Video is a powerful marketing tool for the internet age
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