Why Video is More Effective Than Text
(Episode 2 of 2 with Ethan Beute)
Welcome back to another episode with Ethan Beute, chief evangelist at BombBomb and co-author of Human-Centered Communication. Today we’re going to discuss the power of video messages.
We will cover the following key takeaways:
- Video establishes trust and credibility in a way that text or images can’t.
- Our customers want to know our intent and motivation before they buy from us. Video helps show our sincerity and honesty.
- We can consider using video instead of text when the message is personal, emotional, or complex.
- A lot of successful client customer relationships are based on shared belief. We should share our passions with our customers.
Video establishes trust and credibility in a way that text or images can’t.
“For the past 30 years, . . . we’ve relied on faceless, typed out text — the same black text on the same white screen that doesn’t differentiate you. [That] doesn’t build trust and rapport, and doesn’t communicate nearly as well as when you look someone in the eye through a web camera or smartphone,” Ethan said.
When we create a video, it gives our customers a chance to put a face to our brand. It gives them a chance to see a bit of our personality and sincerity in a way you can’t with only words on a screen.
When we create conversational videos, we don’t need scripts, production lighting, drone shots, etc. While these are important for ads, videos on our website, etc., with video communication we want to be as natural and genuine as possible. Scripts and studio lighting may feel too rehearsed and fake when sending relationship building videos.
“[Text] becomes the default, the norm, whether it’s an email [or] in LinkedIn,” Ethan said. “We’re just hoping that we’re good enough writers to capture what we feel and what we think, [but] that strips us of some of our intuition or the emotional charge behind what we’re doing.”
We shouldn’t always default to text. Many times, video may be a better medium to get our point across. We can use video in our emails or on our website to communicate. We can replace social media messages with video messages. With easy access to a good camera and microphone on our phones, there is no reason we can’t pull up a Zoom call or record a quick video message.
“[Video] fills in all the needs that human brains seek — all the intent data that it seeks to know and to feel secure in proceeding, in engaging, in saying yes, in returning the phone call, in clicking the link, in filling out the survey, and making the personal introduction,” Ethan said. “We help people say yes more confidently and more quickly, assuming that we’re operating with sincerity, . . . when we do communicate this in video.”
Our customers want to know our intent and motivation before they judge if we are right to sell to them. Video shows them this.
When to Use Video
How do we know when to replace text with video? If you are typing up a message and it fits one of these three criteria, it is often better to include a video message:
1. Personal Connection
The first thing we should look for is a personal connection. Are we trying to get to know our customers better? Are we trying to help them get to know us? If there is any sort of personal connection in the text, video might be a better option as it can better communicate personality and intent than text can.
For example, if I just connected with someone on LinkedIn and I want to introduce myself, instead of sending a paragraph of text I can send a quick 30-second or one-minute video introducing myself. When we use video in this way, people will feel like they know us even before they meet us in person.
2. Emotion or Tone
The next thing we can look for is emotion or tone. “Whether it’s positive, [or] negative, . . . anything that has emotional charge one way or the other is so much better in a video than it is in text because you can nail the nuance of it, especially if you’re sincere,” Ethan said.
When we write anything with emotion or tone, there is a chance it will be misinterpreted by the reader. They may not feel how genuine we are or mistake something as sarcastic. However, with video they can hear our voice and read our face expressions making the message much less likely to be misunderstood.
For example, when issuing an apology or saying congratulations, a video is likely better than text because it has more emotion in it. “Sending a video is a great way to manage that emotion or tone,” Ethan said.
3. Detail or Complexity
The third thing we can look for in our messages is detail and complexity. When we are trying to explain something that is complex in text, it is easy for our customers to get lost and confused. This is where video can really help.
We can create videos that help our customers solve a problem step by step. Having visuals can be a great way to simplify a detailed topic. We can also create a screen-recording and show our customers how to do something rather than just tell them.
“Responding to any customer inquiry is so much better done with a video because you don’t have to get in your own head and type it all up and hope that they understood,” Ethan said. “It positions you as the expert when you’re responding to inquiries and helping people through any kind of confusion or frustration by simply talking to them rather than typing.”
When creating videos, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Establish Credibility
“Credibility is something that is assigned to you by someone else. You cannot assign it to yourself,” Ethan said. “It’s something that we demonstrate through our consistency, in word, in deed. It’s something we demonstrate by acting in service of other people.”
In video, we can demonstrate our credibility by really focusing our messages on the question, “What’s in it for them?” Before we do anything, we should ask this question.
Ethan likes to follow the structure of empathy, value, and then a call to action. With empathy, we have to meet our customers where they are. We should start our conversation empathically because we want to help our customers in their current situation.
Empathy also means that we respect and understand our customers. In the beginning of the video, we should make it obvious to our customers that we have listened to them and know what they need. We may even create a video to respond to customer feedback and questions.
“Start with some degree of empathy and awareness. Essentially you’re giving them what every human being needs, which is to be seen and heard and understood and respected and valued. Every single one of us, even the most hardcore badass type of person, needs that deeply,” Ethan said.
Once we’ve shown the customer that we understand them, then we can promise them that we can add value to their life. Only after that should we provide a call to action.
2. Communicate Passions
If we are super passionate about our business or different things in life, it becomes contagious. We should share our passions with our customers to give them a sense of our identity.
“A lot of client customer relationships are based on shared belief. It’s one of the reasons that purpose has become [so] important,” Ethan said. “What binds employees to their organizations, what binds customers to the companies that they buy from or subscribe to . . . or refer other people to? A lot of it is in shared belief.”
Do we see the world the same? Are our values similar? When we share our passions with our customers, it makes it easy to bond with them. They trust us more when they understand that we have similar values.
For example, Ethan is very passionate about keeping a clean environment. Because of this, he likes to shop from clothing stores that are environmentally friendly and ethical. If these brands didn’t share that they were passionate about the environment, Ethan likely wouldn’t have connected with them as he did.
If we can communicate the work that we do and why we do it, the more we create loyalty. It also buys us the grace we need when we make a mistake. If we are passionate about our brand, the best thing we can do is get in front of people and the next best thing is get in front of them with video.
Connect with Ethan
Thank you so much Ethan for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Ethan: