For most of human existence, we’ve been trying to come up with ways to say things to people who aren’t in the room. There have been carrier pigeons, smoke signals, semaphores, trumpets, and now SMS, emails, voicemails, movies, emojis, and snaps. But does it ever compare to face-to-face interaction?

Most would agree not. That’s because, with each of these forms, something of the message is lost. You miss out on the interplay of all the senses that comes with seeing, hearing, and reading all the non-verbal communication that we’ve evolved to receive. Yet in the device-addicted, always-connected modern landscape of business, one technology is bringing back the human spark: video.

Why is it new? Because with quick-capture technology like Vidyard GoVideo (Formerly ViewedIt), it’s finally easy. And because video has a higher informational throughput—you can say far more with less effort—it’s opening up a world of possibility for internal communications.

Here are 11 ways that video is perfect for internal communications:

1. Executive fireside chats

Fireside chats are far from a new concept, but what about internal ones? With the power of webcams or a quick camera + tripod set up, there’s no need for heavy industrial camera equipment and a marketing-led, makeup-padded production. In fact, Vidyard customers are finding that engagement rises and internal audiences watch for longer when videos are informal. Just a little lighting, maybe a hi-definition webcam, and your executives have a direct channel to the entire company.

Co-founder fireside chat internal comms video

2. Capturing meetings 

It’s always the webinar or the whiteboard brainstorming session that you didn’t think to capture that you end up needing. Erase those regrets and set up either screencapture or your laptop webcam (or both!) to document the entire thing. Save them for easy recall by tagging them by date, time, and topic.

3. Broadcasting standups

Saving team weekly or bi-weekly meetings via video helps teams remember what happened previously and allows team members who weren’t there to stay up to date.

Standup - video for internal communications

4. Keeping remote teams connected

Video communicates more than phone calls do alone and they help alleviate the alienation that remote workers can often feel. This is increasingly important as already, 43% of the U.S. workforce works remotely to some degree, reports The New York Times, and this figure is expected to grow to 50% by 2020. It’s important for your organization to nail down these video communication skills now to maintain that connection no matter what.

Want to learn more on this? Check out this post on how video is reviving culture for remote employees.

5. Walk-throughs

Ever have someone circulate an internal email on how to change your HR benefits or update an Outlook setting that looked like an impenetrable wall of jargon-filled text? Suffer those email essays no longer. Technologies like Vidyard GoVideo allow you to screen-capture while you talk so that everyone can follow along. It’s like a webinar, but without the mind-numbing complexity.

At Vidyard, we just switched from using Google Hangout video calls to Zoom video calls for our meetings. Our handy Greg Bowen made these videos for us all to learn how to switch our calendar invites:

6. Onboarding

While many organizations have onboarding processes, it’s remarkably difficult to build a bullet-proof system. Instead, new hires typically pester more senior employees with corner-case questions until they’re ramped up. This is great for team building, but bad for productivity. Senior folk who record their answers in video, need only do it once, for all future new hires. These videos can then be stored in a simple video onboarding hub for easy access.

7. Peer-to-peer messages

Some questions or problems transcend text or voicemail, and it’s easiest to ask them via video. This way, employees can walk through their thought process, lead their peers up to where they got stuck, and invite their responses.

8. Tribal knowledge data dumps

Whenever a teammate reaches an “aha moment” and discovers something critical, it’s not unusual for people to gather around their desk to see. Usually, the knowledge transfer ends there. With video, however, you can Turn Employees into Advocates by having them share their newly won tribal knowledge with a wider group and save it for future new hires.

9. Product feedback

Constant feedback is crucial to agile development teams but more often than not, they either have to hunt through analytics or interview users to get it. With simple video capture, product teams can solicit feedback from across the organization to hear, see, and watch reactions from everyone in a client-facing role.

10. Product announcements

If a product team wants to demonstrate a new feature, it’s not uncommon for leadership to gather everyone into conference halls or onto webinars for a demonstration. If your product team works in sprints that are measured in weeks, this is impractical, and announcements must either wait or developers must pack it all into the release notes and hope that people read it. With video, these teams can simply show how the feature works in real-time and track to see who has actually watched.

When we first launched Vidyard GoVideo internally, our product champion, Daryna Kulya, shared a video with us all with the details we needed to know:

11. Marketing announcements

As a marketer, there are few things worse than hearing what your new marketing message has evolved into after it’s gone through the telephone-game process of making its rounds through the company. Video, on the other hand, allows you to distribute your exact phrasing, intonation, and wording directly to everyone in the company to a place where they can return whenever they wish. It’s also really great to communicate a marketing launch to the whole company. Check out this video I created to announce the launch of our Video Selling Institute:

Video is ideal for internal communications and can be had for a fraction of the cost of raising a roost of hardy carrier pigeons. And the best part? We haven’t even discovered half of the uses yet. Be part of the video shift—download the Vidyard GoVideo plugin and see what your organization comes up with!

Kimbe MacMaster