Talk from the top: The importance of mixing visual and written media | The Giles Agency

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This post is part of our ‘Talk from the Top’ series, in which our Director, Freya, shares her insights on a range of topics at the heart of marketing and communications. Over to Freya…

Despite the increasingly visual nature of the web, the written word is going nowhere. We still love to read — whether that be witty tweets, online blogs, a novel by Dostoyevsky, or all of the above!

Web copy remains as crucial to digital success as ever, but there are new and ever-evolving ways to boost its impact. As with a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine, balance is key. Combining the power of images with that of words allows you to capitalise on the eye-catching immediacy of visuals while also adding context and additional information via written storytelling. 

A good example of this is the infographic, a format that’s been on the rise for several years now. According to constant-content.com, “infographics have been shown to enjoy three times more likes and shares than any other content type” — a statistic that’s hard to ignore. This plays to both visual and verbal learners, convincing more sets of eyes to engage with you and your content.

Mixed content also helps your ranking on search engines, which prefer to promote mixed content to that of a single type. While image and video are certainly engaging media, they can lose some of the calm, considered nature of reading, and sometimes lack the beauty and context of a well-written passage that’s been perfectly crafted for the reader to enjoy. Writing also conveys information quickly and succinctly without intrusive noise or advertising, features that are becoming ubiquitous in audiovisual media across the web.

Add in the cost and time efficiency of copy production when compared to, say, filming a video, recording a podcast, or staging a photoshoot, and the power of hybrid content becomes clear.

Content is king, but no one kind of content tops another. The winning mix lies in hybrid content that combines and enhances the benefits of each type, creating the perfect complementary blend of information, context, meaning, engagement, and entertainment — no mean feat.