When Video IS The Answer To Your Communication Problem

Recently, the good folks over at Intranetizen published a post saying, “video is not the answer to your communication problem.”

I respectfully disagreed, and that has inspired this post, in which I talk about when video is the best answer to an internal communication problem.

Video is often a more effective communication tool than text or audio alone. Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, says “Vision trumps all other senses.” Video combines vision with audio, making it the most powerful communication medium.

This could be why video is increasingly being used in the enterprise, especially for training and benefits communication.

Below, I talk about common communication problems in the workplace, and why video can best address these problems.

Common Internal Communication Problems and How Video Can Solve Them

Lack of interest

How many times has communication failed, simply because staff did not read the memo? Of course, every body is busy, but the worse problem is when they don’t care.

If this is the case, video may be the solution. Video is popular: 55% of internet users watch online video every day.* Sometimes, employees just want a change of pace, in which case, they would happily click on a video, sit back, and watch, rather than read another document.

Let’s face it: video is more interesting than yet another memo or report. According to a study by Experian, when marketers included the word “video” in the subject line of an email, their open rates nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.*

And as long as the video is decently made, it can hold viewers’ interest. Comscore, for example, found that website visitors tend to spend two minutes longer on a site that has video, compared to a site without.*

Lack of clarity and understanding

Another common communication problem is the inability of the communicator to effectively impart their message. Or the inability of the audience to understand what is being shared.

In this case, once again, video can be a valuable tool. Video is such a rich communication medium, offering not only visuals, but also sound and text. Video imparts not just the verbal message of the person on camera, but other meta-messages, too, such as the person’s environment, facial expressions, movements, and tone of voice. In addition, background music, sound effects, visual effects, and transition can all work together to amplify the message.

No wonder, Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research says, “A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”*

Video can demonstrate steps, and show a product or people in action. It’s the best way to show, not tell.

Lack of trust

Communication can also break down when the audience members don’t trust the source of the message. Mistrust makes the audience reject the message outright, no matter how meritorious it is.

If this is the problem, then video can help. Video works better than plain text or audio alone in building rapport and gaining and trust of the audience. After all, viewers can see and hear the speaker, as well as perceive the speaker’s paralanguage. It’s a lot easier to lie on paper than it is to lie on camera.

Lack of engagement

This communication problem usually stems from a lack of interest. Lack of engagement means the audience may consume the message, but it has no effect on them. It does not change their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, or actions. In short, the communication did not achieve its objectives.

Even with this internal communication problem, video can help. Why? Because video is an engaging communication medium. It can effectively inspire and motivate people to act. For example, ReelSEO found that 4 out of 10 shoppers visit a store, either online or in person, as a direct result of watching a video.*

What’s the moral of the story?

If you want to communicate effectively — catch staff members’ attention, increase understanding, build trust, and encourage engagement, then use video. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, video alone may not be enough, but it will definitely increase your chance of communicating successfully.

In a future post, I will give you some pointers on using video effectively. Don’t worry, it doesn’t include hiring an expensive video production agency.

Do you use video in your company’s internal communication? If so, how and what advantages do you see in using video compared to text or audio alone?

* Video statistics are from threemotion.co.uk

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