Elite AgentTECH + SOCIAL

Rethinking Video in the Social Media Age

Once a point of difference for savvy agents, it is now normal to see social media feeds packed with property marketing videos. However, many agencies produce videos to the same prescription that pre-dates the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. Today, as Daniel Dulhunty explains, the rules have changed.

If you’re not already convinced that social video is where you need to be, consider this:

  • Eight in 10 Australians are now on social media
  • 81 per cent of them prefer to access social media on a mobile device
  • Video accounts for more than half of all mobile traffic

See a pattern here? With that in mind, here are five tips for maximising the impact of your social content.

Social media and smartphone domination have changed the game completely. Online video was originally engineered for desktop computer screens, taking many cues from TV production. According to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, 57 per cent of people use social media to share photos and videos. They hold the content in the palm of their hand with sharing and connecting at their fingertips. Size matters, so ensure if you have text or graphical overlays to keep them at a readable level.

The best advice I can give is to stop creating landscape (16:9) videos. Not only do they look awkward on gridded-display platforms like Instagram, but they’re far less effective. So what’s the answer?

It’s hip to be square. Square ratio (1:1) videos give you an additional 78 per cent of screen real estate on a person’s mobile news feed – that’s a huge advantage over your competitors.

Picture how your video may be created once and cut a number of ways. For example, you may have a 60-second Instagram clip, a two-minute Facebook post and a six-minute YouTube video from the one production.

Captions are huge, too, given that when people scroll through their newsfeed videos will start autoplaying. Ensure you have dynamic text overlaid on the video to give viewers an idea of what the video is about before they need to turn up the volume.

It may go against the instinct of most agents, but your opportunity with video on social media isn’t to create the best advertisement for your listing; it’s to tell the best story you can about the property. As Darryl Kerrigan famously said in the Aussie classic The Castle, “It’s not a house, it’s a home”.

Using video on social media isn’t to create the best advertisement for your listing; it’s to tell the best story you can about the property.

Tell the story of the home, its history, what you love about it and why it’s special. Describe what it would be like to live there so others can share this vision. When seeking assistance, look for agencies that have journalistic talent and experience to help create this experience.

Understand who you are selling to and target them when they choose to be engaged with social media. Sensis data tells us that 18-29 year olds are most likely to access social media first thing in the morning (79 per cent), last thing at night (65 per cent), at work (46 per cent) and, ahem, even on the loo (46 per cent). More than half of those surveyed in the Sensis report check social media more than five times a day and own three online-connected devices.

When planning a schedule, video content seems to perform well in the evenings where people tend to have more time to relax and consume, versus the digital snacking that happens throughout the day.

Understand how the different platforms work, too. Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t give you much control over when your audience might see your content, whereas Instagram and Twitter are somewhat more predictable – but keep in mind they are constantly shifting the goalposts for organic posts. Use tools like Buffer (buffer.com) to understand these trends and schedule future posts to hit the mark.

I’m sometimes asked how many listing videos an agency should create. My answer is that every property should be your goal. That doesn’t mean you need to get drone footage of every property; it means there are different types of video and there’s one just right for every listing.

If you have an exclusive listing that warrants a bigger marketing budget, send in the drones and create a cinematic masterpiece. Some properties can be simple slideshows and most will land somewhere in the middle. A lot here depends on your market and budget, but understand that it’s better to have exposure to as many listings as possible.

If you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera, consider quality audio over the top of pictures as another way you can produce great video. Work out whether you’re best placed to do it yourself or engage a supplier. There are amazing tools out there which enable you to be your own media organisation, as long as it doesn’t take you away from the core business of selling. Sometimes it’s a mix of approaches that will work best.

These days you have a TV studio in your pocket, so make use of it. The Sensis report shows 25 per cent of us use Facebook Live to watch live or recently recorded videos, but only five per cent have published their own live video. I expect to see this number rise dramatically on Facebook and other social streaming platforms in the future.

This is an opportunity for you with auctions, staff Q&As, suburb profiles and more. The beauty of livestreaming is that it can often come off as personal and authentic. If you’re out and about, don’t feel the need to overproduce the production value – keep it real.

If you have the capability, you can set up a makeshift studio using great tools like the Mevo 4k Livestream camera (getmevo.com) and direct your own production from the palm of your hand. To make the experience better for those tuning in, invest in a good external microphone, basic lighting and a tripod to keep things steady.

If you want to take things to a more professional level, engage an agency near you who can assist. We have a permanent livestream studio set up at our agency for clients to stream and record content.

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