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Video & Text - A Dance Towards Deeper Engagement

Presenting video alongside text is one of the great unsolved challenges of the Internet. And while it’s not exactly a new phenomenon, experiences that integrate video and text in a coordinated and seamless manner are rare.

Increasingly, though, video and text are being presented as complementary formats. More and more often, we see articles with videos to accompany them. While there have often been video adaptations in the past, we are starting to videos that are expressly produced to accompany articles. When video and text come together, a different kind of story evolves.

Among popular publications, the New York Times has been a leader in this area, notably through their “Op-Docs” where a short documentary is paired with a related op-ed piece. The two parts of the “Op-Doc” support each other and paint a more complete picture of the issue than if they were separate.

A recent “Op-Doc” entitled Wiring the Amazon features the introduction of laptops and telephones into a village in the rainforest of Peru. The text focuses on the larger story of the village, while the video provides personal anecdotes and a visual representation of the setting and people. The video and text are each designed to work in tandem. Though they do stand alone as they present different points and perspectives, the video brings life to names on the page as well as an incentive to return to the article and get more information.

One way to ensure your videos and written content are working well together is to ask some basic questions:

  • Have you set up your viewers for the video they are about to see?

  • Are your videos the right length?

  • Do they truly convey the information viewers expect when they click on it?

  • Is the navigation between text and video intuitive?

  • Are your video thumbnails enticing and relevant?

  • Is your video production quality consistent with the quality, look and feel of your web site?

By addressing these simple questions you can offer a more seamless experience to your viewers.

 

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