Video today is one of the most powerful communication tools available to any business. It can be an ideal medium for conveying corporate messages to both internal and external stakeholders if—and this is a critical “if”—the creation and end use of that video is guided by a clear corporate strategy.

How can you ensure that your investment in video content will provide the greatest possible benefit to your organization? The answer lies in what I call my “5 P’s of Corporate Video Strategy”: People, Product, Placement, Price, and Promotion. By giving advance consideration to these areas, you won’t have to act “on the fly” when production is underway.

1. PEOPLE: In the rush to add video to their communication arsenals, some companies overlook the reality that video creation is a collaborative process. The better each person involved in the production process understands his or her role and responsibilities, the more efficiently the project can proceed. At my company, The Edge Communications, we conduct strategy sessions with our clients long before production starts to define the video project’s overall scope and timeline, which are directly proportional to the resources (both money and people) required to complete the work.

  • Who will supervise video creation in your organization? Do they understand the time commitments that will be required to keep the project moving forward?
  • What communication channels will you need to establish within your team to ensure that important content-creation decisions, large or small, receive timely approval from management at the appropriate levels?
  • Do you have someone in the role of content curator who will oversee the distribution and archiving of video content?

2. PRODUCT: It is essential to define the scope of your company’s needs before you begin. Who is your intended audience and what kinds of videos will work best for them?

  • Are there key messages that need to be a part of all of your videos?
  • Does your organization have existing brand standards for video?
  • To what degree will you rely on employee-generated content, an internal video-production department, or other trusted suppliers?

3. PLACEMENT (Distribution): Most corporate videos are distributed on the web, yet few companies consult their IT departments when outlining their video strategy. No matter how good your content is, today’s viewers will not tolerate slow-loading video or poor quality playback. Involve your IT department early on for best results.

  • What content should stay “behind your firewall “ and what content will be for public consumption?
  • What level of privacy is desired for the content and will access restrictions be required?
  • How much interactivity with your audience do you hope to generate?
  • If you choose YouTube for distribution (and there are alternatives), don’t do the “You Tube Dump,” dropping all of your company videos into a single YouTube channel. Instead, create separate (but linked) channels for sales, training, and customer support videos to enhance your connection with specific audiences.

4. PRICE: Larger organizations may find it worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons of an internal video department against hiring experienced video contractors. To aid the decision, look for an experienced consultant to provide a true needs assessment and full cost analysis.

  • Can already busy staff realistically take on new video-production responsibilities?
  • When comparing the overall costs of making videos, is staff time properly captured in the true total?
  • Is your company prepared to make ongoing investments to keep pace with technological advancements and equipment upgrades?
  • Will the final quality of video work be comparable?

5. PROMOTION: Finally: why spend time and money to create a polished corporate video and then all but hide it from potential viewers? Creating content isn’t enough: you need a plan to drive people to your videos. Social media platforms, company message boards, and e-mail marketing can all be effective methods for promoting your new video—both in advance and once it has been posted online. And if you are creating several videos, be sure to allocate space in each video to promote the next one in the series.