Recently, Fox Sports announced a move to cut about 20 writer and editor jobs for its online content in favor of hiring more people with video production skills. Facebook announced in 2016 that its content would likely be all video within five years. Advertisers most likely are driving this trend, something you get if you've ever had to sit through a video ad to access your local weather forecast online.
Video Might not Match the Written Word
Not everyone loves video or the time it takes to load and watch. Despite a move to video-rich digital content, many people still prefer reading text or enjoy text that supplements the video. Video is not the best medium to communicate every topic or brand. Sure, sporting events lend themselves to video, and since companies already film events, they merely have to edit highlights to provide compelling content.
But what about other news or brand information? According to Nieman Lab's June 2017 report, about 71 percent of people still prefer to read their news as text; only 14 percent say they use text and video equally. Get to know how your customers prefer to receive ads and information about your brand.
The obvious leap from written word to video is that videos need good scripts. That is and isn't true. Facebook and other platforms are pushing live video, which favors production and location over scripting and taking several cuts. However, some video productions require good scripts, and companies pivoting to video can recognize the research, organization and vocabulary skills of their writing and communications teams, and then help provide the tools they need to make the switch to scripts.
Another reason to retain business and sales marketing skills ties to the reason why the video market is expanding – companies are figuring they can increase revenue with subscription-based content. But when you push content, you typically need written words to introduce or promote it. Social media posts and emails require at least some degree of business writing skills to compose proper subject lines, calls to action and other related content.
Of course, there always is the chance that video pivots back to written word. Already, studies have shown that magazine subscribers typically favor "book in hand" over digital articles. And the Association of American Publishers announced sales of e-books dropped nearly 19 percent in 2016, while paperback and hardback sales increased. Still don't believe it can happen? Check how many vinyl records your local music store stocks today compared with two years ago.
Keep Good Business Writing Relevant
If companies, publishers and advertisers continue to pivot to video, even greater pressure rests on those responsible for the written words that remain. Make sure anything you compose and print, from product packaging to billboards, is clean, concise, effective and free of grammar or spelling errors.
Keep your business writing skills relevant with Business Writing That Counts! consulting, training, online courses or in-house workshops.
And feel free to call and ask us about business writing services at 425-485-3221.