Enrich your surveys with video: Top tips for success

The value that video can bring to an organisation is significant.

In quantitative studies, when comparing a video response with an equivalent open-ended text based question, ‘video provides greater content both in terms of word count and in terms of the number of things actually talked about’*. According to Forrester**, one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words thanks to the activity, behavioural, sentiment and facial expressions that are exposed by this rich data set.

So, if video is so powerful why isn’t everyone using it?

Adding video to your survey may seem new or even a bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The process of integrating video into a quantitative survey is an easy one. Webcam capture is available across a wide range of devices. The consumer does not need to download any apps or software plugins to take part. A simple line of code can be added to your survey scripting, so you can keep using your existing survey software, or it can be incorporated into a URL/link to be shared via email or displayed online. Consumers then access the webcam on their device, be that a desktop, tablet or smartphone to record their response.

Just as with any type of survey and any question type there are some elements to consider for a successful project. Based on our years of experience I am going to share with you some practical tips to help you achieve the best response rates and highest quality responses.

Manage expectations

Springing a video question on someone unannounced is like when you forget it’s photo day. Your hair doesn’t look right and you definitely would have chosen a different outfit. There are just some things we want to be a bit more prepared for. Don’t let your survey scare people off, communicate requirements in advance.

Let respondents know that you are going to ask them to try something a bit different. For surveys where the video question is only shown to a proportion of respondents, tell them that they have been especially selected – everyone likes to feel special. Giving the task an exclusive feel will help with your response rates.

Be upfront

Make sure you communicate with respondents what you are asking them to do and what the data collected will be used for. Be mindful that they may have concerns about their personal data. Reassure them on security and privacy. Highlight the benefits for the respondent in taking part and remember, this doesn’t necessarily need to be a financial reward. Let respondents know that this is a way for them to help shape and influence business decisions by talking directly to senior managers.

Think about the effort required from the respondent and consider whether an incentive is appropriate. When a survey is already incentivised we have seen there may not be a need for anything additional, but every project is different.

Your goal is to make the task enticing and rewarding so that respondents not only take part but feel comfortable opening-up and sharing their response with you.

Ask and you shall receive

Although video questions can be used to replace free text questions, it’s not always a simple like for like swap when it comes to question wording. If you ask a quantitative style question, you run the risk of getting the same quantitative style response.

The style and choice of words needs to be considered. To maximise the value from video you need to keep your questions as open as possible. You want to encourage rich and detailed responses, not one word answers. Video is the ideal format to illicit an emotional response, so consider using language such as, ‘How does your relationship with this brand make you feel?’

Try and keep question wording as succinct as possible. Just because you are trying to gain an in-depth response, don’t feel that your question wording needs to mirror this. Keep it simple.

Guide the way

Now that you have set expectations and thought about your question wording, it’s time to consider any technical barriers your respondents may have.

Make sure you test all your capture methods before going live with respondents. For webcam capture, although most modern devices have video capability they may not be turned on or configured correctly. Providing some simple documentation can really help less technically savvy respondents.

In summary

If you spend a little time addressing the common concerns and barriers you can reap the rewards of engaging and powerful video feedback.

Video responses require a bit of extra effort from respondents - Build a good relationship with respondents, state clearly what you will use the video for, let them know it’s their chance to influence and speak directly to the brand, consider incentives

Privacy concerns – Reassure respondents how their video will be used and the security of their video. Make sure you have a deletion process in place

Technical barriers - Test all capture methods prior to going live and consider device compatibility during recruitment

Respondent technical capability - Provide respondents with some simple support documentation

* Kuegler, S. and Dowling, Z. (2016) Unravelling the mystery of the video respondent.
** McQuivey, J.L. (2008) How video will take over the world

You may also be interested in 6 compelling reasons you should be using video questions in surveys and our 2 video blogs on how to capture high quality video; How to be seen AND heard and Make poor quality video a thing of the past