The earliest adopters of search engine optimization and online marketing are aware of how much written content used to dominate.While it is still a very powerful tool for communication and promoting businesses online, it is taking a back seat.

Many experts now see video as the dominant platform, as it gets a lot more engagement.But is video ready to replace written content entirely? Here is a short assessment.

Importance of Written Content for Search Engines

The way search engines work is simple. They use web crawlers to quickly index content so it is retrievable through search engine queries. While video can be optimized for search engines, the most effective way to promote content is through keywords, meta data and backlinks.

And search engines are still the most common way for people to use the internet. Some may go straight to YouTube if they want to look for an explainer video, but most users will search Google or Bing when they want to learn more about a business, product, service or topic.

Video Controls, While Written Content Helps the Reader Decide

Video content is very popular online – and for good reason. Most online videos are short, to the point, entertaining and full of personality. They create a story, hook in the viewer and provide a payoff – all within a few minutes.

But if there is a shortcoming to video content, it is how it impacts the viewer. Most online video content tells people what they want to hear and how they should interpret it. Very little is left to the imagination.

Quality written content can do more. It provides information, offers analysis and may even take a side. But it will give the reader a lot more scope to make up their own mind. And many internet users prefer this method of obtaining information.

In other words, video may be great for a bit of comic relief or showing how a product works. But people who want more in-depth, well rounded information will go with written content.

Great Marketing Campaigns Involve Both

The best content marketing campaigns do not limit themselves to written or video content. They will leverage both. Audiences want both – and the goal of most marketing campaigns is to reach the widest possible audience.

Video is perfect for evoking emotions, telling a story, putting a face to a company and to promote products/services on social media. Videos can also accompany written pieces, providing a quick-fire summary of the written content.

Written content promotes critical thought, showcases a brand or individual as an authority on a subject, provides in-depth information about products and services, and is preferred by people browsing the web on their computer.

Any content marketer who is ready to consign written content to the scrap heap is doing themselves or their clients a disservice.

While video content is more popular than ever – and only growing – it does have its limitations. Written content will always have a purpose, at least in our lifetimes. The way internet and humans work merits it.