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You are currently reading a written article. But how many written articles have you read in the last week? How does that compare to the other forms of content you’ve consumed, like the videos you’ve watched, the podcasts you’ve listened to, and even the social media conversations you’ve engaged in?
If you like the majority of American consumers, you have noticed that they are gradually moving towards other forms of content consumption and have moved away from article writing. This is not a reflection on you, nor is it a comment on American literacy or reading comprehension. Instead, it could simply be the byproduct of a long-standing trend that has spelled the doom of written content altogether.
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But is written content really on its deathbed, or is there still a bright future ahead of it?
Problems with written content
Let’s start by talking about some of the problems we have with written content and why it’s on the decline.
- Oversaturation. The biggest problem has to be oversaturation. A couple of decades ago, savvy webmasters discovered that written content was one of the best ways to game search engine algorithms. It was also the fastest way to load content for an Internet that was slow and unreliable. It was only a matter of time before these trends took hold in the age of content marketing. These days, every business owner and every person with a blog spends at least some time writing and posting new content on a regular basis. And with so much written content flooding the market now, it’s hard to find new topics that people really want to read or topics that stand out.
- Mobile web traffic. We must also recognize the role that mobile devices have played in the useful life of written content. With a conventional laptop or desktop, it’s fairly easy to scroll down an article and read every word on the page. But with a smartphone, or even a tablet, videos and other forms of content tend to be easier to access. Mobile web traffic has been steadily increasing for many years and now accounts for the vast majority of all web traffic.
- Slow processing. Even if you’re a fast reader, you process visual information much faster than the written word. Would you rather get all your information by watching a 30-second video or reading a 1,000-word article that takes several minutes to complete? The truth is that writing is no longer the most concise way to convey information.
So what are the content competitors threatening article writing? The need for content will never evaporate; That is why the biggest threat to written content is not the absence of content but better forms of content, such as:
- video content There is no doubt that video content is powerful. It is fast, easily accessible and easy to process by all audiences.
- podcast. By 2024, there will be approximately 164 million regular podcast listeners in the United States, and that number will likely increase from there. The authenticity of podcast hosts and the ease of multitasking while listening help support the continued growth of podcasts.
- Mixed technique. Some content creators are also doing more in the realm of mixed media, combining writing, audio, and video into single, well-rounded pieces.
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The remaining strengths of writing.
But before we start devising an epitaph for the grave over written content, we need to acknowledge its remaining strengths, such as:
- Search. For search engines, written content still has huge advantages, allowing you to optimize for specific keywords and phrases.
- Structure. Typed content gives you more flexibility to customize headings, lists, fonts, and labels. Better structured written content can make it trivially easy to follow the overall structure.
- Accessibility. Written content can be more easily referenced than its video counterparts. It’s also easier to access in some ways.
Get the most out of written content
If written content still makes up the majority of your online marketing strategy, don’t worry. There are many tactics that can help you make the most of written content and keep it alive in an era with so many competitors.
- Strive for originality. Regurgitating old thoughts is no longer enough to be successful. If you want to have any hope of making your written content work, you need to strive for originality, come up with unique topics, or cover existing topics in novel ways.
- Polish, polish, polish. Quality always beats quantity in the world of written content. This is why you have to spend a lot of time polishing each item you produce. Check it out for yourself, review the sections to make them more organized, and correct every detail so there is no chance for error.
- Highlight the advantages of writing. There are some things that writing does well that other media can’t do well. The permanence of words on the page and the power of eloquent prose cannot currently be replicated by ephemeral videos or podcast conversations.
- Enter other media. If you can’t beat them, join them. Don’t be afraid to make other media an essential part of your overall content marketing strategy.
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Overall, written content remains an important element of any content marketing strategy. However, we can’t afford to ignore his weaknesses or pretend he’s as powerful as he used to be. If you want your written content to continue to perform well, you need to prioritize its quality and make sure it stays with the rest of your content strategy.