Employee-Generated Video: Increasing Engagement with Social Video for Businesses

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Geoffrey Lee

If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video is worth 1.8 million words per minute. If you ever had any doubt that video is taking over the internet, just look at how much video content people consume on a regular basis. Whether they watch videos for entertainment or information purposes, people are using this medium more than ever before.

And it’s not hard to understand why. Studies have shown that the human brain can process images 60,000 times better and faster than text. Sure, reading is more active, but the brain is usually drawn to content that doesn’t take that much effort. Another advantage of video
is that it’s more efficient, a much-needed gain in today’s fast-paced world.

Video has become an essential part of our daily lives. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels, users are asking for more videos and more video functionality. Facebook, for instance, recently introduced live streaming capabilities and estimate that content on Facebook will be mostly video by 2020.

A lot of companies have adapted to this new reality and started incorporating video marketing to reach a wider audience. But when it comes to internal communication, most of them are still using traditional video applications for employee-generated video content. While these applications are sufficient for most tasks, there are situations when social video distribution could help enterprises meet their goals without having to put forth the same effort.

In this article, we will look at why employee-generated content is becoming even more important in the social age and how social video for businesses can increase engagement.

What Is Employee-Generated Content?

Before we dive into the differences between traditional video distribution and social video distribution, it’s important to understand the basic concept of employee-generated content.

Employee-generated content (EGC), or employee-generated video in our case, refers to the video content that is produced by a company’s employees strictly for internal purposes. EGC is usually accessed, created, and published by the employees themselves and can be accessed through the company’s network.

Employee-generated content is not usually meant to be authoritative, but rather an expression of personal opinions or concerns. A video recorded during the preparations for an important event and shared with the colleagues through the company’s intranet to show them the progress of their work is a good example of employee-generated content.

Why Does It Matter?

The use of enterprise solutions, such as social video or live webcasting, has a direct impact on the morale and productivity of your colleagues and employees. Employee-generated video content can help those who might be untethered in the organization to become connected with his/her colleagues. The ability to produce video content and share it with everyone in the organization on a secure platform is one of the simplest ways to increase engagement among employees. If your employees are satisfied with their jobs, their productivity level increases.

What’s the Difference between Traditional Video Distribution & Social Video Distribution?

If you are already on board with implementing a distribution network for employee-generated video content, why should you be bothered by the advent of social video? That’s a good question and we’ll try to answer it by pointing out the main differences between a traditional video distribution platform and social video distribution.

  • Network Limitations

One of the major differences between a traditional video application and social video application is the network limitations imposed by the former. As you probably already know, in a traditional video application such as a live webcast, you need to engineer and plan in advance to overcome network limitations. Here’s an example: imagine that you decided to broadcast a town hall meeting to all of your company’s employees. But when the meeting starts and all your employees try to simultaneously access the live stream, the tremendous strain that is put on the network resources might result in a poor experience marked by delays and buffering.

One way to solve these limitations is to explore solutions like adding a flexible business rule  engine, adding bandwidth to certain locations on the network, or introducing proxy caching technologies. Although all these technologies play a vital role in the success of most social video applications, things are a bit different when it comes to employee-generated content.  That leads us to another major difference between the two applications.

  • There Is a Great Number of Content-Originating Sources

Social video applications have certain unique characteristics that distinguish them from traditional video applications. Here’s an example: in a traditional video application the number of those who can create and produce content is limited. They have to know how to operate a camera, edit the content, upload it to the network and share it with other colleagues. But in a social video application, there are as many content sources as there are employees. That is possible because almost everyone today has a smartphone equipped with a camera. In fact, one survey found that out of 110,000 employees, more than 91,000 had a camera on their phone. These photo cameras have recording capabilities that range from low quality to the highest HD.

  • The Nature of the Network Connection is Different

The fact that everyone today can record and publish enterprise video using the camera on their phones brings another topic into discussion – the nature of the network connection of those cameras. You must consider the fact that employees use a wireless network to upload content from their phones and they need to do it with a minimum of latency.

  • Flash Mob in Accessing Video Content vs. Uploading Video Content

As mentioned above, the biggest problem in a traditional video application occurs when all of your employees try to access content simultaneously. With social video applications, it happens the other way around: a large number of content contributors try to upload all at once. Imagine that you’ve organized an internal content video where employees have to record themselves saying creative holiday messages, and the most creative message wins. The deadline is Friday at 5 PM. Most likely, all of the employees interested in the contest will start uploading their videos on Friday at 4 PM. Your network will crash if it’s not solid enough.

  • The Content Creating Editing Experience

A final major difference between the two video applications refers to the editing experience. In a traditional video application, you need skilled professionals to operate the camera and edit videos. But in a social video application, your employees only need easy-to-use editing tools to create high-value content.

How Social Video for Business Can Increase Engagement

One of the strongest features of social video application is that it encourages interaction. Employees can now pull out their smartphones from their pockets and record an uplifting message during a busy period, for instance.

Another way social video application can increase engagement is by making it possible for everyone to record and upload videos with the least amount of effort. Employees won’t have to learn how to work advanced editing programs or use several different applications to share content with their colleagues. All they have to do is hit the record button on their phone camera and then upload the video to the company’s network, without worrying about anything else.

So there’s no doubt about the fact that you should encourage and support the production of employee-generated videos. We’ve already discussed the advantages it can have in boosting productivity and employee morale. However, you need to establish a clear line between employee-generated video and official enterprise productions.

To make the most of social video, make sure that your employees know how to shoot quality videos. There’s more than just recording quality considered when it comes to watching a video at home. The same is true for employee-generated videos. To increase the level of engagement on your EGV, make sure that your employees know the importance of good composition and quality audio. Ensure that they always shoot horizontally and that they produce content at a length appropriate for the topic and audience. It might seem like a lot of trouble right now, but these are some basic rules that should be applied anytime someone records a video.


On the surface, both traditional and social video applications provide the same service. But while traditional video applications have some limitations, social video can become a tool for increasing employees’ engagement and boosting their productivity.

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