Most business owners, at least those I know, are seriously considering using it for their business and it seems like everyone has something to say in the marketing boardroom when video comes up in the conversation. But before you put on your director’s hat and start dreaming up your company’s first hilarious/viral/must-be-successful online video, it’s good to understand when, where and why people will want to watch your audio-visual masterpiece.

The “on demand” element of online space is drastically facilitating a change in consumer behavior. Why be limited to what’s available through my local businesses or rely on the salesman’s advice when I can pull out my slim Smartphone, browse through hundreds of product options, compare prices and suppliers and make an informed decision within minutes. This is just an example of how consumers are gaining more control in the buying process. More than ever before it is important that you use the best communication tools available and give your customers a good reason to choose you over your competition.

This is where using video has the advantage. You can retain your audience for longer and communicate your message more effectively. Video is engaging and – frankly – convenient. Having videos related to your business online can help you rank better in search engines. However be warned that audio-visual material will reflect your brand. If your production does not look professional and authentic it may negatively impact your corporate image. Your online video material should compliment your regular advertising.

Your customers may watch your video for a number of reasons and via a number of mediums. Your product demonstration video will attract people researching on their laptops. Your entertaining commercial may go viral with supporters watching and sharing on their iPhones. From branding to point of sale, by using video you can retain consumer attention and distinguish yourself from the competition. Text is great but it cannot demonstrate the expertise and the value that you have to offer like video can. So if you want to provide your customers with information about your business, that’s good. But if you want to make some noise and create a corporate culture that will get people excited and sharing your business with others, than consider using video. Everyone else is.