Do you think more people retain information they’ve seen or they’ve read?

You probably won’t be surprised to learn it’s the former, but what might get you thinking about incorporating video into your business, is the variation between the two.


It’s actually estimated that for every 10 people who retain what they’ve learnt through reading, there are 50 who take in more information from watching a video.  If you’re one of the 50, start checking out my videos! If you’re in the other 10 – read on.


But before I go on, I should clarify that I’m not suggesting video should be used to totally replace your other communications methods. It’s just that for some applications, video is more ideal. Why?


1.     It’s transparent.  The written word can be open to interpretation.  Think about a time when you’ve read an email for example, and you imposed a tone on it that might not have been intentional on the part of the writer. I know I’ve done it.  I’ve interpreted brevity as brusqueness in the past, when in fact, the writer was just short on time and so quickly got to the point! Video gets around this. It’s also personal, as I’ve mentioned before, in that people feel more connected to a person they can see and hear, than just reading their words on paper, which makes it somehow…


2.     Easier to believe. Think about the news as a great example. If you read the news, you’re aware that someone has penned the words and there’s always that slight doubt that perhaps they’ve exaggerated or put their own spin on it. Now I’m not suggesting that the news in a visual medium doesn’t edit, omit and sensationalise too [too many years of media studies!], but there is a mindset out there that if you’ve seen it with your own eyes, it must be true.  I guess it’s a question of authenticity. You could, for example, make a lot of very truthful and valid claims about a product you’re selling, but nothing will strike a chord with people like actually being able to see those claims made concrete in front of their very eyes!


3.     It feels like fun. Seriously.  From early on in our lives, we associate visual mediums – whether it’s films, TV, the web or even home videos, with entertainment.  Yes there are certainly people who associate reading with fun too, but there can be a tendency to associate reading with study, and that sometimes carries over into the workplace too – and the web, which is where a lot of people turn to for their information. So psychologically, you have a head start with the way people approach your information if you put a video in front of them. You can always follow it up with the written information afterwards.


4.     It’s easier to show than tell.  There are so many times when it would take numerous words to explain something that could more quickly and effectively be shown using video. Showcasing how a product works, training staff in procedures, highlighting new features you’ve recently implemented in the workplace, and showing prospective customers the ins and outs of the service you can offer them, are just a few of the ways where ‘show’ can work better than ‘tell’.  For example, we recently worked with staff from a variety of departments at Lady Cilento Hospital to up-skill their staff in video production. Can you imagine how many opportunities are there for them to create a range of useful videos? On the ‘How to’ level alone, there must be hundreds!


5.     It’s quick. I’m not kidding.  For a lot of people, talking is easier than writing, and watching is quicker than reading. Let’s say you want to let your staff know that an important presentation is coming up. Once you have basic video skills, it takes very little time to shoot a simple PTC [piece to camera] and upload it. You can follow it up with a short written reminder, but the video will have grabbed their attention, it will be personal, and it will have taken no time at all to produce.  Think back also to what I mentioned about showing rather then telling - how a new product works for example.  ‘How to’ manuals can take endless amounts of time to write. A video can convey information quickly.


6.     It’s now.  It’s a competitive marketplace out there. To reach, engage and retain people both in your workplace and outside of it, you need to be in tune with how they’re interacting with information.  Google ranks you higher if you use video. People are used to watching videos all the time on their devices. Businesses that use it consistently report increased web traffic and conversion rates.  The bottom line is that video and images generate more interest now than text alone.


Just what kind of videos? I’m going to cover the types of videos you could create for both internal and external purposes in my next blog.  There are several you can make – in-house, and you don’t have to be a professional filmmaker to do them well either.  You just need some basic training. So stay tuned!


At Activate Entertainment we are producers of film, animation & augmented reality applications for clients 

big and small. Engage us to produce your film or media. From concept through to delivery we are experts in 

Film, Design, Illustration, Animation (2D & 3D), and Augmented Reality.