By Ian Brownhill, Managing Director and Senior Consultant, BergHind Joseph

Why choose video to communicate?

Two billion. The number of hits that YouTube gets in a day, as not only a viewing platform but as a search tool too – making it the second largest search engine in the world (after Google).

But why has YouTube become such a popular platform? And why are we turning to it for information? Put simply, and to refer to that well known phrase “there’s an app for that”, there now appears to be a video for it too – broadening the way we are communicating and granting people access to content that powerfully informs, entertains and even shocks.

Video & society

However, the fascination with YouTube, or (more importantly) video, extends far beyond the realms of needing to be entertained and informed. Its popularity has derived from something far more highbrow – a shift in society and our behaviours.

If you think about the way we operate today we are constantly grappling with time and a need for more of it. We have inordinate social pressures – rushing from social engagement to social engagement; working longer than ever before (spending 5 hours more at work each week than our EU colleagues); and having an increasing reliance on smartphones so that we are never really “switched off”. The result? We have become a time poor generation that can’t afford to spend huge amounts of time on one thing or to search for information, an idea, a product or service.

It’s this very thinking that has driven the popularity of video: a media that seems to solve our desire to get information more quickly and concisely whilst on the move.

Video & business

Whilst the idea of using video is by no means a new concept, corporations have only recently started to embrace it and taken note of stakeholder’s need to engage with and understand businesses through this channel.

This notion was reflected in BergHind Joseph’s 2012 Global Players study, which highlighted a marked shift in the way brands (be it B2B or B2C) were communicating. It was here that a number of companies demonstrated a willingness to invest in professionally-shot video footage as a realisation had been made: stakeholders want to quickly understand an organisations offer, what it stands for, and the position it takes when it came to things such as social responsibility.

Here’s how some organisations (as featured in 2012 Global Players) are embracing this idea:

- Microsoft, Deutsche Post DHL and Lockheed Martin have created a series of short videos that share employees’ personal (and therefore more authentic and engaging) take on working life and career prospects within the business

- GE has created insightful videos that share the latest topics they are researching and developing new technologies for

- Nokia has developed a well-paced video in which members of the Microsoft and Nokia design teams tell us about their ‘shared belief in keeping things simple and pushing boundaries of conventional design’ when it came to developing the new Nokia smartphone: Lumia 800.

The fact that these brands (and others) are actively using video to talk about complex issues and ideas reinforces the notion mentioned earlier: society and the way we behave and consume information has shifted.

To demonstrate this idea, we only need look back at how stakeholders received business communications ten to twenty years ago; a time when few of us would have cared or striven to understand the intricacies of such things like a business’s sustainability policy, and when we most certainly wouldn’t have let it play a role in our purchasing decisions.

Fast forward to today, however, and the ‘information age’ has created a newer, savvier type of stakeholder who demands so much more from businesses, along with far more transparent, truthful and authentic communication.

Video in the smaller business

It’s not just larger corporations that are using video to communicate with stakeholders, however. What’s more, it’s important to realise that this communication tool no longer sits with companies that have big marketing budgets. The accessibility to video and demand for it now means it’s a viable (and affordable) communication platform for smaller organisations too.

This is reflected by the level of support available today within the market: from assistance in developing a compelling story for your video, to support for driving traffic to a video after the ‘final cut’. Video is no longer a ‘misunderstood’ communication tool that resides in the big broadcasting houses or of ad agencies. It’s now accessible to all.

Want to find out more about the power of video in business communication?

Watch our recent video series on ‘Why use video for business communication?’; ‘What ingredients make a great business video?’ and ‘What returns can video offer a business?’

Ian Brownhill: Ian has over 20 years’ experience of working in research, project management and strategic leadership roles for a range of organisations including Which?, London Transport and the Prince of Wales’s Charities Group. Contact him on 020 7407 7788 or email him at ian@berghindjoseph.com

BergHind Joseph: BergHind Joseph is a creative communication agency that uses design, research and strategic thinking across all digital, print and experiential media, to help ambitious businesses build their reputation.