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As a writer, of sorts, I hate it when people look me dead in the eye and proclaim, ‘the written word is dead’. When I hear it, it feels like all of my career choices up to this point have been nullified by those who prefer to absorb information in other ways, and believe communicating is a ‘one or the other’ exercise.

But there’s no reason to feel like this! Even in this day and age, written content still plays an integral part of business, news and information.

The difference is that written content need no longer stand alone.

Incorporating videos into online content is a great way to add another layer to your message. It’s a tried and true approach for many organisations, bloggers and news providers.

But do not be fooled into thinking that it’s a simple matter of pasting a YouTube link into your text. As writers/content creators, it’s up to us to understand the ‘sweet science’ behind intermingling the magic of video with our craft.

Create a symbiotic relationship
It all begins with a symbiotic relationship. Before you can add videos to your work, an environment has to be created where your words and your videos earn their worth by relying on each other.
  • A good video can help illustrate and visually stimulate the point you are trying to make, in ways that even the most coherent text cannot do on its own.
  • Well-written content provides appropriate context to a video which would otherwise be pointless imagery.


Keep videos short, sharp and to the point

Including a 10-plus-minute video in the middle of a 400 to 600-word blog is rarely effective. However relevant, a long video with rich and captivating content will command readers’ full attention, and it pulls concentration away from the content you worked so hard to develop.

A video should be used as a quick illustration. If it’s too long, people could start losing interest or they may start to believe your written content is irrelevant. But we’ll get to that…

Keep videos relevant
While people are viewing your content, the accompanying video needs to support what they just read. It should provide imagery that helps a reader on their path to better understanding your content, and therefore should be relevant. Adding a video to your content just for the sake of it can hurt your message, especially if it has nothing to do with what you’ve written.

It may be tempting to add a video to your content because it looks cool, or fun, or it shows that you’re ‘with the times’, but pointless videos distract, undermine and generally get in the way.

Never let videos outrank your content
Typically a video should complement the content, not overpower it, and should only take centre stage in an online piece in certain and rare scenarios.


A well-edited video may lead people to think they can get all the information they need from its entertaining imagery, which will make what you’ve worked hard to create seem redundant and irrelevant.

But there’s a problem with thinking that an in-text video has all the answers: By forsaking the text, the key points are sometimes missed entirely.

Videos should always be regarded as merely a tool to assist your content – aiding where necessary so your content can achieve its objective in the best way possible.

celebrity endorsement Why do brands embrace the faces of celebrity? It’s not a new phenomenon and has been part of our daily consumption for many decades; in fact, it’s difficult not to name a product or company that hasn’t engaged in some form of celebrity endorsement. Celebrities can be a vehicle for brands to reach out to new audience niches as well as the mainstream. Some well-known and successful brand associations include George Clooney (Nespresso), Jennifer Aniston (Emirates), Nicole Kidman (Etihad), Michael Jordan (Nike) and Jamie Oliver (Woolworths). Success can add millions in brand value through positive association and the power of aspiration. Consumers are well aware that these arrangements are paid for but will see past that if the association is credible and real. Guy Sebastian has recently been announced as AirAsia’s brand ambassador in Australia in a deal that promises to work well for both parties. AirAsia receive the benefit of a very likeable personality with a clean image in the vast entertainment industry. AirAsia sees the synergy of entertainment and travel working together in a lifestyle brand sense to appeal to their audience, produce engaging content and attract attention across borders. Sebastian in turn is looking to promote himself further across Asia and AirAsia’s massive reach will assist. The airline has worked before with musicians in other markets and several top executives are former music industry executives including the co-founder, Tony Fernandes. AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the airline was thrilled to have Guy on board calling him a “natural fit for AirAsia”. “Guy embodies AirAsia’s values and ideals with his support of the community through charity work and will promote AirAsia’s brand,” he said. guy sebastian In an interesting twist, about the time Sebastian was announcing the arrangement with AirAsia, controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios parted ways as an ambassador for Malaysia Airlines after just one year. Sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work out, or maybe, wasn’t a good fit to start with. In another format, Australian radio and TV personality Jules Lund has established a marketing start-up called Tribe which targets brands that want to get active in social media through associating themselves with brand personalities or ‘influencers’. The marketplace model allows users (influencers) to bid online to provide services or endorsements for a product or brand which can then be purchased by that brand. Tribe promises ‘authentic advocacy’, with influencers choosing brands, not the other way around. Tribe has just completed a round of funding to fuel expansion in technology and markets. It has claimed to have worked with more than 500 brands and have about 4500 influencers on its books. If you’re considering a brand ambassador here’s a checklist of some key considerations:
  • Choose the right brand ambassador! What are they going to do for you and who do they appeal to? Is their association with your brand or product believable? Do your research thoroughly.
  • It needs to be a two-way relationship with real benefits for both parties. It’s not just about dollars.
  • All obligations and terms need to be set out in writing for executing. And, also allow for the arrangement not working out.
  • Meet regularly to manage obligations under the contract and explore new opportunities.
  • How will you measure the success or otherwise of your investment? Is it in sales, audience recall, specific brand attribute measurements, or digital media traction? Be clear with your own goals and expectations.