Poll: Video versus text. What do you prefer?

by glennshep 25 replies
Hey everyone,

Recently I've been looking into different areas that I've not done so much with previously. One of these is video, whether it be video marketing, vlog posts, course material or whatever.

People often say that we live in a very visual age, which I think is true. However it's apparent that there are many people who prefer to read than watch a video. For example, in a course I myself seem to gravitate more to the written word, however I do appreciate a video to demonstrate what is described.

So I got to wondering what the general consensus might be.

Which, if any do you prefer - watching a video or reading text? And what reasons do you give for your answer.

Thanks guys, I look forward to seeing your opinions :-)
#main internet marketing discussion forum #poll #prefer #text #versus #video
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    It really depends on the information being presented. For how to type videos where you have a reason to be showing me something then I definitely prefer video. If it's just some theory type content that doesn't require me to be watching you doing anything then a pdf document would be preferable so I can skim through it nice and quickly.

    But that's just MY opinion. You'll find different people like different formats. The only way to please everyone is to provide both types of formats.

    I know from a lot of my own products that I would have way more customer support to deal with if I had not used video to demonstrate a lot of things. But there are parts of my courses that are just theory and for those I use pdf documents instead. My members seem to prefer the mix.

    So I would really focus on what is the best format for the information you are presenting. I definitely do not think there is a one size fits all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Harris
    I'm thinking the same as Will.

    If it's how to do something, a video is always easier to follow someone actually doing something than reading with screenshots.

    Like with the mobile website setup videos he did for one of his WSOs, it's easier to watch that being done than read how to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author dkla27
    For me, time is valuable and I like to work fast. So, for educational/how-to/tutorial type of content I always prefer the text version because I can skim through it and find what I'm looking for really fast. No way you can do this with video. You have to watch the whole damn thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete Lauder
    Watching videos are great, if only, the authors would keep to the topic.

    There is something mind bogglingly frustrating about certain aspects of the internet, and having to stare numbly at a video, whilst some halfwit babbles on about, the files on his desktop, or the amount of coffee she had this morning...

    When all I wanted to know was how to install a simple script on my server.

    In a book, you can use the search function, to home in to your topic.

    If you add the video chit chat to the spinning icon that we have to suffer, from time to time, waiting for the video to load, you have my number 2 pet hate.

    And if you were wondering what number 1 is?

    It is most common in exiting, or uninstalling a program. It is the dreaded "Are You Sure" box. Of course I'm sure, I just commanded the action!

    Some programs are worse than others, and have 3, or 4 of the beasties.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    I WILL NOT watch a video if I have a choice.

    If it's a how to and you want to go back and review a specific point it's extremely tedious to search for and go back to that one point.

    Same with a webinar. If you could put a webinar into a powerpoint or PDF it's much more useful.

    Video for entertainment, text for information.
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    ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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    • Profile picture of the author butters
      Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

      I WILL NOT watch a video if I have a choice.

      If it's a how to and you want to go back and review a specific point it's extremely tedious to search for and go back to that one point.

      Same with a webinar. If you could put a webinar into a powerpoint or PDF it's much more useful.

      Video for entertainment, text for information.
      This is exactly how I feel!! If I get text I can actually read it, implement it, then carry on from where I left off. If I watch a video I have to scroll back down the video, watch it all over again, then if I forget something, go back and watch it again! It is just painful!
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

      Video for entertainment, text for information.
      It's not that easy and clear cut.

      There are definitely lots of technical things that can only really be shown in a video. It depends on your audience. A lot of people who are very new at something want to be shown step by step exactly how to do it. With only text and images you end up with far too much stuff left open to interpretation. It doesn't help you the vendor or the customer.

      As I said above, it's definitely not something you can just answer one way or the other. Different circumstances require different formats. It's impossible to just say video is better or text is better. What's best is what fits the particular need of your audience for that particular information.

      In regards to people saying you hate video because you have to go back and sit through a ton of video if you want to rewatch something, that generally has more to do with the person who created the video rather than just the fact it's a video.

      I create and use plenty of tutorial videos for my products and I've only ever had positive feedback. But I don't create 1 or 2 long videos, I create a heap of shorter videos so if people need to go back and watch one particular thing they can easily do that without having to wade through a ton of video. I also let my customers download all their videos so there is never any loading issue like mentioned above. Video can be just as easy as text if done a certain way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    It depends. Many marketing product videos have the makers simply rambling on, wasting our time.

