In the past couple of years, video content on the web has gained a huge amount of ground. You may have noticed video results embedded in your Google search results, and in the last few weeks, Facebook has been rolling out video ‘autoplay’, a feature that causes videos to start playing automatically when one of your friends has posted them on your news feed. Viral video is an idea we have all become quite comfortable with, and when it works it can be hugely effective for marketing. With the fact that major players in the Web 2.0 world like Google and Facebook clearly love video content, you may be wondering if video is in fact a better way to go when it comes to your business’ promotional content than things like sales letters and text based blog posts.

Photo by Rego Korosi

Photo by Rego Korosi

In fact, while video is on the rise and from an SEO perspective, can be a very nice addition to your strategy, text is still hugely important. While you can market with text posts and no video, it is not wise to try and do it with video and no text. Here’s why:

Accessibility is a Vital Concern When it Comes to Content

When you only present information or your promotional messages in video form, you are actually alienating a large proportion of your potential audience. When people talk in terms of ‘accessibility’ they often focus on whether content can be used by people with disabilities, as obviously people who are blind or deaf will struggle with information that is only presented graphically or audibly. In actual fact, accessibility goes a long way beyond that. Your video only content is not only impossible to use for blind or deaf people, but also people with slow internet connections, people on devices that don’t support video or sound (for example, people using their office PC with no speakers or headphones), and people who don’t want to use the bandwidth it would take to stream a video.

One of the recommendations from the W3C (the organisation who prescribe how websites should be designed to be accessible to as many people as possible) make is that any information presented in visual, audio or image form should also be easily available on the same site in text form, and this is a good rule to stick to if you want your content to be useful to a large audience.

Some People Simply Prefer Text Content

Whether it is because it is more discreet to read something when you are at work or on the go than to watch and listen to a video, or because it can be a faster way to skip to the points you want to know, a lot of users simply like reading a post or article more than streaming a video. Video has its place for all kinds of purposes, but if this is the only kind of content you offer, people whose preference is with reading will have no interest in visiting your site.

If you want to harness the growing popularity of video on the web, then it is a great thing to include in your strategy, but remember that an effective web marketing approach needs to reach as many people as possible. Don’t ignore users who can’t or don’t want to see your videos, and support your video content with some good quality text articles and information.

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