IGTV for Real Estate Professionals: Worth the Fuss?

Earlier this summer, Instagram announced it was ready to go head-to-head with YouTube in the longform video ring with the launch of IGTV – the social platform’s latest ‘sub-app’ that allows users to upload videos up to one hour in length. No stranger to the world of video after successfully launching its ‘Stories’ feature in 2016, Instagram’s new standalone video app, tailored specifically for long-form content, speaks to how quickly the mobile video space is growing. With more people moving away from their TV sets and toward their mobile devices, it’s by no surprise that key players in the social media arena are looking to supply users with a one-stop shop for all things digital video.

While Instagram’s short-form “Stories” feature was really the first to put the social platform on the digital video map, IGTV offers users a different kind of video experience entirely. Much like YouTube, IGTV content can be displayed full-screen and mimics the kind of content that would typically be seen on traditional TV. It not only allows users to delve deeper into some of the content they already share on Instagram, it also establishes a new channel entirely for brands, businesses and professionals to seamlessly share their video content with the world.

With that said, IGTV has gotten off to a slow, albeit steady, start. Instagram was quick to announce its 100 million users just a few short months after successfully launching the “Stories” feature, yet things have remained seemingly quiet about the kind of traction its new longform app has gained since launching this past June. Still, many would argue IGTV has more of an uphill climb than its “Stories” counterpart, having to not only go up against YouTube’s decade-long reign as the king of long-form video, but also somehow selling users on its vertical-only format.

So, is it worth jumping on the IGTV train? For businesses, professionals and brands, the answer is resounding yes. Despite the new sub-app’s measured start, Instagram is still undoubtedly one of the biggest and most widely used social platforms there is, particularly among younger demographics. This new addition of IGTV means providing businesses with yet another channel through which they can access Instagram’s surplus of users, followers and built-in consumer base. That can’t be bad for business, right?

For those who already rely on the platform to showcase their business ventures visually, like real estate agents and brokers, Instagram’s introduction of IGTV means taking visual-first business to the next level. Now real estate agents can provide potential new clients with not only beautifully staged photos of a listing, but a walking tour of the space, luxury property videos showcasing the neighborhood and surrounding areas, staged home tour uploads, personal introduction videos and much more.

If the key to great real estate is great exposure, then where’s the harm in adding another video platform to the mix? What’s more, with so many people relying on visual assets and video to start the homebuying process before even considering seeing a place in person, having everything in one place means a more seamless experience not only for users, buyers and renters, but for agents, sellers and brokers, as well.

Marketing Tips

With summer slowly winding down and the promise of cooler temperatures just around the corner, New York City prepares for another change of season, which means city dwellers and real estate professionals alike should begin making preparations of their own. The fall real estate market in New York City is arguably one of the busiest and most competitive, and not just for buyers and renters, but for sellers and agents, as well. By no surprise, New York real estate is a crowded space, but there are simple ways that agents can easily cut through the crowd and stand out among renters. Here are five marketing tips for real estate agents heading into the upcoming fall market.

Create A Bio Video

Buying or renting a home can be a very personal experience. People who enlist the help of professionals for their home search often want more than just someone who has all the facts and figures – they want someone who they trust to have their best interest at heart, too. Step one to establishing that trust? A simple introduction. Creating a bio video as an agent is one of the easiest ways for a buyer to see and get to know the person they’ll be working so closely with on this home-buying journey. Better yet? It gives the agent the opportunity to showcase their expertise of the NYC market, proving why the seller should enlist their help above anyone else.

Create Marketing Assets

Imagining yourself in your future home is one of the most important and critical steps in the home-buying experience. But before a buyer commits to seeing a listing in person, they need something that captures their imagination right off the bat. That’s why as an agent, having professional marketing assets, such as professional property videos or photos of a fully staged space, is essential. Because New York City is so competitive, scams unfortunately happen pretty often. For a buyer or renter, having those legitimate marketing assets to reference, like videos and photos, demonstrates the legitimacy, professionalism and commitment of the agent. It’s also step number one in the imagination phase of searching for a potential new home. 

Finally, providing printed marketing assets, such as show sheets, is equally important once it’s time to meet the buyer in person. Having something to reference while doing a walk-through is helpful for the buyer and it demonstrates the agent’s organization and commitment to making the home-buying experience as seamless as possible. 

