VIDEO: THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE MARKETING
VIDEO: THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE MARKETING
by Clover Carroll
“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” – Henry Ford
You know that taking advantage of cutting-edge innovations will keep your business ahead. Here's a look at the future of real estate marketing: video. In June 2013, 183 million Americans viewed more than 44 billion online videos. Currently one third of all online activity is spent watching video. Cisco predicts that within two years 90% of internet traffic will be video content. Companies are investing more in video as they realize the positive impact it has on their bottom dollar. As the matter of fact, it is estimated that next year, national video ad spending will increase from $1.97 billion to $5.71 billion.
In the September issue of “Real Estate” magazine, Stephen Schweickart, CEO of VScreen, said, “The handwriting is on the wall. It’s not a matter of whether or not Realtors will incorporate video into their marketing … but rather how far behind they will fall before seeing the light.”
VIDEO IN EMAIL
Email campaigns are an important part of today's real estate market, but with the instant unsubscribe button you have to work to keep your audience. Implementing video is a great way to do this. An email subject line with the word “video” results in 50% more opens than one without. Important: when you say video, there had better be a real link to go to. Don’t try to fool your customers, it could drive them away. Spammers don't have friends.
Email clients can’t handle videos embedded directly into emails. However, you can get around this by using an image with a play button. Create a static image that is actually a link to a video; this can lead to 5-6x more clicks.
VIDEO ON YOUR WEBSITE
Adding video to all your web properties will direct more traffic to your business. Once you have invested in quality video, you want to use it to its full potential. It's got to be on the landing page. You want it front and center, not buried on an obscure page of your site. Just as your website is your virtual storefront, having video available when they land on your page is like handing them a nice cup of coffee and inviting them to have a seat.
To encourage even more involvement from your visitors, be sure to put actionable content next to the video, (i.e. "Click here for...."). Video coupled with actionable content is a great combination to elicit action from casual browsers.
Not only can video direct repeat traffic to your website, but if you have compelling video, your customers will advertise for you. People love to share videos on the internet, and social media has made this easier than ever. Putting your corporate or marketing film on a shareable platform allows individuals to share the video with their family, friends and co-workers.
The beauty of this medium is that it can potentially go viral; thousands or millions of hits equal free advertising for your business on a grand scale. And video is an easy way to draw people in because they feel more involved, even if they only click "Like".
Up until now, virtual tours have been your only option. Many realtors use this to simulate video. At this point, it is important to differentiate between film and video. In the old days "film" was a more expensive process shot on cellulose while "videos" were the amateur handheld camcorder variety. But as technology has advanced it's not uncommon for major motion pictures to be "filmed" with a digital camera, so now the terms can be used as more of a description of quality. Video is your wedding video from the 1980s; film is a beautiful cinematic expression of awesomeness. High quality film is the future.
Film has an advantage over virtual tours for a myriad of reasons. Virtual tours (still images linked together and set to music) provide a limited view of the property and may require plug-ins to work. Most importantly, they offer nothing more than what was posted in the MLS listing. You have high-end clientele who can spot low quality in an instant; why offer them low-end, dated marketing materials? A cheap production only cheapens the property and your reputation. Film gives you an edge over your competitors and communicates to customers that you are serious about selling their property.
Done well, film gives an emotional hook that invites potential clients to pursue more information. According to Vindico, a leading video ad server, 80% of online video ads are abandoned within the first half of the ad. Audiences can "tell the sell", and you want to capture their attention before they click off your site. How do you accomplish that? Tell them a story.
IMPLEMENT BRANDED CONTENT
Storytelling is a method brand marketers rely on to captivate, and film is now their chosen medium. Branded content blurs the line between conventional advertising and entertainment. It's a story that draws the viewer in, and it is highly branded. Branded content can amuse or inform. It delivers a chuckle, just for kicks. It's brought to you by a brand that leans more on emotional appeal than a heavy-handed sales pitch. You can implement branded content by telling your audience the story of your business, your property, your firm. Give them such a compelling experience that they will forward your film to their co-workers and friends, post it on their social media, and return to your site for more. Meanwhile, your business is getting marketed every time the film is viewed.
AND DON'T FORGET CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing is another important component to reaching your audience. It's staying in touch with your customers, not necessarily to sell them something, but to establish yourself as a reliable, continuing source of information. This encourages ongoing business relationships and repeat business.
Don't overlook social media such as blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and Facebook. These are perfect tools for content marketing. Instead of renting advertising space, you own the media and control your message. For example: Do you have experience in gardening, wildlife management, or have a great venison chili recipe? Offer these tidbits/services through your social media to direct traffic to your website. Keep your accounts updated regularly to build an audience (and make sure you have interesting content).
In our media-driven society, you've got to be a cut above the rest. If your audience is not immediately captivated by your ad, they will tune out, click off or turn the page. With such high-quality technology now becoming accessible, you've got an incredible toolbox at your fingertips. Combining film with a powerful content marketing campaign is vital to staying up to date in today's market.