Your video marketing doesn’t work for me.

Salespeople and content marketers, I don’t like watching your videos. I have to put my earbuds in, and that breaks my concentration. Video is not my learning style. I can read and get your point much faster than I can listen. The caption below your video is distracting to me as well. I will, however, read a well-crafted summary or transcript of your remarks.

What happened to an omnichannel approach and focusing on the buyer? What happened to prioritizing customer experience? Every buyer has a preferred learning style. Cater only to one, and you’re SOL.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

That’s the question I posed on LinkedIn, and boy, was there a lot of discussion. To date, the question has been viewed more than 16,000 times and received 74 comments. Here are my takeaways from the conversation:

I’m in the Minority

There was agreement that an omnichannel approach is essential, because buyers all have their own preferences. You don’t want to lose a deal because a CEO doesn’t want to watch your video.

That said, video is the most popular way to consume content. I knew there was research on why video marketing works, and Mario Martinez at Vengreso gave me the data.

Omnichannel is correct, totally agree with you. 79% of the the world’s internet traffic is as a result of consuming video, and the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. So, I would argue that you may not be the only one who feels that way about video, but it is a much smaller percentage of people today. Now, you may ask, what about buyers? 59% of buyers reported watching a business-related video at least weekly. Video is still one of the top 5 marketing tactics. All of that said, it should be an arrow in a salesperson’s quiver, but not the only arrow, to your point. And you are correct the omnichannel should have a cadence that includes video, email, phone, text, and social.

Age Makes Some Difference

I thought that age might make a difference, as millennials, Gen Z, and even Gen X are constantly on their phones. They walk down the street with their phones, read books and listen to podcasts on their phones, text constantly, and even sleep with their phones. It’s their lifeline.

One reader sent me Hubspot research: “Content Trends: Preferences Emerge Along Generational Fault Lines.” Hubspot surveyed more than 3,000 consumers about which content and medium attracts most users. The survey determined, “The clear winner is video, with interactive articles and social content emerging as close contenders.”

This is consumer research, but we’re all consumers of information, aren’t we? There’s data about where and when people use their phones: before they sleep, when they awaken, and, yes, even in the bathroom. (Come on, we’ve all done that.)

There are definitely generational differences. Younger people prefer video (65%) more than the over 55 group (43%). That’s a 22 percent gap. It’s statistically significant for me, as I’m in the “over 55” group. Since most of my buyers are in the 24 to 45 age range, I admit that I need more video marketing and enhanced social content.

What surprised me was the relatively low interest in podcasts and infographics. That might be because this was consumer research. I’m good on the social content side, but I suck at creating video. I have no excuse, as I have a permanent green screen and good lighting in my office, but I still resist video marketing.

Learning Styles Are a Myth

I wasn’t surprised that my colleague Mike Kunkle told me “learning styles” are a myth. He wrote:

There is tons of research debunking the concept. Learning media should be chosen based on the content being learned, the audience, and the expected outcome of the training, without considering learning styles.

I read the report, and I’m still confused. It’s a series of comments from different authors, with no cohesive thread connecting the comments. If the article had been organized in themes, I would have understood.

Maybe learning styles isn’t the correct phrase, but each of us assimilates information in different ways. I prefer to see the big picture first, understand the goal, and then dig in. Without that background, it’s like driving a car without a destination, without a map, and without Waze. I’m lost. So, Mike, the research for me is irrelevant. I know how I learn.

Speed Is Essential

One reader commented that audio and video are too slow. He said most people read at 3X the typical speaking pace. Also, you can’t skim over irrelevant info while listening. He elaborated:

Audio/video forces me to listen to everything the speaker says, at his/her pace, only deciding on its relevance or usefulness after the fact. That prevents me from deciding what’s worth investing time and attention in, and what isn’t.

Another reader said he can scan a piece of text in seconds and decide if it’s worth more time, and then move on.

People process information in different ways. So, if you rely on just one means of presenting your message, then you eliminate a large chunk of intended recipients who won’t watch video. Learn to write succinctly and clearly; don’t worry about seeing yourself on ‘TV.’ Leave that for face-to-face meetings, where it is a dialogue and you can interact, not a broadcast where you can’t.

For Your Enjoyment, from a Queasy Stomach

And I couldn’t agree more with this next comment:

My line in the sand is drawn at anyone filming themselves in a car—they get skipped instantly, as I’ve found a strong correlation between them and homespun gibberish. Once I’ve watched a video, I tend to liken the experience to going to McDonalds—it seemed like a good idea right up until I start eating/watching, followed by a lack of fulfilment and a queasy feeling in my stomach. A case in point: This morning I watched some chap on a video talking about being quiet … the irony was obviously lost on him, but I realised the joke was actually on me for having listened to him talking about it … if ever a post were made for reading, surely that was it.

What are your thoughts? I welcome your comments on our Linkedin discussion. Also, thank you to everyone who has already shared their insights.