Will Textual Content Lose its Value in Favour of Video Content?

Will Textual Content Lose its Value in Favour of Video Content?

No. Nada. Never!

Content marketing is primarily based on textual content. Later, videos, images, infographic and other graphical content became part of the content marketing lexicon.

It isn’t illogical to doubt the merits of Content Writing when the evidence before us tilts in favour of video content. Let’s see few statistics.

Videos perform better for site engagement, as mentioned in a study by Usurv. Content consumers are 39% more likely to share content, 36% more likely to comment and 56% more likely to ‘like’ the content if it’s a video.

A consumer with Internet connection watches 206 videos per month.

Nielsen studies show that 64% of digital marketers are interested to explore video marketing to increase engagement.

Despite the conclusive evidence, it’s too early and novice to ditch textual content in favour of video content because reading an article and watching a video requires different cognitive functions. Let’s see few statistics on textual content:

60% of marketers create written content once a day.
Content marketing leaders saw a 7.8x growth in unique site traffic through long-form content.
78% consumers trust a brand that creates customised content.
93% of B2B marketers are into content marketing.

As a business owner, you need to understand the difference before choosing one over the other. Let’s understand these differences.

#1 Internet Accessibility

Except for few countries, the global Internet adoption leaves much to be desired. In few countries, the Internet speed is less than 1 MBPS per user and therefore, delivering video content to such geographical audiences is insensible. Without the availability of the proper Internet bandwidth, it is impractical for consumers to interact with your business via videos only.

On the other hand, textual content can be rendered even with a slow Internet connection. As a business owner, your prime objective is to reach out to the target audience, gather leads, and convert them successfully into paid customers. Sole dependence on videos for business branding and business ROI is a non-justifiable strategy.

#2 Behavioural Impact

ClickTale conducted an interesting study where they wanted to understand the triggers that made people choose one kind of content delivery over another. They analysed globally popular news websites which revealed that consumers are strongly influenced by their past behaviour. It effectively means that if a certain section of the consumers landing on a popular news site chose to read news through published text, they are likely to continue with the behaviour rather than shift to video content, and vice versa. The study found it extremely rare that consumers opted for both text and video content.

The decision to choose text over video and vice versa depends on the individual’s personal choice. Several subconscious factors are at work without the individual even realising it. The choice depends on the individual’s personality, nature of information, the state of mind and other external factors. It’s hard to pinpoint a single factor.

As such, a business will commit severe injustice if it was to abandon textual content completely in favour of video content. It would mean that the business is forcing the consumer to interact with a single kind of content.

#3 Goals vs. Entertainment

There are two kinds of consumers browsing the Internet: one is the entertainment oriented crowd which is more inclined towards watching videos for casual information, whiling away time, and consuming information passively without relying on strong cognitive faculties. The consumer mind processes emotional triggers through colourful images, catchy slogans and attractive headlines. Consumers in the video state of mind will prefer video over text.

The second one is the goal-oriented crowd that comes on a website with a specific purpose and ready to exercise its cognitive faculties to understand the content printed on the page. These consumers have a specific need or cause in mind. They know what they are looking for such as buying physical products or informative digital goods and would make a willing effort to read the printed text.

As a business, you need to cater to both the goal-oriented and entertainment-oriented consumers, depending on the nature of your business.

#4 Nature of Business

Before choosing between textual content or video content, the nature of the business needs to be considered. Which of the methods will be more productive? Textual content will always be the winner. A lot of literature is available to support this. Research shows that when consumers have to make a purchasing or an investment decision such as buying insurance or high-value products, the rational part of the brain is activated. This part of the brain focuses on the details, and these details are displayed better via textual content, not through a video.

We, humans, are hardwired to avoid heavy cognitively strenuous work, which is why videos are gaining good popularity, but videos are not a failsafe measure. When to comes to buying decisions, which is ultimately the goal of any business, we prefer to strain our cognitive perception and go over the product/service offerings in great detail; hence, textual content is the winner.

Psychological Triggers

The role of content, of any kind, is to psychologically trigger certain emotions. The whole human existence is primarily ruled by three main emotions – pain, fear and pleasure. The purchasing decisions always revolve around these three emotions. Content is a vehicle to convey information to the intended consumer base. The personality of the buyers, their state of mind, and other psychological triggers play a role in choosing the content type to engage.

The Solution

Content marketing is evolving and so should your business marketing evolve. Keep a healthy content type ratio in the marketing mix. You can keep the business content 80% textual and split the remaining 20% between videos and other graphical presentations. This 20% content should be embedded on the primary website along with the textual content.

As I clarified in the beginning, textual content will never lose its importance in favour of video content.

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