The Ultimate Guide to Video Messaging @Work

The Ultimate Guide to Video Messaging @Work

Learn how to use asynchronous video for better workplace communication, productivity and relationships.

by The Team @Kommute
July 2020

The Future of Video @Work

How we work together is changing. Today, more and more teams are distributed across multiple offices, working from home, or always on the go. As a result, video-based communication has become essential for effective collaboration, even when it’s not convenient. 

Until recently, professionals have only used video for real-time meetings without realizing recorded video has many uses in the workplace as well. While we often record and share videos in our personal lives, doing so at work has been largely nonexistent. 

This guide will show you how to use recorded video at work for better communication, stronger relationships and improved productivity. Video messaging is the next phase in the evolution of workplace communication, and this guide will explain why you and your team should start using it.

What is Video Messaging?

Video messaging is two-way communication using short, recorded videos. It enables the use of your voice, face, and screen to ensure the meaning behind your message gets across, without requiring a real-time conversation. If your message would be more effective if shared visually or in person, but doing so is impractical or impossible, sending a recorded video message is the perfect alternative.

Video messaging is two-way communication using short, recorded videos. It enables everyone on your team to use their voice, face, and screen to ensure important messages get communicated faster and more effectively, without requiring a real-time conversation.

Key Benefits of Video Messaging

While some benefits of video messaging are easily measured, such as saved time, other benefits are less tangible but equally important in improving communication within teams, throughout companies, and even with customers. The key benefits of video messaging are:

  • More effective communication. Unlike chat and email, video messages leverage the power of your voice, face, and screen to ensure the goal of your message is achieved. 
  • Stronger relationships. Video messaging allows you to increase the frequency and quality of your remote exchanges, strengthening personal connections across cities, countries, and continents. 
  • Increased productivity. By swapping unnecessary meetings, phone calls, and emails with quick video messages, teams reclaim valuable lost time while getting more work done. 

Video Conferencing vs. Video Messaging

Video conferencing and video messaging are distinct uses of video. We use video conference calls to gain the benefits of real-time, synchronous communication without being in the same room. But when video conferencing is inconvenient or impossible, video messaging can be a novel alternative. By recording and sharing video messages, you gain the benefits of asynchronous communication (fewer meetings and interruptions) while preserving the “face time” and intimacy of video.

Sending Emails vs. Video Messages

While email is a fast and easy way to organize, edit, and share your thoughts, it lacks the intimacy (and often clarity) of face-to-face communication. For some messages, it’s not just the text that matters, but also the manner in which it’s delivered. Sending a video message allows you to include the audio and visual cues such as tone, body language, and facial expressions that you can’t attach to an email.

Who Should Use Video Messaging?

It’s a misconception that video messaging is primarily for remote teams that can’t easily meet in person. In reality, video messages are just as useful when they travel between walls or offices as when they travel across countries or continents. No matter how your workplace is organized, you can find great use cases for video messaging.

  • Remote Teams. When coworkers and managers are not a short walk away, staying aligned, and feeling connected can be both difficult and time-consuming. Video messaging ensures that distributed team members receive adequate facetime without sacrificing valuable time to unnecessary video conference calls.
  • Multiple Offices. As companies grow and branch out into multiple offices, maintaining strong team connections and a unified culture can be challenging. Video messaging shrinks the distance between offices so teams stay on the same page and companies preserve shared core values and traditions.
  • Single Office. Even when employees are in the same office, sharing a message face-to-face isn’t always possible or convenient. Video messaging streamlines communication between coworkers by minimizing interruptions and shortening or eliminating meetings.

