Video marketing can make a big impact. According to market research firm eMarketer, U.S. spending on mobile and desktop video advertising was on track to hit $10 billion by the end of 2016, writes Hope Horner, CEO and founder of Lemonlight in an article for Entrepreneur (4 Keys to Creating the Video Ad Your Business Needs). She says Cisco has predicted streaming video will account for nearly 80% of internet traffic by 2019. 

“Branded video is just as critical an asset as a company website, and perhaps even more important when it comes to reaching and engaging customers,” Horner writes. Video is an easy way to get your message out to your customers, and distributing a message by video is much easier than other types of media — even your website, she says. 

If you decide to go the video route, Horner warns it better be good and offers these 4 tips on creating a branded video. 

  1. Don’t Cut Corners. “Quality is nonnegotiable. Your video is a direct reflection of your brand. Don’t try to skimp on production costs,” she writes. A 2-3 minute, high-quality video can be made for less than $5,000. Keep in mind, costs associated with equipment, location, licensing and other elements of production could impact the amount you pay for the finished product. 

  2. Highlight Your Bona Fides. Horner writes that authenticity is attractive, and when it comes to video advertising genuine communication is what people pay attention to, not talent. “If your video includes interviews with company founders or other members of the team, those need to be natural, sincere conversations,” Horner says. “So, avoid writing a rigid script and rehearsing lines over and over. If you do, subjects could end up looking and sounding like robots on camera, or come off as phony. Instead, have the production team conduct a casual interview with you. When your personality naturally shines through, your audience will relate to you more.”

  3. Think Inside the Box. Think about your target audience, and communicate in a way they appreciate, Horner recommends. Don’t waste your time and money trying to be the next Dollar Shave Club. “Regardless of whom you’re trying to reach, focus on creating a straightforward, high-quality video that can be easily tested and optimized. Better to have a few variations of a good video than to waste months trying to craft the perfect commercial,” she says.

  4. Show It Off. Share the video through a variety of channels. Post it to social media, included it in an email and create a space for it on your homepage. Back in 2014, videos on Facebook were viewed 1 billion times a day. Today, videos on Facebook are viewed 8 billion times every day, according to Horner. 

She concludes, saying “Quality video ads are as essential as a website for effectively defining your brand’s values, purpose and product. Using these tips and tools, you’ll not only be able to reach your target audiences quickly and easily, but you could also attract customers you didn’t know you were looking for.”

You can read Horner’s full article here