Videos are becoming an important part of today’s marketing strategy whether they are funny, informational or instructional. Videos are a nice change of pace for users when they don’t want to sit and read a long article or try to make sense out of complicated how-to steps. Plus, some things are just better in video form. You’ve probably laughed out loud from watching humorous videos – this is much harder to do with words alone.

If your business is considering using video marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy, there are a few tips you’ll want to follow before you dive in. As with other marketing tactics, video marketing is being used by companies all over the globe, so you want to be smart about what you put forth in order to rise above the competition.

Define Your Goals

First thing is first: define your goals. Yes, even videos have goals. Do you want to make your audience laugh? Teach them how to do something? Highlight a new product? Everyone should be on the same page when creating the video, and developing a purpose and tone will establish groundwork right off the bat.

You should also clarify how you will track your goals and measure their success. Will it be by the number of views? How often the video is shared? How many leads you get from it?

Say you’re making a video that features a brand new cleaning mop. You plan to bring in new leads from the video. To measure this success, you track the number of leads coming in. If you find that the video isn’t succeeding in this area, you can tweak it by adding a better call to action, a discount code for new customers, a change of the tone/messaging, etc.

Include a Call to Action

Speaking of a CTA, don’t forget to add one to your video. Sometimes companies get so focused on their logo and messaging, they forget to add a powerful CTA at the end of their message. Written content makes it easier to add clickable buttons, something that you may not be able to do with video. If that’s the case, direct your viewers to a landing page or your main site for more information. For the most impact, add the CTA both visually and audibly.

Use a Mix of Paid and Organic Distribution

There are two ways to get your video content seen: organically or through paid search. As with other marketing efforts, your video content should be a mix of both. Organic traffic is always a plus because it’s natural and offers long-term value. If you put a great, informative video out there for your customers, it’s nice to see it shared based on its value alone.

That said, content needs a little push from time to time. If you want to get your videos seen on social media, you’ll need to pay. The best approach, if you plan on making several videos, is to use paid distribution for the videos that should reach the largest audience. Remember, though, that you can’t expect paid distribution to do all the work. You should still promote your video on your social media channels, website, blog and email newsletters.

Keep Them Organized

As you start to create more videos, you’ll want a simple, organized place where they can be found. If you choose to keep your videos in an on-site content management system, you’ll have complete control over the content and the ads that are shown alongside them. If it doesn’t matter to you to have this level of control, you may find that video hosting sites are perfectly fine. Examples include Vimeo, YouTube and Brightcove. And, YouTube has a feature where you can add pop-up messages that play during your video.

Video marketing is just one more way that you can inform, entertain and engage your audience. It’s smart, effective and appealing and should be part of your overall marketing strategy.