Strong words? If you think so, then you must not be aware that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and the largest search engine, Google, ranks all YouTube video's (and the associate web pages) highest in SEO. Put it this way, if you are using Vimeo or other services to showcase your real estate properties, then the Googles search engine is just not going to rank you very high when your potential customers search online. You property video will only be discovered if your potential customer finds your website first. Don't believe me? Then try this and do a Google or YouTube video search - as your potential customer would - with the following: City/Neighborhood/Property type and let me know where your video or website is listed. In my opinion, this applies to small or medium sized business as well if they are using video as part of their marketing strategy.
(video source PalbergWERX Creative Direction)
Some quick facts. YouTube has over 1 billion users and each day they spend hundreds of millions of hours watching videos generating over a billion views - DAILY (Here is Google's press page illustrating the reach of this platform).
YouTube is the top real estate research tool for customers with over a 51% share. That is greater even than Brokerage website listings, with a 41% share. YouTube is also a popular destination for agent videos: “Find an agent” searches on YouTube have increased 46% year after year. Of course, you can’t post a written bio on YouTube – you’ll need a video bio to capture that audience (Full joint Google and The National Association of Realtors® study).
And finally, 62% of Google universal searches included video, and 80% of those video results comes from YouTube (source Marketingland).
So, it's clear that YouTube outranks any other online video options for increasing your marketing reach. However, you may still have some questions about the various pros and cons to using this vehicle for your property videos. Lets explore these.
1) One of the perceived cons of using YouTube is the advertising that is on many videos. However, if you own both the video and audio rights (including free commons usage of music), then you can turn off all advertising to your videos. That's right, it is your choice to run advertising on your YouTube channel.
There are numerous sites that offer free music that you can use for your property videos.
2) Hmmm, I can't think of a second con to using YouTube, I guess that's why I began with the shorter Con list before continuing with on with the Pros of using YouTube.
1) Unlimited amount of videos at no cost. That's right, even Vimeo does not offer an unlimited amount of videos uploads before you are required to buy a plan (custom services generally don't even have a basic free service).
2) Video 'snippets' have been slowly reduced based on relevance since 2014 from Google search results (first reported here) - except for a high percentage of YouTube snippets. If you are unaware of what these are, they are the small video icons that show more detail of your YouTube posts, including a video thumbnail and video title. So if you are using Wistia, Vimeo Pro, Vzaar, Brightcove, etc you will no longer have your snippets visible to your customers. Further snippet history can be found here.
(Image via seerinteractive.com )
3) YouTube has removed Flash! You might be surprised to know that Flash is on the way out the door. It has proven to be a huge security risk for business both small and large and many companies are phasing it out of their systems. Major browsers have had issues with Flash. Firefox no longer allows for 'auto play' of flash videos and Chrome has had major security breaches through Flash implementation which is why they will also remove 'auto play' beginning September 1, 2015. Amazon, the worlds current leading online retailer no longer accepts flash advertisements and more companies are set to join them.
If you are still using a flash based video technology, then you need to consider moving forward to an HTML 5 based video technology so your videos can even be viewed by your customers. Imagine your entire marketing plan side-lined by the technology you are currently using.
4) YouTube has free analytics for your video performance. The very best thing about YouTube analytics is that it is so easy to find the results without the need of a tech or marketing expert to guide you through the information. (Here is a good primer of how to view and understand YouTube statistics)
5) Your keywords can bring up your own videos on competitor's videos in the sidebar - this is both a pro and a con - but, I feel more of a pro, let me explain why. If a customer is viewing your listing on YouTube, and sees another similar one on the right sidebar, they will likely look at both. However, if a customer has found a competitors listing, but did not find your listing, and now yours is on the right sidebar, including an accurate headline, they will likely look at your listing too. Tell me, would you rather cut your competitor's advantage or find one yourself that you would never have had?
6) Direct 'on-screen' links. This tool is very powerful if used correctly and judiciously on your videos. You can show a pop-up discreetly on your video at any time (beginning, end or at an important point being made) to a feature or call-to-action when you choose. This is important as ad blocking becomes more prevalent with both mobile and desktop browsers. This type of direct marketing is not blocked because it is part of the YouTube video itself.
7) Sharing YouTube videos on Facebook or Twitter is super easy. Vimeo will also perform much the same say, however if you use another service, or flash technology then the following does not apply. All you have to do is paste your YouTube video link into your status update or tweet. With both Twitter and Facebooks video sharing abilities, viewers can watch the video directly while browsing even before linking to property page - and we know that the easier we can make any experience for our customers, the longer we will be able to retain their attention.
So, If brand awareness, video views and overall virality of a video are among your marketing goals, then YouTube is your best alternative at this time.
Full disclosure, I am not in anyway affiliated with YouTube or Google and do not earn any money through this blog post. This post is just my opinion of why I think YouTube is the best video channel for small or medium sized business marketing at this time.
In a related article, here are 5 easy steps to increase your YouTube SEO
If you would like a video for your product or service,
call PalbergWERX Creative Direction
at 604-356-1144 or email me at PBWX@outlook.com
I can help you craft a video that will represent your company's brand and values
as well as resonate and engage your customers - and that is the recipe for increased sales.