Apparently by 2017 69% of internet traffic will be video. So should content marketers and PRs forget about writing articles and switch to creating video?
I’m not so sure. Here are four reasons why I feel articles and blogs are often superior to video content – especially in a B2B marketing context.
1) Video’s not the best for helping audiences make a detailed evaluation of an issue
Reading text engages more of the brain than watching a video. Reading is an active thing. You’re processing the words, trying to make sense of the information and making connections with what you already know -which sparks off other relevant thoughts.
Visual content such as video on the other hand is processed 60,000 times faster than text by our brains. Video is easy to consume (which is why our brains prefer it). When we watch a video we’re typically in passive mode.
While video can be particularly good for triggering an emotional reaction or invoking a feeling about a brand, it’s not the best for helping your audience take in and evaluate the many points of a complex argument or rationally weigh up the detailed pros and cons of a purchase, for instance.
2) People often watch online video with the sound turned down
Research indicates that in many instances video is consumed with the sound down. And in a B2B context, where people are sitting in open plan offices, you can understand why.
Taking away the audio takes away much of the power of video. Especially if you’re trying to provide a lot of information or get across a detailed argument.
3) It’s quicker and easier to locate specific info or answers to your questions in an article
If you’re reading an article in search of a specific piece of information or an answer to a question, it’s much easier to find it quickly in an article by quickly scanning for words down the page. Especially as most online articles use sub heads, bullets and cover topics in small chunks.
In a video your target audience is never quite sure at which point the info they want is covered (or even if it’s there at all). They have to watch through to the end and if what they’re interested in isn’t there, they’re left with a negative feeling.
4) You can’t adjust video for complexity
If you’re reading about a complex topic or a something that requires you to think and analyse an issue, you can easily adjust the speed at which you read – and re-read key words or sentences until you ‘get it’. With video, you have to pause and rewind – which is cumbersome.
The truth is of course that you want a mix of both words and video in your content marketing and PR campaigns to help engage, educate and entertain your target audiences.
As a final thought it’s worth noting that rather than text going of fashion and disappearing from our screens, search engines are happy for us to see more of it. Google is actually rewarding content that has more words and provides more comprehensive, relevant information about a topic with higher search rankings.