Pretty visuals and a slick look will only get you so far when it comes to video content on your website or social channels. You’re the expert in your field. So show people why that is!

Have a strategy

When construction crews break ground to begin work on a new structure, they don’t just skip to the fun part of building without architects, engineers and the preconstruction team doing a lot of work up front. From the design of the sub-ground footings to the aesthetics of the highest peaks in the skyline, every inch of the edifice is planned out well in advance. And that’s how you should think about video.

Before conjuring up any video project, know what your end goal is and how to achieve it.

To develop a strategy, follow these simple steps:

1. Outline your messaging

There are few things worse than letting your viewers think you’re scatter-brained. Make a plan for what your messaging is and how you’ll use it throughout the video. Will branding and logos be shown on screen throughout the duration of the video or only at select times? What phrases are you trying to drive home into the viewers’ mind? How will you get the message across? Be clear and explicit with the crew creating your video in the months, weeks and days before moving into the next stage of production so that everyone is on the same page throughout the process.

2. Commit to an aesthetic

Know what you want your video to look like before showing up to shoot. Have a clear frame of reference, and communicate that with your crew. Let them know how you want your final product to look – and make sure they can deliver. Collaboration is key, and no one wants to spend excessive hours editing, or worse, be disappointed when the final product is delivered.

3. Keep it short, sweet and simple

Attention spans today are shorter than they’ve ever been. If you’ve gotten this far in the article, congratulations! Viewers tend to tune out quickly, so if you don’t hook them fast, they might not stick around long enough to see and hear your message all the way through. So keep your videos short – and most importantly make them simple. If you have trouble eloquently stating the message that you’re trying to convey, how do you think your viewer will respond? They’ll close the video window and move on to something better. There’s plenty of companies and outlets vying for their attention. Give them a [brief] reason to stick with you.

4. Wrap it up with a call to action

At the end of your video, wrap it up with a pretty bow on top. Don’t let your tag/outro drag on forever. Over the course of the video, you’ve been telling your viewers what you want them to learn, or to do. When it’s all over, tell them again. Quickly. Concisely. And most importantly, memorably.

Know your audience

You know your clients better than anyone. So talk to them as you normally would, using a voice consistent with your brand. Whether you’re an established company gearing up for a world-class project or a start-up looking to shake loose new business ventures, follow these words of advice: Be True to Yourself.

Don’t have a different persona in your videos than you would in face-to-face meetings—it’s disingenuous and clients can sense that from a mile away. There’s nothing worse than a hint of desperation. Plus, it’s just easier to BE YOU. You know yourself better than anyone. So own it.

State your goal – and deliver on it

Making videos isn’t rocket science, but there is a reason we leave it to the professionals. Whether you make your own videos in-house or hire outside agencies, you should always know what the goal of your videos will be — and how you will deliver on the promises you make.