The other day Angelo Lavaggi, a Medallion Real Estate Coach and Productivity Manager, asked me how to go about producing and marketing real estate videos.
Luckily, this is my jam, and I love to share, so here you go!
Making Videos Simply and Easily
If you are like most business owners, you understand the importance of video for engaging and connecting with your audience, but you feel like you just don’t have the time, budget or equipment to do your business justice.
So it gets left on the back-burner, perhaps niggling at the back of your mind.
Luckily, creating great videos that get your point across does not have to be complicated or expensive. While high end cameras, lighting and backgrounds can all help to take your video to the next level, you can still create videos that you love and are comfortable sharing with your customers just by using your phone, holding it with your two hands.
Still, while you can make decent videos to share with your customers using your phone, you may want to make a relatively small investment (of a few hundred dollars as opposed to thousands of dollars) to buy some support equipment to ensure you have the best quality result.
1. Camera Phone
Most phones have built in camera capability these days. I recommend doing some research to find the highest quality phone camera you can afford, taking into consideration megapixel resolution, as well as sensor and lens quality.
But if you don’t have a lot of time, you can get started with the phone you already have, as most recent phones can take video of decent enough quality.
2. Tripod or Gimbal
To avoid an amateurish feel to your video, you are going to want to use a tripod or gimbal to give your phone some stability while you’re filming.
If you are filming in the office, a small, simple tripod is all the you need. For those on the go, gimbals are key, as they allow you to take high quality, shake-free video while moving through a space.
Always make sure to film while holding your phone horizontally, as holding it vertically will result in a video with black bars on either side. That will detract from your users experience, and adds an extra complication to your video production process that you don’t need – ideally you want to be able to just shoot and share without having to do too much editing.
Where you can, use natural lighting (making sure that you are facing the light). That way, you don’t buy an extra piece of equipment, and you have one less thing to lug around.
However if you are filming in interiors a lot, and need to give your lighting a bit of a boost, try to find a gimbal with this already built in.
Don’t rely on the built-in microphone of your phone. To enhance the quality of your audio, invest in a lapel microphone that you can connect to your phone. This way you can record high quality sound while you are on the go.
Also, make sure to avoid having the radio, television or music on in the background, as this will interfere with recording your own audio, and may also create copyright issues.
While having your videos shot and edited professionally is always the ideal, that can be an investment for longer, more information dense material that you want to put out.
For shorter, “quick hit” videos, simply by investing in a gimbal, lapel mic and phone with a decent camera, you can quickly and easily record videos at home or on the fly that will be of high enough quality to share with your audience.
Once you’ve recorded your video (either professionally, or as a do-it-yourself projects), you can work to rank it.
Market Your Video for Maximum Exposure
There is no point in making a video if no one is going to see it. So once you’ve got a video that you are happy with (i.e. it has fun, engaging and / or informative content that you know your audience will love), you need to develop a marketing strategy to get the word out.
Below are some key steps for you to follow:
Step 1: Set up and Optimise Your YouTube Channel
You are going to need a place to host your videos. YouTube is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site on the web.
If you want to put your videos where people are looking, YouTube – with over 3 billion searches conducted on it a month – is a good place to start .
I go into greater detail on how to set-up your YouTube channel in another post, but to get started you are going to want to do the following:
- Determine where it fits in your overall content calendar
You should have a detailed editorial calendar mapped out for the year, outlining all content that you are going to produce over the next 12 months.
To make sure that your content stays in line with your core business offering and objectives, try to sum up what all your content should offer in a single short sentence.
This helps you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate and how, so you don’t get lost in detail and lose track of your objectives during implementation.
Once you have your content calendar in place, figuring out which content will be video, or will have video elements embedded will be easy.
- Be clear on what your channel is going to be about.
Your audience should understand right away what they are going to get by visiting your channel.
As part of your background work, while developing your editorial calendar, try to sum up your channel in 3 words. This should be something unique that pulls out or emphasises an aspect of your overall content calendar.
This will then become your lodestone or mantra – the baseline against which you measure all material you put on your channel.
