Do you prefer reading an article, or watching its video version?

How many people prefer watching a video to reading a blog post?

I tested it on LinkedIn:  Last week I published both the verbal blog post and the video version of “Power of Visuals”. Here are the statistics (As of 12:47pm, July 10, 2019):

  • Number of views of the verbal post on LinkedIn (6 days):  243.
  • Number of views of the video post on LinkedIn (6 days):   446.

About three years ago, I did a similar test which showed 50/50 split between readers and watchers.  

“Power of Visuals.”  My point proven.

Video watchers double verbal readers on LinkedIn

It is worth noting that these numbers are from LinkedIn, a platform for professionals, executives and business owners rather than from Instagram, the more visual social media. This is where the business world is headed. 

I won’t be surprised that video watchers will surpass even more verbal readers across all digital media platforms in the near future.

A new phenomenon: “Reading” a Video

Another interesting phenomenon:  More and more people prefer watching a video in silent mode – they just read the subtitles while a video is playing. (This is more common for informational, promotional and educational short videos, but not for fictional short movies.)

Why?

It seems that we are reaching the point of sensory overstimulation (audio, visual, verbal), as a captive audience, we prefer the autonomy and convenience of just reading the content and letting the subtitles “turn the pages” for us.

This shows that viewers are primarily getting INFORMATION from watching short videos, thus proving another point in “Power of Visuals” – what makes or breaks a video are its underlying verbal messages. 

Additionally, our eyes and brains prefer simplicity in this age of information inundation. We prefer to read fewer paragraphs with fewer lines, and fewer words at a time. Let me repeat that – our eyes and brains prefer simplicity in this age of information inundation.

(See how I break up my narrative into many short paragraphs, to make it easy for your mind? )

Captions on videos are easier for the mind – just a line or two against the matching visual background. One “spoonful” at a time. 

We all experience certain degrees of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in the digital information era. Not just our minds but our psyche have become overloaded and restless with too much sensory input.  Focus is harder to come and sustain.

Verbal + Visual => Multiplying Impact

Good news for brand owners.  Activating BOTH the prefrontal lobe of our executive brain with language AND the limbic midbrain with visuals simultaneously can multiply the message impact, PROVIDED that both the verbals and the visuals in your videos are of good quality.  This kind of “feeding” is like mass produced food of decent quality from Chipotle, Panda Express, Starbucks…, fast, easy, functional and very successful. 

Bad news for human civilization.  Reading is the foundation of human civilization. Great books of all kinds can never be replaced by short videos, not even by high quality visual art.  Reading provides time for ruminating stories of wisdom with intellect and imagination. It is like dining a 4-course meal at a high quality restaurant where food is prepared by master chefs and there is no pressure to hurry up and finish.

As the volume of videos increases, Gen Z and the Millennials are reading less and less. This results in ”whosoever” said what on the internet instantly becomes their esteemed “authority” for endorsing simplistic views one way or the other. 

I have a 19-year-old son.  It perturbs me that the love for books I instilled in him as a young boy has vanished. The minds of his generation are easily persuaded and manipulated by shallow and superficial information from videos (not produced by me, of course). The lack of reading books deprives the young people of the fullness of knowledge that incubates sound reasoning, nuanced judgment and profound experience. 

What kind of videos are the “classics”?

Classics withstand the test of time. As described in “Power of Visuals”, we base a brand promotional video upon first mapping out your brand’s DNA™, which anchors your website, social media marketing, and all internal and external brand messaging, online or in print. 

How we turn you videos into Classics:

In addition to creating your foundational brand DNA© script, we adhere to several other practices, such as:

  1. Substantive verbal content ALWAYS trumps visual technicalities. Visuals and cinematography always serve the messaging. We do not put the cart in front of the horse.
  2. We coach and train each brand owner to narrate and act for the camera, instead of using acting or voice talents whenever feasible.  You are your own brand. We present your best authentic self to your target audience, with visual, audio, and verbal impact.
  3. It takes an average of 8 takes before I am pleased with each of their on-camera performances coached and directed by me, based on scripts fine-tuned  by the brand-owners and myself on the spot during filming. 
  4. We can produce low-budget “talking head” videos, and other types of affordable videos such as training, educational, illustrative, conference, product, sales, internal communication and project specific marketing videos. 
  5. We can add more bells and whistles such as graphics, photos, motion graphics, 2D or 3D animation and special effects, as long as permitted by your budget.

Is video for you?

Please first check out these samples for yourself. 

Remember, these are all real people – the narrators, their clients, … just like you and me. 

 https://10plusbrand.com/portfolio/videos/  

 

Any questions?  Please call: 1-888-288-4533, or Email: Joanne@10PlusBrand.com    Please visit our website: www.10PlusBrand.com  and follow me on Twitter: @1page3minute. 

 

Written by Joanne Tan. © 2019.

Edited by Glenn Perkins.