In a 2016 Marketing Industry report published by Social Media Examiner, it is stated that “74% of social media marketers use visuals for their content, ahead of blogs (68%)”. While the efficiency of visual content is strongly supported, phasing out blogs or written content as a whole is risky as it does serve its own purpose when used adequately.
In this article, we provide the insight to help you pick the format that will best fit the situation, keeping in mind that finding your own point of balance is key to successful content marketing.
1. Be consumer-centric
As human beings, we naturally prefer to consume content as a passive experience, meaning video is more appealing by nature. That said, knowing your audience is the only true way to efficiently prioritize your content type.
Start with some simple A/B testing; create two distinct pathways from your homepage, one leading to the blog and the other to your vlog page. Monitor behavior flow via Google Analytics reports and always consider other metrics in the process. Referral sources, user behavior and demographics some of the additional metrics that will help gain a broader understanding of how both types of content perform, the reasons behind it and how they may be interlinked.
This first step will help outline a base strategy and clarify the blog to vlog ratio that best fits your audience.
2. When to vlog?
Visual content is by nature, entertaining. Providing this type of content easily generates engagement and can multiply your reach if deemed worthy of sharing by your audience. Utilize visuals when tapping into your audience’s emotions like nostalgia; an alumni’s sweet spot in many cases.
Another influential factor is the concerned industry. A university, for example, is going to be the student’s, teacher’s or researcher’s world for years and a blog article is just not enough for that person to gain a deeper understanding of what he/she is getting into. In addition, triggering the right emotions during a video “campus tour” can enhance the likeliness that the institution will appeal to the viewer if there is a fit. It’s a subtle way to get your audience’s toes wet.
3. When to Blog?
So why write hundreds of words when a shorter video could express more? The ubiquity of video content continuously raises the bar that defines what a high-quality video is. Like in any project, the saying goes: “a (video) can be three things: good, fast and cheap but you can only pick two”.
Now apart from the basic guidelines of content creation, taking a consumer centric approach remains essential to identify optimal content. So in what cases will an audience favor blogs?
The main difference lies in the reader/viewers way of consuming content. Reading is an active way of consumption meaning the reader is voluntarily looking to learn information he identified through the title of the blog. When the content is heavily educational, like a panel discussion, it makes more sense to write a detailed takeaway blog instead of forcing your audience to pay attention for an hour. The design of a blog allows for a better “browsing/screening/skimming” experience in the case that the reader is simply looking for a specific piece of information.
The point of emphasis is that there is no “right way”. It’s not just about your content, but the various ways of delivering that information so that it matches your audience’s expectations whether they are looking to consume content passively or actively. Research findings can be delivered extensively in a blog for those interested in the intricacies of it. Just as it can be delivered in a 2 minute animated video for those looking to build their surface knowledge on the mentioned topic. Get to know your audience better every day so that you can truly cater to each type of content consumers.