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August 26, 2016

Video is King, But for How Long?

Video content is booming. Facebook certainly seems to be mesmerized by the opportunities such content holds, and it has focused its efforts on exploring video’s benefits. Consequently, the social media platform was recently invaded by live videos and 360° videos.  It seems like the competition is heating up between the network and YouTube, the titan of video content.


All the numbers point in one direction, and that is that video is the king of online content at this moment. But, if you think that the rise of video will cut you some slack as a marketer (one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words as told by Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research), think again. There are some signs that not everybody notices, which tell you that you should prepare for some serious side-effects triggered by mass video content.

Video Content Eats Your Budget Up

Producing original and quality video content doesn’t come cheap. You need a team of professionals behind any one-minute video to provide fresh new scripts, expensive recording equipment, actors, editors, etc. All of these requirements for a one-minute clip will make your pocket lighter by up to $500. Is it really worth it?

The popular news website Upworthy is going to extremes to keep up with video demands. It has recently departed from 14 of its 97 employees in order to shift the financial resources toward their video department. Letting go of some loyal employees seems rather a desperate sacrifice made for only one aspect of business. In addition, the company recently received funds that are worth $12 million and these resources will also support video production.

The same path towards video content has been taken by other huge companies like Yahoo, BuzzFeed and Mashable. However, is this 100 percent dedication to video content really good for a business?

ROI and Profit Disagree with Video Content

A massive effort is put in for just a one-minute video clip, and things should get easier from now on, right? Wrong again.  Dropping your new content on social media is not enough.

It’s true that Facebook is the best when it comes to marketing secrets and will bring you the exposure you didn’t dare to dream of before. However, the impact a video triggers is difficult to project as a reliable source of revenue. The ROI after uploading an expensive video is heading more and more towards the negative side, and there are some good reasons behind this.

Facebook’s News Feed has been overloaded with video content, and the quality of your video won’t guarantee its success. The attention span for films is starting to decrease, which represents a risk for any company, no matter how big it is.

Most of the people are looking for fast ways to get updated to the latest news or small but concentrated bits of entertainment. This fact can get the long, even though well-researched, videos that present the values of a company to result in negative ROI.

When people are looking for information, they prefer written content. They can read a text in their own way (like using Morgan Freeman’s voice as a narrator!) whereas a video can prove to be a tiresome source of information with a style and pace that is not to the fancy of everyone. Plus, it’s easier to focus on the parts they need in an article rather than wait for the narrator of the video to get to the parts that holds their interest.

The market is already saturated with this kind of content. Plus, besides the quality of the video, the success also depends on the time of the day the viewers find the video, and what kind of video they are in the mood for, which in other words is “pure luck” for marketers.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Striking a balance is key with video content. By all means, take advantage of the popularity of video as much as you can. However, the best recipe for a successful post is blending all the three attention-grabbing types of content: text, image, and video.

Whenever you provide an informational video content, the trick is to share the video together with its transcript. This way, you will get the best of both worlds, and you will also let SEO get your content on the very first page of a Google search.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if text, image or video wins the day. What is important is for you to deliver quality and useful content to your target audience, and avoid the short but cheap success a replicated story brings.


Dustin Ford is an independent technology writer at Tech Exploring. He is interested in everything related to branding, marketing, and gadgets.