If you’re a business without experience using video to promote your product, don’t fret. Video will always complement written content, but it won’t exactly replace it. Written content offers consumers a different kind of concept clarity than audiovisual content, and it facilitates seamless user experiences across all digital interfaces.
The Necessity of Writing in a Digital Age
Every digital asset requires some level of writing to maintain success. Instagram images require captions, categories, and tags for organization. To encourage views for video-based content, producers often rely on descriptions, teasers, titles, and emails. Facebook sees a video-heavy future for its platform, but even this social media giant recognizes the need for written content to support video offerings.
Writing is not just useful for categorizing other types of content. It also serves as a way for companies to perfect their messages and give consumers a point of reference. For detailed communications, in-depth reports, and other high-quality marketing efforts, writing remains one of the best forms of communication. While purveyors of the future peddle this idea that written content is dying out, I believe businesses will always discover value in written content. The writing may take on a new form, but it will still serve as a foundational element of content marketing.
What Video Doesn’t Offer
Videos are great at the beginning of the sales funnel and how-to guides, but they don’t always offer the most convenient mode of communication. Some consumers don’t want to hit pause and play repeatedly while they try to digest talking points. They can’t easily scan a video for relevant information, and video creates certain environmental restrictions. If you’re in a cubicle in the office or in a public space, you will likely need headphones to consume video content.
Poorly produced videos add yet another layer of difficulty to the equation. Viewers who can’t clearly hear the content or grasp the purpose of the video may come away frustrated. Then, there’s the matter of cost. To create a high-quality video, creators need a large budget. Many businesses simply can’t afford to create video content that will meet the expectations of consumers.
While technological advancement will overcome some of these challenges, writing remains an economical and valuable form of communication in the digital world. Both B2C and B2B businesses will continue to rely on the written word in their marketing efforts for years to come.
Embrace the Changing Nature of Writing
Video is not quite ready to overthrow the king of marketing, but businesses do need to prepare for the inevitable changes that technology will bring. Growing video-based mediums, virtual reality, and new devices are shifting the content marketing focus. Writers in today’s world must cater more to a reader’s individual preferences and constantly fight for a competitive edge. Here are some predictions about written content that business owners should understand and adopt, starting today:
- Interaction matters. Companies can get more out of interactive content than they can out of passive forms. Psychologically, interactive content shifts the focus away from the company and toward the individual. Quizzes such as Which Character from X Show Are You?, polls such as What New Product is Your Favorite?, and onsite calculators all give your readers an opportunity to play an active role in the content experience. Instead of simply scanning bullet points, they get to become part of the creation process.
- Consumers crave diversity. In the world of education, teachers and schools are starting to respect the fact that individuals learn differently. Some need to read the content on their own, while others need hands-on experience to succeed. These learning preferences don’t go away as we age. Some readers will thoroughly enjoy a 2,500 word in-depth article, while others prefer to scan a list of bullet points. Understanding different modes of communication can greatly improve consumer engagement levels.
Try this – Take one of your newest blog articles and give it a new look. Turn the information into an infographic, expand on the concept, or shorten a longer article into a too long, didn’t read (tl;dr) format.
- The mobile/social train is moving full-speed ahead. According to a 2016 HubSpot survey of 1,091 individuals who use digital technology, 76% of individuals use their Facebook newsfeed to find new articles. This represents a 57% increase over the last two years. Forty-eight percent say they receive content via mobile notification, which is a 34% increase over the last two years. While people still rely heavily on search engines, they are increasingly turning to mobile devices and social platforms to stay in touch with news and business information.
Begin now – Analyze your website for mobile friendliness and always share new content on social media sites.
- Automation may hold the key to competitive standing. To stay afloat in the digital content quagmire, businesses need a strategic way to transform content. In addition to giving readers control, transforming content can help you get more out of a high-quality piece over time. If you do hold a webinar or invest in a high-dollar video campaign, optimize it. Spend time finding the right keywords, fine-tuning metadata, and researching trends regarding the topics. Riff off the meat of the existing content and create several new pieces with different formats. Many platforms, including Hootsuite, give companies the ability to send out unified messaging across several social media sites.
Now’s the time – take a Google Analytics training course to improve your auditing skills. When you know how your current content is performing, you can make the decision to invest in additional automation tools.
Written content is timeless, affordable, and recyclable. Diversify your content approach and start incorporating new techniques on a regular basis. Video may not have the upper hand yet, but businesses still need a strong written content marketing game to remain competitive.
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