Categorized as Animated Explainer Video

Written Content vs. Video Content: Which One Is Better for Marketing?

written content vs video content
by Andre Oentoro Originally published   ·  Updated 

Investing in video marketing should be a no-brainer in today’s marketing landscape, considering that consumers spend 58.8% of their time on social media watching videos or that video made up almost 65% of all internet traffic in 2022.

And, if you look at the multiple benefits of using this dynamic format, you’ll find that it holds a lot of potential. From helping consumers comprehend complex solutions to convincing them to convert, it’s safe to say that video works

But does that make it the only type of content you need in your marketing strategy? 

Probably not. 

More traditional types of content (e.g., blog posts, e-books, listicles, etc.) still play a crucial role in attracting and converting customers.

So, if you’ve ever wondered whether your marketing efforts need to rely on written vs. video content, here’s when to use each format to reach your goals.

Short Videos Win Hearts and Clicks

By combining both visual and audio elements, short videos do a great job of engaging more audiences.

Data shows that 53% of viewers watch videos all the way through. And those numbers go even higher when you opt for snackable shorter formats. 

Since it helps brands get complex messages across, it would be a great addition to your homepage or landing pages.

In the Features section, the brand employs multiple 5 to 30-second videos (employed here in an animated format). And they work marvelously to show off the product’s capabilities.

Sure, the brand could have used simple text to describe what its product does. However, it would not have achieved an equally good result. 

This is not because text can’t be used to explain product features but simply because video captures and retains people’s attention. 

That’s what makes video the best way to intentionally introduce your audience to product features/characteristics without losing their attention.

Written Content Captures Consumer Attention

Now, employing video when your audience wants to learn about your solutions can be a great way to ensure high engagement rates. But what about when your web visitors (or social media followers) aren’t aware you have the solution to their pain points?

In these cases, written content could be the better option. 

In particular, by optimizing your value propositions, you could effectively draw web visitors’ attention to your products’ effectiveness, relevance, or uniqueness.

For a great example, check out how Tonal does it on its Online Workouts landing page. Knowing that its audience needs a tailored solution to keeping fit, this brand actively uses USPs that emphasize the customizability of its offer.

Or, if you check out the Best Medical Alert Systems of 2024 article on the Medical Alert Buyers Guide website, you’ll see that the “Life-saving alert systems for mom and dad” sentence does a marvelous job of instantly communicating the value of investing in one of these solutions.

Videos Simplify Brain-Bending Ideas for Newbies

Sometimes, what your marketing strategy needs isn’t just a mere audience’s attention but their understanding instead. 

According to Google, 53% of shoppers research products before buying. Some data even reveals that the average consumer needs eight touches, on average, before investing in a solution.

With this in mind, it’s evident that most people don’t buy on impulse. 

Instead, they base their purchase decisions on their understanding of the value offered by the product in question.

The main issue with ensuring the required level of understanding is that it can be challenging — especially when targeting a non-expert audience. Most novel concepts aren’t that easy to explain. And the task becomes even more difficult if you’re trying to market a complex technical solution.

In these cases, explainer videos can be a hugely helpful tool.

Seeing as they use visuals (which the human brain processes faster than text), they can be an invaluable content format to add to your arsenal.

For example, check out the Toast homepage. The SaaS brand employs a beginner-friendly explainer video instead of trying to introduce restaurant owners to concepts like cloud-based POS systems. And, if you think about it, this approach makes total sense. 

After all, a restaurant owner doesn’t have to understand code to offer great food. All they need is the equipment to serve their customers seamlessly. 

That’s why presenting them with an approachable explainer video is a much better choice than using text to describe how a POS system works.

Skimmable Text Comes in Handy for the Awareness Stage

One of the main reasons people go online is to find information. 

In fact, if you look at how the customer journey works, you’ll find that the awareness stage of the sales cycle generally involves an initial search where consumers aim to define their pain points and potentially begin solving those same issues.

But here’s the deal. While you could use video to attract prospects to your solution, chances are, they won’t have the interest or expertise required to benefit from those videos.

 Instead, when hunting for info, 80% of people will prefer to skim text (not read) until their eyes land on a word or phrase related to their pain points.

So, if you want to attract the segment of your target audience that populates the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, your best bet is to create resources optimized for skimming, such as the Acquisition Terms Glossary from Business For Sale.

This will allow you to help your prospects define what they might need to remove a pain point. And more importantly, it will present an opportunity to nudge web visitors toward a lower phase of the sales funnel.

Don’t forget that too much text can be overwhelming as well. 

To make this type of content work in your favor, try to optimize it for readability. Create as many white spaces as possible.

You can do this through formatting like they did with the Alexander Tutoring Student Stress Levels blog post. You can also do it by breaking up large chunks of text with images or videos.

Allow Web Visitors to Choose How They Consume Content

The thing about choosing the best type of content for your marketing strategy is that the winning format won’t just depend on your goals. Your audience’s preferences will also determine it.

You see, while most people prefer to watch videos over reading text, watching video isn’t always a choice due to several constraints (including time and space)

If you want to make it easy for your audience to extract knowledge from your posts without limiting how they can consume it, it’s a good idea to allow web visitors to choose how they interact with your content.

By combining text and video, like you can see in the example below from Going, a flight deals service, you can present your web visitors with a host of helpful information. 

You can make it easy for them to sift through all that knowledge without forcing them to read too much text or watch a video when they’ve only got enough time to skim through an article.

Extract the Most Out of Either Format

As you explore the pros and cons of investing in written vs. video content, remember that both formats play an important role in your marketing strategy. 

However, the best way to extract value for your brand is, naturally, to make these pieces of content work on multiple distribution platforms.

As you try to answer the debate of written vs. video content, invest your energy in making both work for your business instead.

Ultimately, a blog post can easily be repurposed into a short or long-form YouTube video to maximize your brand’s reach. And if you already invest in video content, why not shorten it to between 30 seconds and 2 minutes and use it on social media?

For example, if you check out Buffer’s Instagram feed, you’ll notice that the brand regularly repurposes its blog content into multimedia posts, be they videos, images, or animations.

 This works great for attracting follower attention, and it’s an excellent method of encouraging more web visits. The social content gives prospects a glimpse of the offered value and then directs them to the brand’s site.

Over to You

Whether you decide to employ written or video content or include both in your marketing strategies is entirely up to you. 

But, as you search for tactics that will allow your business to grow, do your best to give your brand as many opportunities as possible to wow and engage your audience.

By combining the use of text and video, you can effectively maximize your reach, increase your content’s attractiveness, and make it work in your favor.

So, perhaps instead of asking whether you need one format or the other, try exploring ways to make written and video content work together and find the sweet balance.


About the Author

Natasha Rei is the Digital Marketing Manager of Explainerd, an explainer video production agency. She ensures strategic goals are met by directing online and social media campaigns.

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