Using Video Versus Images for Social Media Content

There is a great debate on which is better - video or still images - for posting on your social media accounts. Depending on who you ask and what their business model is, the answer can be very different. Therefore, to say one is better than the other does not necessarily apply to everyone and every advertising approach. They are both beneficial in their own right, and can be very effective when used properly.

For example, a restaurant may prefer to post pictures of their food offerings as a finished product. This is typical of this industry, since customers usually only view their plates after everything has been cooked and neatly plated for a nice presentation at the table. It makes sense to showcase their dishes as an image because the food preparation process is not as visible to customers as the final product.

Sticking with the food theme, there could be an instance where a video would make more sense than a picture. New Yorker Bagels in NYC claim they hand-roll ALL of their bagels. They also claim that a hand-rolled bagel is much better than a machine-produced bagel. So to prove this, they created a video showing their hand-rolling process and another video showing people's reactions to trying one of their bagels for the first time. This is a great example where the use of video could better explain to people the hand-roll process and the difference in their bagels versus their competitors.

One of the bigger factors in choosing between the two formats can be cost. Producing a video can be far more expensive than just snapping a photo. This is likely one of the biggest factors in deterring smaller businesses from utilizing video. Not only does video cost more, it also takes longer to get the final edit ready to post. The benefits of a photo is that it can be taken an posted instantly (hence the purpose behind Instagram). Capturing and editing a professional quality video is also not something your every day business owner or marketer is capable of.

Another argument made against the use of video is the factor of people's attention span. Which, in today's society is said to be less than goldfish at only 8 seconds. Some may say why go through the trouble of producing a video if no one will watch the entire thing? Why not just post a photo that people will actually see and acknowledge in less than 8 seconds? It's actually a good point, however the latest trend in social media is that video is capturing people's attention and producing better results than ever before.

Whichever side of the fence you're on, as a business owner you should consider both video and photos as effective tactics that can be beneficial to your social media marketing strategy. Weigh the pros and cons of each and do your own analysis to decide which makes more sense for your business to best utilize. Keep in mind that YOU CAN USE BOTH! There's no need to exclusively use one over the other.