A few weeks ago, we published a post about three companies who created successful video series. Each series highlighted in that post was produced and published as a finite collection of episodes. Much like their finite cousins, ongoing video series are all about riffing on themes.
Nextiva, a cloud-based communications company with 300 employees and over 100,000 customers, uses an ongoing internal video series called NexTV to help connect its large team and promote transparency.
Yoel Lustgarten (culture team) and Max Anderson (video producer), create a fresh episode every week, without fail. We talked with Max about the evolution of their series, the framework that they use, and the encouraging results that they've seen.
Born from necessity
"When the company started to grow, naturally more people joined the team and we needed a way to keep everyone in the loop with company information," said Max. "We didn't want to do the standard newsletter email to our team, but wanted something that matched our fun and engaging company culture. This led us to choosing a video format."
"Every Friday, we meet new faces and departments within Nextiva, learn about current events taking place at the company, and provide an element of humor, which makes for a fun and entertaining way to end the week." Below is a special edition of a NexTV episode:
This particular episode features the Cloud Partners Conference & Expo in New Orleans, an update on a half-marathon, some announcements about promotions within Nextiva, a fantasy football check-in, and a silly segment about their company mascot, Xbert. All in under five minutes.
Improving over time
"The first 49 episodes were set up like high school morning announcements, with 1-2 rotating anchors reading off a teleprompter, but after a while it got monotonous," said Max. "We knew that people weren't watching based on declining view count, but also based on what people said. More and more people said that they didn't watch the show because it got predictable; that's when we knew we had to change things up."
And thus, NexTV 2.0 was born! "We switched up the format to a 'man on the street' interview show, got more employees involved in the segments, and viewer engagement skyrocketed," explained Max.
In order to keep the series cohesive and produce episodes efficiently, Max uses more or less the same outline for each episode:
- Pre-Intro: A 10-15 second overview of what to expect in the show.
- Intro Sequence: A quick pre-made intro that is added into every episode.
- Announcements: About 2 minutes of company news and interviews.
- Department Discoveries: An interview with one or two people within the office to get to know them better and what their position involves at the company.
- Humorous Skit: A funny segment that ranges from goofy interview questions, to fully produced sketch comedy bits.
- Closing: A quick closing / thank you.
"We host the video on our Wistia page, and share a link to the episode with our team via an email every Friday morning," said Max. "Sending the show out Fridays at 11:30 gives us a concrete deadline for us to finish the show, which helps us budget our time throughout the week. It's also released at the same time because that's usually when lunch is catered. Everyone is always busy in the office, but lunch time is when they can get a break and lose themselves in the newest episode of the show before they head back to work. Release time is a big factor in how we have increased engagement over the years."
Warm and fuzzies
"From the beginning, NexTV has proven to help unify the company and create transparency by keeping everyone in the loop of what's going on in different departments and the company as a whole," says Max.
In this episode, Yoel introduces three team members:
- Eric - the manager of IT operations
- Kambria - the departing marketing and communications manager
- Audriana - the new marketing and communications manager
Small video updates like this can make all the difference when you have a growing team. It's much easier to feel connected when you get to see and hear your colleagues talk about their work.
"Our favorite part of the show is that it brings people from different areas of the company together, especially those who may not interact on a daily basis, into a joint project that everyone can learn from and enjoy," Max commented.
Just last week, Max and Yoel produced their 100th episode of NexTV, which incorporates footage dating back to 2012, when the series first started. It also features a celebratory dance party, complete with a shark costume and cameos from Xbert, the company mascot—talk about a lively company culture!
Want to learn more from Max and Yoel?
In November, Max and Yoel joined us for a Community AMA (Ask Me Anything), in which they fielded questions such as, "How do you measure the impact of your videos?" and "What's your favorite production gear?" Feel free to check out the webcast to learn more from these series gurus!
Do you have a favorite ongoing video series? Does your company produce any videos for internal use?