    On the other hand, if someone is trying to explain to me what a rainbow looks like, I'd rather be shown than told.
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    • Profile picture of the author t3cn1c0
      It depends. Try to watch the video first and if you don't like it and there is pdf file included in the program then read it. Nowadays there are a lot courses which includes a video and a text file tutorial.
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  • Profile picture of the author williams5678
    It depends on what kinda information or tutorial it is. Basically I like a mixture of both video and written components.
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    • Profile picture of the author madhushan
      Yep. Like most people said here, it depends on the scenario. I definitely like text a whole lot more than video because, I can easily skim through the text to find what I want. Also, I can use the search feature to find anything I need, without much ado, if I am using text.

      Even if it is doing something step by step, I like screenshots better because, if it is a video, i need to pause at every step and do it myself and then play it and wait till it goes to the next step and then pause it again and do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author downunder57
      Everyone has their preferences but I like it when both video
      and a pdf transcript are provided. I only wish more marketers
      would give us both options.
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    I like a mixture of both but I prefer reading material myself. There are too many IM videos that sell overhyped products with paid actors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Demetrius
    A lot of times, body language and presentation of a video plays better role than text. Everyone have their own way of understanding. By reading a text, everyone may not be able to understand in the way the author wanted. But it can be presented very well in a video with proper presentation.

    Also a lot of people are lazy to read text.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    "I always prefer reading than watching a video"

    ...this one gets my vote. Opinions and desire will vary depending on the person. The best thing to do for your business is to test both, and see which one makes you the most money. Then proceed forward with the one that brings in the most dough for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Larry Leggett
    I prefer text the most. Sometimes the accent of the speaker may not be suitable for me. I want to read the text by myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author jlongoria
    I prefer the text over video, its easier for me to follow through than video.
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    • Profile picture of the author glennshep
      Thanks for your responses everyone, I've enjoyed reading your input so far

      I'm actually quite surprised as to how many have indicated reading as being their preference. As has been said, there it is all down to personal preference and there's no definitive answer as to which is the 'best' way. It all boils down to the individual. But I did expect that more would have been on the side of video. It's very interesting to see that, so far, it appears otherwise!

      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      It really depends on the information being presented. For how to type videos where you have a reason to be showing me something then I definitely prefer video. If it's just some theory type content that doesn't require me to be watching you doing anything then a pdf document would be preferable so I can skim through it nice and quickly.

      But that's just MY opinion. You'll find different people like different formats. The only way to please everyone is to provide both types of formats.

      I know from a lot of my own products that I would have way more customer support to deal with if I had not used video to demonstrate a lot of things. But there are parts of my courses that are just theory and for those I use pdf documents instead. My members seem to prefer the mix.

      So I would really focus on what is the best format for the information you are presenting. I definitely do not think there is a one size fits all.
      Absolutely, Will. As I said, personally I seem to gravitate more to reading generally, but it largely does depend on what it is. To have a video demonstrate something that may make more sense in viewable format is certainly a good idea. And if a person doesn't need it, well fine and good. But it's good for a product creator to bear in mind that some people might need to have a certain thing demonstrated. At least if you have that mix then you're giving the person options

      Originally Posted by Pete Lauder View Post

      Watching videos are great, if only, the authors would keep to the topic.

      There is something mind bogglingly frustrating about certain aspects of the internet, and having to stare numbly at a video, whilst some halfwit babbles on about, the files on his desktop, or the amount of coffee she had this morning...

      When all I wanted to know was how to install a simple script on my server.

      In a book, you can use the search function, to home in to your topic.

      If you add the video chit chat to the spinning icon that we have to suffer, from time to time, waiting for the video to load, you have my number 2 pet hate.

      And if you were wondering what number 1 is?

      It is most common in exiting, or uninstalling a program. It is the dreaded "Are You Sure" box. Of course I'm sure, I just commanded the action!

