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Asynchronous video guide

What is Asynchronous Video: How Video Improves Asynchronous Communication

Discover what is asynchronous video and how to use it to improve asynchronous communication in your company.

by Brian Casel
Updated Jun 17, 2022

Are you tired of scanning endless email chains or Slack archives to get the info you need? Frustrated by having to decipher clients’ emails over and over again and wondering whether asynchronous video would help you communicate with them better? 

Look, I get it; email and other text-based communication methods are the backbone of how we share ideas in business. Since Gmail or Slack are asynchronous, it’s even easier to have our ideas reach our client or teammate on our own schedules. 

The thing is - Text isn’t always ideal to convey what we really mean. Sure, you can write as long emails or Slack messages as you want to ensure that you cover everything you need. But not only these can be time-consuming for the others to read, they’d still fail to explain your ideas clearly. 

In other words, sometimes you just have to talk to someone. 

The problem? Well, you don’t always have the time for Zoom calls. You shouldn’t be hopping on a call every single time you need to pass on information to others either. 

Enter asynchronous video. These messages work just like a typical video call but, as the name suggests, happen asynchronously.

In this guide, you’ll learn what asynchronous video is, why this method of communication is better, and how to use it in your business.

What we'll cover:

  1. What is asynchronous video
    The different use cases for asynchronous video
  2. Asynchronous vs. synchronous videos
    What is the difference between the two and the benefits of asynchronous communication.
  3. Tools to use for asynchronous video
    What tools help record asynchronous video messages

What is Asynchronous Video?

The simplest way to explain asynchronous videos is as an extension to the popular forms of asynchronous communication - email, text messages, etc. With asynchronous video, you can record a video clip and send it to someone else to watch later and respond back to you (also on video) without needing to communicate in real time.

But asynchronous video goes beyond just sharing simple video messages and reducing meeting time. 

In fact, you could use asynchronous video to streamline quite a number of different aspects of your business operations, like these:

  • Client communication: Use async videos to communicate with your clients, share feedback, and make client communication flexible.
  • Online coaching: Online coaches can use asynchronous videos to take 1-on-1 personalized coaching or coach a group of people by sending them the same async videos.
    For example, a business coach could easily record async videos to answer their clients' questions. Or they could record entire training instructions and share with a whole group of people to scale their reach. 
  • Client management: Async videos can help you manage client relationships better, from onboarding, project management, feedback, to sharing project updates and reports.
  • Video interviews: These days, companies are rarely restricted by location when it comes to finding talent. But rather than conducting remote interviews over a zoom call, they can use asynchronous videos and overcome the time zone barrier.
  • Async collaboration: Instead of using live video conferencing software for meetings, remote teams could use asynchronous video software to share their ideas with each other, collaborate, offer feedback, and get far more done without constant interruptions and meetings.

How to use asynchronous videos

Let me be clear about this - There is no single, universal way to use asynchronous videos. Different people use them differently, from simply sending quick updates to managing complex projects, and even putting out fires in their business. 

So, to help you understand the potential that asynchronous video offers, here are some of the most common use cases for async video messages.

#1. Coaches

Asynchronous videos can help coaches - who regularly sell clients access to their time and expertise - deliver a 1-on-1 coaching or run a group session.

What’s more, with asynchronous videos a coach can continue conversations with clients using a threaded conversational layout. This will help them keep a record of every conversation you have and manage the client relationship better. 

asynchronous video conversation example.

#2. Consultants

Communication is a major part of any consulting engagement. Let’s face it, as a consultant, you need to regularly discuss strategies and goals with clients throughout the entire time that you work together.

One way to do it is through live calls, of course. This method works, obviously but also requires a time commitment that’s not always possible from either side.

Asynchronous videos can help you discuss project information, share project updates, and request or collect important information. 

Plus, unless you delete them, these videos will provide a great archive of the collaboration with a client, and a reference point throughout the project. 

#3. Agencies

Agencies can use asynchronous video much in the same way as consultants, to boost client communication and build better client relations. 

But these companies face two other challenges as well. 

The first one relates to project management. Because there are, typically, several people working on a project in an agency, it’s critical that important feedback and information reaches all stakeholders. Asynchronous video reduces the need for everyone to be available for a live call, while still delivering all the information to everyone involved. 

The other relates to hiring. Many agencies reach beyond their immediate location for talent. With async videos, you can run interviews and virtual meetings without forcing anyone to work outside of their normal working hours in their timezone.

#4. Freelancers

Asynchronous videos can help freelancers save time as they don’t have to get on calls with the client all the time to get feedback. 

Freelancers could simply ask the client to drop a video over an email and look at it when free.

Let’s take an example to understand it better: 

Suppose you're a graphic designer, and your client keeps having video calls telling you about all the elements he wants on his website. 

This will surely disrupt your creative flow, and you'd not be able to work at your best. Instead, you can request the client to suggest all his recommendations via async videos. 

You can continue your work and review those videos when you’re free to implement the client's suggestions. 

We’ve been talking about asynchronous videos and async communication for quite a while, but we haven’t discussed it in relation to its opposite. 

