Let’s all just confess to the guilty truth. Most of us prefer to consume information by watching a video, rather than reading a blog. Even while reading this, you might begin to think that you would have preferred for this information to have been conveyed to you in video form. It’s just easier, and we all know it.
The fact is, there’s a definitive shift occurring in the way we consume information. As a society, we’re more visually based than ever before, which means that as marketers our communication tactics need to follow suit to remain competitive.
In all its forms, video is an incredibly effective way to communicate with your customers. It’s just so engaging and all-consuming. When a relevant, captivating video ad catches your eye, it’s hard to look away. Think pre-roll ads on YouTube, for example. Video has proven beyond a doubt to be one of the most impactful marketing mediums available to advertisers and content creators the like.
So, with this shift in the way we consume information, it begs the question…
With video definition that’s even higher than our eyes can perceive, and with richer, more interactive content to stimulate our senses, where does written communication stand amidst all that is shiny and new?
You might say it’s sad, but it’s also true, we’re in the “I’ll just wait for the movie to come out” age, and there’s no turning back. None of us is in the business of adding more friction to the buying process for our customers. Clearly, communicating over mediums that our customers prefer, allows us to get our message across more effectively and in our case, helps our clients sell more vehicles. When it comes to engagement, there’s no contest; video just works. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt seen the statistics. So we won’t drone on about how vital it is to include video as a mainstay in your content marketing strategy, other than to say, don’t get left behind.
Well, it might behoove us all to take a pause and remember that written communication is the fundamental pillar of content marketing, and as such it represents the yin to video’s yang. In fact, most of us have been successfully using written content to support our video marketing all along. You know that in your business, long before customers walk onto the lot, or into your storefront, they’ve got your number. And they should! You’ve been content marketing at them with the express intent of moving them to action since they learned about you.
Blogs, video testimonials, video product demos, email marketing, sales letters & mailers, whatever it is, online or off, if you’re competing in today’s economy, you’re doing it. Arming your prospects with unbiased and actionable information is the best way to build trust, written or otherwise. Let them walk onto the sales floor guns-a-blazin’ with all that information you equipped them with! You’ve already done the work and won their business.
How else can you effectively use written communication in conjunction with video to enrich your marketing message and have the most impact?
The widespread use of video for marketers is pretty great, but it’s far from a panacea. If not for the title, many slick and alluring video messages might never be viewed. A good title can mean the difference between something that goes viral, or something that falls flat on its face. That’s right, the title alone can make the difference! Consider writing a title that is clickable and that contains relevant keywords to increase viewership.
We’re not all built the same. As learners, each of us retains information in different ways, and it’s important for content creators to recognize this as an opportunity to custom tailor the way a message gets delivered and to reinforce the message that we deliver through other mediums.
Consider also the value of the written word when dealing with the complexity of the message we’re trying to convey in support of the product we’re trying to sell. Potential customers who are purchasing products that require a lot of research, or that require the customer to have some technical knowledge, will benefit greatly from a text-based message that supports what was explained in the video. Reading written text helps to anchor key elements of a product or service that should be remembered.
Consider that when creating a video for any video platform, there is a written element in addition to the title, which plays a significant role in a way Google and other search engines determine the ranking. You may not have thought about it before, but it’s the description of the video that really counts. It’s a massive opportunity to supercharge your video ranking. Writing short and non-descript video descriptions leaves money on the table.
On the contrary, publishing the copy of the video and applying relevant tags can seriously boost the exposure your video will receive. Furthermore, if you treat each description like a short blog post, you can make sure that you’re describing your message in greater detail, and that you’re offering useful resources to an already captive audience.
The truth is, that video and written communication are most certainly not at odds with one another. There’s no real winner here, nor should there be. The two go hand-in-hand quite nicely and taken together are very effective. Written word plays a huge role in both getting people to watch your video content in the first place. Also, it’s crucial when making sure that viewers retain the information long after the video has ended. Remember that as advertisers, your job is to sell, not to entertain. Video without the written word is like a ship without an engine.
Some forward-thinking companies in the digital automotive space have managed to successfully marry both the power of written word and the interactivity of video in their marketing efforts for clients. Companies that haven’t yet leveraged the value of this marriage are leaving money on the table. So, even amidst this massive and unstoppable shift in our society’s preferences, we should remember that there is no substitute for rich, well-written content. And, as skilled marketers, we must make sure to harness the power of both in our marketing efforts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lucie Gauvreau is the CEO of Turbo Marketing Solutions, an automotive digital marketing company that helps new and pre-owned car dealerships sell more cars each month using content and video marketing tools and strategies.