In the battleground of attention that is the internet, video has become the preferred weapon of choice. Attention is more than just impressions or reach. As a marketer, just getting eyeballs on your content is not enough. You need your audience to process your message, and engage with it.

Regardless of industry or market, video captures attention like no other medium. If you haven’t yet put video at the core of your marketing strategy, you’re likely missing out on real business opportunities.

However, it’s not too late. It’s never been easier to add video to your website, social media platforms, and email marketing. Make 2018 your year to create a simple strategy, and a practical plan to execute.

Here’s how:

Tell your story

Communicating to your audience why you do what you do is an essential part of your business. You probably do it all the time, whether you realize it or not.

Your story can attract new customers and dramatically increase loyalty among your current ones. Your story will humanize your brand and help build a relational connection between you and your audience.

It can also improve employee productivity and satisfaction, see: How great leaders inspire action.

Here are a few examples: Dr. Burcham Dentistry, Mitchell Bat Co, Dollar Shave Club

Show your process

Whether you run a fitness bootcamp, a guitar repair shop, or a microbrewery, people want to see your process in action. Shoppers do research before purchase now more than ever.

Giving your audience a behind the scenes look at what makes your particular product special empowers them to make a buying decision. With video, you can bring buzzwords like “hand crafted” and “artisan” to life. Don’t just tell how it’s done, show how it’s done.

Showing your process can also establish you as the expert or leader in your industry. Form many years business people were afraid to show the process for fear of competitors getting a peek behind the scenes. Intelligent business leaders today know that the risks of sharing their expertise are minimal compared to the huge payoff associated with being considered a leader in the industry.

Dr. Aaron Horschig, “The Squat Doctor,” has 285,000+ followers on Instagram, simply because he shows the process in great detail.

Use the “bucket” system

Crushing your video marketing efforts in 2018 does not require you to hire a full time videographer. Not all videos require the same amount of production value. Using the bucket system, you can categorize the production requirements of your video content.

Is the video going to be on the homepage of your website for the foreseeable future? It belongs in the professional production value bucket. Do you have an announcement to make to your twitter followers? It belongs in the iPhone camera bucket.

The video that introduces your business to thousands of new prospects needs to be professionally written, using qualified talent. It needs to be well lit, in perfect focus, with crystal clear audio. This will require a professional video producer/director.

A live video from an event your business is putting on will likely be seen by your followers on social media for a brief window, and then it will disappear into your timeline. For these made-for-social-media videos, there is really no need to invest in production value when HD video on a smart phone will do just fine.

Assess the video content your business will want to produce in 2018, then divide the content into higher and lesser production value requirements. Now you can invest your resources accordingly.

Document, don’t create

We stole this one from the great Gary Vanerchuk, and it has changed the way we think about content.

Too often business people sit in front of their screens wringing their hands and racking their brains in search for the next great content idea. “Document, don’t create” allows us to sidestep the creative paralysis and simply capture on video the things we’re already busy doing.

Think of it in terms of reality TV versus the traditional TV drama. The TV drama requires scripting, actors, and a set to look like real life. Reality TV just needs a camera.

Creating content this way allows you to be much more prolific in your content production.

Focus on distribution

When writing a marketing email, you should spend about 50% of your time on the body of the email and 50% of your time on the subject line. When marketing with video you should spend about 50% of your time creating a video and at least 50% of your time distributing the video.

Simply creating a great video isn’t enough to get noticed in a crowded market. You’ll need to take advantage of every platform available: your website, your email list, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook ads should all be in play., the world’s largest retailer of refurbished guitars, approached us looking for help answering their most common question, “What is a refurbished guitar?” Most of their sales were coming from eBay, so we created a video that would fit seamlessly into each guitar’s eBay listing.

The video was an immediate success. Not only did it answer the question in an entertaining fashion, it answered the question right when and where the customer was prone to ask it. Sales people no longer had to deal with a constant barrage of questions and customers were pleased to know exactly what they were paying for.