Imagine this, you’re snuggled up with a good book, then some A’hole suddenly blasts an advert at you from a megaphone. Interrupting your reverie with some inane twaddle about a product you don’t want.
This is the reason my phone is always on silent. When I scroll through Facebook to pass the time – sat on a bus or in a waiting room – I’m trying to quietly read. I don’t want to be that person making the experience of waiting any suckier for everyone else by having to tolerate unnecessary noise!
The Rise of Video
According to HubSpot, ‘80% of all internet traffic will be dedicated to video in 2019’
Let’s consider that for a moment…
Are you spending the majority of your time online watching videos?
Statistics like this suggest this is exactly what people are doing.
Perhaps I’m a weirdo (or ‘old’), but most of the content I consume online is written – easily 80% of my online time. Reading tweets, reading Facebook updates, reading Linked In articles, reading emails, reading blogs… I only watch videos if that is what I’m their specifically to do, for example, watching TED talks.
Video is undoubtedly an important component of the content we consume online. Although, as a writer, I will pick up a pen before I pick up my phone, I appreciate that ‘writing’ a blog is not easy for everyone (it’s not easy for me some of the time!).
However, I dispute the notion that video it is the Great Marketing Panacea it’s made out to be.
That’s why ‘V’ is for ‘Video’ in my A to Z of Blogging.
Video, The Marketing Panacea?
I’ll start by establishing that I’m NOT saying video is bad or you shouldn’t do it. I want to be clear on that. Just because I like to read and I’m a writer doesn’t mean I ‘don’t do video’.
Look, I even have a YouTube Channel (although it’s a bit out of date!).
If I’m honest – although I’m an author – my idea of a good Saturday night in is with a movie, not a book!
I’d choose a good TV Box-set Binge over a stack of books any time! So, I get it, I understand why people might say ‘video is better than reading’.
But is that always the case?
- On a beach or by a pool, I’d rather read a book than have my phone out watching a video.
- Eating my lunch at my desk I might watch a TED talk.
There’s no doubt that as technology improves, broadband speeds increase and mobile networks expand, that video makes up significantly more of the content we consume than it did a year ago.
Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, ‘push’ video content on users by playing videos automatically. They are building their algorithms to favour tools like Facebook Live.
(In fact, I wonder if HubSpot’s stats are skewed by the hours people spend watching Netflix? I which case, I might only spend an hour online in the day, but will happily binge-watch several episodes of Stranger Things after dinner!)
There are a growing number of ‘Video Blogs’ or ‘VLOGS’ out there. Experiment with it yourself (in fact, I encourage creative experimentation!).
However, whether you are creating VLOGS (Video Blogs), Facebook Lives or YouTube videos you still need to describe the content of your video so it can be found.
Video isn’t an excuse to not write anything!
Google feeds on ‘keywords’, without them, it has nothing to search for and your video won’t be seen.
But describing the content of your video is not just helpful for Google (because remember, Google is NOT your customer) – but it’s helpful for humans too.
You can’t expect someone to click on and watch your video if they have no idea what it’s about!
Video Has It’s Limitations
- More than one video on my phone and I have to clear the memory card. More than a few videos in my Dropbox and I’m spammed with emails encouraging me to upgrade my storage. Videos are hardware-hungry (which can get expensive)!
- I shared a video of a blogging skills webinar on a blog post. In the update, I wrote, “Read the top tips in under 10 minutes or watch the 20-minute video”. Writing that sentence was an eye-opener. There seems to be this belief that video saves time and therefore we all want to consume content that way.
- Technology and editing. You need a good quality camera or suitable phone, maybe a microphone. You’ll need the tools and skills to edit a video. There are an increasing number of apps for this but it takes time to learn and master, so get help (none of these things are cheap!).
Pro Tip: Mix it up.
Use video, yes, but only where appropriate.
Video is just one of the tools available to you.
Facebook Live is a great way to host your own webinar with minimal technical fuss.
Some things are better seen and demonstrated than written about.
A final thought…
Ask yourself, could you be scaring away customers with too much video and not enough useful content?
Pro Tip: Whenever you create any content, think about the best format to present it in.
Better still, re-purpose it into multiple formats…
Need help getting to grips re-purposing your video and written content?