There’s a rumor going around that people learn better or engage better with video content over text-based content. It’s easy to see where the misconception came from. After all, the average time every person spends watching videos online is 100 minutes per day. However, this content is all video that the user chooses to engage with and is content that they are already interested in, whether that’s video connected to their day job or cat videos to unwind after a long day. These videos aren’t intended to generate meaningful learning experiences or change their behavior towards a potentially risky situation.

When it comes to security awareness training or corporate compliance, you can’t beat the speed and immediacy of text-based content. Let’s break it down with five key benefits, for both the user and the business.

1. Text offers a complete view of the content

Video training creates a challenge for security teams because users can only see the first frame when they look at a video. Your employees don’t know what’s coming, whether it’s going to be engaging, helpful, repetitive, or just plain boring. With text-based content, your users can “scan” and see the content end to end before deciding to engage with it more fully. At a glance, they can see the length, the composition, and whether there are sections or chapters, making it easier for them to opt-in.

2. Text offers immediate engagement

One of the main problems with video content is that you need the user to choose to engage, to click that play button, and say “yes, I’ll take a minute out right now to start watching this.” You’re adding a challenge, getting the employee to want to engage with your training. With short written content, by the time the user has thought about whether they want to start reading, they already have done. That’s just how the human brain works, looking = reading. While video is mysterious, text-based content is just there, and the brain immediately starts taking it in.

3. Text caters to varied roles and needs

Remember that security is not your employee’s day job. They have some other roles in the company, they are accountants, marketers, HR Managers, clerks, and more. They have varied requirements, and the goal of your training is to engage them all. They also have different levels of UT and security knowledge and may be in different stages of training or levels of understanding around security. Some want to quickly skim, others have heard this information already, some are in the middle of another task and can’t take time out right now. In all of those cases, text allows users to quickly see if the content is relevant, and engage as necessary. In contrast, a video needs to be watched end-to-end to be sure you know it all, which can lead to employees switching off or losing interest in important content that they actually don’t have mastery of.

4. Text is easier to learn from and retain

When it comes to training, text is much easier to understand and focus on, and each individual user can interact with it as and how they choose, improving retention. The speed of reading will be unique to each user for example, and the reader can re-read sections, skim over content they already know, or pause and continue as they choose. In contrast, video starts from the beginning and offers a one size fits all approach to learning when really a modular approach is far more effective and provides better engagement.

5. Text is adaptable and customizable

Today, organizations are faced with a constantly shifting threat landscape, where new risks are coming into focus all the time. Text is a much more adaptable medium than video content, allowing you to change the wording of a campaign as the security landscape evolves. You can even add small changes, break it down to smaller pieces of content, or add a new language to your program without needing to onboard the help of video designers, graphic artists, or technical support.

Video vs Text? No Contest.

If you’re leaning towards video-based security awareness training, think again. You might have thought that people love videos, but that’s when they’re choosing what to watch and when to watch it. It’s also important to recognize that just because your users love video, that doesn’t mean they’re learning well from it. When it comes to awareness programs, the right content should come in a more engaging, digestible format – and that’s text.

Still wondering which security method to choose? Read the full video transcript here:

Employees prefer what they can easily understand

People like to watch videos, they like to watch movies, but that’s because they already have an interest in what appears in that video. When we’re talking about compliance training or corporate training, this is just not the case. When talking about training, employees prefer something that they can easily understand what it is. They can easily detect what it covers. They can decide what they want to focus on.

There’s no point in just throwing videos at employees

All these traits exist in texts but not in videos. There’s no point in just throwing videos at employees with the hope that they’ll watch it for their training. It won’t happen. They do not allow employees to skip content. They do not allow employees to understand what they’re facing or if the content in that video is even relevant for them. Text-based content is easy to adapt. It’s easy to modify.

Go for a more textual approach

You can easily slice it into smaller bites or nuggets, so you can work with it, creating a modular approach with it, and also adapting it over time to your organization’s needs. My recommendation would be to go for a more textual approach, which would allow you to adapt your content, make it more modular, and would allow employees to engage faster and more deeply with the content.

Want to see how it works for yourself? Get in touch to see a demo of the CybeReady security awareness training platform. 

Author:
Omer Taran
March 21 2021
4a34e52d-562b-4e1e-8b71-5c005a7559a9