A picture is worth a thousand words, we’re told. So what’s the return for lush, well-crafted video programming that helps get your message out?

Brands and organizations of all stripes are starting to ramp up their online video efforts, what with countless studies showing that consumers are infinitely more responsive to a message that’s delivered on video (rather than text).

YouTube, which is owned by Google, is Lord of the manor when it comes to getting the biggest bang for your video distribution buck. So how do marketing pros hitch rich video to YouTube?

Joie Healy, senior manager of social media communications at Cisco, offers a tease for how to develop a YouTube messaging strategy.

Joie Healy, senior manager of social media communications, Cisco

1. Keep it short. With attention spans narrowing, it’s important to keep your videos short, preferably under two minutes. According to AdWeek, the average length of the Top 50 most popular YouTube videos was 2 minutes, 54 seconds. In other words, the shorter the better.

2. Pull at the heartstrings. Across social networks, people consume, engage with and share content that feels authentic and resonates with them emotionally. Make sure your videos have a human element and clearly convey to the viewer why your message is relevant for them personally. Ask yourself, “why do I care?”

3. Leverage rich keywords. YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google. To ensure ample views, tag your videos with plenty of relevant, rich keywords. In other words, SEO isn’t just for websites; it’s for video too.

To learn more about visual storytelling and a range of Google-related marketing tactics, register for PR News’ Google Conference, where Joie Healy will be a featured speaker, taking place February 11 at the Hyatt Regency in San  Francisco.

This article first appeared with Content Management Strategies’ sister brand PRNews.