Video Vs. Other Mediums of Online Marketing

In today’s highly digital world we rely heavily on using different online communication mediums to reach our potential clients. Three of the most predominant are text, photo and video; all very effective in their own place, depending upon factors such as industry and target market.

Marketing Consultant, Sarah Crowther advises:

“Everyone has different learning styles, some learn through listening, some learn through doing, etc. I think it’s the same with your target audience. There may be a mixture throughout your target audience, but unless you’re going for someone very technical who is used to reading long pieces of text, I would try and keep the word count to the minimum.”

Text will often occupy the biggest part of a website. This can make up a large percentage of the information that visitors to your website are given to get to know your product or service.

Photos are often used to support this text and lend character and visual interest to a web-page.

With the growing popularity of Instagram as a social media platform used for business, photos are being used more and more commonly to give potential clients an insight into your business’ personality, what it’s like to be a part of your team, or even give a good sense of how you work and what you offer.

Video is arguably the most ambiguous communication medium as it has a wide variety of applications but no definitive formula for how to use it well.

It is quite common for businesses to use video on their landing pages simply because they’ve heard it’s the done thing; if it’s the done thing, there must be benefits to it.

This is true, however, in order to use these benefits to their full potential one must understand what these benefits are and how they work.

In many cases video is used in conjunction with text and image in order to engage an audience and inspire them to read the text to find out more.

Web Developer, James Holden states that:

“When someone looks at a website, they don’t care about you. They care about how you can help them. So if you can get that message across really quickly, about how you can take away their pain points, you’ve got a good chance of someone scrolling around the rest of your website.”

It is therefore only logical to use the most engaging and effective tool possible to spark a website visitors interest.

Video has proven to be a highly engaging medium and can often capture the audience’s attention and keep that attention over longer periods of time.

According to MWP, “59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.”

For example, blogs are a way to engage with your audience regularly, keeping them up to date with the goings-on in your business while also demonstrating expertise in your field; however, vlogs are quickly being adopted by more and more businesses instead. Instead of sitting down and writing a blog, with a few taps of a smartphone, one can speak directly to their audience.

This can then be shared via social media, and with Facebook’s instant play features, it can capture an audience’s interest quicker and easier than a text post. The issue with this, however, comes when considering the target audience you are aiming for. In many cases the target audience will spend a lot of time on social media platforms such as Facebook, where they will be more acclimatised to video. However, if your vlogs are geared towards an audience that spends a lot of time on Linkedin, they may not prove so effective.

When using Linkedin, more often than not, individuals will expect to read text and therefore being confronted by a video may not appeal to Linkedin users. There is also the issue of quality. If potential clients are presented with a poorly filmed vlog, their perception of your business may be damaged. However, again this depends on your target audience, the industry of your business, and the industry of those you are targeting.

When writing a blog you are able to hit the backspace button, allow others to proof-read it, and employ quality control quickly and easily.

Without expertise in creating and using video, it is can be difficult to film a vlog effectively, not to mention editing it to engage an audience both informatively and aesthetically. In order to produce an effective video, it takes time and expertise which can be too time consuming for many businesses to pursue.

Where text and photographs were often used to launch and promote a product, it is now far from uncommon to see video used as a popular alternative. With video, we are able to communicate the uses and applications, the selling points, and the aesthetics of the product, in a far quicker and more engaging way than text and photos.

For example, in order to advertise the new iPad Pro, Apple’s relevant webpage features a large and highly visual photograph and text below, however, even above the main photograph there are 2 links to different videos.

When following these video links we are met with a simple white screen with the video embedded into the page.

This clearly demonstrates that Apple; an incredibly popular and innovative brand, are choosing to use video as an alternative to more traditional methods.

By featuring the video completely alone on the page, with no supporting text or image, they are letting the video speak for itself. The video is not just the main focus; it is the only focus.

eMarketer states that:

“4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.”

PPC advertising expert, Becky Hopkin suggests that

“the challenge for marketing companies is finding ways to be innovative and engaging. I think the more people have adverts [of varying mediums] thrown at them, the harder it’s going to be to stand out from the crowd. So I think the real challenge is utilising technology such as video to make sure that you do stand out against competition.”