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Can Written Web Content Stay Competitive in the Visual Age?

Written content, from blogs to emails, still reaches the right audiences—and it can complement video campaigns, too, making both channels stronger. There’s a tug-of-war going on in the world of online marketing, and for businesses caught in the middle, it’s increasingly confusing to determine which side has the ideal perspective. We’re talking about the apparent clash between the rise of video content and the long-term dominance of the written word across the web. For years, the business blog, the website, and social media posts were the critical drivers of successful web content. 

In one survey, nearly 86% of marketers said that video content is a significant focus for them today. How much should businesses continue investing in the written word if video seems so effective? To answer that question, we should first consider why video is popular and discuss why, despite its power, it has limitations that text content does not—and the numbers show its continued power. 

It’s True: Video is an Important Investment Today 

In a HubSpot survey, 92% of companies using video marketing said it was an essential part of their strategy, and no wonder: 87% also said video generates a positive ROI for them. Videos quickly explain complex concepts, provide introductions to new ideas, and of course, they can entertain and engage on a different level than text alone. That does make it a potent tool—but it’s not perfect for everything. 

Even videos optimized for silent play require someone to sit and watch most of the content to understand its point. You can’t simply skim through a video to find the heading with the needed information. Videos also cost more to produce and can take longer to launch, and they need bandwidth—those on poor connections, especially when mobile, might miss out on important information. These drawbacks contribute to why text content across the web remains an important way of communicating. 

Reports of the Death of Blogging are Greatly Exaggerated 

In 2019, researchers reported that 68% of marketers found that their blogs were more effective compared to years prior. There’s no reason to expect that to change any time soon, either—more than 7 million new blog posts appear on the web daily, and most internet users engage with blogs on at least a weekly basis. Search results still prioritize text content over video content, except in a few cases where video is more directly relevant. Remember, finding a quick fact in an article is easier than a video. 

It’s not just blogs, either. Landing pages, your home page, product pages—video may have a role to play in these spaces, but it cannot be the dominant element. The hybrid “multimedia” approach is still king today. Video should supplement and reinforce your text, not replace it altogether. Let’s not forget that email marketing remains one of the most potent business tools today. Email campaigns live and die on the strength of the copy. Ignoring the need to invest in quality writing leaves value on the table. 

So How Do I Create Web Content That Thrives in the Age of Video? 

There are three key aspects to focus on when formulating a modern SEO strategy based on the written word:

  • Long-formrm content between 1500 and 3000 words, which trends indicate ranks better.
  • Content structured in an easy-to-read and skimmable format - because users move much faster today.
  • Actionable information, such as how-to guides or walkthroughs, so readers see you as an authority from the outset. 

The right approach differs from business to business, and there is no “one size fits all” solution for successfully driving traffic. A willingness to experiment and explore is a must-have. 

Build a Sensible Hybrid Marketing Plan for Your Business 

To field the most robust marketing plan possible today, video and the written word must share the spotlight. There are still numerous good reasons to ensure that you have an insightful, up-to-date blog, landing pages that help you convert, and other text that accurately conveys your brand’s values and voice. At the same time, supplementing that text with video can extend its reach and even good old written content an opportunity for new life in another medium. 

Not every business has the opportunity to develop such a hybrid approach—it does require more time and effort to produce video web content today. However, with the right help and good planning, steering your campaign toward success is not only possible: it’s within your reach.