Why video marketing is not just about stunning visuals

All articles | Video
Published Apr 09, 2018 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Customers often opt to watch videos online rather than spend their time wading through written content. That said, the use of text can contribute hugely to the performance of marketing videos.

Your videos need more than stunning visuals. They also need carefully crafted text to keep your viewer engaged. 

According to this report on the use of video in social media, 39 percent of consumers are more likely to finish a video when it includes text. Used effectively, it will reinforce your point and help viewers recall more of the information you have shared with them.

Text can be introduced in the form of overlays, descriptions and titles. It can be highly stylised and immensely helpful. A sprinkling of captions will give context to your video and add detail to your story without detracting from the main message.

Here's how to get the best results from your video marketing campaign by using text in your videos.


If you’re well versed in the inbound marketing process, you’re no stranger to search engine optimisation. Video has as much to offer in this realm as any other piece of content your business generates.

Transcripts, captions and metadata vastly improve search engine optimisation because they provide the substance for your media to be ranked by.

Words spoken on camera immediately become searchable, but written text plays a part too. Video with text provides more opportunity to associate long-tail keywords with your production.

Using video drives a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines. Optimise yours to open your content up to a wider audience and drive conversions.


As any author will attest, good stories require good context. Enhance your visual storytelling by including information that improves viewer understanding without overloading your script.

This can be done by including facts and data, labelling things and providing links to further material.

If you are sharing video via social media, it’s worth noting that most channels auto-play video without sound. For example, on Facebook, 85 percent of videos are silenced when watched. As a marketer, you need to combat this.

Furthermore, mobile is fast overtaking desktop video viewership, and users are more likely to silence video while on the move.

Captions are a good way to optimise video for mobile users, and they also make your video more accessible to audiences with hearing problems. Sites like Youtube and Facebook now allow you to add captions to your videos without the requirement of special editing software.

Captions can easily be synchronised with audio to punctuate key messages.


Text can be used in a video to introduce people, professions, brands and locations.

No doubt you’ll have noticed this done before in news broadcasts or documentaries. In video production, it's called a lower third.

Lower thirds are an excellent place to showcase your branding by using company colours, fonts and logo.

An introduction instantly corrects a viewer if they mishear something (saving them the inconvenience of rewinding) and provides confirmation of correct spellings - which is fantastic if buyer personas want to conduct further research.

Lower thirds are a visual convention we are familiar with and are an easy way to increase production value.


Organising your video into segments helps create a sense of beginning, middle and end.

Perhaps there is a part of the video you want to separate from the narrative - like a Q&A section, story summary or recap of instructions.

Text can be used to indicate a passage of time, a change in theme or location.

Often, to amplify a new chapter, a visual break is inserted. This may be as simple as a bold coloured background accompanied by some text, and sometimes an infographic.

Video CTAs

Successful corporate videos are produced with a specific outcome in mind. This could be anything from encouraging viewers to subscribe to your channel, visit a landing page or purchase your product.

Text is of vital importance here. Whatever the goal - a video CTA will direct viewers, and you can use a tracking link to monitor conversions.

Video CTAs don’t have to be lengthy. Yours could be as short as “Find out more here”. Keep your call to action under ten words (preferably less than five).

What to avoid?

Using text elevates the appearance and cohesion of your videos. However, there are a few things you should avoid:


It doesn’t make sense to display bulky blocks of text in your video. 59 percent of executives would rather watch a video than read text.

If you have a lot to say on a subject provide an external link. This will improve your video and generate traffic to site pages. You can continue to influence prospects with inbound marketing if you direct viewers to your site.

Text should provide context without eclipsing the rest of the video.

Illegible fonts

It may be tempting to make the text small if you are fearful of intruding on your shot, but when text takes a backseat it becomes ineffective.

If a statement is worth including, it’s worth ensuring your viewers can read it.

Decorative fonts can be quite difficult to read, and it’s also crucial that you use a font colour that stands out against your background. Additionally, you should leave the text on screen long enough for everybody to read it.

Remember, many of your viewers will be accessing your content on mobile - which makes it even more important that written content is clear enough to be read on any device.

Poor composition

You don’t want to shoot a beautiful scene and realise through post-process that there is nowhere your text can sit without blocking out the visuals.

The composition is something to consider carefully before you shoot. A storyboard may help with this. Text ought to be placed in an unobtrusive place that neither covers nor detracts from the imagery behind it.

Video is a highly visual medium, but that doesn't override the need for text. By supporting your message and providing clarity, text can play a crucial part in your production.

Before you embark on a video marketing campaign, visit your script and form a plan of how to use text more effectively onscreen and off. 

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Published by Jeremy Knight April 9, 2018
Jeremy Knight