How to make video announcements that stand out

It’s no surprise that we need new ways of communicating at work, especially in this age of remote employees and distributed teams. Email had its day in the sun, but it just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Compared to email and printed media, video is a much more effective way to engage and activate team members with your most important announcements. And making your own video announcements is easier than you might think.

This guide walks you through all the steps for creating and delivering video announcements in lieu of presentations, text, or graphics traditionally delivered by email.

Why video announcements when an email will do just fine?

You’re not imagining it. Your employees are not reading your emails.

The Washington Post once estimated that if you start working at age 21, retire at age 67 and check your inbox twice a day, you’ll spend 47,150 hours of your life writing and reading work emails. With the rise and adoption of new digital communications tech, we can only assume that number has grown.

Adding further weight to the research from WaPo, a study by APPrise found that 30% of employees admit they don’t read company emails, while a separate study by PoliteMail found that only 37% of employees read internal messages.

That’s a lot of time spent carefully writing emails and routing them through a review cycle only to watch them be skimmed through at best — or worse, archived or deleted without being read at all.

Now that employees are increasingly working remotely, this challenge is more important than ever. Businesses need to keep everyone in the company updated and informed on the latest news, updates, guidelines, events, and changes to company policies — and often, they must do it all from afar.

Yet it is plain, typed-out text the makes up the bulk of our daily communications with others — especially in the office.

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How video solves the email challenge

Undeniably, the most effective way to communicate is face-to-face. This is the way we humans interacted with one another before the age of email and texting. It’s the best way for our messages to come across as we intend, without getting lost in translation.

And this is precisely the reason why video is better than text.

Because of its narrative structure and engaging imagery, video helps team members understand and retain new information better than printed media or email communications. At the same time, the on-demand nature of video saves HR and internal communications leaders a significant amount of time.

Here’s how it works:

Employees are more likely to retain information from an announcement video. Text communication leaves a lot to be desired, and the amount of reading involved means team members don’t always have the bandwidth or energy to consume the message in full, if at all. According to WordStream, viewers retain 95% of a message when watched via video, compared to only 10% when reading it in text.

Video saves you and your team time. Crafting emails takes time. Writing memos takes time. Briefing your message into a video template is not only easier, but it creates a valuable asset that can be watched over and over again. Instead of having to draft and repeat the same messages to each department, your team can build and create a video that delivers a clean and concise message, on-demand.

It closes the gap between team members and leadership. A survey by Gartner HR found that 41% of employees feel a disconnect from colleagues when working remotely, while 26% feel isolated. Sending a video gives your team the feeling that you are physically present, even if there is distance between you. A simple video puts you right there in front of them — something that plain text and presentations just can’t replicate.

It moves team members to take action. How many times have you sent an email to your company only to see abysmal response rates? We bet it’s too many to count. Video works. And not only does it do the job, it does it better than any other medium on the market.

It boosts productivity. Gallup knows that engaged employees produce better business outcomes — across industry, company size and nationality, in good economic times and bad. But only 15% of employees worldwide and 35% in the U.S. fall into the “engaged” category.

Because video has better response rates than email and other forms of internal comms, it helps move employees to be more engaged with company goals and initiatives, which in turn makes them more productive.

It feels personal. A text-based email simply does not have the same effect as video in making team members feel included or valued.

Think about the emails, text messages, and social messages you’ve sent today:

  • How many of your messages included elements of emotion, subtlety, complexity, or nuance?
  • Did you deliver the tone and meaning you hoped for as you typed out your message?
  • Did you toss in an emoji or two to try to make your message more clear?

Unfortunately, research has shown that despite your extra effort:

1. It’s incredibly hard to detect emotion in email and text message. 

2. Emojis add to the confusion rather than reduce it.

Here’s the good news: You can translate these messages into a more personal, human, and effective medium with video. See the next section to learn how.

Everything you need to build the best announcement videos

Things change. Keep team members up to speed when they do.

Start with a template, add your own message to illustrate your updates, then share far and wide amongst your staff. Remember to make videos that are short, simple, and specific. If you keep them under one minute long and only focus on one topic per video, you’ll do just fine.

