As you sit reading this, there are millions of other people watching videos on YouTube or any number of websites with video content. So, who is a bit crazy? You or me? After all, if video is so popular and ever-present online, why am I wasting my time writing this instead of producing a video? And why are you reading this text instead of watching a skateboarding cat or a dancing pony?
Even though video has its clear benefits, text-based content is still the winner online. Indeed, we are reading more now than we did just a few years ago – and certainly more than any previous generation. Reading is one of the most significant activities of the decade.
After all, you read dozens of emails each day – yet in the past you would not have read dozens of letters. Similarly, you read dozens of web pages each day, gathering information on all sorts of topics and getting “the latest” on your sector. But in the past, you would have only read a monthly magazine on the topic or perhaps simply attended meetings. Nowadays, we all read, read, read. Millions of words are pouring into our heads each year.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking words are not important.
Video is great, don’t get me wrong. But words are vital.
For instance, how do you reach people in offices where bosses have switched off access to YouTube to avoid time wasting? Text-based documents, of course.
How do you reach people who haven’t got time to watch your ten minute video, but simply want to print something out they can read on the train journey home? Words, of course.
And how do you reach people who are not visual thinkers, who find video distracting? Articles, of course.
With the popularity of online video it is all too easy to get sidetracked and think that in order to succeed online all you need are several great videos instead of articles. Wrong.
Think text first, video second. Indeed, that is confirmed in recent research which shows that the highest ROI in content marketing comes from text, not video.
The study also showed that white papers give video a run for their money too. In other words, two of the top three methods of generating income from the Internet are based on text.
Furthermore, text is often much less costly to produce and much easier to get truly professional results. Getting video right can be expensive and time-consuming, which means you need to sell a great deal more of your products and services in order to get your money back.
Written content is hugely popular online, has lower costs and therefore can increase profitability more easily than other forms of content. Don’t ignore articles in favour of videos.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+