Video – A Powerful Online Engagement Tool For Just About Any Organization

Nate Jolley

Few things are more captivating than a good story. And with online video views far surpassing most text-based content, telling your story in video has the potential to capture far more viewers. The good news is that videos ranging in quality from professional productions to spontaneous interactions captured on your iPhone all have the potential to be powerful.

Whether it’s a quarterly district recap, a message from the Superintendent or a summary of your annual strategic plan, it’s important not to overlook video when developing your communications plan.

Visual content drives engagement. This is becoming increasingly clear as more studies are conducted into today’s media consumption habits. People are actively seeking out and sharing videos at a much greater rate than text-based information, with key indicators suggesting that the number of videos viewed will only continue to grow.

6 facts about shifting consumption behaviors:

  • Viewers spend 100% more time on webpages with videos (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Social posts with videos are 3 times more effective than their plain-text counterparts (Source:
  • 85% of US internet users watch online videos (Source: comScore)
  • 60 hours of videos are uploaded each minute on (Source: YouTube)
  • 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute (Source: YouTube)
  • 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month and 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos)

Drawing on more of our senses

Video draws on more of our senses, which help bring stories to life. You get to hear and see the things that are otherwise left to the imagination. Together, audio and visuals can often evoke a deeper connection and even a deeper understanding by the viewers. Video also allows viewers to connect with content on a much more personal and emotional level. The storyteller often plays a key role in this, which is why imagining the greater impact of a moving video presented by a Superintendent, Principal or student comes easy.

Extending your message

Not only is it effortless to instantly launch videos, it’s just as convenient to share them. Video sharing (going “viral”) even on a relatively local scale, can be a powerful benefit if you are trying to reach an audience beyond your immediate network. This can be especially valuable for schools and districts that are challenged to reach the non-parent community members. They don’t have a direct relationship to the school or district, but likely are part of your parent-groups’ social networks.

Shorter is sweeter

Video length is also important. According to Wistia (and not too surprisingly) the longer a video is, the lower its retention. Videos under 1 minute enjoy 80% viewer retention up to the 30-second mark, while videos 2-3 minutes in length only experience 60% retention.

Have a look for yourself

Watch these short clips to see how some of our customers have been engaging with their communities through video.

About the Author

Nate Jolley

Before joining ThoughtExchange, Nate spent 10 years as an independent producer. He holds a degree in Social Justice. As well as producing, Nate has a background as an editor and camera operator on a wide range of projects including ABC TV’s Born To Explore, National Geographic’s Stone Age Atlantis and most recently HGTV’s House Hunters International ‘Off Grid’. Nate loves his job, is an avid surfer and also has a young son who stars in many of his home videos.