Announce your company event

Having an office party? Or maybe a team building activity? Is it that time of year for staff development? Announce all of your big company events with this template.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of event
  • Brief description of what it is
  • What will happen during the event
  • Featured speakers, agenda topics, or other details
  • Date, time, and location
  • Call-to-action, (e.g., “Check your calendar for an invitation and RSVP.”)

Extra time off

Tell team members they’re taking the afternoon or day off with this ready-to-edit video template. Tweak the text to suit the occasion, add your colors, and include your business logo. Then share with the team.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of upcoming holiday or reason for time off
  • Instructions for how to observe
  • Resources for questions or common FAQs
  • A call-to-action (e.g., “share photos of what you did over the long weekend in the company chat.”)

New company tool

Get everyone up to speed on your new tool or software with a short video. Tweak the text, colors, and graphics to reflect the tool, then send it to the team.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of the tool
  • What it is
  • What it’s supposed to achieve
  • How it integrates with existing tools
  • Steps to take to use it
  • Resources for questions or support

Announce a team or personal award

Roll out the red carpet for your newest award winners. Brand your video by tweaking the text, colors, and animations, then share it with the whole team.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of the award
  • What it is (e.g., criteria for selection, goal of award)
  • Who it’s for
  • Who won and why
  • Why it matters
  • What the recipient gets
  • Thank you message

Company award

Celebrate your successes with a video as sparkly as the award you won. Tweak the text to tell everyone what you won and customize the colors (of the animation, too!) to reflect your brand. Share with all the people who helped make the award happen as a way to say ‘thank you’ for their hard work.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of the award the company won
  • What it is (e.g., criteria for selection, goal of award)
  • What it’s for
  • Who won and why
  • Why it matters
  • Thank you message to those involved

Upcoming speaker

Build the hype for your next guest speaker with this ready-to-edit template. Tweak the text, colors, and images to reflect the speaker, then share with invitees.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Guest speaker name and title
  • Speaking topic and short details
  • Interesting information about the speaker’s background
  • Date, time, and location
  • Where to submit questions
  • How to RSVP
  • Where to go for questions or support

All-hands event

Hype up your next All Hands or company-wide meeting with these ready-to-edit templates. Tweak the text, colors, and motion graphics to match your message, then share with the whole team.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of event
  • Topic or theme of information to be covered
  • Short bullet points of what you will cover
  • Highlight guest speakers with photos or video
  • Date, time, and location
  • How to RSVP
  • Where to go for questions or support

Share weekly updates and team meetings

Share weekly updates or announce your next team meeting with some added pizzazz. Customize the video’s text, colors, and logo to match your brand, then send to the team.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of event
  • Date, time, and location
  • Topic or theme of information to be covered
  • What to prepare before attending
  • Call-to-action, (e.g., “check your email for a calendar invite.”)

New hire

Keep everyone in the loop and give your new hire a welcome to write home about with this customizable video template. Simply add a picture of the newest team member and edit the text to match. Keep a copy close on hand for whenever the team grows again in the future.

Suggested guidelines:

Length: 1 minute or less

Include the following:

  • Title of the role you’ve filled
  • Team member’s name and location (and photo)
  • What she does at the company
  • A fun fact about the team member
  • A brief welcome message from the company
  • A call-to-action (e.g., “Send Michelle a welcome message in Slack and share a fun fact about yourself, too.”)

Tips for building your announcement videos

  1. Keep announcements clear, concise, and designed with your audience in mind. Include only the most important information, such as the details of the achievement you’re celebrating or the date, time, and location of an upcoming all-hands event. Be sure to hook viewers within the first 5 to 10 seconds of your video so it holds their attention from start to finish.
  2. Start with high-level topics. Consider what you are announcing, why it matters, and what employees should do after watching. Getting into smaller details has the potential to overwhelm your audience and distract from your main message. Keep it simple yet informative.
  3. Keep it shorter than 2 minutes. Any longer than this and your audience may lose focus and struggle to absorb all the information in the video.
  4. Add relevant visuals to improve the viewer experience. Include images and uploaded video where it contributes to the information your announcement needs to convey.
  5. Include a call-to-action. What should team members do after watching your announcement video? RSVP? Fill out a survey? Look for an email? It’s important to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your video to give clear instructions as to what you’d like them to accomplish after watching the video.

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