Although online video marketing has been gaining popularity in recent years, it is still in the early stages of adoption. Businesses are just beginning to realize how video marketing can help push their company to the forefront of success. Marketers, however, are already sold: according to the ANA (Association of National Advertisers 2012 Digital and Social Media Survey, 80% of US marketers are using viral online video platforms like YouTube in 2012, up from 64% a year earlier.¹

What is online video marketing?  Quite simply, it is the production and distribution of videos meant to promote your business in the minds of consumers.  If you want to achieve online video marketing success, there are six steps that you should follow:

Step 1:  Clarify Your Video Marketing Goals

This first step is arguably the most important, because it sets the groundwork for everything that will come later.  Perhaps you want to expand your brand’s recognition or promote a certain product or service.  Maybe you want to pull in more traffic to your website.  The overall reason is entirely up to you, but it’s something you must seriously consider before embarking on production.

Step 2:  Choose a Video Production Type

Some companies want to produce a series of video blogs to accompany their existing business blogs.  Others want to create a viral video-like production.  Make sure the video format you choose complements overall production goals. Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to narrow in on a specific topic, create a brief outline, write the script (do not just wing it), and figure out what you want consumers’ “call-to-action” to be, i.e. what you hope the video will compel them to do.

Step 3:  Record Your Video

This is where the real work begins, but make sure you also have fun doing it.  Pay close attention to three important elements: picture, lighting, and audio.  This may sound pretty obvious, but the devil is in the details. If you don’t have the necessary knowledge, find someone who does.  If your video doesn’t look or sound good, its message will be immediately lost.

Step 4:  Edit Your Footage

The good news is that editing your video is easier than ever, thanks to the proliferation of software that is either free or relatively inexpensive.  Both iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are excellent lower-priced choices.  If you want to use a more sophisticated piece of software, go for Final Cut or Avid.  Just be aware that with more advanced video editing options require more processing power and come with a higher degree of difficulty.

Step 5:  Publish and Promote Your Video

Once your video has been produced and edited to satisfaction, it’s time to publish and promote. When publishing your final video, you’ll want to export the file into a format that allows you to post it online. Many editing tools use .avi or .mov formats. To promote your work, you can take advantage of a number of free video-sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Pinterest. If you publish on these platforms, make sure to include an enticing call-to-action (CTA) to bring visitors back to your website.

Finally, don’t forget to promote your video on social media, either by embedding the video or at least sharing a link to it.

Step 6:  Measure Results

You can’t just produce a video and then move onto something else; you need to know if your online video marketing tactic was effective.  To do this, you’ll need to track results.  Begin by checking your website traffic for signs of any increases and/or spikes.  Ideally, you have some kind of software that tracks where your traffic is coming from.

Next, check each individual site where you posted the video. Pinterest, YouTube, and others allow you to see how many people have viewed and/or commented on the video. Monitor your social networks to see if the video caused a spike in traffic, sharing, or even followers. Also, try to make a connection between the video and any new leads you receive.  This can be accomplished with a number of different marketing automation software platforms.

Despite aggressive growth, online video marketing is still in its relative infancy. Businesses and marketers that embrace this unique medium stand to gain the greatest reward in the years ahead.

¹ Marketing Profs, “Viral Video Adoption Climbs as Social Levels Off