no fun.
Wireless lapel mics are usually the way to go, but handheld mics can work just as well. Importantly, your speakers are less likely to walk off with a handheld mic, or to forget that they have a hot mic on them.
That’s the ideal scenario, however, all of that fancy equipment is not required. You can certainly make do with a simpler setup.
Important information is often shared at company town hall meetings. Yet, it’s easy to forget the specifics of what is discussed. Further, at least a handful of employees will likely be out of office for one reason or another.
All the more reason to capture it on video. This requires a really simple setup. Just a camera, a tripod, and a single microphone will usually suffice.
You will likely find a surprising number of ways to use this footage. It can be fun to review at a later town hall to check on progress towards a goal, for instance. You can also look for bloopers or outtakes for the company Christmas party.
Aside from those fun ideas, making the video available to anyone absent from the event helps ensure everyone is on the same page. It will also allow people to check back in the future if they are trying to remember a detail or a goal that was set during the town hall.
An everyday occurrence in most offices, video conferences help teams collaborate and get work done efficiently. They’re also a great way to interview experts who can’t visit your company on site. By regularly recording them, they can also be a great way to enable teams to easily keep track of what’s going on with different projects, and to promote employee education.
Whether an internal video conference merits recording can certainly vary quite a bit. If you’re discussing a milestone in a project, recapping accomplishments, or planning next steps, it’s probably worth archiving for future reference.
If your video conference involves external experts, recording it is nearly mandatory. You can use soundbites or clips from these sessions in many different ways. From marketing, to education, to blog posts, there are many possibilities.
Producing these types of videos is really simple. Most video conferencing applications come with video recording features. The only equipment you need is a computer and a webcam of some kind.
Test your setup ahead of time with a colleague, and remember to hit record. Then, export the video to an MP4 file, and upload to the web for sharing.
Beyond town halls, company communications of every variety represent a chance to create video. We are particularly big fans of using video for major announcements, product releases, messages from executives, or introducing new hires.
Similar to town halls, these don’t have to be complicated or fancy videos. A quick soundbite is all it takes to put a human face on an important message.
Since the purpose and audience can vary tremendously, we recommend working with equipment you have on hand. That means a webcam, iPhone or Android, DSLR or even a camcorder might do the trick. The message is the central focus here, not production value.
Charity, Conventions, and Outside Events
If your company is sponsoring or organizing an event for a charitable cause, participating in a convention, or any other outside event, capture it on film. These special one-off events are great material for brand marketing, recruiting, and promoting different causes.
Assign someone to film the event the day of, or encourage everyone participating to capture special moments on their phones. Ask that they film in landscape, not portrait mode, if possible. Look for celebrities or interesting people to interview, too. At the end of the day, you’ll have a wealth of footage to compile into a video about the event.
Don’t forget to grab plenty of b-roll footage of the location, exterior, crowds, or event signage to help provide context to the video.
Try to Keep it Simple
We can’t emphasize this enough – video doesn’t have to be a huge production. Keep production as simple as possible. You’ll find it much easier to produce video on an ongoing basis.
Tie the level of effort to the intended audience, and the importance of the message being communicated. Often, less is more!
Centralized, Secure Sharing
All this video won’t do you any good unless it’s easily accessible to your intended audiences. You’ll basically need two things:
- A place where the videos will live.
- Appropriate video privacy tools.
To determine where your videos should be shared, and the level of security they require, first look to your intended audience.
Employees, interns, contractors – anyone with a company-issued email address would likely constitute a member of your internal audience. Board members, trusted advisors, and others involved directly in your business are also likely included here.
Executive communications, town halls, training, recorded video conferences, and other proprietary company videos could all be shared with internal stakeholders.
Privacy Controls for Internal Video
Internal video can range from light-hearted, to extremely sensitive in nature. It’s imperative to ensure the proper privacy controls are in place before content is shared.