When to Send a Video Message

Let’s be realistic: Not every message needs to be shared using video. But there are often circumstances at work where video messaging can help you save time while retaining the benefits of face-to-face communication. You should consider sending a video message when it’s inconvenient to share something in real-time or face-to-face, but you feel that without your face, voice and/or screen:

  • Your message won’t produce the same results (ex. Coaching and motivating a team)
  • Your message won’t convey your enthusiasm (ex. Announcing a promotion)
  • Your message won’t stand out (ex. Emailing cold prospects)
  • Your message won’t prompt the desired action (ex. Scheduling a product demo) 
  • Your message is too complex to explain through text (ex. Demoing a software feature)
  • Your message won’t feel authentic and unscripted (ex. Sharing a company-wide update)
  • You won’t be able to switch to asynchronous updates (ex. Conducting daily stand-ups)
  • Your desired tone for the message might be misinterpreted (ex. Sharing feedback)
  • You might accidentally never share the message (ex. You’re too busy to write an email)

People Appreciate Video Messages

Because you are able to use your full range of communication skills, video messages often contain far more information than written emails. When your brain loses the burden of ensuring a written message has proper punctuation, grammar, spelling and tone, you are able to speak your mind with clarity and conviction. The recipient of your message will immediately notice they don’t need to interpret anything for themselves—your video message speaks for itself.

When NOT to Send a Video Message

Deciding when to share a video message isn’t difficult, but be careful—some things are better just said using email or Slack. Receivers should feel that your message was sent through video for a good reason.

Don’t let the convenience you feel when quickly recording a video message result in your coworkers feeling inconvenienced after watching a 10-second clip of you saying, “Sounds good to me.”

As a general rule, if a message doesn’t require your screen, you shouldn’t share a video message unless it’s at least 90 seconds long or it’s very important that the recipient sees your face and hears your tone. Don’t let the convenience you feel when quickly recording a video message result in your coworkers feeling inconvenienced after watching a 10-second video clip of you saying, "Sounds good to me." Otherwise, people will come to dread receiving a video message from you.

Use Cases for Video Messaging

No matter where you work, or what you do, there are many ways to communicate more effectively with recorded video. The following are some common and creative use cases for video messaging at work.

Recruiting

For most companies attracting and recruiting top talent is both essential and challenging. Implementing recorded video throughout your recruitment process will help you build stronger connections with the candidates you want to hire and ultimately gain an edge in the competitive labor market.

  • Promote open positions. Have the CEO or manager of the position record a video message that invites qualified candidates to apply, then share the video link on social media.
  • Attract passive candidates. Send personalized video messages to qualified professionals through email or by sharing the video link as a direct message on LinkedIn. 
  • Screen applicants. Send a vmail to new applicants that includes a ‘thank you for applying’ message from the manager and a list of screening questions to be answered through video reply. 
  • Extend job offers. Ask hiring managers to always send candidates a personalized video message along with the job offer, increasing the likelihood that it will be accepted. 

Onboarding

Your new hire onboarding experience isn’t just about completing paperwork but also building personal connections within the company. Video messaging can streamline onboarding tasks and timelines while creating a more informative, personalized new hire experience.

  • Welcome new hires. Ask managers, teams, or the entire company to record and send a welcoming video message to new employees before their start dates.
  • Facilitate employee introductions. Create a video channel where employees share personal introductory videos for everyone to view, and ask new hires to record a video of their own. 
  • Orient new employees. Share pre-recorded orientation videos with new employees prior to their start date so in-person orientation sessions are shorter and focused on review and discussion.  
  • Train employees. Create a reference library of training videos to teach everything from using new software, improving soft skills, and even performing real-world physical tasks.

Professional Development 

Employees today are more attracted to companies that provide them with opportunities to continually develop their skills, but it can be hard for managers to find time for professional development. Using recorded video, managers can be sure that employees receive adequate training, coaching, and career guidance without dedicating more time to developing careers.

  • Conduct training exercises. Help employees adopt best practices by creating recurring challenges to record the perfect pitch, product demo, or presentation for evaluation by managers and peers. 
  • Give coaching. Nudge managers to regularly send each team member short, personalized video messages focused on assessing and improving their professional skills.
  • Support self-learning. Create an internal library of video resources to help employees proactively manage their careers by learning new skills at their own pace and on their own time.

Employee Engagement

Employees are more productive and committed when they feel engaged, but sometimes it’s hard to give their ideas, issues, and achievements proper attention. Video messaging increases employee engagement by allowing managers to augment real-time employee conversations with asynchronous coaching, recognition, feedback, and more.

