Virtually all of my clients want to add Web Video to their portfolio of marketing strategies. However, some have found themselves unable to do so because it’s not in their 2012 marketing budget.

This is due in part to an understandable lack of foresight in 2011 regarding how rapidly the demand for assimilating information via video would grow over the past year. Thus, Web Video was under-budgeted or not provided for at all for 2012.

The Web Video Imperative

According to Cisco, by 2013 video will consume 90% of the bandwidth on the Internet. Much of that growth is being driven by the shift to pre-recorded web marketing videos. Thus, those who create effective Web Video marketing strategies in 2012 will gain the competitive edge. Those who fail to budget for 2013 Web Video will be at a competitive disadvantage and will rapidly lose market share and revenues.

Generating Web Video is now remarkably inexpensive. And, planning and budgeting correctly for Web Video is even less expensive. So even, in fact especially if you don’t have a budget for creating Web Video this year, there’s no excuse for not planning properly for it for next year.

The Necessity of a Web Video Plan

Failing to plan and budget properly for Web Video can only result in one of three outcomes. You’ll fail to have Web Video in your marketing strategy for 2013 at all. You’ll budget too little for Web Video and be unable to execute a fully effective marketing strategy. Or you’ll produce and deploy Web Video on an ad hoc basis leading to increased costs, poorer results, and a reduced marketing ROI. The sad thing is that some companies will then claim that Web Video is ineffective rather than recognize that their lack of proper planning led to poor results.

For most companies, whose fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, the budget process starts in earnest by October 1. That means that this quarter you must complete your 2013 Web Video strategy to be sure it’s included in your 2013 marketing budget.

Developing Your Web Video Strategy

Start by developing your Video Architecture™. That is, identify all the places in your messaging where video will either replace or augment traditional text and graphic messaging. You’ll need video for each market, buyer persona, and stage of the sales cycle. You’ll need to determine where and how each video will be deployed. For example, nearly every page of your website will have one or more short videos. And some video will be deployed in other locations or used in other ways.

The result is that you’ll need to plan to produce and deploy many Web Videos in 2013 – dozens for small to mid-sized companies; many more for large enterprises. Clearly you’re not going to create and position all of these at once. That means you’ll need to have a Video RoadMap™. How do you get from where you are today to where you’ll need to be by the end of 2013? Which videos will you produce and distribute in the First Quarter of 2013? Which can wait until the Third or Fourth Quarters?

Once you know that, you can cost out the scripting, production, and deployment; and you can develop your budget. Like anything else in the budget, the final plans may need to be massaged to reflect financial constraints. But at least you’ll go into the process knowing in advance the impact that budget changes will have.

The Result

The organizations that develop their Video Architecture™ and Video RoadMap™ this quarter will still have the opportunity to leverage Web Video as a strategic and competitive advantage in 2013. Those who wait until next year to start planning for their use of Web Video will have missed that opportunity. They’ll be the ones struggling for survival.