When’s the last time you stumbled upon a website from the Stone Age?

You know the ones – relics of the GeoCities era, complete with blinking lights and clip art and typeface that looks like it was purchased at The Font Store’s going-out-of-business sale.

Your website may not feature garish color schemes or hilariously slow load times, but if it’s not making the most of modern content marketing strategies, it’s heading to the trash heap of history just as surely as those lingering remnants of the internet’s not-so-distant past.

Case in point: Video marketing.

There may have been a time when video content was considered the cutting-edge, but those days are done. Video marketing is now the norm, and if you want to compete online, you better get your digital ducks in a row.

What’s that? You have an excuse for the pitiful state of your current video strategy? Okay, pal, hit me with your best shot.

Most prospects would rather engage with video marketing.

Our customers don’t want video

Just because you refuse to provide your target audience with video content doesn’t mean it’s not in demand. In fact, it just means prospective customers are getting it somewhere else.

A majority of both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers employ pre-produced video content. That’s not to mention the marketers making use of live streaming video on social media.

But you’re generating good money with your current strategy. You must be doing something right … right? Odds are you could be doing a hell of a lot better.

Businesses that invest in video marketing experience 49 percent faster annual revenue growth compared to competitors without video content. Video adopters can also brag about 27 percent higher clickthrough rates, 34 percent higher web conversion rates and 41 percent higher web traffic from search compared to non-video users.

The numbers don’t lie – your customers want video. The question is when are you going to give it to them.

It costs too much

Before you get hung up on dollars and cents, ask yourself this: What does it cost to not invest in video?

Video is forecasted to account for almost three-quarters of all online traffic this year. More than half of executive decision-makers report they’d rather watch video to learn about a product than read text if both options are available. Seventy-nine percent of consumers agree.

Can you afford to sit this one out?

Besides, you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create engaging video marketing, and you don’t need movie studio backing to afford it.

Video content comes in all shapes and sizes, from cinema-quality commercials to bite-sized video blogs. If you have a budget, there’s a type of video available to fit it.

You can also save your breath complaining about equipment and infrastructure costs. Effective video marketing can be shot on your cellphone at this point, and free hosting and publishing options abound, with YouTube standing as the reigning champ.

Yes, you should put money into your video marketing strategy to maximize its quality and effectiveness. No, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

We don’t know where to start

Customer testimonials. Animated explainer videos. Product demonstrations. With so much video content to choose from, it’s easy to see how indecision can strike.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix: Ask yourself your objective. Sure, you want to make more money –  that’s sort of the whole point of business. But what are you trying to accomplish with video, exactly? The last thing you should do is create video content just for the sake of doing it.

Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your landing pages? Hey, video’s been shown to boost landing page conversions by 80 percent.

Want to humanize your company and enhance brand awareness? Nothing does the trick quite like a humorous live action video featuring your staff.

Consider your audience and what type of content will resonate with it. Next think about your distribution options. Will this video stay on your website or are you looking to garner some engagement on Facebook? Finally, figure out the format. What type of video aligns best with your specific marketing goal, audience and distribution method?

From here, the real fun begins: Tracking and measuring your return on investment. After all, you can’t tout the ROI of your video marketing strategy without diving into some hard data.

Check out our latest eBook to discover how to do exactly that.

Remember, no matter how far you live from Hollywood, everyone’s in the movie business now. If you want your brand to keep up with the competition, it’s time to yell, “Action!”

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.