“Writing one epic post per week is a better long-term strategy than writing mediocre content every day.” –Jon Morrow
I know the quote above is talking about writing; however, taken in the proper context, the same can be applied to video.
Having a solid content strategy is one of the key foundations of blogging, be it video or written.
The stats on video from the National Association of Realtors show that 72 percent of home sellers want their agent to use video, and 3 percent actually do. We also know that 92 percent of consumers are starting their search to find a home and a Realtor online.
on air image via shutterstock
In this post I am going to focus on two different areas: why you should consider a video blog, and four tips on strategy. I hope this will help you to take action and implement video as a part of your overall marketing plan.
My why and my strategy at the beginning
When I started my video blog in April 2010, my goal at the outset was to give a certain piece of my personality to my potential client/customer. I felt this would help my potential client gain insight into who I am as a person and as an agent. I also wanted to “flood the Internet” with my videos because I knew that potential clients were going to be searching there more and more. At the beginning my strategy was to focus more on quantity — and potentially mediocre content — than quality. Happy to say that my focus has shifted over the years and the quote above sits on my desk as a reminder of my end goal.
I felt that my personality, combined with my knowledge base, was going to give me a competitive advantage over other agents who chose not to use video as a part of their marketing.
The infographic below is a perfect example of how I am dominating the first page of Google with my videos when you search “How to buy a house in Calgary.”
Not sure what your why is? Why should you consider video as a part of your overall marketing strategy? Allow me to give you a couple of reasons to help you get started:
1. Video is the most inexpensive marketing that you will ever do. I don’t have deep pockets to spend tens of thousands on SEO; I do, however, feel comfortable in front of the camera and confident about helping people to make a decision based on the information/advice that I can give.
2. Gain a competitive advantage over other agents in your marketplace. Allow the potential client/customer to “get to know” you before they ever meet you. The matching of personalities is important in the formation of a personal relationship, as this is the foundation of a successful real estate business.
Not comfortable in front of the camera? Then get behind it. We as agents will find excuses for everything when it comes to prospecting. “I’m not comfortable in front of the camera” or “What if no one watches?” are two perfect examples that I hear all the time.
If you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, then start doing screen shot videos where we hear only your voice. Try interviewing mortgage brokers or home inspectors and stay off camera while filming. Try doing a video walkabout of the neighborhood you are focusing your marketing efforts on.
In terms of no one watching, it takes only one person to pick up the phone or send an email to make an inquiry and for you to turn him into a client.
I firmly believe that once you get comfortable being behind the camera you will want to try your hand at being in front of the camera. Don’t let fear hold you back from a brilliant way to market yourself as an expert and get in the way of your “why.”
How to get started planning your video strategy
1. Know your niche. The Google Keyword tool is a killer way to find out what questions people have about real estate in your city or neighborhood. One other strategy I have also employed is providing videos for agents on using my iPad in my real estate business. Why? Because agents are another source of income for us, by providing value to them and answering any questions they may have, I am hoping to become their referral source for Calgary, Alberta.
2. Pick your platform. YouTube is the No. 2 search engine on the Web. Let this be your primary focus at the start, branch off into other arenas once you are comfortable with optimizing your videos. A quick tip about the description on YouTube: Start off every description with “For more information go to http://YourWebsite.com”; this provides you with a nice backlink and will also drive traffic to your site. Lastly, make sure once the video is uploaded that you also embed the video on your website with a short blog post.
3. Keep your videos short and be consistent. My videos average about two minutes apiece. My overall retention rate is 76 percent up to one minute and 40 seconds — after that it drops considerably. This stat tells me that I need to shorten my videos up by 20 seconds to keep 100 percent of my viewers. With the recent change in the Google algorithm, being consistent with your video blogging efforts has never been more important. Fresh new content uploaded to your site at least once a week will help with your overall SEO.
4. Focus on quality content. Some ideas to help get you started would be to give insight into how the whole buying and selling process works. You can provide valuable content by answering questions that other clients may have had in the past. One last thing in terms of quality is that it is not just about the content, it is also the quality of your video and your audio. Consider going with a lavaliere mic setup as well as a tripod for your HD video camera or even your iPhone.
How video has helped my business
Employing this strategy has helped me gain business not just from people searching YouTube for information but also from getting referrals from other agents from across the country. Here are a few of my stats:
- Four transactions in 2011 totalling $30,000 by people finding me on YouTube.
- Currently (at time of publication) working with three buyers who found me on YouTube.
- Received five referrals in one week (four weeks ago) where three of the five agents originally found my videos on YouTube about using my iPad in my business. Two of those five referrals are closed transactions.
- My video strategy has also gotten me in front of large audiences to talk about the use of video in my business at events like Agent Reboot, REBarCamp Toronto and Calgary, and the Banff Western Connection. This has also helped me to take the online offline and gain referrals from other agents throughout the country.
Be strategic in everything you do
You have to have strategy in every part of your marketing, and video is no different. Video is such a huge tool for us as agents, as it gives us a platform from which to help educate our potential clients. It also allows for a more personal connection: People can get a glimpse of who you are and what your personality is like. I have often sent new clients a link to my video blog before they meet me to get an idea of what I am like in person. They can make the decision at that point whether they want to work with me.
It is imperative that you have an end goal and a detailed road map of how to get there. Your strategy is important; make sure you know who you are posting content for. Be consistent and pick one platform at the start, master it, and provide killer content with great audio and video. These four points will set you miles ahead of your competition and will set you on the right path for success.