Here we go again. Over the course of two weeks, three states ushered in lockdowns as Australia continues to shut off from the rest of the world.
This also means that meetings and presentations that were set to take place in person have once again gone virtual.
The worst part is that this on-off approach to lockdown will be our new normal until our vaccination rate ticks up to a manageable level.
For the remainder of this year — at a minimum — your next big meeting, sales pitch or presentation could become a webinar or video in an instant. You will have little notice to adjust.
This time around, however, some companies are more prepared than others. The lessons they learned in video communications from 2020 are being dusted off and re-used now to cushion the disruption lockdowns are having on their business.
They are helping keep teams connected, productive and building a sense of community when COVID restrictions are keeping them far apart. They are also helping companies sell and continue operating despite continually changing conditions.
One of the biggest questions that we are often asked is how you integrate video into company culture and encourage its adoption across the team. It’s not an easy task.
Often what we find is that one area of the business — be it marketing or HR — is the first to adopt video and then they champion its rollout across the company.
But what if you don’t have time to wait for a gradual upskilling and uptake of video? How can you expedite the process?
Here are some tips we’ve formulated from working with hundreds of companies around the globe to rollout their video strategy.
Set the agenda early
The first, most logical step, is to set the agenda for how you will use video. Are you using video to provide daily team updates? Will you be using video to attract new prospects, engage existing leads, or as follow-up after-sales calls? Will video replace your hour-long town hall meetings? This scope can grow over time, but keeping it narrow at first will help with adoption and training.
The key difference between companies that really succeed with video and others that just do it for the sake of it, tying this goal to a key ROI metric that resolves a genuine pain point in the business.
This was the case with AstraZeneca Australia, who originally pulled video into their business to help explain complex processes and procedures to the entire team spread across Australia — something that would take endless emails to achieve the same result. That strategy then grew to profile staff, share achievements, and eventually became a medium to announce major news to the public.
Expecting a company-wide shift to happen overnight is unrealistic. Start narrow, have a clear goal in mind and the scope of your use of video will expand naturally over time.
Polish external comms, but be raw with internal comms
One of the biggest misconceptions with video is that every piece of content you create has to be polished and professional. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the most common concerns we deal with is that most feel they don’t have the time to create quality content, so they don’t bother. Letting your staff know early that they don’t have to create a masterpiece each time they go to shoot a video will dismantle a key barrier to adoption.
YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have set the tone for what we expect from most videos. It’s to the point, edited but still scrappy, authentic and raw. This is what you should aim for with internal communications via video in most settings.
Video like this can be immensely powerful in creating culture and community in remote work settings. During the last lockdown, Insurance firm DUAL used video to host workouts, cooking classes, and meditation. Their CEO — who is also a Black Dog mental health ambassador — also used video to provide some insight into his life, family and offer coping strategies for lockdown.
Our suggestion for companies trying this out would be to do something similar. Run a competition over video, or ask your staff to capture a moment of their day that’s special to them and share it with the team. It’s a fun way to get the team thinking about video and how to use it more regularly.
External video — for social or sales — is different and depends on your brand strategy and how you are trying to communicate with your audience. But the same principles still apply: The best videos are short, to the point and not overly elaborate.
Get support if you need it
It is entirely possible to run a video strategy without any external support — there are plenty of companies who do. But ideally, you need at least one person — working with or within the organisation — who is championing video and enabling everyone else to get the most out of it.
This role usually involves consulting about video, light editing, and coaching others on how to use it. They also need to work out the pain points that are hindering your video strategy.
While it may be tempting to go all-in on video now that we’re in lockdown again, a knee-jerk switch to a video strategy without any support or guidance will not only waste time but will also frustrate your team.
Video can be an incredibly powerful tool in the workplace and its importance has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s another really key benefit, beyond bolstering your company’s resilience to lockdowns, in adopting a video strategy. You’ll also be upskilling your team with knowledge and tools that will be essential for work going forward.
Much like the transition from typewriters to computers in the 70s, video is fast becoming an essential workplace skill. While it can be tough and your team may initially question the point of the transition, they’ll also greatly benefit in the long-term from your efforts to ingrain video in the business.
- Mike Pritchett is the founder and CEO of Shootsta