Effective Tagging and Presentation Techniques for Multimedia

Help consumers find you online by properly naming and tagging the photos and videos you upload to the Web.

June 1, 2011

Social media and multimedia — especially online presentations driven by photos and blogs — are rapidly changing how real estate professionals do business. Most of you already know this and either have already implemented or plan to implement multimedia and social media in some combination this year.

It’s not enough to just post multimedia on social networks. You need to have a plan to systematically distribute your content and collect feedback. Jennifer Cisney, Kodak’s chief blogger, offers the following best practices for merging these two marketing elements into a cohesive package.

Have a content plan:“Map out a plan for the content you’re going to share. Make sure it’s valuable, and plan the timing and frequency of the posts. Most people won’t have a reason to follow you if your content is not refreshed consistently and there’s no expectation of fresh content,” Cisney says.

Maximize titling and description on photos and videos:The best title is going to be one that is both interesting and descriptive. Include words that are highly relevant to your content and searched often. On Facebook, tagging people is your only option, and a good title could be what entices a user to continue further. The description is where you can include more detail about your content. Include subject matter, location, event, dates, people, and even slang and abbreviations — anything your prospective customer may be searching for.

Post regularly: There are a couple of real-world rules to regular posting. First,keep content fresh and relevant. Second, give credit where it’s due and recognize the source of content if you’re reposting.

Use tagging best practices: “If you want people to find your content, it needs to be tagged properly,” Cisney says. Think of your target audience and what words they would use to search for your product or service. Consider the subject matter, the location, the event, and people in your photo, video, or blogs. Also, adapt your approach for certain social networks: For instance, you can tag only people in photos on Facebook. It may be helpful to “friend” your clients, and then create a section on your Facebook fan page for photos of them. This can help you associate your real-world fans with your business. Other tagging tools include Google’s Adwords Keyword tool and YouTube Keywords, which can help you create a list of search terms and evaluate the volume of usage.

Learn how to “listen” to your blogs:This is just as important as posting. The most basic and no-budget way to “listen” is to set up a schedule to check all your sites. For instance, check first thing in the morning, at noon, and at the end of the day. Many sites, like YouTube or ActiveRain, can be set up to send comments and activity to your e-mail account. Blog comments can also be forwarded to e-mail so you can respond in a timely manner. Facebook fan pages, however, don’t have that capability so you still have to log in and check it manually. If you have a budget, you can use a third-party service to monitor activity, whether it’s an agency that watches the sites or a tool like Radian6 that allows you set up a dashboard to monitor all of your online conversations in one place.

Score your effectiveness: Create metrics to measure how effective you are. Here are some potential scoring mechanisms we use that could be helpful for you:

▪ Engagement: number of videos X number of views X duration of video

▪ Reverb: number of messages X followers, friends, likes, etc.

▪ Direct sales and leads from activity

Properly display your content: Whether it’s a video or photo, scenes should be well lit. Make sure you shoot outdoors or in interiors illuminated with natural light. Make sure the light is toward the subject. Also, use the rule of thirds: Divide the shot into a “tic tac toe” board and put your subject off-center at the intersection of two of the imaginary lines. This gives composition to your videos and photos.Finally, keep videos short. Two minutes or less is best.

Why Tagging and Creating Content Is so Important
The best thing about video is that it presents a unique opportunity for real estate agents to come up at or near the top of Google search results and present themselves as the “area expert” in a local market without too much concern of another large company coming in and snapping that up. That’s because Google is making an effort to integrate YouTube videos into search results. For example, if you type in a popular search term like “Sting,” look at what you get:

Video results from YouTube show up on the first page, because they’re tagged to be found by Google’s search for the term “Sting.”

Now look at the search results for “San Diego Real Estate” below. Notice that there are no video results on the search — yet. Would it be safe to assume that someday, perhaps soon, Google will index the most relevant and meaningful “Your Town Real Estate” videos from YouTube into this page of results, just like they did with “Sting”? How many properly tagged and relevant videos will they find when they do so? Will they find yours?

While nobody can say for certain when or how Google will do this, one thing’s for sure: It’s a near certainty that it will happen! You can get ahead of the curve by leveraging YouTube and positioning yourself as the expert in your area. Get a video or digital camera, and use these tips to get started.

Mark Walser is Kodak’s real estate business development manager and real estate blogger. A veteran of the real estate technology industry, Mark has worked for some of the largest real estate Web site, lead generation, and technology firms providing real estate agents and companies with internet marketing solutions, wireless technology, and media. Connect with Mark on Kodak’s Real Estate YouTube Channel, on Twitter @kodakrealestate, e-mail at mark.walser@kodak.com , or at ActiveRain at www.activerain.com/kodak for additional informational articles. Real estate practitioners can purchase Kodak products at a discount on www.kodak.com/go/redeal.