There’s no doubt that content is king, but what is the king of content? Video content is set to overtake written content, and has probably already done so. A forecast by Cisco indicates that a whopping 69% of consumer internet usage will be video based by 2017. This development has led many brands to reconsider their content plans and shift their budgets towards new cameras and equipment in lieu of written content. After all, the audience has spoken, and the demand for video is clearly strong.
In a world dominated by video content, is there still an avenue for the written word?
So what is it about video content that has sparked such a resurgence in recent years? Digital marketing has evolved rapidly over the years, shifting its focus from banner ads to more sophisticated forms of advertising including content marketing. It was only during the past 5 years or so that really saw video take root in our online consumption.
First of all, video is way cheaper to produce today than it was 5 years ago. Today, producing videos don’t require state of the art studios or equipment. With competent skills, the camera and editing apps on an iPhone could deliver a standard of quality that rivals the latest technologically advanced cameras. There’s also more capable talent in the marketplace, and it has become much easier to find someone with the appropriate skills for video.
Secondly, distribution has become very simple and cost effective. With YouTube taking off in such a big way and Facebook integrating native video content on news feeds, there has never been an easier way to obtain videos. In fact, videos are so popular that YouTube has become the 2nd most popular search engine in the world.
While video content seems to be on the rise, the demand for written marketing content is higher than ever before. Easy distribution via blogs, email and social media channels have made internally produced content a viable marketing strategy no matter the medium.
Written content still plays a big part in marketing strategies. Video content may possess many benefits, but the written word allows for more nuance and elaboration. Guides, tools and instructional material are a natural fit for the written form partially because of their ability to communicate in depth information at a pace determined by the audience.
Written content also tends to be a larger time investment that allows more space and time for emotions to develop when it comes to riveting stories. Parts of the world that may not have stable internet connections particularly on mobile may also be unsuitable for video.
Written content is also easier to produce, and doesn’t really require expertise in video editing software or camera equipment. Obviously, the barrier to entry is also substantially lower which means it’s more accessible to storytellers. The ease and lower cost of production means you can put out content consistently which is essential when building up an active audience.
Brands and companies will do well to understand the limitations of each medium to pull off successful marketing campaigns. Video might be king for now, but scripts are still written in word.
Despite the imminent video takeover, writers should rest easy. Written content is still a viable option for companies venturing into content. Instead, brands and companies should look deeply into their audience profiles to determine the appropriate medium to communicate.
But writers shouldn’t get too comfortable either. Video budgets are set to overshadow written content, and writers will need to find ways to adapt. Delivery quality content might not be enough, diversifying and finding new ways to value-add through content strategy or SEO are viable options.