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Which Medium is Best for Delivering Content that Goes Viral? Video or Text?

Which Medium is Best for Delivering Content that Goes Viral? Video or Text?

Every marketer , writer and business person is searching for the potent secret formula for creating content that ensures virality and mass consumption to increase sales. We’re all convinced that there’s a good and bad way to do things and certain techniques exist which once put into practice, generate profoundly rich results.


It’s quite valid to ponder which medium, platforms, tools and social networks will result in greater benefits for your brand and business. Unfortunately, many miss success employing tactics through mediums that seem to only work for some. There are many tried and tested techniques and reasons for choosing each medium, so why doesn’t it work for so many who try?

Let’s explore what each platform offers and find the clues to creating killer content with that viral potential.

What’s the Impact?

Video in the last couple of years has started to seriously take off thanks to YouTube, Vimeo and a lot of other startups that have popped up in a short period of time. In addition, as our attention spans continue to degrade, science says it’s now less than gold fish, video seems to be the logical delivery tool for content since it requires less effort versus dissecting and reading a well thought out article. We want to be entertained, like the king who grows impatient with his court jester who is failing to make him laugh.

Here’s the impact that video has on us:

More consumers are not only consuming video content but also ready to share it as 90% of viewers tend to share what they’ve watched while most visitors to text based articles read only about 50% of the content. Video is growing in popularity and use which is influencing massive investments into creating more content here at all levels; enterprise, small business and by individuals.

We’re simply consuming more video while traditional text based blogging and promotion seems to be fading.chart

However, while text based content is wielding less impact there are still creators who constantly deliver. Innovative websites like Copyblogger and Mashable seem to always be at the bleeding edge in their respective niche and purposes. Yet, I’m certain, as impressive as those sites are, their content does not perform as well as the trends we’re seeing in video consumption.

Does this automatically mean as a content producer or entrepreneur you need to immediately ditch your blog and start shooting videos? Yes and a bigger no; here’s why.

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What’s your Personality & DNA?

Here’s the reason why so many of us fail when we do the exact things and follow the footsteps of other online marketers who’ve made it big – we’re going against our DNA; we’re doing the opposite of what makes us absolutely comfortable and fulfilled. For example, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, has always had an explosive personality; shouting, screaming, full of energy and always having fun with whatever he’s representing.

This works for him because that’s how he’s most comfortable and alive and it brought him his own success. Now picture Bill Gates, a more introverted character, try to go against his DNA, trying to mimic Steve because that seems to work for him. It would be a mess and we’d all be ashamed of Bill. And while, the majority of us seem to respond better to the outgoing characters, there’s no shortage of the cool, quiet and calm successful ones. These successful people remained true to themselves, stuck to their DNA and it worked – regardless of what market trends and studies of their time dictated.

How do You Choose Your Medium?

Do not focus on all the numbers I presented to you earlier, leaning towards video being the next big thing. Instead, test the various platforms to see which one allows you to shine and feel most comfortable. If you enjoy talking more than writing and can keep the attention of a live audience then video may be better for you. If you’re a strong writer and can engage, educate and inform readers in a fluid and effective way then forcing yourself to do video may produce very poor results, regardless of how “great” the medium is.

Spending time to do something which, deep inside you don’t feel comfortable doing, or that goes against how you’re made to perform is the fastest lane to failure. Experiment to see what suits you best and pour your all into that and make it yours. There are many of us in our 9-5 jobs who are dissatisfied because we’re doing the opposite of our dream of being a poet, many have launched businesses solely based on the fact that it’s proven to make money. Certainly that is ONE valid reason but it should not be your all.

To conclude, as the tides of content consumption shift, your best bet is to stick with what allows you and your expertise to shine; whether video or text, anything less is selling yourself short. Your ability to create awesome content and products that people will gobble up in droves will improve in leaps and bounds when it is absolutely where you want to be, fulfilling passion, purpose, fun and necessity for your audience. Stick to your DNA; stop swaying in the wind with the crowd.

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