Video is a pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing tool for the in­ter­net age

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

SPEED­IER down­load times and the ad­vent of the faster 4G net­work has boosted the ap­peal of video con­tent and made it the mar­ket­ing tool of the moment.

Any­one with a web­site or blog is be­ing ad­vised to upload some film footage to keep their vis­i­tors en­ter­tained and, more im­por­tantly, to keep them on the site for longer. Statis­tics show that peo­ple will stay on a web­site with video twice as long.

York­shire-based David Var­ley, of www.es­tateagentson­film. co.uk, be­lieves it is the per­fect pro­mo­tional tool for es­tate agents and de­vel­op­ers but not nec­es­sar­ily in the tried and tested for­mat. Though “home movie” style tours of prop­er­ties for sale would be the ob­vi­ous tar­get, David sug­gests a fresh ap­proach.

“In a world of ever chang­ing tech­nol­ogy and so­cial me­dia, vis­ual stim­u­la­tion is the big­gest growth in­dus­try on the in­ter­net. This is the year that video mar­ket­ing will ex­plode on the web with 4G and in­stant video down­load now here through EE and other net­works. But there has been a sig­nif­i­cant shift. The lens has turned 180 de­grees away from prop­er­ties and is now firmly fo­cused on the es­tate agents and builders them­selves.

“The new trend is to have pro­fes­sional video con­tent re­veal­ing what you of­fer and where you are lo­cated to give the gen­eral pub­lic a real in­sight into your brand. This helps build a rap­port and peo­ple are more likely to watch a video than read through text telling them the same thing.”

Keep­ing the mes­sage brief is cru­cial as at­ten­tion spans are short. Around 30 sec­onds is long enough to re­veal who you are, what you do, and why peo­ple should choose your busi­ness. Any longer and view­ers will get bored and will click off.

Hav­ing footage pro­fes­sion­ally shot is also vi­tally im­por­tant as a wob­bly, am­a­teur­ish video could re­flect badly on your com­pany. What is fine for YouTube isn’t right for a vir­tual shop win­dow.

“Get­ting staff with hand-held cam­eras or em­ploy­ing com­pa­nies with no ex­pe­ri­ence of TV is mad­ness,” says David.

“You have to sell your­self, so fronting your video cam­paigns is fine, but use a pro­fes­sional to help with me­dia train­ing be­fore and dur­ing film­ing. They should also help you draft a script in ‘TV speak’ so your mes­sage is slick and stylish and you come over in a con­fi­dent and pro­fes­sional way. Most peo­ple can master this in less than half an hour

“How­ever, if you’re not com­fort­able then it’s a waste of time and you may do more harm than good.”

For those who do not feel con­fi­dent enough to ap­pear in front of a cam­era, a pro­fes­sional pre­sen­ter is a good op­tion. This will cost from around £200. If you can hire a recog­nised face from TV that peo­ple know and trust, even bet­ter, though it will cost you a lot more.

Sed­don Homes hired Elaine Wilcox, who has worked for Granada and GMTV. The pro­mo­tional video, which shows her look­ing round a Sed­don prop­erty, helped dou­ble hits on the com­pany’s web­site and they be­lieve that sales have also in­creased as a re­sult of her star­ring role.

Tes­ti­mo­nial videos are also use­ful. Clients talk­ing about what a great job you did for them and how much they love their new prop­erty is great PR and some­thing used in­creas­ingly by de­vel­op­ers, who film happy fam­i­lies at home.

David Var­ley also cre­ates lo­ca­tion films for es­tate agents. Th­ese videos of vil­lages, towns and cities come with a voiceover re­veal­ing the ad­van­tages of liv­ing in a par­tic­u­lar area.

“It all helps but apart from the ob­vi­ous mar­ket­ing ben­e­fits, video can boost your search en­gine rank­ings,” he says.

Since Google bought YouTube, it has in­te­grated a spe­cial search al­go­rithm that favours web­sites with video con­tent, so if your com­peti­tors have got it and you haven’t you may be at a dis­ad­van­tage.

For more de­tails of Es­tate Agents on Film visit www. es­tateagentson­film.co.uk

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