How CEOs Can Leverage Video Messages

August 25, 2021
By iQ Staff
A hand holding a smartphone displaying a video of a woman with icons symbolizing likes, comments, and shares floating around.

Among the typical mix of original media content from brands ­— blogs, photos, graphics and videos — video is king. When done right, videos can build a strong and familiar connection between a company and its audience of customers, clients and partners.

Video messages, especially from a company’s CEO and other leaders, help to humanize an organization, convey authenticity and transparency and create a more impactful impression than a press release or a blog post. According to Brightcove, social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined. In 2021, 81% of businesses said they use video as a marketing tool – up from 63% in 2020.

If you’ve logged on to any social media platform recently, you’ll likely have noticed video content right off the bat. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn have algorithms that push video content to the top. Here, we discuss the ways that C-suite leaders can leverage video messages to reach new audiences, strengthen their brands and achieve their communications goals.


Be a Thought Leader

Thought leadership is a regular practice for organizations across all industries. By regularly sharing perspectives and insights on relevant topics, C-suite executives are able to establish credibility for themselves and their organizations and add valuable contributions to industry dialogues. In the form of an engaging video, thought leadership may be more enticing to audiences who have become accustomed to consuming information in this way.

Plan ahead and consider developing a calendar for video messages from your C-suite leaders. It is possible to create several short pieces during one “shoot” to make the most efficient use of everyone’s time and to help ensure that there is a stockpile of content to be shared on future occasions or specific dates.

When it comes time for publishing, video content should be promoted and shared internally as well as externally via social media. CEOs and other top leaders can leverage their extensive networks to boost viewership and inspire engagement. 


"Ultimately, frequent and clear messages from company leaders serve as effective touchpoints to reinforce culture and strengthen ties with crucial audiences."


Strengthen Your Brand

While other C-suite leaders can be effective spokespeople, CEOs are the natural “face” of the company and their personal profiles can be elevated for the most important events and topics to amplify the corporate brand. Stakeholders are more likely to engage with and trust a brand when they have a sense of familiarity with its chief brand ambassador.

Video messages from CEOs often reach a wide audience because they imply a certain level of gravitas: if the CEO is talking about it, it must be important. Also, the star power of the CEO as an influencer cannot be underestimated. Customers, media and employees are curious about the CEO and may take their cues from her conduct and priorities. Videos showcase the CEO’s character and charisma in a way that written words cannot.


Learn From Others

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, publishes “Creator Letters” videos on a quarterly basis to inform interested parties about what’s happening at the company and where the company is headed. Although she does not appear in front of the camera, Wojcicki conveys personality and transparency through her narration of an animated video.

You don’t have to animate or edit an elaborate masterpiece to achieve the same results. CEO videos can be as simple as Walmart CEO Doug McMillion’s live webcasts. Ultimately, frequent and clear messages from company leaders serve as effective touchpoints to reinforce culture and strengthen ties with crucial audiences.


Navigate a Crisis

When a looming crisis threatens to tarnish the corporate reputation, stakeholders often expect to hear from the CEO. Depending on the situation and what the crisis planning dictates, a video message may be as or more effective than a written statement to convey the CEO’s sincerity and sense of urgency. It can be recorded quickly, shared internally with employees and key stakeholders and then distributed externally, including to the media. In many cases, showing the CEO speaking about or engaged in the matter at hand is an important first step in managing a crisis.


Final Thoughts

Video is an integral part of a larger content strategy and can be a powerful tool to strengthen brands and humanize organizations. With just one well-planned CEO video shoot, you can create a diverse tapestry of content that helps your brand stand out to potential clients and top prospects.