Video is revolutionizing the way people communicate. According to Hubspot, 3 out of 4 people prefer to learn via video. Video is not just a marketing tool, so it’s essential that your brand develops a strategy for implementation to stay competitive.

For many, the thought of producing a video feels overwhelming and perhaps out of your wheelhouse. Think of it simply: Video leverages technology to create more face-to-face interactions.

If you could speak with your customers and potential customers more face-to-face, would you do it? If you could provide customer service and troubleshoot problems face-to-face instead of over email or the phone, would you do it? That’s the power of video.

Successful videos are built on effective strategy, so creating your video marketing plan should precede selecting a vendor or beginning pre-production in house. Ask these essential questions before creating content to improve your ROI and maximize your production budget.

Who is the primary audience for the video? Although your video may be seen by a wide audience, you must narrow it down to a single target. The viewer needs to feel like you’re speaking directly to them and that won’t happen unless you have a clear vision of the person in your head, complete with the person’s tone of voice and goals in mind.

What would like your audience to do after watching the video? The goal of your video is to capture the attention of your viewer and compel them to take action. One single action. You don’t want the viewer to have to choose from following you on Facebook, visiting your website or stopping by your store. Before producing content, ask yourself: “What is the next step I’d like the viewer to take after watching this video?” Ending your video with a simple, strong call to action will increase your video conversion rate significantly.

When are they going to be watching this content? Are you creating this video to market an event, or will this need to last a year or two? Clarifying this prior to filming will keep people from making time-sensitive statements that date your video. It may also affect who is in the video if you think there may be a staffing change within the next 12-24 months.

Where will this live after it’s created? Placing content on a page marked “videos” or “media” is not enough if you’re concerned with your ROI. The biggest mistake business owners make when creating video content is not spending time researching their distribution options. Think beyond “on your website” or “on local TV.” Video mailers, trade show videos, Facebook ads—you can even place your local ad on YouTube. YouTube is the second largest service engine. Not only can you utilize this platform to connect with your target market worldwide, using YouTube to host your videos with descriptions linking back to your site can help increase your ranking on Google.

Use the “who, what, when and where” to kick off the creative brief and provide the brief to your staff or video production company. Feel free to include a video example with the style you like as well, if you think the target audience will also appreciate it. With this framework and the budget in mind, allow them to pitch a concept of how to tell your story. This strategy will cast the vision and it’s up to your vendor or employees to execute it.

Cisco reported by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Get ahead of the curve by strategically using video today.