How Do Videos Perform Versus Other Types of Content?

One of the earliest films ever shown, L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, has developed an infamous legend since it first screened in 1895. Like most marketing, this is best taken with a grain of salt; reports that the audience fled in terror, convinced that they were witnessing an actual train careening towards them, are unfounded. However, the visceral impact of film was undeniable then, and remains undeniable now. And while video content marketing may be a far cry from the Lumière brothers, the power that they helped discover in the moving image still resonates today.

Compare and Contrast

Today, video content is just one of countless marketing elements that most modern brands (like yours) have at their disposal. Like a young couple going back and forth about what Netflix series they are going to stream tonight, the greatest challenge for a company can frequently be choice: Which marketing strategy do you want to pursue, and why? 

Just by opening your laptop, there are countless tools and stats available to help optimize your content marketing strategy. Comparing analytics, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and investing resources accordingly are all ways that you can gradually uncover what strategy works best for your personal needs – and prevent your brand from wasting time and effort. But while figuring out how your content is performing across multiple channels can be a breeze with digital metric platforms, what if you don’t even know where to start? With infinite options stretching out in every direction, your very first dive into the vast world of content marketing can be intimidating. 

We recommend video content as the ideal entry point for first-timers and veteran marketers alike. Here is a quick, easy breakdown of just how video stacks up to other forms of content marketing – the broad strokes that make it clear why video content is accessible, convenient, and most importantly, works.

Social Media Engagement

Engagement is arguably your most valuable metric; while views are important, how frequently these viewers click, swipe, or like is much more potent for generating conversion and moving down the marketing funnel. That’s why, from Instagram to Facebook to Twitch, social media platforms are one of the best ways to generate engagement for countless brands worldwide. 

In its many forms, social media marketing content is an ideal method to connect with consumers on their own terms. Look at the rise of “human” brands on Twitter for just one example of how companies are adapting to their consumer’s shifting preferences. But whatever platform you ultimately hone in on, video remains consumer’s favorite branded content to see on social media. On Facebook, videos typically beat out static images across the board for viewer engagement – even when that image has been specifically optimized for their audience. Meanwhile, on Instagram, video engagement growth outpaces image engagement growth, drives more comments, and requires less persistent output than static images do to generate the same engagement. 

Also, unlike text or static images, video allows your brand to break down more exact metrics regarding content engagement. At the top of the marketing funnel, you can study in detail how long certain users spend viewing certain content pieces, and target them with other pieces that are more statistically likely to pique their interest – or pivot strategies entirely. 

Long-term Retention

Even when engaging with your beautifully-crafted piece of marketing content, a viewer will not become a consumer if it immediately slips out of their mind afterwards. Leaving a firm, lasting impression is essential to developing your leads. But how? You would be forgiven for assuming that a well-written piece of text context is the most nuanced way to personally connect with a viewer and stick around in their mind. Ironically–coming from a blog–that is far from the case. 

Once again, video comes out on top as the most effective method for generating viewer retention. Visual information is processed roughly 60,000x faster in the human brain that text (Zabisco), which may be why potential customers retain 95% of a message when it is presented in a video, compared to only 10% retention when they read it in text form. No wonder 59% of executives prefer to watch a video than read text, with such a dramatic divide. Additionally, 60% of consumers would rather watch a video than read a piece of text, if both options are available. 

However, keep in mind that not all video was created equal. In videos over 30 minutes long, that overall retention rate drops to 10%

And why exactly is this? Taylor Hurff of 1SEO I.T. Support & Digital Marketing believes that “videos force scrolling users to stop and pay an extra second of attention to the post before understanding the gist.” Essentially, videos trick viewers into spending double (or more) the time engaging with a piece of content than they otherwise would, which can help reinforce retention.

Lead Conversion

The ultimate test for any piece of marketing content, video or otherwise, is conversion: How many viewers does your content persuade to become paying customers? Unsurprisingly, video content once again takes the lead in lead conversion. 52% of consumers say that watching a product video made them more confident about online purchase decisions, while adding a video to your brand website makes that site six times more likely to convert a casual browser into a consumer. Users spend up to 88% more time on a website when there is video present, and considering that the average website bounce rate hovers at around 50%, that is a major boost in terms of keeping and converting on-the-fence leads.  

Of course, conversion doesn’t matter unless it is profitable. Spending over $1,000 on a piece of marketing content that only earns your company a measly $100 in new customers is terrible conversion any way you break it down. Return on Investment (ROI) is the metric by which the industry measures the success of a particular investment – in this case, the money put towards your content marketing. 52% of marketing professionals worldwide believe that videos are the type of marketing content with the absolute best ROI, which means that even though producing original may sound like a lot of hassle on paper, it actually is more likely to produce better results more affordably than other types of content marketing. 

Video Versus

This breakdown is not supposed to poke holes in your current strategy or discourage you from pursuing other forms of content marketing. Industry experts generally agree that a diverse array of content is necessary to make connections across multiple channels, and at different points in the marketing funnel. But by generating your own video marketing content (or contracting an experienced production company) you are stepping out into a whole new realm of audience engagement. And just like the Lumière brothers, you will have the opportunity to share your brand’s story with viewers who are not just interested, but totally enraptured. 


Leland F.

Leland F.