If you have been contemplating the idea of using marketing videos in your overall marketing strategy, the time has come to take action.

In an article posted on AG Beat last week, Tom Crichton, vice president of Distilled, said that companies already doing video marketing and those that start now are ahead of the curve. Then he added the caveat. “I think by the end of 2012, if you’re not doing video, you’ll be behind the curve.”

The same article cites statistics from comScore that show 84 percent of the Internet audience in the U.S. watched video online in January. That report also noted that online video viewers are watching for more hours and that the market is receptive to marketing videos. Those numbers should give plenty of incentive for those still testing the waters. Go ahead and take the plunge into video marketing with enthusiasm.

Now, a word to the wise. Just as you wouldn’t dive into the lake if you didn’t know how to swim, you should not make reckless moves when you launch a video marketing project. Quality counts. There is a discerning audience out there and it is not going to be impressed or moved by poorly executed marketing videos. The more time online audiences spend with video, the more demand for high-quality production. As with just about any other market opportunity, you need to focus on differentiating your business.