Monday, 23 May 2011

The case for video as an internal communication method for small to medium enterprises.

There can be no doubt that video production as an internal communication method for large multi-nationals can be of great benefit to those companies, but what's the case for SMEs?

An SME employs between 1 and 250 people and turnover can be up to €50 million; in a company with 250 employees it's easy to see how an internal communication by video could save money and time, especially if those employees are located in different buildings, cities or even countries.

Change management, or policy change issues can often be effectively communicated by video. As usually the issues surrounding these changes can be complex, thus to deliver these changes via email, memo or any other normal convention, can be either ineffective and or expensive.

Ask a thousand employees at a thousand different companies, of varying amounts and types of department; 'Are you over worked and is your department under subscribed?' Most of them would answer yes. Thus information about company changes disseminated by email or series of meetings is likely to achieve fairly low retention levels, especially if this information is being disseminated by over worked managers!

Video works as a delivery method mainly because the modern workforce is made up of a collection of internet savvy employees who are used to watching youtube and other video sharing websites to get their news, gossip and entertainment. Add to that the fact that we're in a social media boom, whereby video has become part of the popular lexicon and the case for video is clear.

But that's OK for a company with dozens or maybe even a couple of hundred employees, but what of smaller businesses with between 3 and 10 employees, can there be any possible reason to use video as an internal communication for these enterprises?

As far as change management and policy changes are concerned you'd think not, however as far as training and health & safety are concerned there could be a compelling case for a lot of small businesses. All businesses are required under UK law to provide adequate health & safety provisions and training to their staff.

This could be as simple as having a fire extinguisher and a first aid box and lessons on how to sit properly at your computer, to much more complex and detailed requirements set by the health & safety executive relevant to the particular industry. Using video in these circumstances can save time with new employees and can also be constantly used to keep longer term employees up to scratch.

The same could be said for training, whether it be sales & marketing training or operational training, the case for video is obvious, the training remains consistent rather than changing over time like a Chinese whisper and it can be reviewed again and again.

So overall the case for video as an internal communication method for SMEs is strong, no doubt stronger in some cases than others, but still relevant across the spectrum.

Double R Productions website 

What role does video play for the modern startup?

In the not too distant past, as a start up business the use of video as a promotional tool would have been way down the list for the fledgling business. Most start ups today though, would probably list 'getting the right online video presence as being right near the top of their priority list.

But as an owner or director of a start up, how can you be sure you're maximising your potential when it comes to video? How much of your initial start up budget should be allocated to video production? And how can you be sure of getting it right?

Viral video production can be an expensive business, a decent well shot and well scripted viral could set you back around £2500 which could represent a fair percentage of your startup costs. If you do go down the viral route how can you be sure that the video does indeed 'go viral' and get shared around. And an even bigger consideration, if it does get shared around, will enough of your potential customers see it and visit your site and enquire and or buy your products or services?

The main thing to remember is that youtube, as popular as it is, is not the be all and end all of video sharing websites. There are a plethora of sites out there that the new business startup can place their videos on and get seen by if not millions of people at first then at least the Googlebots.

Though Google try and keep secret their exact criteria for relevancy, it is clear that video helps push a site up the rankings, especially popular videos. Popularity isn't always about simple hits on the video, but also about how many different blogs and sites that a particular video is linked to and shared on.

Complete views play a big part in video popularity, so someone coming to a video and not completing their viewing is not seen by Google as a hit, thus the case for snappy and engaging video is strengthened.

Whilst it might seem counter intuitive to the start up business to give away anything for free, imparting knowledge via video tutorials either on sites like or specific interest forums, greatly increases the chance of being linked to and shared.

A simple promotional video can is better than no video at all and can often be the most effect type, the 'does what it says on the tin' type promotion targets information hungry potential customers, who are irritated by glossy, frilly promotions. However making a no frills video, should not be confused with making a poorly shot and badly edited video, this often problem often arises when the startup tries to save money by not spending enough or even making the video themselves.

The negative impact of a poorly produced and poorly thought out video is as bad as a well thought, well made one is good, but much, much harder to measure and asses. Ultimately there's nothing wrong with making your own video, or even paying a small amount for your video, but the new start up has to make sure that the results are as good as they can be for the particular production decision.

A start up that immediately starts employing people on a premises has other worries and commitments that the sole trader or small partnerships perhaps don't have. Health & safety and staff training are two such worries, health & safety being compulsory ans staff training at the very least prudent and at most absolutely crucial.

So does video have a role to play in these areas? Possibly not at first for a lot of businesses as health & safety requirements for say an office based business can be easy to comply with, without the use of video. However in certain industries, the case for video grows stronger, as it can enable the company to comply in a consistent manner, save time and thus money and protect the company from any litigation resulting from accidents in the work place.

The training videos benefits are obvious, techniques and regulations can be regularly reviewed and referred to, maximising time and resources.

Double R Productions website