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Internal Comms Channels: the Case for Enterprise Audio


Enterprise Audio

Over the past few years, we’ve all witnessed how the employee experience has become a leading topic of discussion in organizations across the globe.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies offered creative accommodations to keep employees engaged while attempting to extend the employee experience into a remote world. Just as those efforts seemed to take hold, “The Great Resignation” began. Employers felt even more pressure to understand what employees wanted and how to best deliver it.

Oftentimes, there remains a disconnect between what employers think their employees want and what they actually want. In fact, in a previous survey we conducted, only 1 in 4 of non-executives described the experience they have with their organization as “excellent.”

There are a lot of factors that go into how employees view the overall experience, but there are two key areas that stand out:

  • The role and effectiveness of internal communications
  • Understanding the needs and desires of employees and offering flexible options based on them

The most effective employee experience initiatives understand that these two are inevitably intertwined.

Internal communication is designed to help facilitate the flow and transfer of information across the organization—between offices, departments, and individuals. When it comes to the employee experience, internal comms should seek to create and communicate shared goals and values and reinforce the culture. It helps employees better understand the broader organization and their role in it.

Depending on the company and circumstances, internal communications can be spread verbally, on the intranet, or through email, video, or other methods. In addition to these standard forms of internal communications, many companies are now offering various forms of communication in an audio format. In some cases, these are communications specifically created for audio; in others, they could be videos converted into audio format.

Why should you consider audio for internal communications?

While the benefits of video for internal communications are clear, adding audio as an alternative format provides another layer of flexibility that many employees would welcome. Audio could be a flexible option for many types of communications:

  • Company news
  • Internal reports
  • Product updates
  • Onboarding materials
  • Training materials

The possibilities are endless.

But do employees want audio as an option? If consumer habits are any indication, the answer is a ubiquitous yes. As Nielsen reports, radio still has the highest reach of any device among American adults (93%). Add the unduplicated audiences of streaming music, podcasting, and satellite radio, and audio’s reach rises to 99%. The convenience it provides as an option for users to consume content as they go about their day is simply unmatched.

Beyond consumer habits, there are also practical reasons to turn to audio as an effective form of internal communication.

  • Reduces screen time. With the average adult spending up to 17 hours a day staring at screens, audio provides a much needed break and helps relieve digital eye strain. This is especially relevant for long reports or presentations and is particularly helpful to employees with remote or hybrid work arrangements.
  • Allows for multitasking. The truth is that not all content demands full attention. One of the biggest benefits that audio provides is the opportunity to multitask. For repetitive tasks like stuffing envelopes, or physical tasks like setting up in-person events, audio allows us to maximize the value of our time. For field sales reps, executives who regularly travel, or those with a particularly long daily commute, audio is also a convenient mobile format. Furthermore, it gives employees the power to build their own workday that fits their particular style and preference. For example, an employee could listen to updates on demand instead of attending a meeting at a specific time.
  • Provides accessibility. Employees have different learning styles, and some absorb information much better in an audio format. Furthermore, audio gives visually impaired employees better access to key company information. It can also provide employees with neurodivergencies like dyslexia or ADHD a comfortable alternative to consuming long-form written content.

Getting Started with Enterprise Audio

Getting started with audio doesn’t have to be a massive new endeavor, nor do you need to build a new state-of-the-art podcasting studio. In fact, Brightcove customers already have access to all the tools they need to build an easy-to-use and easy-to-manage audio library for internal comms.

Easily create audio from existing content.

As more and more companies embrace video for internal communications, repurposing existing video content is the easiest way to begin building an audio library. However, stripping audio tracks is cumbersome, plus it can create version control issues as content gets updated.

Instead of letting an audio strategy create more work, you can let Brightcove’s Audio Only player do the work for you. Just change the player type to “audio” and it automatically encodes the video to audio without any additional software needed. Now any video in your Brightcove media library can become a convenient audio asset by simply changing the player.

Also, the original file remains unchanged, so you can have the same asset output as video in one player and as audio in another. This means when an asset becomes outdated, changing the source file will update the asset across all players. No new copies, no new versions. You can manage your audio library while you manage your video library, all from the same platform.

Organize audio for easy consumption.

Once you have a library of audio assets, your employees will need a way to easily find the ones they want. Posting links in Slack channels or embedding players on your company intranet is one solution, but adding audio doesn’t have to create a new workflow.

Brightcove customers using the Audio Only player can not only repurpose video content, they can repurpose video tags to create playlists. For example, Brightcove’s Smart Playlists can auto-generate a Product Demo playlist based on all videos tagged “product demo.” These playlists are dynamic, so new videos with the corresponding tags will automatically be added. It’s an audio library that maintains itself.

Beyond tags, you can also create a Smart Playlist based on other parameters, like dates. In fact, Smart Playlists can automatically organize the order of the audio tracks with the newest content always showing up first.

With your audio library organized into playlists, you can house them in a unique experience designed specifically for employees through Brightcove Gallery’s preset templates. They can either be standalone portals or in-page experiences built into your employee site.

Use analytics to understand audio performance.

Like any new initiative, you’ll want to be able to gauge adoption and usage of your audio efforts. And just as we’ve outlined the benefits of using analytics to improve the employee experience, the same applies for your new audio assets.

By using Brightcove’s Audio Only player, you’ll have access to the same analytics for audio that our customers are already using to increase their video performance. So not only will you be able to tell if employees are listening, you’ll get a better understanding of what topics they’re listening to most and least often.

These analytics will also be a powerful tool to help validate your audio initiatives. Simply compare the performance of the same content in video or audio to determine which format your employees prefer for different types of content.

Creating a Better Employee Experience with Brightcove

Using audio can be an effective way to close the disconnect between employees’ expectations and their experience by offering flexibility to your internal communications. With Brightcove’s Audio Only player, Smart Playlists, and Gallery, you’ll easily be able to create and maintain enterprise audio solutions. Whether you’re converting text, replacing meetings, or offering an alternative to video, you’ll have a valuable tool to efficiently add to your organization’s internal comms initiatives.