If it’s true that a single picture is worth a thousand words, just how many words can be conveyed through the use of video? Ten thousand? One million? More?

When it comes to the internet, people inherently prefer watching moving pictures with sound rather than reading words on a page. Simply put, text can be tedious and video is vibrant. With video you can tell your story in a much more compelling way than you are able to through text alone.

According to Forrester Research, the human brain absorbs 50% more information through watching video than the next best medium. Additionally, people are  75% more likely to watch video than read print.

By 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer online traffic. YouTube, which is ranked as the No. 2 search engine in the world, generates over four billion video views per day and nearly one billion unique views per month. These numbers alone are reason to realize that if you are not riding the video bandwagon, you are likely to be stuck on the side of the road while traffic, and potential customers, clients and sales, leave you stranded behind.

Adding video to your marketing strategy can be as easy as 1-2-3, once you realize the primary reasons people watch video in the first place. Think of the best videos you have seen – those which have gone “viral”.  An easy way to think of this is to align your video design with a virus itself – EEE.

In short, a good video should be at least one of the following:

  1. Entertaining
  2. Emotional
  3. Educational

The most viewed videos, those which are shared through social media and those which develop the highest response, can essentially be broken down into one of the three categories above.

Entertaining videos are those people view and identify with on a level that compels them to say, “This video is me. This is who I am. This is what I like.” With a video like this you have a chance to share a bit of your brand personality and style and connect in a unique way with your audience.

Emotional videos have a way of moving a person to tears or laughter, spurring them to share these feelings with family, friends and their social network. And, in doing so, the viewer has formed a unique attachment to your brand.

Educational videos give you the opportunity to position yourself as knowledgeable and share information and insight on topics that are valuable to your audience. Viewers will think in new ways and feel like they learned something.

Regardless of which type of videos you produce, the goal should be the same – leave viewers with the feeling that the time they spent watching was well spent.

Now that you understand why people watch, decide what you hope to accomplish with your video. You need to decide what you are trying to accomplish before you can start delivering like Scorsese.

Identify your goals. Like all other tools in your marketing toolbox, you need to define what you are trying to accomplish in order to determine whether or not your efforts prove successful. Furthermore, determine how you will measure success. For example, if you are trying to raise brand awareness, perhaps success can be viewed in terms of how many times your video is viewed, or in the number of times your video is shared.

In a Nielsen study commissioned by Facebook, results showed that lift (heightened brand awareness) occurred the moment the video was viewed. “That means even people who never watched the video, but did see the impression, were still impacted by the ad. And, as expected, lift increased the longer people watch the ad,” according to the report.

Of course, when you use video as a marketing tool you must be sure to tailor your content to the audience you are trying to reach. Make sure your video is relevant and decide what you want your audience to do once they finish watching. Consider a specific call to action that enhances the connection you have just made with a viewer. Annotations (pop-up messages), a click on link or a verbal message are CTAs that can be effective.

Lastly, remember that even when it comes to video, you have to deal with a person’s short attention span, so get to the point, and get there quickly. A study by Visible Measures reveals that nearly 20% of viewers abandon a video after just 10 seconds and 44 percent flee after 60 seconds.