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For Winning Content, Take a Cue from Cooking Videos

I’m a foodie, and since I can’t spend my whole day eating, I sometimes get my fix by watching cooking videos. Thanks to the magic of time-lapse video, good eats (Ultimate Pad Thai 2 Ways, anyone?) come together in less than one minute. These videos are entertaining. They’re informative. I can’t stop watching them.

And I’m not alone. Many of the videos I watch have millions of views. Which made me realize the power that video has to boost the visibility of written content. As digital marketers, we have a lot to gain by pulling our seats up to the table.

Inspire Users to Devour Your Content

I used to be averse to video. After all, I’m a writer, and the written word is my natural habitat. So why do I keep gravitating toward these videos? Because they’re much easier to consume (no pun intended) than narrative content.

With text, your brain first has to recognize shapes as letters, string them together to form words, then group the words to form sentences. Even if your prose is stellar, reading requires more brainpower than watching a video – so when users land on your page, you still need to work hard to keep their attention. Adding visual content increases the likelihood they’ll stay long enough to reach your key messages.

Engagement in the Blink of an Eye

One of the reasons cooking videos rack up so many views is that they capture our attention immediately. Thanks to features like autoplay, I don’t have to click on a link – the videos start playing automatically.

Research shows that people start comprehending video content in a fraction of a second. This finding is great news considering people only take a few seconds to decide whether they wish to stay on your website.

Video content fast-tracks users’ understanding of your brand, people and services with snack-sized bits of content. But some people just want a taste. Fortunately, static visuals including images, illustrations and infographics offer some of the same benefits: They help people recall more of your messaging than text alone.

Extra Points for Grace and Style

I’m addicted to cooking videos because they are a feast for the eyes, and the recipes are always just what I’m craving. In other words, execution and substance are the keys to compelling visual content.

Think first about the information your audience is craving and then consider the visuals that make the most sense for your brand. No budget for video production or in-house designers? No problem. From free infographic generators to video editing apps, there are hundreds of online tools to help you achieve your vision.

Canva allows you to create custom graphics at no charge with easy-to-use drag and drop design features. Clipchamp is a free service you can use to edit and optimize videos from a variety of sources, including your webcam.

Don’t miss out – next month, we’ll help you get your visual content marketing efforts rolling with helpful tips as well as mistakes to avoid.

Hope You Saved Room for Dessert

I’m not the only member of the Aha team with food on the brain. Check out my colleague Kate’s post about how baking cakes can improve your content.

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About Laura Bloom

Laura Bloom, MBA

A 20-plus-year veteran of the healthcare industry, Laura’s previous work includes technical writing and project management roles at UnitedHealth Group, WebMD and a federally funded quality improvement organization. Laura has a passion for helping consumers make informed decisions about their care, which is why she became a content writer.... More >