Corporate videos put employees in the frame

Many people use YouTube and Facebook to achieve “15 minutes of fame” in their personal lives by making videos about their interests and enthusiasms. Now employers are encouraging them to do the same at work.

Reality TV has been a big influence, and everyone wants to be on camera now, says Vern Hanzlik, executive vice-president of Qumu, a video management software company. “Video is becoming a much more mainstream method of internal communications for companies, from the chief executive to junior employees,” he adds.

This was borne out in an international survey of 300 companies in February and March this year by Kaltura, another video management software company. Some 70 per cent of respondents said they regard video as essential for internal communication, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

More than three-quarters agreed that video provides a “nearly in-person” experience, making messages powerful in a way that written communication cannot and helping connect geographically divided employees.

The problem is video’s voracious appetite for bandwidth and storage space. “Video clogs up corporate networks, so you need the infrastructure for intelligent routing and streaming,” says Mr Hanzlik. This is the aim of products such as Qumu and Kaltura.

Bayer piloted Qumu last year when it held a singing contest to celebrate its 150th anniversary. It invited employees to upload videos of their performances to its corporate network, assess each other’s rendering of the specially commissioned song, share their favourites and vote for winners.

The contest was a huge success, attracting 200 entries and 680,000 viewings, says Thomas Helfrich, Bayer’s global head of social media. “It was unbelievable to see how excited contestants were, and the venues and styles they came up with,” he says.

“There were entries from more than 50 countries, including China, Mexico, Machu Picchu and the oldest stadium in Uruguay.” But they comprised 100 terabytes of data and there was no way Bayer’s existing network would have been able to cope.

Qumu handled the task so smoothly that Bayer has since adopted it for all its videos. Philips had similar success with Kaltura last November, when it asked employees to make videos of what the company’s brand meant to them.

The aim was to build staff awareness of Philips’ three businesses – healthcare, consumer/lifestyle and lighting. Again there was an enthusiastic response, says Paul Osgood, Philips’ head of internal communications.

A Philips employee in Brazil filmed himself cycling through São Paulo, contrasting a dingy and deserted neighbourhood, which felt dangerous, with a brightly-lit street where people were partying on the pavement. A female employee in the US made a video demonstrating how different her headphones made her life while jogging.

“People loved watching the videos and they went viral,” Mr Osgood says, but without Kaltura this could have brought down the Philips network. The software also lets Philips integrate the videos with its in-house TV channel, so that they can be viewed on TV screens by people working in factories where they do not have PCs.

Video management software makes the approvals process much more efficient, says Bayer’s Mr Helfrich. Many Bayer videos have to be checked for compliance and intellectual property issues such as copyright, patents and trademarks.

The software also provides better security than ad hoc systems built in-house. This was important at Bayer, where videos need to be stored securely for legal reasons and to ensure data privacy. “We wanted an application we could run in a protected environment with access restricted to employees,” Mr Helfrich says.

Ease of use is crucial for such software to be adopted widely across an organisation. The simplicity of Qumu meant that some 25,000 people had largely taught themselves how to use it by the end of the contest.

“We invested nothing in training beyond making a short online tutorial,” Mr Helfrich says. “It involved far less effort and education than usual when introducing new software.”

The next big step with corporate video, says Mr Osgood, will be giving staff access to it on their mobile phones. In the Kaltura survey, 75 per cent of respondents said that the ability easily to include video in corporate emails, social media and instant messaging would play an important role in the near future.

Employers are becoming much more receptive to the idea of their staff making and sharing videos, says Michal Tsur, Kaltura’s president and co-founder. “Three years ago, managers worried that employees might say the wrong thing, so their focus was on moderating, patrolling and reporting tools,” Mr Tsur says.

“But there has been a change in culture towards empowering employees. Organisations are recognising that communication need not be just top down, but can be bottom up, and that employees may have information that chief executives do not.”

Organisations have also realised that videos can help identify talent, spot charismatic employees and get more information from and about them, Mr Tsur says.

All this may be good for employees wanting to raise their profile at work. But as with other online activities, they would do well to check what they might subsequently be able to remove, should circumstances alter. Otherwise people may find their “fame” lasting longer than they bargained for.

Reeldeahd and nowhouse created OfficeBlink a unique corporate video format.  We successfully produced a series of video insights in these companies that was used for recruitment and social media. Would you like to learn more about how corporate video can help your company then please contact sales@reeldealhd.com

 

Three Big Reasons Why Every Brand Needs an ‘About Us’ Video

While many people now realize the value of traditional videos like a sales and marketing video or a training video, they are just now starting to realize the incredible value of an About Us video. It’s a great time to pitch new and past clients on this powerful tool that can be used in so many ways. The great thing about an About Us video is that it’s so versatile. Clients can use them for marketing and branding as well as recruiting and educating. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use video to further your corporate message.

