Recap: How to Develop Engaging Video Content for Internal Communication

Last week, we at were delighted to feature a dynamic and sought-after speaker, Denise McKee, COO of About Face Media. About Face creates award-winning documentary-style videos to help companies share their stories with a variety of different audiences.

The focus of the session was How to Develop Engaging Video Content: Overcoming Common Obstacles, Practical Solutions. The session provided many elusive nuggets of wisdom regarding development of video content, so I wanted to highlight a few of them for folks who missed the session or might like more of an abstract before watching the recorded session.

One of the prevailing themes of the session was that most content can be repackaged and produced to appeal to other audiences besides the original intended audience which is a great thing for the many companies that don’t have an endless marketing and communications budget. One particular piece of advice that supports this approach of repurposing content that Denise highlighted was to plan ahead. More specifically, when you are planning a video shoot for a specific initiative, ask yourself what other similar uses and audiences could be served by the subject of the video. When you think about it, so often the same message that connects with prospective patients would resonate well with employees and vice-versa. Use this fact to help stretch your budget and share a different angle on a compelling story with a different audience.

Next, Denise provided some great examples of strategically crafting your content and finding the right, relatable voice to convey a message. One example video Denise shared was created to educate employees about new health insurance options included in an annual open benefits enrollment. You might expect this sort of message to be presented by an HR leader in a suit, waxing poetic about the pros and cons of FSAs and high deductible plans versus the PPOs with the higher price tag. Had that been the case, the audience would likely have gotten a good nap instead of grasping the upside of the new options. Instead, the About Face team honed in on a relatable voice, that of a manufacturing worker who had switched plans and explained the reasons it was a good choice for him. The video was not shot in a board room or staged in any way, they “walked and talked” as the employee went through his daily routine, certainly similar to that of the intended audience: at the playground with his daughter, at the plant, all-in-all a very authentic voice to make a topic that is confusing to many employees much more understandable.

Other real-world examples Denise shared drove home the fact that the right voice for a given message is usually not the one you might immediately think of. It could be a voice with an accent, perhaps even in filmed in a different language. Maybe much of your audience connects better with content in a different language, so give it to them. In another case, a historical piece highlighting many decades of a company’s history included decades-old audio and photos blended with new video to tell a story that spans generations.

Next, logistics suggestions: make the content you have worked so hard to create easy to access, not hidden behind a hard to follow log-in process or 5 clicks deep on a website. Also, time is of the essence–as a rule of thumb, keep videos to under 2 minutes in length, otherwise folks will likely choose to skip it. Another great tip here was if you have compelling content that is longer than 2 minutes, break it up into a series. Last but not least, if you are promoting your video content via email, include a photo perhaps with the universal symbol of video content, the right-pointing arrow. The stats on the improved click-through rate with a picture will make a believer of any marketer.

In closing, Denise covered a few of the workarounds to get past many of the stumbling blocks that can prevent organizations from moving forward with video projects. A shrewd idea is to create video to convey a message that someone in your organization presents over and over again. This approach provides ROI and as a bonus ensures consistency in messaging. For example, if your HR Director presents the same administrative message to new orientation classes on a regular basis, that message would be a great candidate for content to provide via video. If there is any spiel you or others in your organization can practically press a button and recite in rote, having said it over and over so many times, that too is a good candidate for video. These sorts of messages are great “evergreen” content to start with, making a stronger case for the investment because the video message is one that will not expire. Once you have demonstrated success with preliminary projects, you have justified your Phase 2.

Thanks again to Denise and to About Face Media for sharing her expertise with our audience. For those of you who missed the session but would like to view it in it’s entirety, the recording is available in our Past Webinars Library or by clicking below.

View Recorded Video Development Webinar

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