Real estate agents are really starting to embrace video.

There was an interesting thread in one of my favorite Facebook Group’s the other day around video self hosting options versus the more traditional approach of using platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.

Facebook Group

The argument is relatively simple. If you self host your videos you get a lot more control over the look, feel and functionality. Layover buttons, embedded opt in forms and link redirects are just a few of the nice things you can do within a self hosted video player.

The other side of the debate is that a site like YouTube is where everyone looks for videos online. Combine that with the fact that Google owns YouTube and really shows a preference for video in their search results and it is hard to convince me that I should ONLY have my videos on my own site. YouTube is also good about being up to date with their player functioning on devices like the iPad, iPhone and Android without me having to think about that stuff.

Self hosting video on your site may quickly become mass adopted due to the additional features it allows.

I also fully expect YouTube, Vimeo and others to continue to be popular with consumers.

 

Here are my 4 Non Optional YouTube Tips:

 

1. Use More Than Just YouTube

By syndicating your real estate videos using a service like TubeMogul they will live on many additional platforms. As you will see in the image below two video results for a property address search were returned ahead of the text based results. One was for YouTube, the other higher ranked video was on Daily Motion, a site that you are probably not using. Listings are syndicated and videos can be as well. You will also see that the video results are coming in ahead of such popular consumer destination sites like Realtor.com and Trulia!

Video Search Engine Results

 

2. Conversion Is King

YouTube really is the gift and the curse. While the impact on the SERPs is undeniable, it is difficult to convert views into leads or business when you have very little control over the platform and link placement. Below I diagram the best way to optimize your video for conversion including phone number placement, proper URL usage and titling. These tips should become best practices and if you have never taken this approach before you can quickly go back to your video channel and edit the descriptions to include the proper elements.

Converting YouTube Views Into Leads

3. Use Editing Tools Pre Upload

YouTube provides some easy to use and free editing options. I use a program called Camtasia. There are many others that will make this tip easy to pull off. As your video plays it is critical to have your domain visible the entire time. By simply layering text over the video in one of the aforementioned softwares, the consumer knows exactly where they can go to learn more. It would of course be ideal if this were a clickable link, but that is not an option in YouTube currently. You can only link within a video on YouTube to other videos on YouTube so this is a great workaround.

YouTube Link Options

 

4. Be A Copy Cat

Google offers a great Keyword Tool for understanding the search supply and demand within Google.com but has yet to bring that functionality into their YouTube platform. Without the hard data we are often times left guessing what to title a video, tags to use for  a video or what category to put our videos into for optimal discovery. The image below will give you a few ideas on facing this challenge. By finding videos with comparable keywords to what you are going after that have already deemed themselves ‘popular’ based on a high volume of views, you can in a sense piggyback their success. Always remember the relevance of the result compared to the search is critical in conversion so do not call hotdogs hamburgers as tempting as it may be.

How to choose the right category on YouTube

While the future of video on the web may not be clear quite yet. I hope you will agree that these YouTube tips are worth implementing today.

Learn anything new? Would love to know below.

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