Statistics show that 82% of all consumer Internet traffic will consist of video by 2021, according to a recent study conducted by Cisco. As video continues to dominate, small business owners throughout the world are finally acknowledging its importance. Using video, you can promote your business’s products or services, build stronger brand recognition, and ultimately enhance your digital marketing efforts. But if you’re planning to use video for commercial purposes such as this, there are a few things you should know.

Keep Videos Short and to the Point

One of the biggest video marketing mistakes made by small businesses is creating long, drawn-out videos. While there are always exceptions, shorter videos usually receive stronger audience engagement than their longer counterparts. According to a study conducted by comScore, the average length of online video content was 4.4 minutes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your videos under five minutes for maximum engagement.

Host Videos on YouTube

Being that it’s the world’s second-largest search engine, surpassed only by Google, you should host your videos on YouTube. The Google-owned video-sharing network has more than 1.5 billion monthly users. It’s free, easy to use, and loaded with tons of features. Best of all, you can still publish your videos elsewhere. After uploading a video to YouTube, for instance, you can copy the embed code and paste it into your website’s HTML. Your site’s visitors can then watch the video without leaving your site.

Go Beyond Commercials

There’s nothing wrong with creating commercial videos that directly advertise a product or service. However, this shouldn’t be the only type of video content you produce. Diversifying your video marketing efforts with a combination of promotional and non-promotional content will allow you to reach a larger audience. If you publish an informative video that answers a common question asked by your audience, for instance, you’ll reach these prospects in your marketing efforts. And even though the video doesn’t directly promote a product or service, viewers may inquire about purchasing a product or service from your business.

Optimize for Search

When uploading videos to YouTube, be sure to optimize them for search traffic. Search traffic can come from Google, YouTube and other search engines. Ideally, you want your videos to appear at the top of the search results page when someone searches for a related keyword or phrase. To do this, you should use a relevant title, add a thorough description, include the appropriate keywords, and encourage viewers to comment and like your video.