Video is huge. In fact, more than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube each day.
I bet you are guilty of doing so as well. Yet, watching videos on social media is largely viewed as an unproductive thing to do.
But it doesn’t mean that using/shooting videos itself isn’t something you can turn into a productive routine. In fact, video is something that you can employ every day. And there are five productive ways to do so.
Whether you’re a job seeker who wants to find a way to grab the attention of hiring manager, or a freelancer sending a pitch email to a potential client, your goal is to stand out.
So the simple trick to do so may be including a short, two-minute video introducing who you are and what you do.
And here’s why it works on a number of different levels:
- It’s a memorable thing to do - not many other applicants will bother.
- It shows that you care about the offer enough to make that extra effort (even if you do not highly-personalize your video every time).
- It nurtures a connection - emotionally, it’s harder to toss that email in a bin or say no to someone after you have “virtually” met them.
The key is to deliver something unique that demonstrates your value. In this critique of a personalized video, you can see an example of a video pitch that simply repeats the content of the email. That doesn’t add anything of value. Instead, your personalized video should demonstrate what you can do for that hiring manager or potential client specifically.
For example, imagine that you are pitching a client for your web design firm. In your video, you might grab one of their landing pages, and demonstrate what you would do to make that page convert more customers.
So most businesses these days offer customer support via social media, along with various support desk systems that encourage you to explain your issue in as many details as possible.
The problem? Sometimes it’s easier to show than tell.
David Basulto, founder of iOgrapher - a company selling mobile video gizmos and accessories - understood that phone/email/chat conversations with clients were not as effective as exchanging short videos.
When customers are struggling to use the company’s iPhone cases, tripods, lenses, microphones, and other mobile based videography equipment, they can send the company a picture or video via Snapchat. In return, the customer receives a video demonstrating the solution to their problem.
Of course, your company doesn’t need to use snapchat to apply this principle. Communicating with customers via video is an excellent way to help them solve problems. Even better, the video becomes a part of that customer support ticket for future reference. If certain problems appear to be more widespread, the videos can become part of a customer support knowledgebase. This can then be used to educate support agents, and improve call resolution time.
Not only has Snapchat provided a tool for sharing short videos as a means of communicating with customers, it’s also provided an important proof of concept. Brands can use short format videos to enhance internal communications as well e.g. Vidyard is using Snapchat style videos as an internal communications tool.
What the company did was create a browser based tool that allows clients and employees to create quick videos, and then send them via email. Imagine the function of a collaborative tool without the investment. The tool was a hit with clients, but its impact on internal teams was even more striking.
Team members can use short videos to send updates to managers and department heads. They can film short videos providing insights and instructions. Best of all, these communications are much less disruptive than calling face to face meetings. Recipients can even film short videos in response.
The best part - you don’t need to be a brand to do the same. Next time, instead of explaining your SO how care for the flowers while you are gone, shoot a quick tutorial. That would make the chore more fun, personal and likely effective.
So one brand has already seen success using short videos as an internal communications tool. But that’s not it.
Companies can really benefit from using video as a means of sharing knowledge between team members. After all, when it comes to helping team members learn policies, procedures, even your branding, your best asset may not be high priced corporate trainer. Instead, you may be the best value out of your existing team members. More than anyone else, they are often best qualified to share their knowledge with others.
Team members who have developed expertise in certain areas can produce videos to:
- Demonstrate proper procedures
- Onboard incoming employees
- Cross train employees or simply build a better understanding of their team or role
- Educate employees in dealing with equipment
- Walk other workers through customer service scenarios.
Once enough videos have been filled, you can create a skills library of sorts. This can then be accessed by staff members who are interested in furthering their careers by indulging their curiosity and picking up new skills.
The best part, you may find that producing a video is actually easier than writing a manual. To get started, here are a few tips for shooting video without a lot of headache or hassle:
- Buy a camera that has enough features to produce quality videos, but is simple enough for a novice to use.
- Use a simple video editor software to ensure the best possible production values. Here’s a decent roundup of free video editing software for Windows 10.
- Invest in a tripod to ensure steady shots.
- Consider adding a microphone and filter to improve any audio issues.
- It’s okay to improvise a bit, but you should have your video blocked out before you shoot.
Video is an amazing recruiting and onboarding tool. In fact, there isn’t a place in the recruiting and hiring funnel where video can’t enhance the experience. In the early stages of the process, you can attract potential hires with videos discussing company culture and work environment. You can shoot video based job listings and descriptions.
Potential hires can also be recruited with employee testimonials, and video taped explanations of benefits can be used to ensure potential hires understand the benefits they are qualified to receive.
When new hires come on board, human resource departments can use videos to ensure the know what is expected of them, and get them productive as quickly as possible. They can use video to demonstrate signing up for benefits, requesting insurance, even navigating the intranet and payroll systems.
A few years ago, Healthcare tech startup HomeHero was struggling. A generous investor offered to save them, but there was a condition. The company had to provide the VC firm with a daily update. The update was to keep investors in the loop on daily KPIs, company initiatives, campaigns, etc. It turned out to be beneficial for both the company and the investors.
Now, imagine the level of engagement you could create if you used video to do the same thing, but not just with investors. This could be a great communication medium for your team as well. Employees could be informed about upcoming events, progress towards goals, newsworthy items from other teams, and so much more. The video doesn’t need to overly produced or complex. A simple ‘from the desk of the ceo’ setup would be more than adequate.
Keep in mind that failing to share company data can have a significant impact on employee trust and productivity. By using video to keep staff and investors up to date, you can eliminate that concern, in a way that is most engaging.
Video is no longer an ‘event’. It is a viable productivity and communications tool. There is great potential to use it on a daily basis for marketing, recruiting, customer support, and all levels of engagement.