Video Messaging: What it is and how to use it
In the past two years of a global pandemic, we’ve all become accustomed to video chat or video conferencing for meetings in a virtual workplace. So, workers across the globe have got used to seeing their faces on-screen on a daily basis.
But with so many teams spread across different time zones, flexible hours and shift patterns, some working from home, and some based back at the office, it can be tricky to find the right time for a diarised meeting.
What if you want your team to have the ability to access work conversations at a time that suits them, without the formality of a meeting, but you still want the human element that comes when connecting with colleagues via video?
Enter asynchronous video messaging.
What is video messaging?
You may have carried out asynchronous video messaging on WhatsApp, Facetime or Facebook messenger, but not in a professional setting. It simply means the exchange of short videos. In a working environment, video messages might be used to explain a task, deliver a quick training or explainer clip or troubleshoot an issue.
Likewise, you could use video messaging simply because you haven’t seen your colleagues’ faces that day, and you want to quickly check in, but in a more personable, visual way than via instant message or email.
What is asynchronous communication?
Asynchronous communication is great for remote teams. It simply means that collaboration can take place without respective participants of a conversation needing to be in the same room, or virtual space at the same time. In essence, it is communication that does not take place in real time.
What’s the difference between video messaging and text messaging?
Video messages work just like instant messages in that they can be accessed by the recipient in real time, or at a more convenient point in the day. But instead of exchanging snippets of conversation in a written format, you can capture a better sense of the tone with body language and facial expressions to give your messages a more human touch.
The uses of video messaging for business and work
For all those times you’ve gone to write an email or instant message to a colleague, a video message could be used in its place. Just think of it as a video email; quicker to draft, and easier to digest.
Here are a few more specific use cases for video messaging in a virtual workspace:
- Explaining a new software platform
It might be that you’re testing out a new project management tool, trailing a different CRM or file storage system, or encouraging your team to complete timesheets for specific projects. Rather than leaving everyone to navigate a new system on their own as they work remotely, it might be worth putting a quick video together, sharing your screen and recording yourself completing a specific task within the new platform. That way, you make sure you get your head around how it works yourself, and visual learners will thank you for the demo, which they can revisit should they need to.
- Troubleshooting an issue
When problems arise with specific tasks or projects and you want to talk it through in-depth, recording and sending a video message can be a great way to talk through and resolve challenges together. Perhaps you have an IT-related issue, and you want to contact someone on the helpdesk, or maybe you want to talk with a teammate about a tricky situation with a client. Rather than pinging messages back and forth, and having key points getting lost in transit, or email tone being misconstrued, teammates can work through challenges together.
- Better customer support
Some organisations have started to use video responses for their customer support. This is also a type of video messaging.
Using video replies to respond to customer queries or guide a customer through a support workflow can help you to drive better human connection and personalisation with your customer service. What’s more, with video, agents convey empathy better, and clarity can be significantly improved with tools such as screen sharing helping to give context to the customer.
- Presenting ideas or results
You might be struggling to find a time in everyone’s diaries to present your end-of-month reports, or simply deliver a presentation that’s been in the pipeline for a while. If your presentation doesn’t require too much real-time interaction, it’s worth considering whether you could deliver it via a video message simply by recording yourself as if you were presenting to a live audience. That way attendees can view the content at a time that works for them, and revisit it again and again should they need to.
- Checking in with your team
Video messages can be used to check in on your team simply. Remote working is great, but it can be quite isolating without real in-person contact. It might be that you know one of your colleagues lives alone and might be feeling isolated, or you simply want to check in on your knowledge workers and check on progress for the week. Rather than picking up the phone and disrupting their flow of work, or interrupting another meeting, sending a quick video message can help to remind your team or your colleagues that they’re part of a wider, supportive team.
There are a number of great ways you can experiment with video messages to connect with colleagues, collaborate and deliver communications in a more productive, convenient way for everyone.
RingCentral Meetings users can simply record themselves using the video meetings function and save themselves the back-and-forth of endless email chains.
What are the benefits of video messaging?
While many of us use video technology for live meetings on a daily basis, we may not think to revert to video messaging instead of an email or a quick typed message on your IM platform.
So, what are the advantages of using video for the quick exchange of messages?