Use Social Media

As we know, great marketing tools, like professional photos and videos, are the key to driving eyes to a property page or listing. But the goal of investing so much into your marketing assets isn’t to just boost eye traffic or to let the photos sit static on a listing website. If the goal really is about getting buyers to the door, or at the very least to seek more information about the listing, leveraging social media platforms is one of the most promising ways to do so. Optimizing your presence on photo-centric platforms like Instagram or Facebook is an easy way to grab the attention of potential buyers by showcasing your listings visually. Using other platforms more specific to text and content, like Twitter, is a great way to share neighborhood facts and how-to’s to boost your credibility, promote some of your new properties or to interact with users and potential buyers. Variety and consistency are key here, so mixing up the messaging across platforms and practicing regular posting habits will deliver the best results.

Advertise

Imagine showing the perfect listing to everyone in New York City seeking a studio apartment in Midtown within a certain budget. Seems unlikely, right? Well Facebook can get you pretty close. Using Facebook ads to target your audience by demographic, job titles and location down to the zip code is one of the reasons why more and more realtors are using Facebook strictly for professional use. Facebook’s audience insights can also tell you what’s working and what’s not, such as what posts generate the most traffic and which lead to the most negative feedback from users.

While it can sometimes feel like the unsung hero of mainstream social media, as far as professional networking is concerned, LinkedIn is another great place to be. It not only includes features like private messaging for possible listing inquiries and blogging spaces to showcase your expertise, but with LinkedIn’s sponsored content, users can promote their posts, measure campaign performance with engagement metrics and target audiences based on their LinkedIn profile data.

Listing Exposure

Even with all that social media and other digital advertising can provide for real estate agents today, properly and diversely showcasing your listing online and across listing sites is vital. With that said, sometimes finding the right website to list your property on can feel a bit overwhelming. Knowing who the big players are for the real estate market in general, such as Realtor.com, Trulia or Zillow, is a good place to start. Some other popular listing sites more local to the New York City market include StreetEasy, RentHop, NakedApartments and more. Ensuring that your listing is visible across several of these popular listing sites is the first step, but it’s equally important that your listings look cohesive across the board and maintain their professionalism in regard to photos, videos and listing information as discussed above.  

Telling a Silent Story – How to Optimize for Facebook Video

Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and notice how many videos you pass by. Facebook video has become a staple of the social media giant. Individuals and brands alike are using Facebook video to share their story. If you’re using video as part of your brand marketing there’s one key factor you can’t forget, getting your message across in silence.

Over 80% of Facebook video is viewed without sound. Up until this past February, Facebook’s auto-play feature left the sound off as a user scrolled by a video. Because there was an extra step of turning the sound on, users were simply watching in silence. Facebook has recently changed this feature to play sound, so long as your devices volume is turned on. Even with this update, ensuring that your video is just as engaging in silence as it is with sound is vital.

So, how do you capture attention in silence? Here are a few tips.

Plan Ahead!

Regardless of the audio, planning your story ahead of shooting is key in creating a great video. When mapping out your script, pin point your key messages and think about how these can be visualized. Pretend you won’t be using dialogue for a moment (and maybe you’re not!). What would you or your actors do to show the right expression or emotion without dialogue to back it up? Make these notes part of your script.

Use Graphics or Powerful Imagery

If appropriate, graphics can be a great way to help push your key messages through without having to hear the audio behind it. Strong shots and powerful imagery can also evoke the emotion you want, without being able to hear the music you chose or the voiceover you may have.

Add Captions

Make it simple for your viewers and simply add captions to your video. Facebook claims that videos with captions are viewed 12% longer than videos without. Make sure your captions are non-intrusive and simple to absorb. If you’re creating a video ad, Facebook’s Ads Manager offers a feature to automatically create captions or load them in manually. Take advantage of this, any little bit helps to keep someone’s eyes on your video and scrolling on to the next.

Don’t Ignore the Audio

Don’t forget that while most people start videos without sound, there are still those that turn the volume up. Make sure that you’re still taking the time to choose the right music and that your spoken dialogue is engaging.

Not sure where to start with Facebook video? Contact us for an evaluation today.

Choosing the Right Music

They say music is worth a thousand words. But, all too often, the role music plays in telling your story is often underestimated. Music shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to video production. The right music choice can bring your story to life and evoke the right emotions from your audience.

