Why Video Is More Effective than Text at Getting Your Point Across
To be fair, we’ll probably be employable until someone invents the grammatical equivalent of Auto-Tune. Probably.
The advent of the Internet has been a good time for writers. Slow connections and a dearth of high-quality video equipment kept most blogs and articles basic text, a trend currently reinforced by habit alone.
Brace yourselves, wordsmiths. Our heyday may be coming to an end.
Blogloads of studies and statistics show that the Internet—which is to say, the world of information—is turning to video. In fact, here’s a two-and-a-half minute video that explains why you would rather be watching, rather than reading, this piece:
Seriously, though, how do they know goldfish have nine-second attention spans? Do they test the fish the same way they test people, by making them read corporate newsletters? Or do they give them delicious snacks?
The fact is, our brains have been wired for reality—that is to say, moving images—since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, while words are a relatively new invention. Technology, in the form of speedy Internet and ubiquitous video on your smartphones, has finally given us all the tools we need to replicate those ancient experiences online.
Because I’m a writer, however, I’ll go ahead and explain why videos are more effective than words in literary form. Think of it as a reverse-meta post.
By the Numbers
How much more effective are videos than regular old words when it comes to sharing information? Well, when was the last time an advertising slogan made you cry? How about a slogan selling carbonated sugar water?
We can all agree that “Coke is It!” and “The Pause that Refreshes!” both did a fine job increasing obesity in America. But click this:
Oh man. Pakistan and India should totally be friends. *sniffle* And we should also drink more Coca Cola, especially now that we’re super dehydrated from crying.
Better yet, your immediate instincts have been quantified by scores of data-heavy bullet-point lists. This is just a sample:
- More than 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals improve learning by 400%. In fact, our brains can register around 36,000 visual messages per hour.
- Some 65% of people are “visual learners,” retaining more information from video and graphics than text alone. Education experts consider video more effective than textbooks, because the brain processes visuals more quickly, understands abstract concepts more readily, and finds the lesson more memorable.
- Consumers are 27.4 times more likely to click-through online video ads than standard banners.
- Posts with video attract three times more inbound links than those with text alone.
Maru is so cute! Please link to this blog post.
- In 2014, before the advent of Facebook video, the average Internet user watched 186 videos per month. That’s only going to increase, with YouTube currently making up some 28% of all online searches, and online video on track to be 55% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016.
- More than 85% of US Internet users watch online videos, unsurprisingly weighted heavily toward the key Millennial demographic.
- More than 100 million Internet users watch online videos every day, 10% of which are viewed on smartphone devices.
- While 60% of desktop computer users stop watching a video in two minutes or less, mobile and iPad users have significantly longer attention spans: iPhone users watch for 2.4 minutes, Android users 3 minutes, and iPad users an average of 5 minutes.
- 75% of executives say that they watch at least one work-related video each week; 65% of those visit the marketers website afterward. 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text.
- Video makes you memorable: People remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and 70% of what they hear and see.
- Some 71% of marketers confirm video converts better than other content, with 63% saying it was “far more important” in a 2014 ReelSEO survey.
How Do I Incorporate Video Into My Online Content?
Feeling photogenic? Just pull out your smartphone, turn on the video and start talking.
If that seems scary—and we understand that most freelance bloggers from tend to dress in yoga pants and old t-shirts for the office, which is also their kitchen—find a professional video that expresses the point of your post in an entertaining, educational way. Then, embed.
We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far.