Making the most of blogging: Part Two

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but what about a video? With commercial blogging taking off, how can you make sure your ‘vblog’ gets all the attention? With the help of ‘social media guy’ Greg Vincent, Real Estate Business examines what keeps people glued to their screens

Video marketing is by far the greatest selling tool I have ever used over the web. It allows your online customers to see your non-verbal communication, the clothes you wear, the surroundings you are in, the passion in your expressions and the
tone of your voice.
As our world becomes increasingly connected through social media, so too does our reach for marketing. The beauty of video marketing is that you can record the video and repurpose that video over and over again, sharing it across
multiple platforms.
One objection from agents I’ve heard during my social media training courses is that they feel a bit hesitant uploading raw video to the web and believe it should be done professionally.

Why did you decide to start a video blog?
I find that you have more of a connection when people can see you on the video, compared to just an advertisement in the paper or on a signboard. They can see my face and my expression; it creates that familiarity before I have even met a potential client.

How much time would you spend on your blog per week?
I would spend a maximum two hours per week working on my blog.
To give you an idea, yesterday I did two video blogs for new properties and it literally took me five minutes to film and less than 10 minutes to upload.

How often do you update your blog?
Whenever I list a new property that I think is going to be suitable to view.
Also, once a month I do a market update and then whenever something interesting happens. It is not a daily a thing; realistically, once a week. Currently we are in spring, so it is a fast market. If I did a blog for every property I listed I think I’d have nine a week. That’s too many; you have to pick the properties you put on.

How important is your face or name to the business?
Definitely very important – it comes back to a clear marketing strategy. If you are not out and about people forget you are actually in the industry. A lot of my clients are investors so there is always another agent contacting them via email, blog
or letter. This is just a great way to be front of mind.

How do you distribute your blog?
I use several platforms, I have my own website, I also use Place’s beautifully designed weekly catalogue that is given out during open for inspections across the company.
I also have my own personalised sticker that has a QRcode on it that will lead a client to my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or whatever platform suits them.

Does it generate you revenue? How do you determine this?
I have had calls from the blogs, from people wanting to know more about the property and I have also had emails. That is a hard question to answer because you don’t know what the total income revenue will be, but it certainly has impacted the growth of my business, which is increasing exponentially at the moment. I definitely know I have sold one property in the last couple of months to someone that has come off my Facebook page.

Video blogging or written blogging?
This was an easy decision for me. Video creates more of a connection with the viewer. I can also show more of the property. Video seems to work better for the clients I connect with.

How do you film your blog?
I have not used a film crew before because I feel the cost is just not worth it. I just use my iPad, iPhone and home computer to film and edit the videos. It is so easy.

How important is your blog to your marketing plan?
Getting my name and face out there is very important to my marketing plan. The video blogs create that front of mind awareness while the cost is very minimal. Any agent can do it, we already have the technology available in our smartphones and tablets; it is just about going and doing it.

EXPERT ANALYSIS : Alex’s videos have the makings of a great blog. Her Market Updates especially provide some great, relevant information about what is happening in her local area.
She presents well on the film as well. As discussed previously, the decision to use ‘amateur’ footage can be risky.
There are obvious pros and cons. The definite pro in Alex’s blog is that she comes across as personable and real.
There is no scripted dialogue and her discussion flows – people will connect with her.
However, it is important to still come across as professional. I would suggest to Alex that at the end of the video she should take the time to edit out where she switches off the camera and insert a professional image or a short video animation that provides a link to her website so people know where to go to connect with her and/or get more information.

Why did you decide to start a video blog?
I was the general manager of the Hobart Media Centre before I moved back into real estate, and with that background in TV and radio it was just natural for me to start video blogging. For me, real estate is far less about housing and property than it is about people and connecting and creating a network. Social media and a video allow you to create a network in a short space of time.

How much time would you spend on your blog per week?
I do two different videos in a week: A ‘Property Patrol’ video that I film in my car after a listing, which takes about one minute to record and five minutes to upload. So, maximum half an hour a week. And then I also do a listing video at the
property which could take me 15 to 20 minutes per video.
All up, this whole thing would take me an hour and a half a week, which isn’t a huge investment in time when you consider it will get blasted out to a huge database of people.

How often do you update your blog?
It could be completely random. Social media can be a blessing and a curse if all you do is hammer your audience with marketing messages.
You’ve got to keep it fresh and be human. I don’t do takes. What you see online is exactly as it gets recorded. The stuff that connects with people best is that which makes them see the real you. The listing presentation [is updated] whenever I get a listing – on average 12 to 15 times a month. Property Patrol, two to three times a week.

How important is your face or name to the business?
I want it to be less important. When we first started, we traded under my name because I had a reasonable personal profile within the local business community, but I am very cautious about building a business about me. In the last few months we are phasing it out to just be Ray White Central Hobart. I want the staff to be successful independently.

How do you distribute your blog?
I’ve got a weekly email called the ‘Ant Manton Report’ that goes out to 5,000 to 6,000 clients.
I also use my five main social media platforms.

Does it generate you revenue? How do you determine this?
I am not particularly concerned about being able to directly measure; I preach top of mind awareness. It is all about being on the shopping list. However, there is no question that 30 per cent of my listings could be attributed to video and my social media push.

Video blogging or written blogging?
It is simple: there is less work in a video blog. People these days are very time-poor, attention spans are very limited because you get bombarded with so many messages per day. Sitting down to read a 1,000 word blog is far more labour-intensive than a 30-second video that you can watch on your phone, iPad or anywhere. My decision was based on time management and how I could best penetrate the market.

How do you film your blog?
Property Patrol is filmed with a camera in my car – it’s instant – [otherwise] I use a marketing crew of five people, including a camera man, copywriter, floor plan guy, photographer and me. They are the only suppliers I use.

EXPERT ANALYSIS : Ant is doing some great things with video and I especially like his ‘Property Patrol’ where he gives a ‘sneak’ insight into a new listing that he has coming up.
It really is ‘hot off the press’ information that those buyers who want to get a head start on a new listing would certainly be tuning in for.
A couple of things I would suggest that Ant could do to improve his video blogging include making his videos more easily accessible on his website. The link is currently below-thefold on the computer screen – out of sight, therefore out of mind!
Ant should also better optimise his videos when uploading them onto the web so they will rank higher on YouTube and Google.
Also, he should have the videos embedded into a blog section on his site so he can drive traffic to his website instead of driving visitors to his YouTube Channel. By embedding the videos onto your own blog, people have more opportunity to connect with you and to subscribe to your information.

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