      Some programs are worse than others, and have 3, or 4 of the beasties.
      Yes Pete, some people do seem to go on a bit too much and ultimately their video ends up taking 3 times as long as it perhaps could have done if they'd have just focused on the task at hand. But, for me, even that can depend on what it is and who it is. I find that the 'chit-chat' approach can be quite engaging at time. But then, at other times, it can be infuriating.

      You know, I used to be one of the people who got annoyed at "Are you sure....?" for the very same reason that you say! But after clicking on the "close" button by mistake a couple of times and thankfully the program preventing me losing my work, I've come to hate it a little less. But only a little, as sometimes the question is really pointless and I have to admit to angrily assuring the computer that yes, I AM sure and if I wasn't then I wouldn't have instructed for the program to be closed down! lol!

      Originally Posted by t3cn1c0 View Post

      It depends. Try to watch the video first and if you don't like it and there is pdf file included in the program then read it. Nowadays there are a lot courses which includes a video and a text file tutorial.
      Yep, I think that this is definitely a good idea for courses. While it may not be necessary to have the absolute identical info in both a .pdf and a video I certainly see the wisdom in having both written and visual info that complement each other

      Originally Posted by ceenote100 View Post

      I like a mixture of both but I prefer reading material myself. There are too many IM videos that sell overhyped products with paid actors.
      Yes, this is one area in which I definitely prefer having written information. Unless the pitch is for a product such as a piece of software that can demonstrated in a video I really don't care or feel that I need a video pitch. I'd certainly rather have some honest, well-structured, written sale copy rather than an over-the-top, hype sales video that places more emphasis on looking fancy than actually effectively describing what the product is and precisely why you should buy it.

      Thanks again for everyone's input, it's really interesting and eye-opening to see all your different opinions and thoughts on this
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I hate videos. I prefer to read myself the information I want and skip the parts that are not interesting, or remain longer in certain parts, without depending on the presentation in the screen.

    Videos are helpful when they show you how to do something into practice because you need a visual explanation to understand it better, but when they are used with the purpose to teach you something that can be written, I feel that they are a waste of time.

    However, there are people who prefer watching videos because they don’t like to read.

    Many times a video helps the visitor feel that he/she can trust the business owner, so it can be a positive factor.

    The best option is to use both if you can.







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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Schmidt
    First would be neither video nor text.
    It would be audio,I LOVE laying down and listening to whats up for offer - Closing my eyes and deeply concentrating on what they have to say, which I think is the best way to get the stuffs *deep* inside your head.

    Second best would be text, videos according to me are lengthy and not worth the extra time although it does depend on what is being conveyed.

    Best,
    Brent
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  • I think I prefer text for learning, because video tends to be distracting to me. Also, with video people often sort of ramble, whereas with text things usually end up much more condensed, and are generally cleaner.

    I can see why video is more appealing as far as ads are concerned though. It's entertaining, and I believe people actually don't think as much when they're watching a video as they do when they're reading. This can end up being an advantage for the advertiser.
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    • Profile picture of the author sketchaddict
      Well most of the people learn best through a combination of different types of learning styles such as text, images, videos etc.

      But personally, I get much more value about any topic or product by watching a video or listening to someone explain that thing to me rather than reading a text or article.
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      • Profile picture of the author SEOAiko
        I prefer a mix of video and text. It bores me a lot when all I see is pure text. For me, small bites of video presentation would do very good, especially if it is used to give more weight to a certain topic.
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        • Profile picture of the author glennshep
          Originally Posted by Brent Schmidt View Post

          First would be neither video nor text.
          It would be audio,I LOVE laying down and listening to whats up for offer - Closing my eyes and deeply concentrating on what they have to say, which I think is the best way to get the stuffs *deep* inside your head.
          Brent, I had a "Duh!" moment when I read this! Why on earth didn't I include audio as an option when I started this thread? As a musician and sound engineer it's even more baffling that it just didn't occur to me! Thanks for the input and the reminder!

          Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

          I think if you can provide multiple venues the better. There are times I love video, sometimes I hate it. I have had many videos, where it is like, alright already you are awesome, just get to the point. I have had others where, dang, I am glad he showed that.

          I have had some clients that prefer video, others that like having a PDF they can print out and flip through.
          I think that this is the key if anyone's thinking about putting, say, a course together. Having a balanced mix of different formats that complement each other or that give the student options is a good approach, if possible
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