7 Ways for Businesses to Use Online Video (Besides Marketing!)

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Online video has been there a while already in the form of YouTube, marketing videos striving to go viral, and software & company presentations – some with great success, and some with pretty stereotypical components.

Be that as it may, many companies haven’t yet understood/found the enormous potential of online video in other fields than marketing. This article will showcase seven concrete application areas to give you a better understanding of the countless opportunities hidden there ‘outside the box’ and traditional way of utilizing video.

1. Internal Communications

Almost as evident use case as marketing, video holds immense possibilities for internal communication. The concrete application areas include event recordings, sharing of internal news, enriching intranet, holding internal video blogs, sending CEO greetings, informing about the organizational situation, etc.

I’ve learnt that communication can (hardly) never be perfect. However, online video will bring it much closer to this before-too-far-standing goal. According to studies, people have a tendency of remembering roughly 10% out of what they read after three days. In contrast, the same number for video (that stimulates both their auditory and visual senses) is a staggering 68%!

Moreover, the bone of contention of ‘How to get employees to use intranet?’ can be alleviated by embedding videos into intranets because this makes them more vivid and drives more employees to use the platform.

Needless to say, video works. It is more enjoyable to watch a video than to read long PDFs. It is more easily understandable than plain text where no tone of voice can be heard. Video is more efficient, effective and captivating way to communicate a message. Use videos!

2. HR & Recruiting

If you’ve ever worked for a large organization with multiple offices you should be aware of the challenges when trying to train and develop the personnel with reasonable costs. You don’t want to become too distant (traditional eLearning with plain text) but then again you cannot afford going to all of your offices around the globe. May I present the obvious: online video.

In today’s global business environment, online video is a perfect format for 1) competence development, 2) knowledge sharing, 3) induction processes, 4) training event recordings and 5) video-CV’s.

Out of these five I’d like to pinpoint particularly the knowledge sharing. This is because especially large organizations have employees all around the world and people retire, get sick or worse every day. For the irreplaceable know-how and best practices they’re possessing, recording it into online video lets you to utilize that knowledge at any place, anytime and on any device.

An example, maybe Juan in Argentina is the best in giving persuasive presentations so he makes a 5min video where he explains his tips & tricks, and then Elena in Moscow can watch it three months later when she’s struggling to construct the perfect presentation for an event.

The component of repetitive learning is the key here and the same applies to competence development, training event recordings, and especially induction processes. Why not make videos which explain the basics of corporate culture, work ethics, job assignments, and other factors which are set and don’t change that often? Video can save some serious money and time there and should at least be considered by every organization.

For video-CV’s there’s the same benefit: saving time and thereby resources. How much time you save when you ask the Top10 applicants to make a video of themselves (answering some certain questions) and then interview the Top3 of them compared to interviewing all ten, or even more!

3. IT

Are you still deploying a new IT system with classroom trainings? Kindly said, wake up to the 21st century! People demand training material which is on-demand, i.e. learnable whenever, wherever and on whatever device they like to use – exactly when the need occurs. To make this as comprehensive and easily followable as possible video has proven to be the perfect communication channel/format for IT system training.

In addition to IT deployments and the initial training, online video works splendidly for continuous support as well! This eases HelpDesk’s workload and also saves the time of employees as they don’t need to wait to get the answer, but they receive it instantly.

4. Customer Training & Support

The same features apply for customer training and support as for IT in the previous chapter: Giving your customers the possibility to understand how to use a solution at anytime, any place and on any device. Especially if you’re a global organization with customers at every time zone, would you yourself prefer having to wait for a while before receiving support from someone through phone or a chat OR getting the answer right away in a format where someone both tells you AND shows you the answer? I’d choose the latter one. I’d choose online video.

5. Strategy Implementation

Have you ever been building up a strategy for a company? If yes, then you know it’s anything but a small particle for businesses. Quite the contrary, strategy is one of the core foundations of successful companies, and that’s why it is given so much time and resources to concept the best possible strategy.

But when it comes to the implementation process, too often it is communicated in a few full-auditorium spectacles and reminder emails whereas with online video the C-suite and management consultancies could give a more humane, clearer and more easily understandable explanation of the strategy to all the employees at anytime and anywhere. To boost, empowering the employees themselves to tell how their jobs will change to better or become easier, gives the message more credibility while becoming both more easily understandable and trustworthy, e.g. “Hey, it’s Elona from the Accounting Dept., I know her and trust her! If this is good for her, I believe it’ll be good for me as well.”.

Try it out. 1) Make a video of the core areas of your strategy. 2) Interview the employees to really go to the grass roots. 3) Share it in online video format to make it easily “digestible” and possible to pick up at any point of one’s day.

6. Sales

Still doing cold calls, follow ups and sending quotes in emails? Ever thought “Will they understand this correctly?” and then end up writing too many paragraphs to explain what the slides and the offering are all about? Ever felt this would be so much more easier if you could just go and tell and show them but you can’t get the chance to present it to the C-suite or the other too-busy people?

Make an online video. 1) That way they see you and hear you and you can be more trustable. 2) They will understand your message better by hearing the tone of your voice. 3) You can emphasize the core areas and sum up the main benefits. But make it quick, preferably less than 2-3 minutes to keep them concentrated.

For cold calling, you could first send your prospect a general video [by general I mean targeted at least for a certain department] and call them a few days later. They might have watched it and seen you already and you’re that much closer to scheduling a meeting.

As a last tip, constructing a “Sales Channel” where salespeople tell their closing stories, share best practices and know-how from their cases can seriously improve your sales and keep everyone on a map on what’s happening. To boost, this channel can also work as an incentive in a form of gamification by keeping track who are the best salespeople!

7. For Fun and Lifting Up the Spirit!

To end up on the fun side let’s not forget the immense possibilities video has for the enjoyment and storytelling. Especially the latter one has been a hot topic when talking about improving both employee engagement and retention as well as in creating meaning. This is because “Employees need more than information. They need something to believe in, something to be a part of. Stories help create meaning, and videos tell stories better than almost any other medium available. (Qumu).

For the fun side, imagine launching internal events with “promotional videos” and sharing “Best of” videos from the year and summaries of great parties to lift up the team spirit. That’s something I’ve experienced and personally have loved it every single time.

What do you think? Do you see your organization could/should utilize online video more comprehensively in all areas and not just marketing? Or is your organizations already doing that? If so, are the application areas among the ones I just listed or are they something completely different? Let us know in the comments! I will appreciate all of them!

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