  • Motivate employees. Encourage team leaders to create a consistent habit of sending video messages to their team that keep everyone informed, inspired, and on task.
  • Give recognition. Celebrate employee milestones and achievements by recording a congratulatory video and sharing it either privately with only the employee or publicly with the entire team. 
  • Give feedback. Send a private video message to show your excitement when delivering positive feedback, or when delivering tough feedback that might be received negatively if the correct tone is not conveyed. 
  • Request feedback. Encourage input and open dialogue by giving employees the ability to share video messages when they feel a video would make it easier to convey their passion or explain their idea.

People and Culture

Creating an amazing company culture is a challenge, especially when your team is distributed across multiple offices or when everyone works remotely. Recorded video is a creative way to capture and curate the employee experiences that define your company culture, wherever they occur.

  • Showcase your culture. Encourage employees to post office or home videos to shared video channels organized by topics such as holidays, life events, and family or company traditions. 
  • Strengthen connections. Increase cross-team interaction and build camaraderie through interest-based video channels from sharing pet videos to tips for working remotely. 
  • Create fun activities. Facilitate remote team shared experiences that are made possible through recorded video such as virtual karaoke, dance challenges, and even ‘blind origami.’

Productivity

Teams are the most productive when everyone has a clear direction, the right resources, and minimal distractions. Implementing a video messaging platform will reduce everyone’s time in meetings while keeping teams more aligned and performing at their best.

  • Replace unnecessary meetings. If a meeting exists primarily to update other team members, have each participant pre-record and share their update to shorten the meeting or even eliminate it altogether.
  • Keep everyone updated. Create team and company-wide video channels for leaders and team members to share periodic updates and other important information. 
  • Communicate faster. Instead of spending a lot of time composing, formatting and editing a long email, send a quick video message to share your thoughts. 
  • Share best practices. Build an internal library of recorded video resources that document important company processes from security procedures to onboarding customers.

Sales and Marketing

Video messaging is a valuable tool for customer acquisition. Adding recorded video to your selling and marketing tactics will help you capture the attention of prospects, stand apart from competitors, and close more deals.

  • Generate leads. Ask your loyal customers to record video testimonials that can then be used on your marketing website and landing pages to increase conversion rates.
  • Re-engage cold prospects. Restart conversations with unresponsive contacts by capturing their attention with a personalized video message and call to action. 
  • Share product demos. Record your voice and screen to create full product demos or feature-specific demos that can be easily shared internally or with customers. 
  • Close more deals. Attach your sales proposal or contract to a personalized ‘thank you’ video message to increase the likelihood that you’ll win a new customer.

Customer Relationships

Retaining customers is just as important to a successful business as acquiring them. Adding recorded video to your customer support efforts will differentiate your company when communicating with customers, creating lucrative, long-lasting relationships.

  • Welcome new customers. Start off on the right foot by sending new customers a personalized video message from the CEO or the client’s account manager.
  • Create customer resources. Record a library of how-to videos to address common product questions and issues, or embed the videos in existing customer support articles. 
  • Answer support questions. Instead of writing step-by-step instructions in an email or chat, share a quick recording to show a customer exactly how to solve their problem or perform a task.
  • Improve retention. Engage customers and show appreciation by using video messages to celebrate customer anniversaries, deliver holiday greetings, share product updates and more.

Video Messaging Platforms

It might sound like recording a video at work would be a ton of...well, work. From recording yourself, to uploading the video and finally sharing it by email or message app, sharing video messages sounds like too much trouble. This was certainly true in the past, but not today.

Video messaging platforms like Kommute were built specifically to remove all the friction in creating, sharing, and organizing recorded videos. Kommute enables you to send private video messages, share videos within an organization, or record and publish videos for public access. In most cases all you need is your laptop or phone and internet connection.

Getting Started with Video Messaging

From our personal phones to our work computers, it has never been easier to communicate through video. Video messaging is revolutionizing how we communicate with our coworkers and customers. Now that you have learned how to use recorded video for better communication, relationships, and productivity, the next step is choosing a great video messaging platform. 

Kommute is a video messaging platform that can support every use case shared in this guide, and many more. To learn more visit Kommute.com.

Was this guide helpful? Let us know!

Get started with Kommute

See how video messaging can help you connect with your coworkers and customers.