The data is clear and customers have spoken: video content is simply the most effective marketing tool at your disposal. Unlike text or static images, video engages both the visual and auditory senses for more immediate, impactful storytelling.

Until recently, video production was costly and time-consuming—but smartphones have changed that, drastically reducing cost and barrier to entry, and making videos instantly accessible to millions.

Videos shot on smartphones are quick-to-produce, quick-to-edit, and high-quality.  allowing companies to create a broad range of clips from simple and personal to scripted and polished.  In fact, smartphone videos are easier and often cheaper to produce than whitepapers—just one reason why 99 percent of businesses already using video content plan to continue doing so.

Still think video is out of reach? Here are three simple strategies to making video work for your business.

  1.  Keep videos short, clear, and actionable

Hook your audience with informative, “snackable” videos that make your brand feel modern and relevant. Millennials spend about five hours a day on social media, largely scrolling video content—so quick clips are a powerful way to get their attention.

A good rule of thumb is to let your message dictate the length of your video. For product promos, a one-minute video is fairly standard. For educational videos, keep the length under three minutes.

TechQuarters, a Microsoft partner and multi-award-winning cloud consultant company, offers a great example of how to capitalize on the potential of video content. By launching its own YouTube channel, TechQuartersTV, as a thought-leadership series, the company educated audiences on topics ranging from women in tech to the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. It then promoted its channel via LinkedIn and Twitter to maximize social engagement.

  1. Prioritize quality

Your video thumbnail makes an important first impression about the quality of your video, and ultimately, your brand. Newer smartphones with high-quality cameras create content that’s good enough for most casual situations.

But if you want even higher-quality video, Chris Dunning, founder and CEO of TechQuarters, suggests investing in a relatively inexpensive camera and microphone, especially one with a wind muff for crystal-clear audio even on outside shots. He also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right backdrop and using a tripod to stabilize your device.

Spending a little time and money on smart tools will go a long way toward cultivating an expectation of quality from your marketing and your brand.

  1. Be timely, accessible, and nimble

Engage your audience with easy-to-digest insights on hot topics. TechQuarters, for instance, used a recent snowstorm in London as an occasion to release a video about how cloud-based tools make working from home easy.

One of the best pieces of advice Dunning offers is that video production has to be fast—really fast. That means going from script to sharing on multiple channels within 24 hours. And be sure to include a clear call-to-action linking to your homepage—after all, the whole purpose of creating great content is to generate leads and build brand awareness.

Today, video content is a marketing must. The equipment is accessible, the cost is minimal, the channels are ready-made—all you need is the message, the creativity, and the drive to try something new.

How is your organization incorporating video content into its marketing efforts? Share with the Partner Community here.