Recently, I was co-teaching a class for Realtors with the amazing Adrianne Bushea, a local real estate marketing and productivity solutions guru. The topic was “Working With Real Estate Photographers and Best Photo Marketing Practices.”
To help demonstrate one of Adrianne’s most critical real estate video marketing tips, we decided to run an experiment. About 24 hours before the class, I posted a video on our Picture It Sold Facebook page – two different times.
First, I downloaded the video (in the highest quality available) from Vimeo, where we host the listing videos we produce for Realtors. This took about three minutes to download to my MacbookPro. Then, I uploaded that file directly to our Facebook page. After clicking “Add photo or video” and selecting the video from my hard drive, I tagged the Realtor and the brokerage, added a description, and added a title. Here’s the hard part if you are like me (I always have twelve windows open and am somewhat impatient): The video took about 20 minutes to upload. During this time, I had planned to eat a little lunch and do some manual tasks that did not require my computer. (If you have faster internet speed, you may be better off multi-tasking than I.) After the longest 20 minutes of my day, I hit “Post.”
Next, I posted the exact same video by copying the url from our Vimeo site to Facebook. I added the same tags, the same description and title, and hit “Post!” I got immediate gratification, as it was there, posted on our page, in a flash! No waiting… no planning meals or manual tasks around my video posting schedule… Yay!
But, the next day, in class, I was reminded of why it’s WELL worth the wait to upload video directly to Facebook, rather than simply adding a link.
The two posts looked very similar in format on our page, but the engagement numbers were astonishingly different. The posted video link had been seen by 81 people, and had one “like.” The directly uploaded video, by contrast, had been seen by 880 people, and – amazingly – had been watched in full by 142 people! It had also been “liked” by 6 and shared by 2.
I am writing this blog post four days later, and here are the updated numbers: As of today, the posted video link has been seen by 98 people. The directly uploaded video has been seen by 945 people and 153 people have watched it in its entirety. Wow!
Clearly, directly uploading video wins over posting a link. But why is that? A couple of reasons:
- When you directly upload a link, the video begins playing immediately as the viewer scrolls to it in their feed. Your video, especially if it is attention-grabbing in the first few seconds, will more effectively draw in the viewer and they will presumably stay longer, which promotes engagement.
- Facebook favors native video uploads over third-party video links like Vimeo or YouTube. Simply put, Facebook prefers you keep your friends and followers on Facebook, rather than encouraging them to click on a link that will take them to another site, and possibly not return immediately. So Facebook will automatically place your content in front of more people.
Facebook is the largest social network and has over 1.4 billion users, so engage your customers there! Upload videos directly! To get the best results, make sure you are also optimizing your videos when posting. Here are a few important steps to do this:
- Write a good title – Choose something accurate and alluring, for example “Rare four bedroom home in Harbor Bridges,” or “Sneak peak of pre-market townhouse in Harbor Bridges”
- Don’t skip keywords – Facebook is a search engine, so include some keywords. Examples might be the name of the subdivision or city…. type of community like “boating community” or “horse farm”… or the name of the school district, area attraction, etc.
- Description – Choose something that will be appealing and attention-grabbing for your desired audience. For me, for example, I want Realtors to take note. So, I like to start with something like “Savvy sellers know that buyers are watching – and being influenced by – video…” or a stat like “83% of buyers and sellers say they prefer to work with a Realtor who uses video marketing.”
Speaking of statistics… remember, 69% of all consumer internet traffic is estimated to be video by 2017 (Cisco research). Now is the best time to start including listing videos in your marketing plan. Contact us with questions or to schedule your combined photo-video package for your listing!