Video is everywhere. In a world where we are surrounded by all sorts of media, marketers and communicators consistently use video as an engaging medium to inform and connect with their audiences.
It should be no different when it comes to your employees.
Video can be an effective tool in your arsenal of internal communications to break up the monotony of emails, newsletters and other written messages. It can be a powerful supplement to your existing communication strategy.
However, it’s no secret that video can be intimidating. Some of us are comfortable and thrive in front of the camera. Others can barely stomach the idea of being on screen. Videos are also associated with fancy cameras and lighting, making them seem expensive to create. But with the right mix of widely available technology and guidance from professional videographers, you can do a lot, regardless of your budget, to engage your workforce through video.
Below are some practical tips to easily start incorporating video into your internal communication plan.
Start with what you have in your own pocket.
We remember the days when we were excited to capture five seconds of blurry, choppy video footage on a flip phone. Nowadays, smartphones are equipped with high-definition cameras, making it easy to get started producing high-quality videos. After getting started on your own, consider tapping an experienced videographer to access advanced equipment, editing software and a professional eye for design, instead of investing in expensive equipment you might use sparingly (and possibly incorrectly).
In a world of remote work, you can take filming on your phone to the next level with three simple products:
- Start with a simple smartphone tripod. You don’t need anything fancy. Just something that will keep your phone steady while you film.
- Next, a basic lavalier mic that plugs into your phone will give your audio a significant boost. Since some employees may just listen to a video after hitting play, you’ll want to ensure the speaker can be heard clearly.
- Lastly, a ring light that snaps on to your phone can help provide consistent lighting and improve how the subject appears on video.
If you prefer not to use your smartphone, another option is to use the webcam on your laptop if available.
Position your camera correctly.
Where you place yourself and the camera can make a noticeable difference in how your video turns out. Here are a few easy suggestions to remember:
- Place the camera at a comfortable eye level. A camera that is too low can create the dreaded double chin effect, while placing it too high can look unnatural. Also, place the camera far back enough so your face doesn’t take up the whole screen.
- Film in landscape/horizontal mode. While portrait/vertical videos are popular on social media, they don’t always translate well to a computer screen, which many employees will use to watch internal videos.
- Avoid having a bright background, like an open window on a sunny day. In order to compensate for all the light behind you, the camera will likely make your face too dark. Instead, ensure you have sufficient lighting in front of you so that your face is clearly visible on video.
Call in the pros.
For those really important internal messages, like a year-in-review recap or exciting announcement, bring in an external expert to properly record your presentation and provide guidance on your delivery and visual framing. For pre-recorded messages, try to be as natural as possible. Speak extemporaneously, where you can, and don’t hesitate to redo a portion of your speech. After filming, you can leverage the videographer’s editing skills to cut and chop areas of the recording you like or dislike. For live stream presentations, a videographer can prep you ahead of time and also assist in making the stream available to all employees in real time.
Most importantly, your video doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective!
Some leaders shy away from communicating to their employees through video because they worry they won’t communicate every message perfectly. But, when it comes to internal communications, employees want authenticity and honesty, not a perfect reading of a script. They would much rather watch a clip of a leader who stumbles over a few words and makes a minor mistake or two than read a bland written statement.
Do you want messages from executive leadership to be relatable to all levels of your organization? Encourage your leaders to be themselves on video. Be relaxed. Show some humor if appropriate. And most importantly, it’s ok if the delivery isn’t perfect, as long as the message is genuine and works when users hit “play.”
With the popularity of video, it’s time for it to become a part of your internal communications if it isn’t already. Luckily, it’s never been easier to get started. And it’s a great way for leadership to connect and engage with employees in this increasingly virtual and remote world (from the comfort of their own homes!).
If you have video needs on a large scale or are looking for coaching and tips, our marketing gurus from The Agency at Sikich would be happy to lend a hand!