Real Estate Marketing: The Power of Online Videos

3 minute read

Real Estate Marketing: The Power of Online Videos

Video is one of the most powerful online marketing tools at our disposal today. In fact, about 79 percent of all online traffic is related to video. Using it effectively, however, can be the tricky part.

YouTube has long been the king of online video content. The platform reports more than 1 billion users, who upload more than 300 hours of video every minute. However, there’s a new competitor in the clubhouse who’s taking an increasingly large piece of the video pie (Facebook).

Quite strategically, Facebook has been restructuring its newsfeed algorithms to favor its own video content. For example, a video uploaded directly to Facebook carries more weight in the newsfeed than a link shared via YouTube. Also, only Facebook videos enjoy the benefit of autoplay.

Furthermore, Facebook has added a “view counter” to videos posted on company pages. By Facebook leveraging its massive user base (i.e., 1.39 billion monthly active users), it’s no wonder they’ve been able to capture a significant piece of the online video market.

Now, what does this mean for marketers? As the rivalry heats up between Facebook and YouTube, the current environment actually creates several opportunities for marketers. Let’s take a look at some examples in multifamily and real estate marketing.

Video Marketing for Real Estate

Where are these opportunities? In a nutshell, Facebook and YouTube each support different types of video messaging, which work well in tandem.

First, consider the difference between the two platforms. At its core, Facebook is a social network (which has integrated video hosting), whereas YouTube is a video-hosting platform (which has integrated characteristics of a social network). This changes the nature of the content. Which brings us to Rule No. 1…

Social Media Today / Brian Honigman

Rule No. 1 — Cater to the Platform

On Facebook, videos are meant to be timely, ephemeral and quickly digested; in contrast, YouTube videos are more permanent, topically specialized and geared toward search-engine reach.

Brian Honigman presents this idea as the social longevity spectrum and creates an opportunity to leverage both kinds of video—one for catching attention and the other for informing.

Think about how people use each platform. Users go to YouTube to consume videos, whereas Facebook videos must be quickly digested in a scrolling newsfeed. Thus, YouTube is for your “meat and potatoes”—things like your apartment and house tours.

Facebook videos should focus less on “informing” and more on “grabbing attention.” For newsfeed content to grab attention, it has to be compelling. Ideas for content? String together 30 seconds worth of photography for a “quick tour” of your property, then send your viewers to YouTube for the full-length version. Another idea? Create a short how-to video (e.g., “DIY picture frame”) to engage with current residents. Remember to include your most powerful visuals/images at the beginning of the video to grab attention.

Rule No. 2 — Don’t Ignore Titles

A common mistake is spending time on your video content and then ignoring your titles. You may have created the best video content in the world, but without an intriguing title, no one’s going to click. Video titles and social media messages should be (1) interesting, (2) descriptive, (3) convey value (what’s the viewer going to learn from watching?).

Facebook titles should highlight brevity:

  • “Industrial chic meets the best views in Dallas. Watch our 60-second tour of One Dallas Center”

YouTube messaging, on the other hand, should cater toward SEO (search engine optimization). It’s often wise to have the apartment location (e.g., Uptown Dallas) in the title, description, and tags. That way, people searching the internet for apartments in “Uptown Dallas” will be more likely to stumble across your 5-minute video tour.

As the rivalry heats up between Facebook and YouTube, marketers in real estate and multifamily have an opportunity to leverage both types of video to maximize results. As you create video content, remember both rules: (1) keep the platform in mind, and (2) put some elbow grease into your title!

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