How to make video the heart of your internal communications

TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts; the rapid rise of short-form and video content is dominating the internet – why should intranets be any different? For departments used to written word comms, producing video content can seem daunting. So, we’re offering best practices for how to leverage video within your comms strategy and the tech that will help you do it best.

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Is video the future of internal communications?

‘How can we drastically improve the results of our work without our budget ballooning?’

It’s a question every department would love an easy answer to, but for internal communications the answer really is simple: embrace video.

Employee communications are emerging from a two-year period of intense change and disruption that’s caused 2020-21 to incur the most significant drop in employee engagement since 2000, per Gallup.

This is because constant communications are needed to keep employees informed, but when the number of updates becomes overwhelming, burnout sets in. This may seem like an unsolvable paradox, but video content presents a solution, as Ben Reynolds of Gallagher summarizes:

"To evolve as communicators, we need to consider how to shift outside of a static, single channel for the 9 to 5, and consider the enriching content we see in our personal lives. We need to move into shorter, bitesize chunks and snippets of audio and video to help employees digest information when they want to."

Ben Reynolds - Global Practice Managing Director at Gallagher Communication

So, how can we improve employee engagement without overloading employees? Video.

How can internal communications improve the impact of comms without increased resources? Video.

What’s the future of internal communications? Video!


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What is the value of video communications?

Video content is, by all accounts, on the rise. Cisco reports that by the end of 2022, 82% of all global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads. In the last 30 days alone, more video content has been uploaded to the internet than all major US television networks have produced in 30 years.

This meteoric rise can be explained by one simple fact: video content produces results like no other.

Video is more engaging

For consumers, a study of 777m Facebook posts finds that videos elicit 60% more engagement than any other content. Within the workplace, video has quickly become the preferred medium for executives, with 59% preferring to watch videos than read text, per Forbes Insights.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million."

Dr. James Quivey - VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

Videos drive action 

In the marketing world, HubSpot reports that landing pages leveraging videos increase conversion rates by over 80%. Strikingly, just the mere mention of the word “video” in an email subject line increases open rates by 19%. For communicators, this represents an opportunity to level up user engagement with existing and new content and more effectively grab attention with campaigns. 

Video unlocks productivity 

While enterprise comms may lag behind the consumer world in adopting video communications, they’re still not too late to the party. Where viewers retain 95% of a message from video – as opposed to just 10% from text – a new study from TechSmith found that using visual content in communications could unlock $167bn in productivity across six geographies investigated, an average GDP boost of 0.52%.


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5 ways to make video the heart of your internal communications

Many communicators may feel more comfortable with words, but video is undeniably a big part of the future of internal comms. We get it, change can be intimidating, so to help you get started we’ve compiled 5 tips to bring video into the center of your communications strategy.

#1. Build videos into comms campaigns

Picture this: You’re launching a new value-aligned rewards and recognition program. The problem is, not enough people read your announcement email and accompanying article, so the program isn’t gaining as much traction as hoped.

A brief video explaining the new program, its benefits, and the reason you’re launching it is the perfect way to gain the engagement you need.

Unily's Engagement Automation video campaign

The average email open rate is just 21%; that's a one in five chance of someone opening your email according to HubSpot. In comparison, videos improve click rates to those same emails by 96%.

Including video content in your automated campaigns can help elevate the performance of all the associated content and grab the attention of users that weren’t swayed by previous comms.

By scheduling a post or email containing a video as the second or third step of your automated campaign, you can identify which segments of your audience respond best to visual content like videos, and which prefer written content. This insight can help you down the road as you plan your strategy for targeting certain audiences or scheduling your next big campaign.

And if the concept of scheduling a multistep campaign seems out of reach; trust us, it's not. Internal communications technology is rapidly catching up with marketing tech. Unily's latest feature, Engagement Automation, is closing the gap between marketing and internal comms strategies by bringing automated campaigns to employee comms and changing the way enterprises approach engagement.

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Marketing-grade automation arrives for internal comms

External marketers have been using automated campaign-building technology to elevate customer engagement for decades. Now it’s time for internal communicators to take advantage of the same functionality to level up employee engagement across the enterprise. Discover the future of employee engagement with Unily’s newest feature.

Learn more

#2. Give video content the platform it deserves

Creating and publishing a video isn’t a surefire ticket to engagement. Video content needs the right platform, UX, and channels to reach people and make an impact.

Evidence of this is found in the most popular video platforms, like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. TikTok’s now widely imitated UI – scrolling through a fullscreen, TV-like view of content – has been adopted by YouTube and Instagram and has been credited with an increase in user dwell time and overall video content viewership.

In terms of employee communication, this boils down to the choice between embedded and native video across channels, and the implications of that decision on user experience across devices, particularly for mobile users.