When crafting your story, music should be on your mind right from the start. For example, if you’re creating a product demo or investment video, you’re going to want to evoke excitement. The last thing you want to do is ruin your well-crafted story by laying in a dark, slow track.  You want to select something light, upbeat and happy to leave your audience feeling positive about what they’ve just watched.

More consumers are engaging with brands through emotion than in past decades. Music and emotion go hand-in-hand when it comes to how we, as humans, connect. Giving your brand the right audio tone is just as important as making sure you’re logo and brand aesthetic is memorable.

Don’t let your content marketing go down the wrong path by ignoring your choice of music until the end of the process!

Not sure what the sound of your videos should be? Contact us for an evaluation.

3 Things You Must Remember Before Shooting Your Video

As you read in our last blog, the benefits of adding video into your content marketing plan are undeniable. In addition to raising conversion rates and increasing engagement, video also gives you the opportunity to take your content across multiple touch points. Before you begin the production process, here are three things to remember to maximize your content.

 

1. Know Where You’re Going To Put Your Content

When you’re planning your production, make sure you consider all of the places you want your video to go. Do you want to post it on Instagram? You’ll need a :60 cut. Do you want to utilize Facebook video? Since 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound, you may want to think about a style that gets you message across even without audio.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re in the planning phases of your video. Having a clear plan for how you want to use your new content will help direct the creative process and can alleviate too much post production work and cost later on.

 

2. Know How You’re Going To Package Your Content

Shooting the video is just one step in the complex marketing process. Once you know where you want to place your content, think about how you’re going to package it. One video can provide you with a plethora of content that you can use across multiple channels. Think about how you are going to position your content across varying platforms, while maintaining a consistent message.

For example, your video should have a home on YouTube. That YouTube video can be embedded to your website along side a blog post or article explaining more about it. That blog page can be shared across your social media channels and perhaps in an email blast. The combinations can be endless. Think through which outlets your audience is using most. Position your content strategically and always give your audience a path back to your website.

 

3. Know How You’re Going To Measure Success

As with any marketing plan, you must think about your end goals. Creating content for the sake of creating content is rarely going to yield something valuable for you. Understand what you want out of your video before you start the production process. Again, this will help you shape the creative to better get you to your end goal.

If you’re looking for more website traffic or to raise awareness of your brand, make sure you’re thinking about SEO when creating your YouTube description and titles. Set up a plan to keep track of views, clicks to your site and make sure you’re able to follow that user through to conversion. If you’re looking to build social followers, make sure you create shorter cuts of your video and that they are displayed in the optimal specs for each site. If you have a business page on most social sites, you’ll be able to track views, clicks and shares of your content. Lay out your goals in the pre-production process and you’ll be more likely to see the results you want later on.

These are just a few things to remember when you’re getting ready to launch a new video. Contact us to discuss your content marketing plans and to get a quote on your new video.  

What’s Missing From Your Marketing? Video.

There are a few buzzwords when it comes to content marketing that you can’t quite get away from. Things like storytelling, snackable content, data driven content and personalized content are flying around agencies and brands alike. Buzzwords or not, these topics are gaining traction for a reason. Today’s customer doesn’t want simple print ads anymore. They aren’t going to engage with your standard banner ad or carefully worded tweet. They want content and better yet content that is specifically targeted and designed for their exact needs. With 55% of consumers watching video online every day, video has gone from being a “nice to have” to a “must” over the last few years.

If you haven’t integrated video into your marketing strategy already, now is the time to start. The days of one TV commercial hitting a blanket audience on one channel at a time are done. Now, you can tell your brand’s story in a video that can not only be specifically targeted to someone’s exact preferences, but it can be used to target that person across a variety of platforms and outlets.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that video is an effective way to share your brand story, build relationships with your current and prospective customers, and convey your value in the marketplace - now more than ever. In fact, according to this post from CRM company, Hubspot, including video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%, while 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.

According to another study by Insivia:

  • Snapchat users watch a total of 10 million videos per day

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on the platform

  • Consumers spend an average of 2.6x longer on a web page with video than without

  • YouTube has over 1 billions users, almost one-third of all users across the internet

With this level of content being consumed every day, the need for creative and unique video isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Brands and agencies need to maximize their output and ensure that video is being used effectively to tell their story. Millennials in particular don’t like to be “sold to” anymore. Consumers want to be engaged with and video provides the perfect platform to so.

If you’re looking to expand your content marketing capabilities, contact us for more information on how to integrate video into your strategy.