We’ve been creating videos for over 10 years and in these last 2 years, I’ve noticed that more and more businesses are using video within their marketing strategy. All you have to do is Google video marketing and you find all types of infographic statistics such as:

75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least weekly.
54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues at least weekly.
59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, that they prefer to watch a video.

(See complete infographic here – HighQ’s website.)

Taking a look at the numbers, it seems like a no-brainer to say that video content is more engaging than text. But is it? So what does all this mean? Are people not writing? Are people not reading? Is video better than text? So thinking about this I decided to write this article and research a few things, that I’d like to share with you and get your opinion. Here’s what I found out.

 

Psychology.

 

Watching a video and reading an article activate separate cognitive functions. It’s important to understand the differences before you make a decision to use a video clip instead of print content. The brain gets a much better workout when reading vs. watching, and the process requires a longer attention span. Text often requires one’s full attention in order to consume the information presented as reading is all about thinking and video is better at getting us to feel. If a person is in a browsing state of mind then they will pay attention to colourful images, embedded video, attractive headlines and catchy slogans. Partly because our brain processes video 60,000 times faster than text.

 

Why video?

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that video is taking over modern marketing and it’s quickly becoming one of the most impactful ways to speak to your audience. They have the power to engage people in a way that text can’t—visually. When we watch a video, we become immersed in it and create an empathetic connection with the screen. Video content allows you to show your visitors more dimensions of the same content. Sometimes people just want to consume video content without having to read a long article. If you want your visitors to fall in love with your content, it makes sense to deliver it via video. With the rise of infographics and animations, we have found an effective way to visualize information and data. Presenting data in a visual way has been proven effective. It’s much easier for us to become emotionally attached to something we watch in a video than something we read in an article.

 

Why text?

 

Visual content may be all the rage, but there is still a need for people who can put words together. Look at me for example, yes I can create videos but I’m always happy to work alongside someone that is skilled at writing. Let’s not forget that many people still simply prefer reading. Every video needs to be built with quality words in scripts and storyboards. The rush to adapt to video content means there are still many people who don’t know how to write for videos. Which is a great opportunity for skilled writers. I also read that when people know exactly what they are looking for, be it to read content, to purchase a specific product or get an update on the latest news, that they are far more likely to choose text over video when given a choice between the two. Sometimes your viewers will just want to get to your information at their own pace and they tend to use text to do it. But the biggest thing that we should not forget is that text content is important due to the way search engines catalog the internet.

 

Conclusion.

 

As for which format is better? It’s hard for me to say that either of them is a winner. I still don’t really know why people prefer one format of content than another. I guess it just comes down to your personal preference. There will always be people who will simply choose a text article over a video. In order to be optimally alluring, I think you need to appeal to both types of people. Those who would rather watch a video, and those who prefer reading an article. As amazing and extremely useful as videos are, they cannot and should not replace traditional text content. We must remember, images, audio, and video content all require good writing to put them in context. Social media captions, podcast scripts, landing page copy, website copy, blogs, training video highlights and much more, are a list of places written content is required during our great age of visual consumption. The decline of user attention spans has made written content and video content more competitive than ever.

Who do you think the winner is video or text? We’d love to know your thoughts!

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