Three Reasons Video Isn’t Just for Marketing Anymore

The data is clear. Video is a must-have component of any modern-day strategic marketing plan. But in case you’ve been stuck with your nose in a paperback book lately, here is some of what we know about the impact of video:

  • 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product helps their decision-making process;
  • 65% of execs visit websites and 39% of them call vendors after viewing a video, according to Forbes; and
  • 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days, says the Online Publisher’s Association

So, given that videos produce such great results, why aren’t we regularly using video more broadly in the organization? That’s the question I asked myself last year. I’ve watched Sterling’s creative team produce beautiful, inspiring, and compelling client videos for years now, and frankly, I was jealous. Silicon Valley is a tight labor market where conveying a sense of corporate culture in within a minute can be a tremendous competitive advantage. So, I pushed for creating a series of employee- and candidate-centered videos. Here’s what we’ve learned from the process so far:

1. A good recruiting video is a great way to attract the right talent in a tight market. If you think about it, marketing to top talent is just as important as marketing to your customers. And, at Sterling, we’re always on the lookout for the right “fit,” not just the right set of skills. A well-produced authentic video that captures and conveys your company culture will definitely set you apart; moreover, it will attract the kind of people who will thrive in your company. As importantly, many poorly suited candidates will self-select out. And, as an added bonus, employees are not just willing, but eager to share fun videos about themselves and their company…so the network effect can be huge.

When Sterling shared that recruitment video, the positive impact was both powerful and fast. Not only did we have a new tool to advertise our positions through traditional mediums, our employees became brand ambassadors using their own social networks to spread the word. The result? Far better candidates for our culture.

2. Onboarding is more fun with video. At Sterling, as soon as a candidate signs the offer letter, we create a brief personal welcome video explaining what our newest employee can expect during Week #1. We use the video to: a) introduce team members they might not have met during the interview process; b) show them how to complete the new hire paperwork before they start; and c) outline their orientation schedule. This gets them familiar with their new workplace and teammates, and ensures that they are prepared for orientation.

But onboarding videos don’t have to be customized for each new hire. Have a sprawling corporate campus? Create a virtual tour to help your new hires find their way around. Is your team really large? Record 15-second intros for new team members to watch before their first day. Does your CEO have an important message for all newcomers? Create a short welcome video, like this one Marianne O’Connor recorded for Sterling.

3. Video increases the effectiveness of professional development — and employee satisfaction. We are a distracted bunch these days and video, when done well, holds our attention longer and helps us better retain information. It is estimated that 65% of all people are visual learners. We also know that most of us consume video daily and prefer it to textual information. And, on top of all that, a recent Forrester Research survey found that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than they are to read documents, emails, or web articles.

Training videos DON’T have to be boring or over-structured. In fact, some of our employees’ favorite training videos are minimally edited group meetings on important topics. We just set up a video camera in the room and, with minimal editing, we make the session into an evergreen tutorial for new employees. Panel discussions are also great to record for future use.

The bottom line is that we’ve learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t over the course of producing our own internal video series. So, if you have any questions or simply want a sounding board, you’re welcome to reach out! (And if you don’t have a video crew of your own, we’re happy to help you with that, too.)

Tiffany Bryant is the vice president of operations at Sterling Communications. You can reach her and the creative team at creative@sterlingpr.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyb.