Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have heard about the rise of video marketing online.
From a quick search, there were just under 1 million news stories on video marketing -- and a staggering 4.5 billion results overall.
With good reason:
Videos on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 86% (source: eyeView Digital)
Videos in emails increase click-through rate by 2-3 times (source: Forrester)
52% of product-centric video watchers share those product videos (source: the e-tailing group)
Video adverts have an average click-through rate of 1.84%, which sounds low, but it’s the average across everything -- it’s also the highest CTR of all digital advert mediums (source: Invespcro)
Videos on social media get 21.2% more engagements than image posts, and 18.6% more engagements than carousel posts (source: SproutSocial)
64% of video watchers purchase after watching a branded video on social media (source: Tubular Insights)
Your business is 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of a Google result if you have a video on your webpage (source: Video Explainers)
A video on Facebook gets an average of 135% more organic reach than a photo (source: Socialbakers)
Video marketing can get your business 66% more qualified leads per year (source: Aberdeen Group)
So, yeah, videos seem to be a great way to promote your products.
But is the Golden Age of video signalling the end of copywriting -- even digital copywriting?
Just like television didn’t herald the end of book series, and the film industry didn’t deter authors from writing, there will always be words.
Don’t believe me?
Check out these hard skills needed for content jobs, published earlier this year by Contently.
Naturally, writing is up there, the ninth most commonly requested skill.
And where is video?
Not specifically mentioned at all, out of twenty-one skills.
Still not convinced?
How about this general job description of marketing executives on Target Jobs.
There it is: “writing and proofreading creative copy”.
As a full-time marketer running my own side-hustles, I spend the majority of my time writing, editing and proofreading – creative, technical, and promotional copy.
So reading articles telling me that “video is now the most desirable skill in marketing”, I adamantly shake my head.
Nope, they’re all wrong.
Videographers need copywriters
Most videos you watch – and all marketing or promotional videos – will have been scripted.
Who is best placed to write the promotional script?
You guessed it: the copywriters.
Just like we have to change our style of writing for social media, online advertisements, emails, landing pages, reports, and blog articles, we have to adapt again for video scripts.
While videographers undoubtedly have skills that copywriters likely won’t, businesses can’t expect even the most talented videographers to be able to write convincing, engaging scripts.
SEO is (for the moment) better suited to copywriting
While videos can impact your SEO activities, and can boost your engagement and reduce your bounce statistics on your website, they’re not magical first-page-rank-makers.
You may have also seen videos appearing on searches as results.
This is definitely a big step forward by way of SEO for videos, but it’s predominantly based on the video title – which is very limiting.
How can you put everything you have to say in your video – including the imagery you’ve used throughout – in a title of 8-15 words?
Of course, you can use the video description, but transcribing the entire video and typing each visual change and each branded nuance, is impossible.
When it comes to SEO, copywriting is king.
Copywriting can be easier, quicker and cheaper than video
Videography is an expensive skill to learn.
As part of my degree at university, I had to produce a few short films.
I noticed a few things: it took a long time to learn how to use the cameras (and our work wasn’t great quality), it took even longer to edit the footage, and the equipment was expensive.
More often than not, a videographer will be specifically trained in filming in some way, but a lot of copywriters can learn far easier by simply writing.
I appreciate that I’m writing this as a person of certain privileges – learning to read and write weren’t a problem for me, as an individual and as part of the society I grew up in.
Also, no matter how many times I re-read a piece of copywriting, and it goes back-and-forth between my writer-self and my editor-self, from my experience, it will never be as long as it took to edit and render those few short films.
Skimming a piece of written copy is far easier than skimming a video.
When skimming a video, you can easily miss key parts, and not even know what you’ve missed.
As a marketing copywriter, I expect people to skim a lot of my work, so I make it easier for them.
I use a lot of white space wherever possible – particularly for digital copywriting.
I also often put words in bold, italic, different brand colours, or font sizes, so they jump out and draw the reader’s eye.
Getting a person to stop skimming at certain points in a video is much harder to control – if they’ve missed it, they’ve missed it.
Best of both worlds
It might sound like I hate video marketing.
I really don’t.
I’m just frustrated that people are expecting video marketing to be ‘the thing that saves their business’.
Ultimately, your copywriting, video and the rest of your marketing strategy should all be linked, working together for your brand.
I encourage all of you to try out different ways to promote your product, service, or brand.
Want to try out video?
With smartphones, filters and free editing software, anyone can make good quality videos, just make sure that they align with your brand values.
Be funny, engaging, and unique with your videos -- those are the qualities of videos that get more engagements.
If you’re nervous about filming, editing or posting your video, the best thing to do is practice.
Then you can test to see how successful your videos are, and continue to develop them as part of your marketing strategy.
If you do decide to try out video, let me know how it works for you – maybe you’ll even see some videos from NSC soon...