9 Steps to Video Marketing Success

Simply uploading a video is not the end of the road when it comes to promoting your business with this engaging consumer tool. Learn how to get exposure before you shoot your first frame.

December 15, 2014

In theory, video is a fantastic tool for selling homes and connecting with leads. It’s engaging and easy to consume and enables you to inject personality into your marketing by simply stepping in front of the camera or microphone. In practice, however, only a handful of agents use video to market their business.

Why are real estate professionals so afraid of video? Most are paralyzed by the “no time, too hard” fallacy. They convince themselves that adding video to their marketing strategy means investing tons of money in fancy camera equipment and editing software and tons of time struggling with those. Worse, they worry that after all that effort and expense, they won’t get views or gain any exposure.

But what if this wasn’t the case? What if you could create videos that rank high in search engines and generate thousands of views, all for an extremely low price point?

The truth is, video doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, with the right tools and techniques, you can easily use video to supercharge your engagement and brand awareness online. Here are some tips for making it happen.

1. Create content your audience values.

Before you shoot even one frame of video, take some time to think about what would be useful for your audience. Remember, you don’t have to create videos for the entire world: You just have to reach the niche that makes up the bulk of your sales. First, focus on the communities you serve. According to a joint study from the National Association of REALTORS® and Google, 86 percent of online house hunters watch videos to learn about a specific community. Second, find out what kinds of videos prospects want to see. Ask your clients what they want to learn about, then build your video strategy around answering those questions.

2. Start out with YouTube.

One of the easiest ways to maximize your video exposure is to go where the viewers are. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube every month and watch 6 billion hours of video. That’s almost an hour for every person on Earth. More importantly, over 50 percent of prospective home buyers use YouTube as their primary vehicle for video research. If you’re not showing off your listings, providing digital property tours, or offering other valuable video content for this audience, you’re missing out on a massive business opportunity.

3. Optimize your videos for search.

Now that you’ve given some thought to the topics your videos will cover, it’s time to start thinking about the keywords your audience is using to search for those topics. When it comes to SEO for real estate videos, keywords are typically based on geographic location, property type, and property features. Brainstorm terms that are both relevant to your content and part of your buyer’s journey, from cities and neighborhoods (even down to exact addresses) to amenities. If, for instance, you’re creating a video about the Eastie neighborhood of Boston, a phrase like “best places to live in Eastie Boston” would be a great fit.

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, make sure they’re included in your video title, description, and tags. Don’t go overboard by “stuffing” your video with every keyword you want to dominate. Instead, think like a human; now that online search has gotten smarter, being honest in your tagging actually works.

4. Don’t forget the call to action.

When creating any kind of marketing content, it’s important that you leave consumers with a clear sense of what you want them to do: click, share, visit, sign up, and so on. During the editing process, add a graphic in the lower third of your video that’s easily visible without distracting from the content. Include your website URL, along with your phone number and company logo. You can also add a final screen to the very end of your video with this information. Don’t forget to include a link to your website in the video description. These concrete calls to action will drive traffic to your website, giving you more opportunities to capture and convert more leads.

5. Spend a few dollars on advertising.

At around two to five cents per view, YouTube is relatively cheap compared with other advertising options. As little as $50 can go a long way toward expanding your reach. Plus, YouTube offers a range of additional advertising options such as in-video overlay messages with clickable links. Finally, because it’s owned by Google, you can start a YouTube advertising campaign right from your Google AdWords account.

6. Promote your video everywhere.

If you have educational, information-packed, and entertaining content that appeals to the audience you serve, your job as a real estate marketer is to get it out there. Sharing is cyclical: The more you share your video, the more people will see it, and the more it will get shared. Any social platform where your video would be an appropriate fit is fair game for posting. The key is to think about sharing from your audience’s perspective.

7. Upload your videos to other sites.

While YouTube is unquestionably the best platform for getting started with real estate video marketing, there are other venues, each with their own features and strengths. Vimeo, for instance, is great for longer, higher-resolution videos, while Tumblr and Instagram are perfect for shorter, more whimsical content. Ultimately, you want to figure out where your audience spends their time, then make your content available there.

8. Dive into YouTube’s advanced settings.

Once you get more comfortable with creating and sharing video, take some time to explore YouTube’s advanced settings. One of my favorite advanced YouTube options is adding the YouTube playlist ID at the end of the video share URL. The result is that the videos that you share will play in your playlist and the related videos that generally show up after a video has finished playing will be your related videos, not someone else’s. To do this, take the YouTube video ID then add the YouTube playlist ID to the end of it. It’s that simple.

9. Consider a dedicated video hosting service.

The biggest downfall of the YouTube platform is when it comes to displaying video on your own website. I don’t know about you, but when people come to our website, I want them to stay as long as possible. Ideally, they’ll provide their contact information so I can follow up and make a sale. However, YouTube’s goal is to drive viewers back to YouTube, and that’s a problem for us marketers. To address this shortcoming but still take advantage of the massive amount of traffic that the platform has to offer, I suggest that you still share videos on the YouTube platform. But when it comes to posting the video on your own website, I recommend using a dedicated video hosting service like Wistia, Welcomemat or VimeoPro. Each of those platforms are built for marketers, and they often include tools for capturing leads, sharing via social networks, delivering analytics, and more (depending on which option you choose).

If you haven’t initiated your video marketing plan yet, there’s never been a better time to begin. With these tips, a smartphone, and a bit of practice, you can use video to build your brand in ways you never imagined.

Seth Price has spent 20 years in digital marketing, consulting for more than 300 companies during that period, including 19 of the FORTUNE 500. He serves as vice president of marketing at Placester, the fastest growing real estate website provider in the United States (and a REALTOR Benefits® Program partner). Seth is dedicated to providing social media and content marketing advice and counsel to the tens of thousands of real estate professionals and brands that he serves. You can find more about Seth on his blog, SethPrice.net, or at Placester.com/academy.