The technological revolution in communications over the last couple of decades has created a myriad of ways for companies to communicate with their employees, including most recently with video email communications, but which of these are truly effective? A recent study we conducted here at Flimp Communications illustrates with solid quantitative data the high degree of effectiveness there is with digital video postcards.
What is a digital postcard? “Digital postcards are interactive landing pages or microsites with built-in viewer tracking and reporting that combine video (or multiple videos) with branding, messaging, images, web links, forms, interactive buttons and more. They enable viewers to engage with a video message and immediately take action or share with family members,” according to the 2017 Employee Video Communications Report.
In preparing the report, we analyzed the results from 200 digital postcard employee video email communications campaigns involving 159 different organizations. A total of 875,873 emails were sent to employees. The report notes “employees opened, viewed and engaged with the postcards’ content a total of 665,664 times, registering 926,649 individual video views and 978,114 response actions.”
Proven, Effective Video Email Communications
The results are impressive – a 76% engagement rate means that the video email communications are getting through. At the same time, there was a 139% video-viewing rate (1.4 videos watched) and a 147% response rate (1.5 actions taken), showing that some viewers looked at more than one link. These results mean the viewer received information that he or she wanted – viewing rates below 100% would make me think the opposite.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – it’s much easier to watch a video than it is to read a memo. The on-demand nature of the postcards means the viewer can watch when convenient when employees can focus on the message and remember it. And with links to other resources, this video email communications system becomes more comprehensive.
For instance, the average time spent interacting with the contents of the postcard (watching the video, reviewing hosted documents, etc.) was 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Yet the overview videos were just over 2 minutes long, with supporting long-form videos running 10 minutes or so. The format enabled the viewers to drill down into information that interested them.
What’s particularly interesting are the devices used to view content. Desktop viewing remains the norm, but nearly 31% of the videos were accessed from a mobile device; in 2015, a similar report had mobile devices in use just 8% of the time. There are a couple of conclusions we can draw from that. First, to no one’s surprise, is that mobile devices are becoming the preferred viewing hardware for many people. That means you might want to make sure any charts or graphics you use in a video can be read on a smaller screen. Second, and more importantly, this may mean that the employees are sharing the videos with family members or friends, increasing the effectiveness of this video email communications system.
Take for instance a couple whose health insurance is provided through Spouse A’s job. Keeping Spouse B informed about policy decisions used to mean a lot of reading and not necessarily a lot of understanding (and some raised voices). With a video postcard, Spouse B can participate in the decision-making much more easily.
Moreover, the method of distribution doesn’t have to be email. About 96% of the campaigns used email video communications, but most supplemented that with other approaches. Internet or benefit portals figured in 62% of campaigns, 24% utilized in-person group or one-on-one meetings, 18% had QR code access from printed material. Several other methods appeared on this report, while 5% utilized public social media (and I expect this final figure will take off by 2020).
Across Multiple Industries
It’s too easy to wind up with skewed data because the sample was too narrow. That was not the case here at all. No fewer than 23 different industries wound up in the sample. Information technology and software technology are obviously comfortable with this approach as it plays to their employees’ skills and interests, but real estate and non-profits ran campaigns that came under scrutiny as well. That means the study’s conclusions are probably valid if you were to apply them to your specific situation.
Digital postcard campaigns and email video communications have a great deal going for them. They are cheaper than traditional printed campaigns, they free up HR professionals’ time, and they are well suited for communicating with remote operations. Yet, as this study shows, their biggest benefit is that they engage the employees by providing the information they want and need in an easily-accessible format.