3 Reasons you need to focus more on video in 2017

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, video is the future of communication. This is not an easy thing for me to admit, but from everything I’ve seen in 2016 it appears to be an undeniable truth. In a time where fake news is causing a kind of global disruption we have never really witnessed before, video driven content can be a powerful tool for shaping the dialogue around pretty much anything. 

There will always be a need for the written word, so please do not consider this post as a reason to slack off or stop writing every day. You need to write, but you also need to recognize the fact that people are consuming more information than ever these days through many more channels than ever before. A good amount of people still read the news, but many also listen to news related podcasts and watch lengthy video editorials about hot topics. Some learn everything they carry with them each day through video segments shared over Facebook. You can believe that is a good thing or not, but that doesn’t change the fact its true, and if you want to continue growing your audience in the new year you’re going to need to focus more on video. Here’s why:

Video helps people know, like, and trust you.

One of the coolest things about the internet has always been the fact it enables everyone to have a voice and share their opinion. As social media has taken off and further empowered this idea the ability for any one writer or thinker to stand out has become incredibly difficult. Discerning one writer’s work from another when most are communicating in 140 characters or less can be hard on consumers, but there is no denying who you are when you put yourself on video for the world to see. By presenting your thoughts and opinions through video you are able to establish a connection with your audience that the written world simply cannot duplicate. People will feel like they know you even they you have never met, and if you choose to broadcast live you can interact with your audience in real time (something, again, that written word cannot offer).

Videos can humanize you in a way the written word cannot

There is no escaping troll culture. No matter where you go or what you write there will inevitably some – likely anonymous – commenter who tells you that you are somehow a lesser than them and the rest of the human race. It happens to everyone everywhere online and making video content will not change that, but it can lead to a more immediate connection between you and your audience. People seeking out information online regarding the things they love are looking to hear that information from people who share their passion, and our brains are wired in such a way that we make that judgment far faster visually than we do through text. You can give the appearance of looking smart and informed far easier than you can make people believe you know what you’re talking about through text. Again, this is both a good and bad thing, but it’s a truth nonetheless. By putting yourself front and center you are inviting the audience to experience life with you, as well as through you, and if they enjoy that journey they will stick around, binging your updates as if they were the latest Netflix original series.

People are consuming more and more content on the go, and most of what they consume is video.

The Ericsson Mobility Report highlights how 50 percent of mobile data traffic currently comes from video, and in 2016 that number is expected to rise to 52%. Reuters predicts video will grow 14 times within five years and account for 70 percent of mobile network traffic. You can debate whether or not written word provides more depth and detail, but there is no denying what these numbers tell us about how consuming behavior is changing in the digital age. People want video, and there are no signs of that trend changing in the coming years. 

If you don’t embrace video you will get left behind. It’s that simple.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.