3 Ways to Send a Real Estate Video Viral on YouTube
By Colin Ryan
Video is an increasingly important part of a good web marketing strategy, and when you see the numbers it’s not hard to imagine why: in 2011, YouTube had an average of 3 billion views a day, with 35 hours uploaded to the site every minute. So how do you take advantage of statistics like these to gain exposure for your property listings? Here are three ways to take your video from just a few hits a day to hundreds.
Tastemakers are people with large audiences who dictate what’s popular by introduce us to new and interesting things. These are often celebrities, politicians, comedians, writers, and musicians. Tastemakers usually promote video content related to their area of expertise, but not always. The most important characteristic of tastemakers is that we value their opinions when it comes to web content.
Similarly, when it comes to real estate, your area and your industry should be the first places you look — but remember that tastemakers aren’t limited to real estate professionals, and the people watching your videos aren’t necessarily in the market for a new home.
Find out who is influential on the web in and about your area, regardless of what they do. Make an effort to connect and share your best videos. If you highlight your properties inside and out and spend some time on SEO, you may find your videos shared and curated by random design enthusiasts on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This is especially true if those properties are especially unique — more on that in a moment.
Once a video has been posted on YouTube and promoted by tastemakers, it’s time for the larger community of viewers and users to take over by sharing via social media, commenting, responding, and remixing. When this happens, it’s important to get involved in that conversation. Engage commenters who leave positive feedback for your videos. If they’re interested in the properties or neighborhoods you’re highlighting, congratulations: you’ve generated leads. If they aren’t, you can use their reaction to gauge your work and look for other ways to help each other.
Since you’re creating your videos for a smaller audience and for reasons other than entertainment, you’re not likely to get a thousand parody videos — and you probably wouldn’t want them anyway. That doesn’t mean, however, that remixing doesn’t happen in the world of real estate videos. After all, we’re constantly borrowing approaches and techniques from each other and applying them to our own projects. (Take this post, for instance, which is actually a remix of the TED talk above.) You can use this fact to your advantage.
For instance, if you’re lucky enough to influence other real estate videos, you can pursue credit, giving your own videos more exposure. You can also work the other way, using a successful agent’s ideas to improve your videos and thanking them directly. This can start conversations that spread your videos to new circles and help you make them more effective.
The last reason videos go viral is the hardest to replicate because, of course, it’s largely based on creating something people haven’t seen before. If you happen to have an especially unique set of property listings, this will be easy: simply use your videos to emphasize those distinctive features.
If your properties aren’t particularly unique in themselves, you can still find new and unexpected ways to present them to viewers. For instance, you could highlight a property by focusing on its most minute details: a certain bed of flowers, the detail on a banister, the afternoon light flooding a bedroom. Or you could do the opposite, focusing on the best features of the surrounding neighborhood instead of the house itself. Finally, you could include footage of the current owners going about their daily lives in order to give viewers a sense of the everyday possibilities of a property’s spaces. Remember, unexpected doesn’t have to mean unprecedented — it’s simply about finding ways to make the experience memorable.
Keep these three attributes in mind when planning and shooting your next real estate video, and you may find yourself struggling to keep track of the hits.
Published on March 12, 2011