September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.

People often say “I have a face for radio” as an excuse for why they don’t record more videos. If video is your least favorite form of communication, you are not alone; however, you are unfortunately missing many opportunities, and ultimately, you could lose a ton of business if you don’t jump on board the video train.  

Using video to communicate to your audience can be the most accessible, most efficient and most scalable marketing tool you can use, in my opinion. 

Whether you text, email or post a video on social media, you can make a more significant impact by reaching more people — and at their convenience. 

According to Professor Albert Mehrabian, a professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA and author of Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes, research shows that emotional connection in communication is 38 percent tone of voice and 55 percent body language

In a business world driven by “know, like and trust,” Mehrabian’s research on emotional connectivity through communication becomes extremely relevant and valuable as it relates to using video.

During the current pandemic, I have found that one of the biggest challenges to American culture is the change to entertainment. Everything about how we entertain ourselves is evolving. 

As a result, communication that is also entertaining is becoming increasingly more desired and exponentially more effective. Videos that are fun and use humor to educate are an excellent tool for building a connection with your audience. 

More than ever, we have a more substantial need for entertainment and social connection in this physically distant space we now inhabit. A new normal is developing, and video has become the bridge between communication and entertainment.  

So how do we transition into adding video to our tool belts? Here are a few tips to help you overcome the most common struggles with video.  

Gaining confidence

First, let’s put it out there: Everyone thinks they look like “Shrek.” However, the reality is that we look and sound the way we look and sound, and when people meet you, they will notice how you look and sound! 

Dare I say, your fear of video is inconsistent with the career path you have chosen. I believe your real challenge is a lack of confidence, not how you look or sound.  

So how do we build confidence? I recommend having a plan, a written plan regarding what you will say and to whom you are saying it. Now you can choose to “riff” or “script.” Both are skills that take practice. 

When you choose to riff, I recommend having bullet points to help you stay on track and focused on delivering the value you are offering. If you decide to script, I recommend using a teleprompter, such as BigVu or Teleprompter, to help you say what you want to say as concisely as possible. Moreover, there is no need to be perfect. I recommend that you limit your “takes” to no more than three. Your imperfections are your connection! Your humanness and authenticity are what will draw people to you.

Being consistent

The second major struggle I have seen is a lack of consistency. If you are going to add video to your social media platforms, I recommend committing to a consistent schedule and posting time. There are so many benefits to the consumer audience if it knows when to expect to hear from you. 

It’s just like when you looked forward to next week’s episode of your favorite show every Thursday evening. Also, I recommend posting weekly to get started. If you choose to post videos to stories, posting daily would make a lot of sense. Of course, YouTube is the No. 1 video platform, and twice a week is a worthy goal for this audience.

If you are using video in a one-on-one environment, I also highly recommend a consistent plan of action for when you communicate to your audience via video. Perhaps, it’s always on the first contact, as an introductory video to get to know the team and let prospects know why they should answer your call. 

Another suggestion would be to use it as every third communication. You could also email video market updates or text video check-ins that remind customers to check their email for the inspection report or appraisal. Whatever you decide to do, make a plan, put it in writing and execute.  

Creating content

This third struggle is where so many people can lose their confidence and drop their consistency due to being overwhelmed. There are just too many ideas. 

There are: 

  • Listing videos
  • Introduction videos
  • Buyer beware videos
  • Listing tips
  • Staging tips
  • Mortgage tips
  • Prepping for appraisal tips
  • Vendor videos
  • Interviews
  • Testimonials
  • Market updates
  • Shared stories 
  • Examples of lessons learned
  • Experiences

And the list goes on.  

The key to success here is that you take time each week to think about the various audiences you have and determine what content they would be interested in seeing. 

What do they need and want to know? What would they share with their friends, family and colleagues? No one wants to watch a video about how great you are from you. 

Please avoid self-promotional videos, avoid over-editing, and embrace education and simplicity. Your content should show a customer what an exceptional customer experience they will have working with you.  

Leveling up

So, what’s the future of video look like? I don’t believe that your videos need to look like Hollywood movies, but they need to address the consumers’ various needs. Those include entertainment, education and relevancy. 

A new and exciting way to stay more relevant to a target audience is by allowing them to control their journey and experience with your content. A new application that I see evolving into a trend is called Interactr

Imagine as a video viewer having a clickable choice within the video! As a video creator, imagine offering your consumers options to decide how they will interact with your content. This program allows you to create clickable links within your videos, allowing the consumer to engage longer with your content and self-selecting the content that matters most to them!  

Your value isn’t just in what you know, but it’s also in the experience of working with you. Video allows you to communicate and build “know, like, and trust” relationships unlike any other marketing tool. 

Kendall E. Bonner, Esq., is a broker-owner at RE/MAX Capital Realty in Florida. Connect with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn

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