What’s the secret to successful video marketing? You need to have a strategy. Unfortunately, many inexperienced brands’ strategies consist solely of boosting their numbers. They focus on “getting views,” rather than on the ultimate goals of their company, and how video marketing will help them achieve those goals. So what should your strategy include? Here are four things that will help you on the road to great video marketing.

1. A Strategy Statement. Start by outlining your basic goals. What kind of videos do you want to produce, and what will that help you accomplish? For example, your strategy statement might say, “Our company will provide educational, informative, and entertaining content allowing us to achieve dominant voice in channels and among audiences to whom we sell.” Make it a bit more specific to your brand and your field, but otherwise, that’s a good place to start. Then, for every piece of content you produce, compare it to your strategy statement before it’s released. Is it in line with the statement? How is this piece of content helping you work toward your stated goals?

2. A Voice. Once you have your strategy statement, you can start planning a voice for your videos. Are they helpful and informative? Casual and friendly? Witty and sarcastic? Then, like with your strategy statement, you should make sure your content fits your established voice before releasing it. There’s some room for flexibility, but you should strive for overall consistency.

3. A Release Schedule. One of the most important aspects of any content marketing strategy is to release it frequently and regularly. This is easier with, say, a blog, as they don’t take nearly as long to produce. A video, however, requires at minimum time to script, shoot, edit, and upload. Start by making at least three or four videos before releasing even one. Determine how long it reasonably takes to make each video, and how often you can reasonably expect to release them without sacrificing quality. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. Say you decide to release one video per week. Decide which day you’ll release your video, and if possible, the time of day as well. As you develop a following, your audience will come to anticipate your videos on that day and time. If you only release videos sporadically, without a set schedule, it’s harder to cement your brand into your audience’s mind.

4. A Call to Action. What are your goals, as outlined by your strategy statement? Now, what do you want your audience to do to help you achieve those goals? Subscribe to your channel and share with their friends? Sign up for your newsletter or download more content? It may vary depending on the video, but always have a call to action at the end to give your audience the next step. If they liked your video and are interested in your brand, here’s what they can do to learn more about it. Avoid an overt sales pitch for your call to action, or at least use them very sparingly. Just tell people how they can become more involved in your brand and your content.

With any new venture, it’s inadvisable to go in without a plan. Your video marketing strategy is what takes you from a group of people making random videos on YouTube to a well-oiled machine, spreading the word about your brand and ultimately enticing people to buy your products. By taking the time to map out your strategy, you can not only boost your sales, but ultimately help your brand go viral.

About Dave Toole

Dave Toole is the CEO and founder of MEDIAmobz, the premier platform where business creates, publishes and measures video content that drives revenue. Customers like Clorox, Cisco, and LG to name only a few rely on our experienced team and technology to create visual content that drives awareness, leads, and all with a demonstrable ROI. This article originally appeared in the MEDIAmobz Blog.