Is Written Content Still Relevant in 2021?

Lego dinosaur

“People don’t read anymore,” I get told all the time. “Video is king.” And here are some stats from Covideo to prove it.

  • Users spend 88% more time on a website that contains a video
  • Short videos (under 2 minutes) get the most engagement
  • Video content generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined

With numbers like that, it begs the question “is written content still relevant in 2021?” The short answer is, yes. Here’s why.

Video is king. But…

The concept for a video starts as an idea in someone’s brain. That concept needs to be extracted from said brain, and then communicated. A storyboard with frame descriptions needs to be developed and the script that accompanies the visuals needs to be created. Additionally, marketing videos often have some sort of text on them; keywords that pop up to reinforce the most important points of the message.

And guess what – this is all done by way of good ol’ fashioned writing.

Need more reasons you shouldn’t cut written content from your marketing? Here’re a few:

SEO runs on words

Remember SEO? That piece of computer code that businesses freak out over because it determines how easy (or impossible) it is for people to find your website?

Written text is critical (I’ll say it again – CRITICAL) for SEO.

Crawlers (or bots, or “the algorithm”, or whatever else you want to call it), scan your online real estate and rank it for search engines accordingly. But guess what? Crawlers can’t see images, nor do they don’t sit and watch your video content. They rely on written words to tell them what your content is about.

It’s not just web content and blog posts that it checks either. It reads video and image ALT tags, and page META descriptions, all of which consist of words (albeit on the backend of your website). If SEO is a part of your strategy, it’s imperative to nail these behind-the-scenes written elements to fully optimise your website for search engines.

Social media

I have an Instagram addictio. I have a very healthy relationship with Instagram. But despite the fact it’s one of the more visual social media options, I spend most of my time reading captions. Why? Because words create context for the image. This is true across most social platforms.

It’s no good simply posting something that’s cool to look at. You have to tell the viewer why they should care, why they should share, and, if you’re pushing a product or service, why (and how) they should be parting with their money.

PS. Most people watch video on social with the sound off. Guess how you still get your message across? Subtitles… Which are words… That are written… At the bottom of the video. #justsaying

Different people consume different mediums

Ever heard of “Learning Styles”? If not, it’s a theory that describes 7 different methods of learning (namely visual, aural, physical, verbal, logical, social, and solitary). In layman’s terms, it means that some people absorb information more easily through self-studying reams of text, while others do better through experimenting physically in a group.

Each individual has a unique combination of these 7 components, and while graphics and video may work for some, if you remove writing from your content mix, you’re potentially losing the chunk of your audience who prefers to “curl up with a good book”.

Find a balance

Content marketing has evolved, and it’s true – video and other graphic forms of content may increase engagement and sales. However, to discount written content based on that fact alone is to remove a huge and important facet of your marketing – both on the front- and back-end of your digital presence.

Your content strategy should be a well-balanced mix of various platforms and mediums that are tailored to the various segments of your audience. Long live written content!

2 thoughts on “Is Written Content Still Relevant in 2021?

  1. Good post, Megan. I’ve been a VO guy since 2010, and I’ve seen thousands of scripts. Multinational campaigns, small local spots, narration, you name it. EVERYTHING starts with the writing! Writing is the foundation of all media production, and there’s (currently) no known substitute.

    Liked by 1 person

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