New artists seem to prioritize video interviews over written ones based on the conviction that the first category is somehow more valuable. Nothing could be further from the truth and we’re about to share why. Read on to discover the top 5 different uses for video interviews and written interviews. They’re both important but for very different reasons and you need to be aware of the short-term and long-term implications of each type.
5. Value: Video is great for social media content, Text is great for global brand SEO.
A video interview will make for cool visual content to be pushed on social media. Plus, as a musician, you really want people to get used to your voice. What video doesn’t have, is text. And text is monumental for high-quality search engine optimization. You risk, as a matter of fact, for the video interview to not pop up at all in the search results associated with your brand if the uploader doesn’t do a proper job tagging the video, captioning it, correctly adding links and titles, attributing credits, etc. And most indie YouTube channels have no idea what they’re doing in this department.
With a text interview, the text does all of the SEO already. There’s not much margin for error with a written interview. And it WILL pop up in the search results especially if it is recent and over 1000 words. So if you are barely starting out, you need plenty of written text. If you’re already somewhat established, you need video interviews probably more than written interviews.
4. Reliability: Video can be taken down overnight, Text – not really.
The thing you must keep in mind when you’re not the uploader of your video interview is that your interview’s longevity depends on the status of the host’s channel. If they get copyright strikes for other videos and content that has nothing to do with you, your interview will still get taken down and possibly deleted along with the entire channel. Should the host violate community guidelines in the future, your video, you guessed right, goes down with them. So at least, at all times, have a copy of the video file of the interview. For unforeseen circumstances. They do happen more than you think.
On the other hand, for a text piece to be taken down, some serious steps have to take place in a certain order. And they usually don’t. For example, the owner would have to forget to renew their domain, or a lawyer would have to send a takedown notice. The good news is that all responsible bloggers and media outlets have their domain renewal set to automated payment and lawyers don’t go that far unless it’s some lawsuit we’re talking about. For the second option to even occur, you’d have to do something seriously dumb like trash-talking another artist or giving out personal details without someone’s consent. Respect these guidelines and your text interviews will be searchable and available online for decades to come.
3. Repurposing: Video needs to be reformatted and chopped, Text is just copy/pasted.
Musicians have a tremendous amount of talent but when it comes to the business side of things and the needed technical qualities to make it in today’s industry, many pedal back and prefer to hire others to do the heavy lifting. That rings even truer when we talk about repurposing a video for your social media. If you don’t have the original video file of the interview, you will need to know how to download the highest-quality version of the YouTube video, then reformat it from horizontal to vertical and export it as a new 16:9 ratioed video chopped in bits of 1 and 3 minutes and not exceeding the allotted file size of the platform you intend to upload it on. Sounds like a lot? It is.
Text, fortunately and luckily for the artists being interviewed in writing, is much easier to repurpose. You just copy/paste snippets of the interview and have the absolute freedom to compose your stories natively on the likes of Instagram and Facebook. You can also step your game up and download an image editing app and embellish excerpts and quotes from the interview then attach your music to it and the original link on social media and hit Post. Everyone can do it without much effort.
2. Impact: Video creates immediate connection, Text needs additional input.
One of the undeniable upsides of video interviews is that people see you and hear you (equally an enormous disadvantage should it go wrong, more on this in point 1 on the list). When the public watches an interview with a musician, all is clear. No additional explanations are needed. Off the bat, you know whether you want to invest more of your time and money into this artist or not.
Text, on the other hand, needs additional context. If you’re a new artist with few songs out, chances are many people reading your interview haven’t even really gotten accustomed to your voice so they require links to your music videos and songs. They also don’t perceive accurately your sense of humor or lack thereof. Interviews in writing need visual and auditory backup deriving from your art.
1. Consequences: Video is highly unstable for long-term repercussions, Text can be debated.
The tides have turned so much, in many regards even drastically in the last years. What was cool in 2019 is cool no more in 2022. What we were free to pursue and instigate in 2019 is not even admissible only 3 years later. Imagine if you were an artist who screamed on camera in 2019 that everyone should follow Fauci’s advice only for us all to discover in 2022 that he is very likely the culprit of many of the pandemic-related disasters. Now your credibility as both an artist and a person is just as good as a used-up toilet paper roll. You can only flush it down the toilet.
Text, on the other hand, leaves place for interpretation and imagination. Also allows for less controversial material. Very often it’s not the blogs and press outlets starting scandals. It’s the celebrities shooting themselves in the foot by talking too much on camera. Look at what’s happening to Alec Baldwin and the tragedy surrounding the shooting. Since he said it on camera with his mouth, everyone can rightfully attack his testimony and recount of the events. Had he stayed quiet, his lawyers would have backed him up in a more discrete way and people wouldn’t have lost trust in the actor. This happened many times in the music industry as well.
In conclusion, be extremely careful of what you say on camera because that is the ultimate proof of your culpability. Written interviews are very often shortened for print purposes and people know it and expect it and consequentially, celebrities have taken advantage of this excuse to say their words have been wrongfully taken out of context and they manage to navigate risky situations much better than those who’ve been video captured.
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