Unily native video on mobile

In Ericson’s Mobility Report, embedded video increases conversion rates by 80%, so native video – with a consistent user experience that keeps users on your platform – can bring about next-level engagement. For frontline mobile users, this can be the difference between an engaging piece of content and a frustrating user experience.

Native video hosted on your intranet platform ensures a smooth and effortless viewing experience on mobile devices, where Ericson reports 63% of all content viewership now takes place. That’s an awful lot of viewers to offer a subpar experience if you choose to just embed videos with a content player that isn’t up to scratch.

#3. Make videos a social staple

Video content has swayed the strategies of even the most individualistic tech giants. Facebook, Google, and countless others have all incorporated short-form video content into their services in recent years, and the trend shows no sign of slowing.

If your employees’ social media feeds are leveraging video to increase user engagement and dwell time, why should their intranet feeds differ?

Unily native video on social feeds

Internal social networks can rely on video content to grab attention, bring feeds to life, and start conversations. HubSpot report that 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with friends, and social videos get 12 times more shares than text and images combined. That level of social engagement will be sacrificed if internal communications strategies fail to capitalize on the demand for video content.

Video can also be a powerful tool in encouraging employee advocacy, both internally and externally. Internal communicators can call on colleagues to publish their own videos on internal and external social networks with incentivized campaigns, such as competitions and hashtagged showcases, and offer guidance on rules and governance. This helps bring new faces to social feeds and bring more of a community approach to video comms, helping to build culture into content and promote voices from across the organization.

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How to supercharge your internal comms

In today’s workplace, effective internal communications are vital to business success. Engaged employees are a company’s greatest asset, but with the workplace transforming at pace, the way we communicate must adapt. This comprehensive guide offers a collection of insights to support internal communicators to supercharge their strategy for the future of work.

Get the guide

#4. Don’t let perfection kill creativity

The rise in video content’s popularity has coincided with an influx of apps, tools, and programs that make it easy for anyone to produce their own video content to a professional standard. You don’t need a set, a high-quality camera, or an editing suite. All you need is a phone, an idea, and something to shoot.

'How to make your employee comms go viral' feature image


How to make your employee comms go viral

Engaging employees means fighting for their attention and your employee comms are going up against social media heavyweights and the best marketing minds. To make your content stand out, engage, and spread like wildfire, you need to live up to rising expectations set by external marketers. So how do you create consumer-grade employee comms that go viral internally?

Learn more

But it’s not just ease of access that’s made video the dominant form of digital content on the internet. There’s a willingness across pop culture today to embrace the low-tech, the homemade, and the scrappy, DIY approach to video. YouTube’s early days arguably sowed the seed for the success that TikTok has made a mantra of: It’s never been easier to create videos that make an impact.

So don’t let the pursuit of perfection, high production standards, or of professionalism over entertainment hold you back. Get out in front of the camera, bring a personal touch to your communications, and have fun with your content!

#5. Ask ‘could this have been a video?’

We can all surely relate to the feeling of sitting in a meeting and wondering ‘could this have just been an email?’

That sense of having your time wasted isn’t pleasant, and the more people sat in that meeting, the worse it can seem. If we translate this to internal communications, how much of people’s time is spent reading an article, announcement, or email that could’ve been more succinctly told in a video?

Ragan found that 75% of employees are more likely to watch a video than read an email or text. Videos save users’ time, grab attention more effectively – increasing employee engagement – and are more memorable than written content. 3M and HubSpot report that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60k times faster in the brain than text.

So, when it comes to that next piece of content on your to-do list, ask ‘would this be better if it was a video?’


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Discover how Unily supports video comms

Unily’s native video capabilities provide automated AI-based content tagging and transcripts and deliver unparalleled performance all within one cohesive environment, so you can engage your people better than ever before.

With native video you control your videos directly within your intranet CMS, so there's no need to send content managers or users to third-party video platforms. Instead, you can offer consistent and highly secure video experiences for all employees. For evidence of the transformative impact this can have on employee engagement and internal communications, you can take inspiration from Zaxby's 'ZTV' initiative to unite its stores under one cultural initiative and a set model for business standards.

'Zaxby’s unites retail franchises and corporate employees with an intranet' case study flat pages

Case Study

Zaxby’s unites retail franchises and corporate employees with an intranet

Zaxby’s restaurants serve thousands of customers daily across America with fresh, high-quality chicken. But with more than 1.9k corporate and franchise owners spread across more than 900 locations throughout America, Zaxby’s needed a way to unite its stores under one cultural initiative to ensure employee happiness and a set model for business standards.

Get the case study

Find a platform that puts your videos center-stage

The Unily platform combines a multi-channel communications platform with industry-leading innovations like Engagement Automation to give your content every chance it needs to make an impact. Speak to an expert today to discover how the Unily platform can take your engagement strategy to the next level.

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