Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. In addition to writing print and online articles, Erica oversees the magazine's Broker to Broker content, co-manages the 30 Under 30 program, and manages the YPN Lounge. Connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Target Consumers With Branded Video
The path to impactful visual marketing online is through video. Learn how to find a niche genre for your brokerage.
March 16, 2015
What are your clients and prospects doing on the Internet? They’re watching videos — lots and lots of videos.
In fact, by 2018, video views are expected to make up 84 percent of all Internet traffic in the United States, up from 78 percent in 2013, according to network technology company Cisco’s 2014 Global IP Traffic Forecast.
It’s not surprising, then, that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, processing more than 3 billion searches a month in 2014. With 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, you can’t afford to not be where your clients are.
One Major Brokerage’s Effort at Visual Storytelling
Century 21 started to ramp up its video marketing about four year ago in order to help their agents reach customers, says Mike Callahan, C21’s vice president of brand marketing. The brokerage has a variety of branded video campaigns, from its national “Smarter. Bolder. Faster” television commercials to real-time video marketing efforts on social media.
One of C21’s most popular videos, Tryptophan Slow Jam, is a fun, psychedelic look at the post-Thanksgiving meal experience.
“Most of our videos are [branded] in a subtle way,” says Callahan. “Even though we do focus on real-time news and topical events like holidays, there’s always a tie-in to the home. We are in the real estate industry and we make sure the home is always part of the story.”
The company has found video drives more customers back to its website, c21.com. It reported a 53 percent increase in video traffic year-over-year in 2014.
In addition to creating brand awareness, C21 is also creating customizable videos for its brokers and agents to leverage by inserting its own branding. The company also helps agents create video listing tours by adding narration over photos the agents supply. Last year, the franchise produced more than 320,000 listing videos.
Find Your Video Niche
C21 has built an extensive video collection throughout the years, but if you’re just starting out in video marketing, it’s more manageable to focus on one storytelling niche, says Derick Rhodes, footage content producer at Shutterstock. Rhodes, along with Chad Koch, director of postproduction for Condé Nast’s video network The Scene, discussed elements of successful video marketing in a recent AdWeek webinar, “The Future of Branded Video.”
Rhodes pointed to Lowe’s “Fix in Six“ how-to videos as an example of a well-focused, visually interesting marketing campaign. Lowe’s videos cover topics such as how to fix water stains on wood using mayo or how to remove wallpaper using hot water and fabric softener—and they do it all in six seconds. The series has helped the REALTOR Benefits® Partner gain more than 34 million loops or views and nearly 28,000 followers on Vine, a short-form video platform.
“I think they’re great at this and it will be interesting to see how that program evolves,” Rhodes says. He suggests that companies evaluate what they’re good at and what they to offer in order find their video niche.
Koch says some videos are meticulously planned, while others are created on the fly, so marketers shouldn’t feel afraid to record something on their smartphone if they’re feeling inspired.
In addition to having a niche, successful videos are about topics that people want to share, Koch says. Videos that are smart and make the sharer appear smart do particularly well, Koch says.
In the end, a successful video offers viewers quality content, Rhodes says. “Quality is what people want and what gets people engaged.”