Will Video Kill the Written Word in Content Marketing?
In 2014, YouTube only represented 28 percent of all internet searches. Today, it’s the second largest search engine in the world and the third most visited website, outperformed only by Google and Facebook. Every minute, 300 hours of video get uploaded to YouTube, and the average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes. This year, video is poised to represent 74 percent of all internet traffic.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Is video about to replace the written word?
There’s plenty of speculation suggesting that text-based content is soon to meet its maker. But before you follow the hype and pitch out your entire strategy, read this article. A well-rounded content marketing strategy requires both video and text-based content to effectively nurture audiences—and probably always will. Here’s why:
1. Text-Based Content Still Has an Impact
Taboola created a graphic that compares online video to text-based articles in terms of social signals. Predictably, video wins every category. But the percentage gap certainly isn’t a landslide. A significant percentage of your audience still responds favorably to text-based content.
2. Personality and Sense of Control Will Influence Audience Preference
Video does all the work for us. That’s why we use it on occasion to “escape” from daily life. Have you ever cried during a movie or caught yourself with a ridiculous grin on your face during a happy scene? Your emotional responses aren’t a fluke. Video creators use science and psychology to direct us on what to see, how to feel and in many ways, how to interpret the story. All we viewers have to do is sit back and let the audiovisual experience sweep us off our feet.
Video’s effortless experience is great for some audience members. But not every personality type is comfortable giving up this much control over how they form opinions about products and services, especially if their opinions will factor into a difficult or consequential decision.
Reading demands deliberate, active participation. Instead of absently staring at a screen, reading triggers inner dialogue and pushes us to form original thoughts about the information in print. Sure, textual content can be persuasive, but it also leaves plenty of room for interpretation and imagination. In other words, reading requires greater cognitive effort and a longer attention span.
Research suggests that when an important or consequential decision (for example, shopping for a new healthcare provider or choosing a life insurance policy) is at stake, audiences may prefer text over video because reading forces them to think critically and puts them in control over how they review and interpret information.
3. Different Types of Visitors Require Different Types of Content
According to ClickTale research, brands experience two different types of “visitor.” Your content marketing strategies must support both:
Goal-Oriented Visitors. Goal-oriented visitors have a specific need in mind. They are in research mode; operating at a higher cognitive level, and more likely to interact with text-based content.
Unintentional Visitors. Unintentional visitors casually meander through websites in search of offers and entertainment. They use a lower Go to the full article.