Year after year, video marketing consumption statistics continue to impress digital marketers
According to the latest research – WyzOwl’s state of video marketing in 2023 report – video has
never been more popular and effective as a marketing tool.
● The spread of video is at an all-time high, with 91% of businesses using it.
● Video marketing is helping brands increase user understanding of their product/service
(96% of surveyed companies support this claim), brand awareness (95%), traffic (91%),
lead generation (90%), and sales (87%).
● Video has proven effective in increasing purchase intent, as 89% of surveyed people
stated that a video convinced them to buy a product or service.
● 91% of respondents said that they want to see more online videos from brands in 2023.
You might have already benefited from video marketing on social media, and now, as a responsible and eager content marketer, you want to take it to the next level. Does it make sense to start incorporating more videos into your website and blog content? Should you start repurposing some of your old blog posts into videos?
The answer may not be obvious, so let’s compare video content with text to help you decide
which works better for your brand.
Using Video Content
At first glance, video might seem to always be the ideal choice. It’s obviously a more powerful medium as it comprises multiple mediums: sounds, imagery, movement, and text. Human eyes are naturally attracted to movement, so it makes perfect sense that video is the best at capturing someone’s attention. Plus, if the video features a human, it can harness the power of nonverbal communication, which can make conveying a brand message far more convincing and compelling.
The medium lends itself well to brands that have enticing visuals to show and interesting stories
to tell. When humans, animals, and nature are at the heart of these stories, a well-produced
video can speak a billion words.
Here’s a great example: ATH, a sports supplement brand, relies predominantly on text and images throughout its website and blog to concisely present and explain its products (along with plenty of social proof). However, they’ve decided to utilize video where it can have maximum impact: in the Our Story section.
The video immerses us in compelling ocean imagery along with the story of the North Shore Lifeguards to express what ATH Sport stands for as a brand. It’s an entertaining, immersive, and highly effective depiction of the company’s values and identity.
Here, Patagonia combines written articles, long-form videos, and even podcasts to illustrate what their brand is about: the complex relationship between nature and humans. And they’re able to produce some genuinely cinematic content.
However, note how even Patagonia chooses text over video in some cases – a decision that brings us to the next part of this article: when to choose text over video.
Using Text Content
You don’t need to start converting your old blog posts into videos and producing video content just for the sake of it.
It’s the more expensive option, and if quality is a priority, costs can be prohibitive. If you don’t have the means to create a professional video, it’s often better to delay production until you do. You’ll want to avoid mediocrity at all costs, something that’s much easier to achieve with text.
There are also two specific situations in which text-based content is going to be more effective than video. Let’s take a look at them.
Educating Your Audience
Sure, explainer videos can do a marvelous job of relaying information, and you can find some great examples of their use from brands like Airbnb and The Dollar Shave Club. But written content is still incredibly effective when you aim to educate your audience and present detailed information.
Readers can learn quickly from text that you’ve structured concisely and logically. They also often appreciate being able to skim through the article quickly to find the sections they need. A quick scan also gives the reader an idea of what the content covers and whether it’s what they’re looking for. Both of these things are hard to emulate with video. Look at Going’s post on using Google flights as an example. It’s an instructional post covering a lot of information, starting with the basics of using Google to find cheap flights and ending with some extremely advanced tips.
The text-heavy post relies on plenty of screenshots to offer step-by-step instructions, so users can simultaneously look at the page and try the process on their own.
Another good example comes from Career Sidekick, a site that features resources for resume-building and job interview preparation. The entire website is about educating its audience of job-seekers, and all that extensive information is presented as concisely as possible in text form, using a logical, step-by-step approach.
The table of contents at the beginning of each article enables readers to find everything quickly and skip straight to a section that interests them.
Extensive Data, Reviews, and Comparison Guides
If your content is data-heavy, you should present it in text format. It’s as simple as that. No amount of movement and animation will make all that data more digestible. You may even find that video acts as a distraction and makes it even more challenging for the user to find what they’re looking for.
Marketbeat’s Dividend Calculator page is a perfect example. This page is vital to the brand’s content marketing strategy — the free tool, along with plenty of important information regarding dividend stocks, attract many visitors to the site.
People are there for the information that will help them manage their stock portfolios, and they
want to be able to find this information quickly. They’re not looking for a fun video to engage
The same goes for Eachnight’s detailed mattress buying guide. The post is information-heavy but incredibly visual, relying heavily on a combination of text, pictograms, and, most importantly, clever formatting. The post’s formatting makes it highly digestible and very easy for readers to find what they’re looking for after just a quick scan.
It starts with a handy table of contents that lets you skip to the products you’re interested in, and then it uses the same template to cover each mattress section by section.
Each product entry consists of useful bullet points for comparison, highlights, ideal customers, and quick information on warranty, trial period, and shipping.
Quite simply, there’s no better way to do these kinds of posts than a text-based article. Using a combination of words, images, and smart formatting saves your audience time and effort while presenting them with all the information they’re looking for.
Combining Video and Text
When deciding whether written content or video would work better for your content marketing purposes, the first question you should be asking is: “What is the simplest, most straightforward way to convey this specific message to my audience?”
Sometimes, the answer will be in combining the two formats. This is exactly what Shop Solar Kits did to great effect with their educational resource. They offer video modules along with a handbook to help customers learn about building and
maintaining their own off-grid solar power system.
It’s a complex topic, but the brand combines different media to clarify it for the audience and create step-by-step tutorials that anyone can learn from.
One great thing to note about combining these content types is that it’s great for SEO. Video and text complement each other extremely well, and search engines rely on written words for ranking.
Search engine bots aside, diversifying your content and utilizing different media is an effective way to garner more interest.
Some brands belong to niches where video works extremely well. The well-being industry comes to mind since brands who operate here rely heavily on compelling visuals and narratives to tell their story.
Brands that won’t have an obvious need for video shouldn’t produce video purely because it’s proven successful for other companies. Yes, there’s a ton of research proving its effectiveness, but if your audience isn’t looking for a video, a well-written article with compelling imagery is probably more than adequate.
The question isn’t necessarily what works for your brand overall but what works for your specific marketing goals.
Think about what you want to achieve and how you would like to convey your message. Sometimes, the answer may not be apparent, and you can get creative and experiment with different formats. After all, video and text content are not mutually exclusive. Whichever type of content you choose, aim to deliver the maximum while demanding the minimum of time and
effort from your audience. They’ll appreciate it.