Working on your YouTube presence is an ongoing, gradual process. A tremendously worthwhile process. Business use of video is growing every year. YouTube is the second largest search engine. It has great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) power.
As real estate agents, we must continue to evolve when it comes to our online marketing. Our evolution should be a response to what consumers are asking for, not a response to the next new shiny tool, (let’s call that NNST). The NNST might fit our marketing plan, but it might not. It certainly shouldn’t drive our marketing plan.
As video watching increases year after year, YouTube marketing is the NNST that we should be developing. A recent study by NAR and Google has very revealing statistics for us. A study of 2500 participants revealed what is most important when it comes to video and real estate search:
- 86% of YouTube searchers wanted information about neighborhoods.
- 70% wanted to tour the inside of a home on the market.
- 54% wanted to obtain general information about real estate.
- 44% wanted to compare features across multiple real estate companies.
- 38% wanted to understand specific features of a home.
- 30% wanted to watch customer testimonials.
- 24% wanted to watch instructional videos.
If you were wondering what kind of videos you need to add to your YouTube playlists… look above. These are the top seven types of videos that people want to see. With all the tools available to us today, we can easily create any of these types of videos. Our smartphones alone can be used to create good video content.
Your YouTube Channel
YouTube has added many features recently to help make your YouTube channel better. They want the user experience to be the best, so taking advantage of the tools is in our best interest. Some important steps to setting up your channel:
- Customize your channel.
- Add a channel trailer, a video that shows who you are as a business, or that highlights your market.
- Fill out the description. This is a place to tell viewers who you are.
- Add your website links.
- Add Social Media links.
- Add Channel Art. This is an opportunity to brand yourself across all Google platforms. Use the same art that you use on your other social platforms. This will help reinforce your brand across all the places you are found on the www. (Again, Canva is an amazing tool to use to develop these images!)
- Organize your Channel’s Front Page with Playlists. Make it easy for the viewer to navigate through your playlists.
- Optimize each video with keywords. Use as many keyword derivations as YouTube allows, and that fit each topic. Add a rich description to each video.
- In the video description, add a link to your website. This is a great opportunity to add a deep link… not just a link to your website’s main page, but a link to an inner page, like a blog post or a listing page. Deep linking from YouTube is a powerful SEO tactic. Place the link in the first 100 (or so) characters of the description.
- Use annotations in your videos to encourage subscribers. Explore and take advantage of all the editing tools on YouTube. They are quite impressive for a free platform.
- Add you logo to each video. Add links to your website in appropriate places on the video.
- Set up playlists and use them. Make playlists for neighborhoods, for informational topics and for buyers and sellers. There are several ways to organize your videos.
- Watch and learn from others on YouTube.
- Use Google + Comments. Be social.
- Share your video on social media platforms from the sharing tools.
- If you use WordPress, the embedding is simple…you just place the video link in the page. If you use another website platform, the embed code usually works well.
Your YouTube Channel is a great tool to promote yourself, as well as your listings. With all of the editing tools available, it has never been easier to create video content.
Monitize Your YouTube Channel
Whether to monitize your channel or not… there is always debate about the topic. With a monitized channel, YouTube offers a small but important benefit: you have the ability to upload a custom image for your videos. Without this ability, you are prompted to choose from three images that YouTube offers you, not always the optimum image for the video.
When you monitize your channel, you still get the ability to choose which videos get ads. You only have to choose one of your videos for monitization.
Verify Your YouTube Channel
When you verify your channel, you get added benefits as well. The most important is the ability to add a link inside your video. This is a perfect place to place a link back to your website. On a listing video, for instance, you can link back to your “contact” page, inviting people to contact you for a personal tour of the home. YouTube’s help section has great tutorials for all the steps necessary to optimize your channel.
As YouTube becomes more user friendly, and more people go to search for homes, having a channel that is optimized to it’s fullest can be a fabulous real estate marketing tool.
Pro Tip: Even after your listing sells, you can get tremendous SEO value out of it. You can take out the address of the home from the title and description and replace it with a neighborhood term. As you get more videos of homes in a particular neighborhood, you can create a playlist of these videos, further becoming the “neighborhood expert” in the eyes of the search engines.