Video content marketing, a subset of the wide content marketing umbrella, is often passed over by businesses in favor of written content.
The reason for this is simple, I think — video just requires a lot more work.
A good writer can bust out an awesome blog post in a matter of hours, or even minutes, depending on their expertise and proficiency.
Slapping in a few free images and dropping it into the website doesn’t take a rocket scientist, and, more importantly, it doesn’t take a large investment.
Video is very different.
Video requires an effort several orders of magnitude above the effort required to create many different pieces of written content to end up with something about the same “length.”
Blog posts that clock in around 500 words can occupy an audience for 5-10 minutes while maybe taking 1–2 hours to write, while a 5–10 minute video, depending on the level of quality and the complexity of the video, might taken dozens of hours to produce, possibly even more.
Another drawback to video is the sheer number of people who may need to be involved. You might get away with doing it all yourself, but you might need an actor or ten, you might need someone handy with a camera (or a whole crew), you might need an editor, a writer, a producer, a director… it gets complicated fast.
A blog post isn’t going to require much more than a writer and maybe a designer — and probably not much else.
But the payoff can be infinitely higher.
Video Content Marketing — The Production Wall Is Higher for Video, But So Is the Potential Payout
Content marketing, the creation of useful, valuable content intended to draw leads to your website and your business naturally, can be extremely effective, if it’s done right.
Blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and other forms of written content can do this quite well, but written content just can’t beat video content on a number of levels.
- Has a lower price of entry (easier to watch a few seconds of a video than read a few sentences in an ebook)
- Can convey a larger amount of information in a shorter amount of time (not always the case, but often the case)
- Is more accessible to some audiences (not everyone can read/wants to read/can read well/finds reading enjoyable)
- Is more engaging (audiences are more engaged by video content than by written content)
- Can more easily and more powerfully engage an audience emotionally
Consider two pieces of content — a blog post about the horrors of puppy mills, and a video showing how puppy mills are run.
Which do you suppose will have a higher impact?
Which will be more difficult to produce?
Both pieces target the emotions. Both pieces may offer useful, valuable information to an audience interested in ending the practice of puppy mills. Both pieces may be well-researched and well-produced.
But the video is going to reach a wider audience, is going to be more likely to go viral quickly, and is going to be easier for all audiences to digest.
Video Content Marketing — Combine Video and Written Content for the Highest Level of Success
Video and written content can be pitted against each other, and you’re welcome to let them fight to the death, to see which works best for you and your business, but the truth is, you’re going to be most effective with a combination of content.
Some people like videos. Some people like to read articles. Some people like both. One of the major drawbacks to video content is the difficulty and expense of diving deep into a topic, something a written article or ebook can do without taking up nearly as much production time.
If your goal is to create a piece of content marketing that, say, teaches people a variety of knot-tying techniques, video may seem like the most logical way to go (and the quickest!).
No one wants to try to figure out how to tie a knot based on written instruction.
However, teaching the knot itself is only part of what your users are looking for.
They may have no clue when they’ll need that knot, or where, or why one knot is better than the other. They may be unaware of the pitfalls of certain knots, or where they can go to get more knot-related information.
(I’m assuming these people are boating enthusiasts, but who knows, could be boy scouts.)
For all that information, you’re going to want written content, something that can explain the abstract concepts more easily, as opposed to the concrete concepts, which video will naturally be more suited to.
Combining these two types of content marketing together is going to give you the biggest wins.
Video Content Marketing — Your Video Doesn’t Have to Be a Hollywood Movie
Although video content marketing often seems to be heavily produced, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Think about the most viral videos you’ve ever seen — many of them are low quality, many of them are produced by amateurs (or shot off the cuff), and nevertheless they become extremely popular.
The idea that your content has to be extremely professional is a false one — so throw it out. The quality of the information is what matters most, not the quality of the production.
That being said, production quality reflects on your business.
If you can put out higher-quality video, your brand is going to benefit from it.
It’s a balancing act — how much can you afford to spend on a video, how much time and manpower can you sink into the project, and what is going to be expected of your brand, both by your customers and the decision makers in your business?
Smaller businesses can generally get away with more, though again, that’s not always the case. If you’re a small business, but your brand is built around luxury and quality, putting out a low-quality video might not be the best idea.
Whether You’re Creating Video Content Marketing or Written Content Marketing, You Need a Distribution Method
No matter what content you’ve decided to produce, you need a way to get it out to your audience.
While there are many different distribution methods available (press releases, social media, PPC, just to name a few), one of our favorite methods of promotion is email.
Email marketing is more valuable than you think — read more about how email is still the King of Digital Marketing.