If you were stranded on a desert island, what item would you most wish to be stranded with?
Radio 4 listeners will know that Boris Johnson wants a pot of French mustard, Richard Branson some notebooks and pens, and Sir David Attenborough would love a piano.
I know I would want something a bit more useful - to help me in as many ways as possible. Something like a Swiss Army Knife, or multitool.
And what about your business, trying to escape the confines of a Covid affected island, in an uncertain sea? Would you rather have a tool that can help you escape in a multitude of ways…
Or some mustard?
As the fog slowly rises from the post Covid-19 landscape, businesses around the world are gearing themselves towards adaptable working and hybrid models. A recent survey1 suggested that 13 million people in the UK plan to request permanent flexible working, once restrictions are lifted. Many of these new working models will drive an overhaul of the way businesses approach employee communications and engagement, with the result most likely being increased amounts of digital content being delivered remotely.
Many businesses are aware of video, but consider it only for brand promotion, or a way to get noticed on social media. That’s understandable if you’ve never explored the possibilities, and advantages, of working digitally before. But coming from a TV background I know that video has many forms, and as a tool it can achieve results across a whole range of applications.
Video allows you to tell the story, aka your message, in the way you want it told, and you can reinforce it by combining various types of video and content.
Of course, it very much depends on what you are trying to achieve as to what form or blend of video types is best - that’s why it’s so versatile!
Flexible working and hybrid teams will require, well flexibility!! Video can be viewed and consumed by your audience at their convenience, unlike Zoom meetings, webinars etc, and unlike documents it can’t be speed read or skimmed over, which ensures attention and retention.
Video can be used in conjunction with other forms of media to both enhance and achieve greater results, e.g. PowerPoint presentations (which themselves can be animated to increase engagement), PDF’s, emails, etc.
Let’s be honest, there isn’t really a direct substitute for face-to-face communication, but video is the closest we can currently achieve (it will be a few more years before we have holograms beaming into our homes!) After all, we only have 5 senses to work with and sight and hearing are the main ones for communication…
Video is not new to us - it does not feel alien and uncomfortable. We already understand, trust and enjoy it, consuming huge volumes daily - through TV, on social media and at work.
Pre lockdown, people watched an average of 16 hours of online content per week - a 52% increase in the last 2 years4. So, video is the obvious medium to take on the extra workload that has emerged post Covid-19.
A well-constructed video cuts to the chase. It can make the complex seem simple, and emotive content allows you to compress details and therefore time, making it punchy and easy to recall.
Whether you believe that humans have a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish5, or that that stat is just fish food6, we humans do click off video very quickly if we’re not instantly engaged - think social media feeds!
Likewise, watching a meeting or webinar replay is logistically possible but, in reality, few people have time to do it - would you? Therefore, only a small percentage of your workforce receives the messages that matter. Better to present, or at least recap, as a short, sharp video to guarantee that the message gets through…
We already know that video has the highest retention and engagement values compared to other forms of media – 95% versus just 10% for text-based comms7, but why is that?
Video not only speaks to our brains and intelligence, but it also engages us emotionally - that’s why as a society we consume so much of it. A picture is worth a thousand words, first impressions count, etc, etc – all clichés, but so for a reason! Across all the areas of work that can no longer be conducted face-to-face (e.g. conferences, training, product/services demos) video is the only medium that can generate the high levels of retention needed to have meaningful impact.
In times of crisis, people turn to what they know and trust, or else they go on word of mouth. Reputation is more important than the logo and colour scheme of a company. And even before Covid-19, ‘Responsible Business’ was seeing a surge, especially with Generation Z.
One of the most efficient ways to gain a reputation is through video. Yes, it takes time - building trust always does. But video can show the ‘human’ side of your business much more effectively than any other form of media. Don’t tell people, show them! Whether directly, or as part of existing communication it will promote your good ethics and Covid related business practices.
And once again, I’ll repeat the number 1 rule - clear, consistent business communications is paramount, as it informs and reassures, building trust and enhancing your reputation.
Most people believe they know video and know what it does - and that’s not surprising, as we all consume it daily.
But, from experience, I believe that many businesses don’t fully understand video and, more importantly, don’t fully understand the scale of what it can achieve. It is versatile, flexible, familiar, cheap, effective, simple, trustworthy, successful, etc, etc. The list goes on!
Video may not be high on your radar now, but imagine the future, post Covid, model of your business as you’d like it to be. Video can get you there faster and more effectively than you’d ever thought - and sustain you once you’re there. And it will be playing a major part in your working life for a long time to come…
For more details on any of the above, and for further support please visit our support page.
At Under the Rooftops we create content, stories and media to help your business communicate. And in times of crisis we know how important that is.
Coming from the world of intelligent documentary TV production, you’d expect us to be experts in video - and we are (ahem, blush…) We also always think of the bigger picture and will provide you with corresponding support media – be it social media stings/promos, checklists, cheat sheets, etc. It’s all part of the service….
And we know that money is tight right now for everyone, and although we can’t give you our experience, we can pass on our knowledge and teach you how to do it yourself. We’re very happy to design a simple, cost effective lesson for you - just ask.
If you’ve seen my previous articles ‘The Digital Face of Business Post Covid-19’ and ‘The Return to Work Post Covid-19’, you’ll know why video is the most effective replacement for face-to-face communications, with high levels of engagement, retention and motivation (95% versus just 10% for text-based comms2).
Even before the pandemic, 86% of consumers wanted to see more videos from businesses in 20203. Now, post pandemic, video has become even more important for your communications - with both your clients and your own people.