Video is here to stay – but there’s work to do

Tereza Urbankova, Head of Communications at Amec Foster Wheeler loves the power of video but sees obstacles to overcome

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Tereza Urbankova, Head of Communications, Amec Foster Wheeler

Video is here to stay. It has gone beyond entertainment and developed into a critical tool in business, corporate and marketing communication. Why is it so popular, and what’s needed to make it easier to do brilliantly?

Video blogs from executives and generally videos as an effective communication channel have been rising to prominence for some time. They offer an innovative way to communicate with all stakeholders. They allow communicators to put a friendly face and voice to sharing information.

On social media, you’ll now see almost as much video content as photographs. In many organisations, it has become an integral part of a communication mix.

According to Forbes, 75% of executives watch videos on business websites at least once a week, while 65% say they visited vendors’ websites after viewing a video. A Hubspot study shows 55% of users finish watching a video to the end, compared with only 29% who read blog posts in their entirety. This is so important in the current times of information overload as communicators want to target audiences in the most effective way.

Why do people love video?

Video takes less effort and time to consume, which plays into hands of our short attention span. It has the power to stimulate and establish an emotional connection which an email may not be able to achieve, and it is dynamic and immersive. Film can grab viewers’ attention quickly, and as viewers use two senses when watching it, the delivery of the intended message is more impactful.

Video has also been proven to have a better effect on retention of information. According to research, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and video information is processed by the brain 60,000x faster than text. In addition, impact can be measured and results used to analyse audiences and their preferences. Video platforms offer an opportunity for feedback, so essential in effective two-way communication.

How are enterprises using video?

There is a lot of research showing video is here to stay and grow. The recent State of Video in the Enterprise research conducted by Kaltura confirms that it is on the rise with 53% respondents saying they produced more videos in 2017 than the previous year and 34% produced the same amount.

Internally, companies see the value of video in improving communication, recruiting, onboarding and training employees better and faster, and empowering knowledge sharing. It can also make executives more personal and approachable.

Externally, film has gained its place in brand awareness, sales, customer/partner training, lead generation, public events and customer service. Over the past couple of years, it has cemented its position as a formidable marketing and business communications tool with live streaming dominating the market: about 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% would prefer live video to written social media updates.

Video popularity keeps growing, thanks in part to all the social platforms and more companies supporting the format. I believe 2018 will be an even bigger year for video as it is no longer a cool new way to interact. It’s an expectation for a brand and a great way to engage audiences.

It’s not all plain sailing

Based on my experience, video has demonstrated its strong impact on audiences. But there are obstacles to overcome as companies still do not make it easy for full integration of video into a communication mix.

Among the issues I’ve experienced in an organisation are a lack of:

  • Easy-to-use tools for capture (except user generated videos as smart phones continuously improve)
  • Simpler workflows for publishing
  • A single centralised system for those who create video
  • Good editing tools
  • Proper training and support
  • Integration with other existing communication platforms
  • Consistent network bandwidth in offices, which prevents all employees having the same seamless experience.
  • Sound cards and headphones in desktop computers. We must give employees all the tools they need to view content
  • Last but not least, adequate funds set aside by budget holders for professional videos which cannot be made in house.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the power of video is limitless. Research has proven it is a favourite content consumption tool for many. Let’s put more effort in as video is a primary method of communication of the future.


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