#1 For Marketing and Branding

The About Us page is often the second most popular page on a website, second only to the home page. People want to know who is behind the product or service. Having a video on the About Us page allows a deeper understanding of the people who they will be dealing with if they select the company.

The best way to approach an About Us video is to start the video with an interview of a past client. Allowing your prospects to view your company through the eyes of a client allows you to establish credibility and empathy in a powerful way. The client reinforces your marketing and branding messages by talking about their experience as well as how and why they chose your company. While not all companies want to include a client testimonial, I highly recommend it. Your prospect likely have the same needs and concerns. While your competition might be focused on text and photos that are meant to show how great they are, you will be focusing on your client’s needs.

Branding messages and marketing messages should also be bolstered through the company’s representatives. It’s a good idea for the company representatives to talk about this client and others and how they serve the needs of all their clients. Through allowing potential clients to “meet the people” in your company, you’ll be able to establish a greater bond. I also recommend really showing your passion for your business in these types of videos. Your text on the page can cover the facts. But, video can create an engaging, emotional connection. Keeping site visitors engaged longer on your site also helps in your search engine optimization. Since people are very likely to view this page, it’s a great idea to keep them engaged and show them your passion through the most powerful communication tool available – video.

One of the best examples of marketing and branding comes from Dollar Shave club, who took a controversial, yet powerful approach to reach new consumers:

#2 For Recruitment

When people hear about your company’s job openings, they will almost assuredly visit your website and check out your About Us page. Having a video that prospective applicants can watch is a great idea. They can get a feel for who you are and who you serve. They should also gain a greater understanding of your values and your mission. It’s also a great idea to include your staff in the video so that the job seekers get a feel for your company’s diversity and the attitude and demographics of the people working there.

Prospective clients and job seekers should also learn the history of the company. Through all of this subtle information, the applicant finds out whether they might be a good fit for your company and whether your company is a good fit for them. Today’s employers realize the value of recruiting someone who feels at home and will stay. The About Us video is another tool for engaging prospects and helping to reduce the wasted time of interviewing someone who really wouldn’t be a good fit and doesn’t realize it until they show up at your office. The following is a fantastic example of a recruitment video, from Apple:

A slightly less formal approach can be risky but in certain areas, like tech start-ups, it can work. We love this recruitment video from SnazzyRoom, which doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but still gets the message across:

#3 For Employee Buy-in

Educating your current associates and your new hires about your company is a great additional value from your About Us video. Anyone who applies to your company, becomes a client, or already works for there should be able to quickly and effectively articulate your company’s value in the marketplace. Having current associates watch the video and having new hires view it during an orientation will give all your staff a better understanding of your company’s overall value. Almost every employer realizes that when one of their associates is asked to “tell someone about the company”, many people struggle with what to say. Educating current and new associates about your company’s history and value is crucial to strengthening your brand. Of course, many company videos are kept in-house so only employees get to see them. If you are going to make any corporate videos public, then don’t make the mistake of producing embarrassing content that your staff or clients will want to disassociate themselves from, like this offering from the IRS:

So, creating one, strong, inclusive About Us video will help you land more clients, bolster your search engine optimization, hire associates who are more likely to stay, and increase your current staff’s understanding of your value in the market. What a great investment! It’s like hiring a salesperson who works 24/7 on your website.

Why not let us help you make your marketing budget go further?  Email Robert Baldwin or call +44 (0) 7922 138 666.

 

Peek of the week – Jewels

165 years of history come together in Cartier’s first short film L’Odysée Cartier

‘L’Odyssée de Cartier’ is a visual spectacular of cutting edge special effects, which explores the fine jeweller’s archives and back-story in a bid to showcase the brand to both existing customers, emerging markets and a new generation.

A gorgeous commercial for Vanessa Bruno new Summer collection:

Guardian open journalism: Three Little Pigs advert

This advert for the Guardian’s open journalism, screened for the first time on 29 February 2012, imagines how we might cover the story of the Three Little Pigs in print and online. Follow the story from the paper’s front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion

NSPCC’s Final Verse campaign triumphs at Best awards

Charity’s X Factor-style campaign for its Childline service is named ad campaign of the year:

We couldn’t leave it out our own U | Clothing “look book” video for AW12

And we finish of with a Beautiful time-lapse of the Carnival in Rio