Let’s do that now.

The Difference Between Synchronous vs Asynchronous Videos 

What is synchronous communication?

All face to face communication, in-person, live video conferencing or chat like Slack, are synchronous in nature. When talking about video, though, synchronous video communication is one that happens live in real-time over video platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. 

Because of its real-time nature, synchronous communication often leads to fatigue (more on this later), and is rarely ideal for remote teams.

Asynchronous video communication, on the other hand, doesn’t put much strain on one’s time and even energy, leading to far greater productivity overall. 

Benefits of asynchronous video communication

#1. Easy communication across time zones

FACT: Scheduling live meetings can be quite a challenge.

Due to the time zones, it can be problematic to get everyone over to a video conferencing call.

With asynchronous videos, you can have a face-to-face conversation with team members at their convenience, discuss new strategies, and ask questions.

But this problem relates not just to remote teams. Coaches might struggle to schedule meetings with clients due to time zone differences. Agencies often find themselves in endless email back and forth to find the perfect time to sit down with their clients, and so on.

With async videos, on the other hand, you and your clients can comfortably respond to each other without disturbing your work schedules.

#2. Asynchronous videos increase productivity

Let’s face it, everyone has some time of the day when they’re the most and the least productive.

This often leads to quite a problem - You see, if you’re stuck with video calls in the most productive part of your day, you won’t be able to work at your full potential.

Async videos can save you from this problem as well.

Let’s say you’re most productive in the morning, and prefer not to be bombarded with video calls.

If someone wants your opinion of a project or wants to give you feedback, instead of asking you for a live call first thing in the morning, they can simply record an async video and send it over.  

You can finish your work in the first half, look at the feedback, or answer questions in the latter part of the day.

#3. Async communication reduces Zoom fatigue 

Asynchronous videos don’t burn you out at the end of the day, but synchronous video meetings might. 

Zoom fatigue (also known as virtual fatigue) is the exhaustion you feel after getting off a video call.

In 2020, when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, everything went remote. Everyone was working from home, and we saw a sudden spike in the use of video conferencing software.

But spending hours on video calls gave rise to Zoom fatigue. People started searching for a remedy online. 

Even Google Trends shows that people worldwide started searching for this term in April 2020.

zoom fatigue trends.

Zoom fatigue is still a problem many people face as remote work culture is now common. Asynchronous video helps you get rid of Zoom fatigue. 

How so?

Unlike live streamed conferences, you don't have to attend video calls for hours. Instead, just record your session, upload it, and send it to everyone in your team. They will see and review it, send out the feedback, and you can look at it when you wish to.

#4. Asynchronous videos are available to you anytime you want

Oftentimes you and your clients might want to refer to video calls to catch up on a project. Synchronous video calls can be recorded, but the chance of you forgetting about them is usually high. Or what if you forget to record the session?

When you leverage asynchronous videos to consult your clients, you get a record of all your videos by default in a single thread. 

You and your clients can watch any video you want at any point in time, and go back to a specific point discussed.

#5. Asynchronous video meetings don’t compromise the security

Like synchronous meetings, you can password protect asynchronous video meetings as well. You can restrict who can view the video, and even send invites to individual people whom you want to show the message to.

#6. Other benefits of asynchronous videos 

  • No real-time meetings, meaning no poor connectivity, ping or lag issues
  • With asynchronous videos, you deliver only the useful information (no awkward pauses, unlike live video calls)
  • Async video message lets you personalize conversations according to your target group or person

How ZipMessage Helps You Create Back-and-Forth Asynchronous Video Messages

ZipMessage interface showing how to record an asynchronous video.

ZipMessage (disclaimer - this is our tool) is an asynchronous video software that helps you record and share video messages with your team and clients.

We’ve built it with asynchronous communication and collaboration in mind, and we’ve packed it with some amazing features. Here are just some of them:

  • Screen sharing, camera, and audio: The platform gives you the option for screen recording and sharing, turning on the camera, or doing both at the same time.
  • Conduct 1-on-1 or group calls: Have 1-on-1 or group calls via ZipMessage. Create a video, generate a personalized URL, and send it across to your clients.
  • Personalized URLs: Customize URLs as per your calls or set your ZipMessage link as per your brand name.
  • File compilation: Want to save the whole asynchronous video conversation you had? With ZipMessage, you can merge and stitch together all of the recordings and export them to a single MP4 or MP3 audio file.
  • Privacy: Mark your asynchronous video link as private if you just want a selected group of people to see your videos.

ZipMessage also integrates with the likes of Slack, Zapier, Chrome, and Firefox; you can even embed ZipMessage conversations on your own website using a simple HTML embed code..

Want to start using asynchronous Video? Check out ZipMessage, the async video tool made for back-and-forth client communication.

Closing thoughts

Fact: Email and other text-based communication methods are still the center of business communication. But great as it is, text often fails to explain ideas as well as a real-conversation can. 

Unfortunately, having calls and meetings every time you want to share feedback or pass ideas just isn’t feasible. Asynchronous video is a way to do the same without having to be present on a live call.

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