To describe video as the ‘next big thing’ would be like explaining that in the future Google could be important, that online estate agency may one day happen, or that we should all watch out for the emergence of tablet computers. Just in case my analogies missed the mark, I’m saying loud and clear that video is not the next big thing – it’s been an essential business tool for years now for any business that looks to sell or promote itself online. For quite some time, videographers, web developers and digital consultants have been waxing lyrical about the need for more content, better content and more engaging ways to present it, and video has been top of their recommendations list.
Why is video so important?
1. SEO – Search engine optimisation is a massively important business tool that every organisation that’s online today MUST be mindful of. And, while videos themselves do not have any impact on your SEO (as search engines are not clever enough yet to watch your video content), there are two very important SEO benefits that video does offer:
2. Engagement – Businesses should always be looking for new and interesting ways to connect with their customers, and video is an exceptionally good way of achieving this. Whether it’s a property walk-through, a corporate video explaining the virtues of going with your agency, or an animation along similar lines, video can be used in many ways to benefit your business.
3. Visual – Estate agency is a very visual business. Photos, floor plans, walk-throughs, viewings, glossy brochures, and so on. People love to see what they are buying (and that goes for the type of business they might entrust with the sale of their home or the search for a new one as well). Strategically placed video throughout your site will achieve this goal and win more trust, more traffic and more transactions for your business.
What types of video are there?
1. Home page videos
People consume information in different ways – some are readers, others are watchers, so for the latter your home page video, talking about what makes your estate agency so different from the rest, and maybe showcasing some of your finest properties, will win these visitor’s hearts and minds. Live action or animation can be uploaded to YouTube as well as placed on your Home page and used regularly in your social media posts. Quality is key here, but clarity and brevity are also important.
2. Property videos
Whether you create a video montage of the photographs you’ve taken of the property, take video tour footage, or have the sophistication of a 360 degree video walk-through camera and software to offer a ‘best of both worlds’ video, imagery and floor plan, these are all excellent sales tools for promoting individual properties for quicker sales.
3. Customer testimonials
Wish to win the trust of those you’ve not even met yet? Then ask some of your happy vendors – landlords, tenants and buyers – to record a video testimonial for you to promote on your website, on YouTube and in your social media. You can even add a customer story-style case study on your site with the video embedded into it, or use several in an article for your blog – all excellent content for attracting search engine interest and winning customer trust.
4. Vlogs/News videos
Blogs have been a great engagement tool for some time but more recently, clever marketers have been adding moving pictures to these words. Vlogs are video blogs and they can escalate your engagement to a whole new level.
5. Information videos
Every estate agency has an information section, whether it’s a jargon-busting page or a section dedicated to explaining the purchase or sale process. How about if you were different… if you produced videos that were truly useful, that explained in simple terms the complex world of buying and selling or renting and letting?
Video is not the next big thing – it’s here, it’s important, it’s an essential tool for your business to utilise, and it’s cheaper than you might think to produce something really professional. Can you afford to ignore video on your website?