1. Tone of voice
Sometimes typed messages such as emails or text messages can be misconstrued. Giving feedback or putting something in an assertive way without causing offence can be a fine art when we’re restricted to textual channels of communication. With audio, the recipient of your message can easily understand the tone of voice, which will help to put any misunderstandings aside, especially alongside body language on video snippets.
2. Body language
In the same vein, seeing someone’s body language on screen helps to build better, more human connections. While the numbers are still disputed, studies have shown that effective face-to-face communication is made up of 55% body language (38% is tone of voice and only 7% the words we actively speak). Aspects such as gestures and eye contact can be really helpful in video meetings, and it’s exactly the same for video messages.
3. Camaraderie and collaboration
We all love an emoji. But when it comes to connecting teams, video messages can convey feelings in a way that emojis, gifs and messages just can’t. Light-hearted videos to check in with teams, share an anecdote, or chat about the weekend can help to replicate the water-cooler type communication of a physical office.
4. Screen sharing to give better context
Another great benefit of using a video chat app to deliver video messages is that you should be able to use the screen sharing tool. This is particularly helpful if you need to send a note that refers to a specific document, if you want to explain something within an app or piece of software, or if you need to deliver a presentation without a set video call. With screen sharing, life is made easier for you, enabling quicker, clearer communication but also for the recipient of your message, the content will be easier to comprehend.
5. Repurposing for repetitive enquiries
Let’s say you’re an HR manager and you receive the same questions every time you onboard new staff, or you work as an internal IT manager, dealing with frequent connectivity glitches. You might find you send the same textual responses to people- having to type out your reply manually every time. With the ability to record and save your video messages, any repetitive queries or recurring responses you find yourself giving can be recorded, stored and repurposed any time you get those pesky repetitive questions.
6. Convenience for both parties
Let’s face it, we can probably all talk faster than we type, so video messaging will save you time as the sender. Quickly recording a video, rather than reverting to IM or email could unlock real efficiencies for you and your team. And, rather than endlessly attempting to find a mutually agreeable time for a meeting, video messaging enables you to say what needs to be said in any video call, whenever it’s convenient for you. Likewise, your recipients only have to log in and watch your video whenever it’s right for them, so you avoid the endless context switching which can be a real drain on efficiency.
How to choose a video messaging app
With a number of great video chat tools out there, you should be able to use your current solution to conduct video messaging at work. With most modern communications providers, you should be able to conduct video meetings and recordings via iOS or Android smartphone or desktop browser. Whatever you need to conduct video messaging with your team, just make sure you look out for the following requirements.
Video messaging app requirements:
1. Make sure video recording is available
You’ll want to make sure that whatever video conferencing tool you use, you can record quality video messages using a webcam or the in-buit camera of your iPad, iPhone or any other mobile phone or device. You’ll also want to check that you can easily save, store and send via your messaging platform.
2. Look out for screen sharing capabilities
creen sharing is integral if you want to make your video messages more efficient than typing your messages. Having a tool that allows you to share your screen to give feedback on a document, share slides, or run someone through some software helps drive better clarity in your content.
3. Adopt an integrated or all-in-one platform
It’s important to choose a video chat tool that integrates with your IM solution. For example, if you’re using Zoom for your video channel, Microsoft suite for general communications, or skype for video and Slack for instant messaging, you’ll want to make sure they talk to each other for easy collaboration. Or, better still, look for a platform where your video conferencing platform and collaboration app are one and the same. That way, you’ll be able to seamlessly record, save, store, and send your video message and avoid the inefficiencies that come with incessant application switching.
4. Go for an option that offers HD video
There’s nothing worse than blurry, clipped video. If you’re communicating regularly via video, whether it’s video meetings, or recorded video messages it’s worth finding a solution with HD video. An HD video solution will allow you and your colleagues to pick up on those visual cues and get better clarity all round.
RingCentral’s unified platform gives workers an all-in-one solution for video, messaging, and phone capabilities. And with the very best video quality, HD voice, screen sharing, recording and in-built file storage, recording, storing and sending your video messages to your teammates couldn’t be easier, so start experimenting with your video messages today with RingCentral.
Originally published May 19, 2022