The right video security tools will vary based on your company’s particular needs. There are two main ways to approach it:
- Embed videos in an existing secure portal, like Sharepoint or a company Intranet.
- Send viewers to a secure video website, hosted by a 3rd party.
Existing Secure Portal
If your company already has a Sharepoint, intranet, or similar employees-only section of your website, you can easily share your videos there.
In this case, you’ll be embedding your videos, and if you’re using SproutVideo as your video hosting provider, you’ll want to leave them set to Private. Private videos only appear and are playable when embedded, not on SproutVideo landing pages or video websites.
To prevent your videos from being copied to external websites, ensure your video embed codes only work on specified websites. Use either allowed domains or signed embed codes to that effect.
Allowed domains is a straightforward video security setting. Enter the domain(s) where you’d like your video to appear, and it simply won’t load anywhere else.
Signed embed codes allow for more precise control over viewer access to your video. Signed embed codes require a secret signing key in order to load. If that key is missing, or incorrectly configured, the video won’t load.
Secure 3rd Party Video Website
Some video hosting services, such as SproutVideo, offer customizable video websites and landing pages. When used in conjunction with our video privacy options, they can be a powerful solution for keeping corporate video secure.
Creating the landing pages or video website is extremely simple. It only takes a few minutes to pick a theme, customize your URL, and add your branding. Hit publish, and you’re almost ready to share.
After uploading your videos, you’ll need to determine the best privacy settings to use for sharing your corporate videos securely. SproutVideo offers several options for controlling video access through our video websites, in approximate order from least secure, to most secure:
- Leave all videos set to Public. Your website will be discoverable and anyone with the URL can access your content.
- Require an email address to view a video, allowing you to track each viewer by their email.
- Unlist a video to make it undiscoverable on your video website.
- Password protect individual videos on your video website.
- Password protect your entire video website.
- Assign login credentials to viewers, and set download permissions, or limit access to a period of time or number of logins.
- Use IP address restriction to ensure your video website only loads for viewers on an approved connection.
- Implement single-sign-on (SSO) to use your company’s Identity Provider (ADFS, Google Apps, or any provider using SAML 2.0), so viewers can use their company credentials to login.
The best option really depends on the level of security and the reporting you require. If you’re unsure about which might work for your company, then contact us for guidance, or leave a comment below.
People outside of your company include prospects, clients, the general public, or friends and family.
Your marketing and PR videos, product or company announcements, and educative content are likely to be of interest to these parties. Designed to engage and convert, these are the types of videos that are ideally shared widely.
On occasion, you might need to share sensitive information via video with an outside party. A deliverable to a client, for example, would probably not be shared publicly.
Privacy Controls for External Video
Chances are, publicly shared videos will be ideal for this audience. You might even look to promote sharing of your public-facing videos by enabling social sharing, or including a call-to-action.
For external videos that require more security, some of the above options for internal video could work well. For instance, password protection and login protection are good options for simple, secure sharing with individuals.
Reporting and Improvements
At this point, you’re producing content on a regular basis, and sharing your videos confidently and securely. By keeping regular tabs on your video analytics, you can continuously improve your process and your content.
Tracking and improving viewer engagement is key to the success of corporate video. It helps you determine whether or not your message is getting through to your intended audience.
An engagement rate of 100% would mean that everyone who started watching your video finished it. Usually, the higher the rate, the better. It means your audience is engaged and consuming your content in its entirety.
For publicly shared videos, you’ll also want to consider other data points for your videos. For example, how many leads did they generate? What was the reach of your video? Did viewers comment on it? Determine the metric that is most central to your video campaign, and track it to see how you’re doing.
Use the data to change your process for making and sharing videos. If you notice flagging viewer engagement after more than one minute of footage, for instance, chop your videos down to size.
By continually improving your content, you’ll keep driving the use of video throughout your company culture.
How does your company use video? Where specifically has it helped, and why? Please share your experience in the comments below.