Content Marketing: Should You Publish Text, Audio or Video?

text, audio or video

text audio or video book coverI’m a member of Dennis Becker’s awesome group
and he asked the question:

“Which is your preferred method of creating content?”

That inspired me to discuss the pros and cons
of the top 3 methods of content marketing,
written, audio and video, when the purpose
of your content is educative.

All these have their place and time and just because you have a favorite, you shouldn’t rule out the other formats for the reasons I’m about to reveal here.

Written

Articles, comments, status updates or image descriptions…

Apart from thumbs up and down and other social sharing signals, you could say that Internet search engines rely solely on written words.

SEO – search engine optimization – and linking around to other websites increase your visibility, you get found.

Written words allow easy access because they don’t require much cyberspace. When it comes to blogs, articles and eBooks, you can edit what you wrote if there’s false information or you’ve changed your opinion and you can repurpose text multiple ways.

Awesome bestselling book coverWritten words also carry more perceived authority than appearing on video or audio (radio, podcast etc.), if you think about it: “Best Selling Author” always sounds like someone who knows their thing and has the guts to put it out there for good. (Books were here long before our time you know…)

Apart from blurbs, writing is however time consuming and if you’re uncertain about spelling or grammar, it doesn’t really work in your favor.

Technology helps here though. English being my second language, I for instance use word processor with auto correction and an online dictionary quite a lot, and sometimes write a sentence to Google to see if I should say “in” or “on”, just like I did with “work in your favor” sentence above.

I personally tend to write everything down first, often to a lot of detail, too, even if I convert it into an audio or video later.

Audio

Creating an audio is fast, because it takes about the same amount of time than talking. Grammar is no big deal, as long as they understand you, and audio is portable, too. You can download it to your iPod or mobile phone and listen to it when you have nothing better to do, or at least something that doesn’t require your full concentration: sitting in your car or on a long flight, riding your stationary bike or walking the dog for example.

The problem with consuming audio versus text is that skimming it is difficult. But then again, some studies show that people learn better by listening to an audio than just reading the same material.

Apparently it’s because of emphasis on certain words and hearing the emotions attached to them, so having a robot reading the text doesn’t work the same way.

Video

There are several ways to produce video: Cartoon videos are very entertaining even if the topic is boring, you can do the “talking head” style video, screen capture video, demo video, or use slides or for instance host an interactive hangout.

Creating a video doesn’t have to take more time than creating an audio, and as a format it has the ability to connect you better with your audience, especially if you’re showing your face. They know you’re a real person out there.

But video can easily get distractive, too: There are all kinds of irrelevant items at the background or the host has annoying maneuvers, and if you only see slides, you may start to wonder what’s the point. And what about those screen capture videos when the mouse just doesn’t stand still for a second…

You’re stuck in one place, too, video files require a lot of space on your computer, and if you’re streaming them, they jam all the time.

So if the topic doesn’t absolutely require showing something on video, choosing another format may be a wise choice.

So which one is the best?

I wouldn’t know.

As you notice, all of them have pros and cons and you may also want to keep different learning styles in mind when creating your content.

More about that topic in another article though.

But I do have a question for you: As a consumer, which one is your favorite format and why?

14 Comments

  • Susan Cooper

    Reply Reply October 14, 2014

    As a consumer, I prefer a mixture of written and video, if the video is somewhat short and well done. It is super annoying if they jam all the time. It that happens I just forget it and move on to something else very quickly. Not a big fan of audio only.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 16, 2014

      For some reason I often feel that 30 minute video is more consuming than 30 minutes audio. Wonder why that is…

  • I am not a big consumer of audio only. Depending on the product, I like written and sometimes video. Book trailers have become popular, but I’m not a fan. I know we are a visual society, but if I am going to READ a book I like to conjure a character’s likeness in my mind’s eye. Love movie trailers, though:)

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 16, 2014

      That’s true, it can be totally annoying if someone else visualizes the characters you read about, and then they all have a wig or something… LOL

  • Lenie

    Reply Reply October 15, 2014

    At this point in time I will be sticking with written since that is what I’m familiar with. I do, however, enjoy watching short informative videos that other people post. Really don’t know about audio only, don’t think I’ve had the experience.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 16, 2014

      You know what: You just inspired me to write another post Lenie!
      I don’t think it was the first time… LOL

  • Meredith Wouters

    Reply Reply October 17, 2014

    It’s hard to pick just one! I like to read, but my husband prefers video. I’m usually reading while I’m doing something else, but to watch a video takes my full attention. I think it would be ideal if you could record a video and then have someone transcribe it for you, to make both available.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 19, 2014

      I can’t do anything else (except take notes) when I read, but with video it’s no problem so I’m really quite the opposite.

  • Niekka McDonald

    Reply Reply October 19, 2014

    I like a mixture of audio and video. I have so much to read from work to personal that video and audio helps me to get the content while doing other things.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 19, 2014

      In my opinion, audio is underrated, even though it’s so easy access, and even though the same people may still listen to a lot of music. Glad to hear someone else appreciates it!

  • Jeannette Paladino

    Reply Reply October 20, 2014

    I personally like the written word and video. I find that it takes too long to listen to audio, especially podcasts which are becoming so popular. I prefer to read the transcript, if one is available, because I can read it much faster.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply October 20, 2014

      Apparently it relates to learning styles, and not just whether you’re visual/auditive/kinesthetic but also if you’re a type of person who needs all the why’s before the how’s. Text is “skimmable” (is that a word?) so it’s easier to pick just the parts you want and need.

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