1. The written word will never die out
Written communication has been in use for hundreds of thousands of years; think cave drawings, hieroglyphics and ancient languages etched in rock.
The way we receive written content may have evolved from stone carvings right through to e-readers and mobile phones, but the concept of sharing ideas through text has survived for centuries.
Reading will always be a useful skill to have. We read dozens of things every day without even thinking about it; ingredients, menus, street names, social media posts, contracts, shopping lists and so on.
Until we no longer need to read at all, the skill will always be passed from one generation to the next. While there are still people who read, there will always be a demand for written content.
2. Text is easier to scan
Video content might be more appealing to those who don’t enjoy reading, but text is easier to scan.
When you open an article, news story or blog post, you can instantly see how long it is and skim it for the key points. Most good articles will be written with subheadings or key information in bold, so you can scan it and get an understanding of the main points. With a written article, you can see at a glance how in-depth it is. You can tell from the first few lines whether it is written in a style you enjoy, and whether it will be too basic or too technical for your needs.
Until you watch a video, you can’t tell if it is going to give you the level of detail you want on a subject or if it will be presented in a way you understand. It’s pretty frustrating to watch a fifteen-minute video that doesn’t deliver what you hoped it would. There’s no way of knowing in advance at which point in the video (if any) they will discuss the information you want.
3. People want quality content
Too many businesses are jumping on the video bandwagon without really considering what the purpose of their video is. There are far too many videos that don’t seem to offer any value and just clog up social media feeds.
Fair enough, this point can be applied to written content too. There are undoubtedly some badly written articles that have been produced purely for search engines, or with very little regard to actual fact, or with no thought given to the people reading it.
The point is, whether you create written or video content, it needs a purpose. That could be to entertain, to inform, to educate or to inspire. Without purpose, it really doesn’t matter if you produce video or text because you won’t get the engagement you want. Equally, if you are offering valuable content, people will engage with it regardless of the format.
4. We all have different preferences
We all have different preferences when it comes to how we like information to be presented. Some people love to relax with a good book, whereas others prefer to stick on a boxset. Some people like to watch the news at ten, others prefer to pop the radio on during their morning commute, while some people still religiously read their daily newspaper.
Online content is the same. Some people will always prefer written articles and email newsletters whereas others will prefer to watch YouTube videos. Present your best content in a variety of formats rather than limiting yourself to one.
5. You’re reading this article
The fact you’ve clicked on this article is proof enough that people are still engaging with written content. You may not have read the entire article; you may have just skimmed the headings until you reached this point, but you’ve still taken the time to click a link and scan the article for useful information.
People will read your written content too if the subject is of interest to them. That really is the most important point to remember when you’re creating content – it has to be of interest to your intended audience.