No matter what you're selling or hoping to promote, video should be a consideration for your marketing spend and focus. With easy-to-use platforms like YouTube, nobody can blame technology as a hurdle anymore.

Still, it's difficult to come up with just the right message, tone, and approach to make video marketing pay off for you.

Every business is different, and finding your niche, and your audience, might take some time. But the great thing about starting under the radar, though, is that you can test and tweak and fine-tune at first before making a bigger splash. When that time comes, you'll have all the information and experience behind you to help inform your decisions.

Here are five tips to get started.

1. Show personality

You've probably seen hundreds of YouTube videos of people talking at you while standing in front of a white wall. Video marketing doesn't have to be that dry or dull. Indeed, it's a chance to make your own commercial and to illustrate what makes your company, or service, so stellar. Have the camera move around, shoot from different perspectives, and ensure viewers see movement and colors.

Consider this video from a restaurant that shows satisfied customers while the voiceover makes strategic calls to action. It comes at a fraction of the cost of airing TV commercials, and with the popularity of online video these days... such a video could yield great results.

2. Commit to series

Some subjects, like makeup and beauty (see example, below), perform better on social channels than others. But that doesn't mean your area of business is a lost cause there. What's important is consistency, as you'll pick up followers once you produce some valuable and shareable videos.

Set a schedule for yourself that you will stick to, whether it's weekly or monthly. Then spend the time in between releases to promote the series and to tease the upcoming ones, too; just make sure to keep these short.

Once people find out, and they like it, they'll look for more of them in the Related Videos section. If they can digest three or five at once, you'll have them hooked for longer.

3. Make tutorials

The name of the game on the Web is DIY tutorials. If you can educate your audience and help them achieve new skills they can show off, you'll become a resource they can't get enough of.

You'll note that crafts and cooking are very popular subjects online. No matter what your business specializes in, you'll want to promote yourself as having subject-matter expertise. Don't give away all your secrets for free, but you can highlight some of the effective ways that you think different from the competition. If people can walk away with something tangible, that's even better.

To get started, ask yourself what you can teach that will get customers to think the way you do.

4. Be relevant

A hot topic in marketing these days is how brands should speak to children. Kids can be influenced and manipulated more easily than adults, and some parents have expressed outrage over recent decades about how TV commercials relate to their kids. It's a difficult balance that all companies must think about if they wish to attract young people to their products and stores.

Rather than back down and hide from the controversial issues, MOM's Organic Market instead did research and presented a comprehensive video on the subject. Efforts like this one will help assuage the concerns of adults. They're the ones spending the money, more often than not, and you'll want to use your video messaging to show that you're all on the same side.

5. Offer testimonials

We've always valued the voice of our peers who recommend products and professionals' services to us, and now video marketers are capitalizing on that sense of goodwill and endorsements in the shape of video testimonials.

It's a great solution for the camera-shy business owner or for companies that want to give voice to their customers.

Take a look, below, at how Google marketed Google Wallet. You hear credible executives speaking with enthusiasm about the product and how simple it is to use. You walk away from that two-minute video knowing how and why Google has improved business for these people.

How can you do the same?

For more on video marketing, here's a video marketing tutorial from Skillfeed (opt-in required).

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image of Danny Groner

Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock and Skillfeed. He encourages everyone to consider how they achieve visual storytelling in the age of desktop editing and publishing.

Twitter: @DannyGroner