Cold calls and door-to-door visits are taking a spot on the backburner, being replaced with the modern way of procuring new business: maintaining an active social media presence. Social media platforms have changed over the years, becoming more interactive and focusing on the visual instead of just written content—and agents need to adapt to these shifting trends.
Most agents don’t take advantage of YouTube as a social media platform because they are unaware of the benefits or are unfamiliar with how it works. Producing a steady stream of video content can have myriad advantages, the most significant of which is standing out against competing agents. This can also play a role in maintaining current client relationships to keep return business churning and encourage referrals. Here’s how you can use YouTube to create a powerful reputation as a trusted and knowledgeable source for real estate information.
Create a Series
Use YouTube to create a series based on a video persona that buyers and sellers can rely on for specific information. A series can simply be a video tour for each of your listings. Adding your commentary about the home will make it an interactive and enjoyable experience for buyers, and providing the added service will help you get new listings.
You can also opt for informative videos about the real estate process, with a focus on buyer transactions, seller transactions, rentals or all three. Whichever you choose, the key is to create videos on a consistent basis. Buyers and sellers want to know that they can depend on you, even with small things like short home-buying videos.
Customize and Attract
Creating a specific look for these videos is how your persona will begin to form, and this will help with branding and marketing. Choose between a laid-back video format if that’s how you relate to your clients, or a more professional feel if you believe that will be more appreciated. Dress appropriately and keep the appearance consistent in all videos.
This also applies to how the video is formatted. Keep intros and outros the same so your audience knows they are watching one of your videos just by the way it looks. Try not to flip-flop between topics that don’t relate to the title of your series. There’s always the option of producing multiple series to keep everything organized and timely. Keep in mind, however, that not everything needs to be static—switching up things like your video background can pique your viewers’ interest.
Customize your channel so that it stands out in the sea of YouTube profiles. Adding content that aligns with your brand and YouTube identity will bolster your authenticity. Use colors, photos, links and related information to tie everything together.
Add Music and Pictures
Social media content is all about keeping it short and sweet—but it also has to be interesting. Sure, videos will attract attention, but content that is too lengthy will make viewers’ interest dwindle, and quickly. Adding music and images throughout your videos can help keep your audience engaged. Using visual aids is also a great way to expand on your talking points.
When uploading videos, pay attention to the thumbnail that YouTube is selecting. If the image comes across as unprofessional, upload your own image, which can be a headshot or a logo. The key is to maintain branding throughout the series.
Keep It Short
Again, you risk losing viewers by making the content too long. Try to keep videos to a max of 60 seconds, if possible. Using bullet points is a great way to make content concise, and you can always post a blog article that expands on these points without forcing the audience to sit through a lengthy video.
Always make sure you are easy to understand. Speak slowly and clearly to avoid coming across as nervous or rushed. Using pre-existing scripts, or even just visualizing a client on the other side of the camera, can help you relax during filming. No one wants to sit through a video that seems forced, overly rehearsed and unnatural—this content can come across as inauthentic and amateur.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
These videos will become irrelevant unless successfully promoted on other social media channels. Post the videos on your website and as many social media sites as possible. Create a hashtag for the series that you can use for each post. A catchy tagline is an easy way to entice the audience. Increase visibility by including trending keywords that will strengthen SEO; this can make the difference between a professional YouTube page and someone who has a few followers but doesn’t gain traction.
Add a Call to Action
Promoting won’t be enough without a call to action. Create a dialogue with your viewers by asking a question at the end of your videos or in the content that promotes them. Maintain relevancy by periodically checking in on social media channels to ask followers what topics they would like addressed in the future. Most importantly, always ask viewers to subscribe to your channel. Use the annotation function for the Subscribe button to make it easy for them to sign up. Building a fan base is essential to maintaining constant views and obtaining new business.
Whether you hire freelancers or create your own content, it’s important that you publish high-quality content that appears professionally produced. There are multiple free or affordable editing products that you can use, even on your mobile devices. If you need help with script reading, you can even find teleprompters apps. Finding your own system may take some time, but it’s necessary in order to be a truly successful YouTuber. If you’re looking to jump right in, collaborating with a recognized YouTube celebrity is a great way to skyrocket views and start a following.
Find more social media strategies, tips and trends in RISMedia’s Social Skills series.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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