Video has been employed as a corporate communications tool for decades, and its use as only grown with the need to connect colleagues virtually under lockdown. However, there’s a new development, which takes its cue from social media platforms like TikTok and Twitch. If businesses want to win friends and influence their own staff, then they are advised to ditch the stuffy top-down video monologue and engage with user-generated content.
The demand is principally to meet the expectations of those people now entering the workforce for whom video creation and sharing is a native language.
Research by video platform Socialive found 84% of enterprises experienced an increase in video content output over the last year, signaling that the next wave of video transformation — the creator economy for the enterprise — is well underway.
“Because consumers’ expectations have changed with the rise of the creator economy movement, brands need to rethink how they create video to meet those expectations,” Socialive founder and CEO David Moricca writes in Forbes. “Social media platforms have shown us that it’s no longer about creating heavily scripted videos that only feature company executives.”
He prescribes four criteria for enterprises wanting to go this route.
Taking a page from what attracts followers and subscribers to a creator on TikTok or YouTube, the need for an authentic voice is a priority.
“Humans are inherently drawn to the authenticity of a live experience, even if we’re not watching it in real time,” says Moricca. “By capturing the spirit of live video and making it available on demand, consumers and businesses alike can take the authenticity of their video experiences to the next level.”
Authenticity in video requires creating content that’s not overproduced or overly scripted, he adds, but instead captures in-the-moment spontaneity and serendipity.
Done the right way, “video can humanize the people behind a business,” he says, enabling companies to build stronger connections with their audiences in a fresh and engaging way.
Next, companies should empower their employees to generate their own content. Empower perhaps isn’t the right word, since everyone already has the tools — a smartphone — at their disposal. It’s about empowering individuals to use these tools in the corporate domain.
“Businesses should consider curating content from employees in the field to enhance their learning and development processes, build stronger communities and empower diverse voices from across the organization to tell their unique stories,” he says.
Likewise, instead of creating a one-way broadcast, “brands must prioritize interactivity by offering a direct way to engage and connect with audiences,” Moricca insists.
This, of course, may backfire. Adding participatory elements such as calls-to-action, Q&As, chats and reactions can help maintain that human connection as Moricca suggests, but can also lead to public criticism or challenge of a company message. That should help keep the company honest and in line with its own corporate social responsibilities.
The fourth piece of advice is for businesses to enable their staff — Moricca calls them storytellers — to make it easier to deliver video content at scale.
“Creating video content, which used to be a cumbersome, high-cost process restricted to those with expertise, has been made simpler. Cloud advancements have enabled the democratization of video content creation, allowing more people to produce high-quality videos. Given today’s distributed workforce, content producers need cloud-based, self-serve technology to more easily generate video content and engage with audiences.”
And, presto! By empowering more employees to create “highly dynamic video” content, brands will be better equipped to keep viewers engaged and, in turn, yield stronger relationships that build thriving employee and customer communities.