Once upon a time the question was whether or not a company should consider using video as a marketing tool. Now the question is when and how organizations will make videos to stay ahead of the competition. As of March 2014, YouTube receives more than one billion unique monthly users who watch more than 6 billion hours of video each month in over 60 different languages. There is no denying the widespread presence of video in modern culture. Now it’s up to your company to learn about the importance of driving customer engagement with video. Create a video content plan It is easy to start filming videos for your website or YouTube channel without giving it much thought. You know that you’re supposed to have videos for your company so you’re making videos. In order for them to be effective, they must fit into an overarching business strategy. Videos can serve a wide variety of purposes from building brand loyalty, to providing reliable, trustworthy product information, to encouraging purchases. As such, there is no single reason that you should develop video content. However, you must create a framework for the videos that aligns with attainable business outcomes. Diversify your content The concept of diversifying marketing content does not apply solely to driving customer engagement with video. Most marketers are already familiar with the notion of diversification. This process allows you to reach as many prospective and existing customers as possible as well as maximize the reach of your content. For example, if you created a video for a conference, with a behind the scenes look at your warehouse, consider writing a blog post about the same topic and embed the YouTube link in the post. You’ll reach an audience that didn’t attend the conference and drive more viewers to your YouTube channel. Include a call to action Getting users to watch a video from start to finish is a great goal, but it should not be the only goal. You can encourage viewers to take the next step by adding a call to action, which can be as simple as encouraging them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Make sure that you add the relevant links in the annotations or video description so that users can find them easily. Don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO) The bottom line is that regardless of how much time and effort you put into your company website, many consumers are still most likely to turn to Google for information about a specific product or service. In order for these potential customers to reach your content, it must be optimized accordingly. While YouTube and other video sharing websites (i.e., Vimeo) can be important components of a marketing strategy, ultimately, you want users visiting your own site as much as possible. The more time that they spend on your site, the more exposure that they get to your brand, which increases the potential for them to make a purchase.