Once upon a time on August 1, 1981, a video music channel called MTV was born. Ironically, the first music video ever played was “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
When this first video was broadcast, it marked a significant turn in content consumption and the end of radio’s auditory heydays. Today, video content is an unstoppable force. It makes you wonder – what about written content? Have content writers become the washed-up radio star?
The answer is…of course not. But it’s also essential to learn how to sync up your written and video content to work together.
In this article, we’ll dissect the current state of video marketing and ways to fold your written content into videos.
The State of Video Marketing… It’s Getting Real
If you’re a writer, you may have purposefully avoided looking at video marketing statistics over the past few years. But it’s time to embrace them. Because it’s getting real with video marketing in today’s landscape…
- 91 percent of consumers want to see more video content from brands
- 91 percent of businesses use video as a marketing tool
- 96 percent of marketers value video as an important part of their strategy
- 70 percent of “non-video marketers” started using video in 2023
Video marketing is happening. It’s not a fad. It’s a trend.
Video content is the social equivalent to being in the same room with another person. Successful organizations are capitalizing on these interactive elements to attract, educate, inspire, and retain prospects and clients. So, how do your writing skills fit into this equation?
How to Bring Written Content into a Video Project
Video is a type of content, not a disruptor of content. Obviously, video content marketing can’t work without content marketing because they are one and the same. Rather than thinking you don’t have a place in video projects as a writer, know that written content is a critical component. It might be worth considering brushing up your skills in video script writing.
It takes a village to pull off a video marketing project. Collaboration between creatives is not optional but required. Besides the expertise and execution required on the production front by a videographer, graphic designer, and audio engineer, content specialists infuse the project with what they do best… creating engaging content.
Naturally, the script you mastermind depends on the video strategy. An explainer video requires punchy content about features and benefits for a product, or offerings and relevant testimonials for a service. A video case study involves a set of interview questions that pulls out experiential highlights straight from the source, the voice of a client or customer. Regardless of the type of video, always have storytelling elements in place for engagement.
Video production teams will lean on content writers for script creation, because they provide storytelling expertise and a deep understanding of messaging strategy. As with any content marketing endeavor, the same messaging techniques apply to scripts.
- Remember your personas: who they are, their goals and challenges, and how you help them be successful
- Tell a story, even if you’re weaving together a script for some ho-hum brand
- Keep the conversation center stage as you write. Video content is meant to be interactive, so avoid talking at people with in-your-face, market-y language
Often transcription is a big miss in video marketing projects. Transcribing a video is a must-have for repurposing content into a blog format. Even if the video is embedded within the blog post, at the very least, a transcription should be right below for SEO brownie points and to appeal to the diehard-reading audience who will never watch the video anyway.
If you take this a step further, video content is incredibly rich. You can build multiple standalone blog posts from a single video asset. Transcription comes in handy as you pull out soundbites and themes.
And, here’s a bonus… Transcribing your video content is an incredibly useful tool for working through edit decision lists. A video production team and content strategists will improve their workflows and make easier decisions with a transcription. (And transcription services are really affordable. We’ve used Rev.)
Here’s a perfect example of demonstrating how video truly does not work without written content – it’s time to talk about captions. Captions are critical for social media feeds. People scan feeds without sound when they’re “supposed to be working” or want to avoid disrupting others (say, in a coffee shop or airport). Captions allow your message to be heard by anyone, no matter where they are.
Raise your hand if you’ve seen bad captions before. Automated technology is a gift and a curse sometimes. Having human content writers or editors involved in the captioning step is a smart approach. A combo works well here. Technology does the heavy lifting with some automation, then a detail-oriented wordsmith keeps an eagle eye on the video content during the final editing stages.
A video that fails to move someone to take action is not a good content investment. Video is the most expensive type of content to produce, so you want to squeeze everything you can out of it. The call-to-action is where written content plays a key role.
Click-worthy thumbnails entice someone to watch. Visuals with text overlay throughout a video guide the viewer as you tell your story. The goal is to keep them watching all the way through and then drive engagement and conversions. A strong CTA message should be present throughout a video.
YouTube is a crowded place these days, showing no signs of stopping. As of this year, its viewing audience has reached 2.7 billion monthly active users. That’s up from 1.86 billion in 2021.
To wave your bright branded flag on YouTube, a brilliant video won’t suffice on its own. You need brilliant copy and CTAs to support that video asset. Titles, descriptions, and tags play important roles in the algorithmic equation. They should be written with care, and on-brand but also optimized for YouTube’s search algorithms.
YouTube has commandeered substantial real estate on the internet, but not all of it. For people to see that amazing video you created, they need to be able to find it first. So, here is yet another place where written content helps a video project get better results… SEO.
“Time on page” is one of many SEO ranking factors, and video helps tremendously with keeping people amused and interactive on your website. From keyword targeting to the strategic creation of URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and on-page content, optimized content is necessary for the ultimate success of any video marketing project.
After the video masterpiece is complete, it’s time to share it with the world. Again, written content swoops in to save the day with video content distribution efforts.
Distribution of videos means content, content, content: blogs, social media posts, emails, website pages, and the aforementioned YouTube descriptions. As you can see, there is no shortage of content creation that needs to happen with video projects.
It’s the Content That Makes the Video
…not the other way around.
A video might be eye-catching, but what if the storytelling is weak? You’ve seen it before. A flashy video distracts you when you’re poking around someone’s website. When it ends, you pause, say “meh,” and move on. The video doesn’t stick with you because it lacked conversational warmth and emotion.
To distill the definition of content down to one word: content equals conversation. Video content should tell an engaging story that elicits a connection from an audience. Whether you are looking to create a single video or an entire video marketing strategy, partnering with a proven content agency can help.