Monday, November 22, 2010

Will Video Ever Replace Text?

A lot of marketing gurus have been touting online video as the way of the future.

They extol video as a replacement to boring and static text.

While I have to admit that I really like using online videos for promote my websites, I think that replacing all your text with video is silly. There are a lot of times when I’d much rather read an article or a manual than watch a video.

Also, when I’m reading a book or the newspaper, I can highlight anything I think is particularly important, and I can rip out just the pages that I think are relevant to me.

Also, you can skim an entire book and have a pretty good idea what it’s about. Skimming a video just doesn’t work as well.

Then there’s the fact that you can read anywhere. If you’re sitting flying in an airplane, you can read a book the entire time. You can’t watch a video the entire time. Watching video also requires technology like DVD players or laptops which requires batteries or a plug. When you’re reading all your need is light.

One application where I like video is when it’s accompanied by an article, not the replacement for it. For example, when I record videos and put them on my blog, I always try to include a text version for what I’m saying in my videos so that if a visitor doesn’t want to watch my videos or can’t, then they can still get the gist of what I’m saying by reading the accompanying text.

When you’re using videos as a marketing technique, one thing you need to be aware of is that not everyone has broadband. If your target market only includes broadband users, then fine, but if some of your customers are on dialup, then make sure you supplement with text.

So while video may very well be the way of the future, it’s never going to completely replace text, nor should it.

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