If content does not fall within your 3 word summary of your channel, try to rethink it until it does.
- Create & Name Your Channel
Sign into YouTube using a Gmail account that you have created for your business (a business Gmail account is handy to have as you can then create your Google Analytics and Google Search Console profiles all under the same handle, making administration easier).
Try any action that requires a channel, like uploading a video or creating a playlist, by clicking on the upload button you will see at the top right hand side of your screen.
This will then prompt you to create a channel.
You can create a personal channel or a branded channel. For the purposes of your business, a branded channel is the way to go – learn how to set one up here.
Use your business name to name your channel, for branding consistency and so that people will quickly and easily understand that your channel is linked to your business.
- Target Your Channel to Your Audience
Whatever you cover in your channel should be answering a need or a question from your audience.
It should be addressing something that people would be researching online.
Think of the words people would type into the Google search bar to find out about your particular subject or business.
Then use those words to describe your channel. Put together a couple of paragraphs, and upload them to your “About” section on your channel.
If you are a custom home builder specialising in a certain area then your main keywords for your site could be “custom home builder [target city]”.
- Link to Your Other Social Media Profiles
Still under the “About” section, you have the option to link to other social media profiles.
Doing this gives your channel extra ranking “juice” as it draws authority from the other sites. It also lets you quickly share your videos across a number of other social media channels whenever you post them to YouTube.
- Brand Your Channel
People should be able to tell at a glance that your YouTube channel is linked to your business.
Upload your business logo and add some eye catching channel art to let them know who you are and what to expect.
- Have a Featured Welcome Video for New Visitors
This should be a short 20-30 second video to introduce people to your channel and let them know what it is about. Accompany this video with a longer description, aiming for around 700-800 words long. This could be a transcription of the video itself or new supporting text that you’ve created.
Whatever text you used, this should be optimised for search, using your target keywords and location, as well as linking back to your website.
Step 2: Optimise Your Video for Search Results
Now that you have your YouTube channel set up it’s time to start uploading videos.
Similar to the channel itself, you need to optimise the description of each video with at least 700-800 words of text featuring your desired keywords.
Include annotation on your video as well. Having a good description and annotation will help the search algorithm determine the content of your video, make it more likely to turn up in your desired search results.
If written well, your description also serves to entice people to watch your video. Which is the end game, and also – the more views your video gets, the more likely it is to rank higher in the search results. So it creates a virtuous cycle.
Step 3: Share with Your Current Audience
By current audience I mean people you have already connected with in one way or another.
These could be your current and past customers. People that follow you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms.
Basically, anyone with whom you’ve had a quality interaction in the last 3 to 6 months (or depending on your typical business cycle, even longer).
You can share simply by sending an email, posting to your blog and posting on your preferred social media platforms.
Step 4: Share with New Audiences
To broaden your reach, share with new audiences. You can do this by posting on social media to relevant user groups and using hashtags.
To find groups, simply enter your keywords into the search bar of whichever social media platform you’re on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) and see what comes up.
You can do the same with hashtags. Type in your target keywords and look at the top 3 posts. What hashtags are they using? Use the same, if need be modifying the hashtags slightly to suit your situation.
To go even further, reach out to journalists and bloggers in your field, asking them if they would be interested in sharing your content with their audience.
To increase your chances of engagement it’s a good idea to actively follow influencers that genuinely interest you, and comment on and share their posts for at least a few months before hand.
Then reach out to them with a tailored message, referring work that they have done, recent posts or comments they’ve made, and highlighting how your video compliments that work.
Video Marketing Can Be a Lot of Effort but It’s Worth It
Creating videos, optimising a YouTube channel, then optimising the videos to post there, while also reaching out to influencers, and sharing via email and social media…. It’s a lot of work.
But it can give you incredible rates of return once you start gaining traction on your content creation and building those valuable relationships.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
And if you find that this is all too much to do on top of your day job, contact us. This is our day job and we’d be happy to help 🙂
Is there something I’ve missed out? Let me know what you’d like to learn more about in the comments below.