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By Julie McCoy

In order to effectively market your business, you need to incorporate video.

Consumers are looking to get the information they need quickly and video allows them to do that. They would much rather watch a one-minute video than read, because it saves them time. Video also is more entertaining than reading.

Another benefit of using video in your marketing is that you can post it on a variety of outlets, including your web site, Facebook and YouTube.

“One piece of content can be used over a broad range of channels,” said Thomas Arballo, SCCAOR’s new videographer.

As a SCCAOR member, you are entitled to a FREE 60-second professional video (a $300 value) shot in our in-house studio. Why not come in and take advantage of this great member benefit and use the video in your marketing efforts? Click here to schedule an appointment.

It’s important to work with a professional to make your videos, Arballo emphasized. “It takes all the guesswork out of it,” he said.

Hiring a professional can cost $1,000 or more per video, but it’s worth the investment, Arballo pointed out. A professional already has the video equipment, so you don’t have to go out and buy anything. Additionally, a professional has more video experience. He or she will know from which angles to get the best shots and will be able to determine the best time of day to shoot the house. A professional also will be able to do a better job editing the final product.

When you work with a professional, you have someone to bounce your ideas off of. A professional also will be able to come up with ideas you might not have ever thought of, Arballo noted.

If you’re looking for a professional, start by asking your family, friends or colleagues for referrals. Should they not know of anyone, go to local businesses and ask them who they use for marketing. Find out who their web designer is and then ask the web designer if they know of a video person, Arballo said.

Arballo noted that it’s important to trust the professional you work with.

“The best relationship I have with clients is when they fully trust me,” he said.

If you’re going to try shoot videos yourself, you need to buy your own equipment, including the camera, microphone that can mount on the camera and lights. It’s also important to figure out who your audience is and do some research, Arballo said.

Mike Bui of Equity One Real Estate has incorporated video into his marketing efforts for the past six years.

“If they are not using video, they’re missing a whole medium of being able to connect to potential clients,” he said. “Video is the No. 1 thing that people like to watch on their phone, their tablets and their computers.”

Bui noted that video has made an impact on his business particularly in the last three years. Currently, about 70 percent of Equity One’s marketing budget goes toward video while the remaining 30 percent goes toward print advertising, according to Bui.

It’s important to make sure your videos are short and sweet, straight and to the point, Bui emphasized. A video should be one minute to two-and-a half minutes long. The first 10 seconds have to be an eye-catcher. Often if a video lasts longer than a minute and a half, people will skip over it and go to another one.

Millennials like to watch videos, so using this medium is a good way to reach out to this large and growing generation, said Bui, who is a Millennial himself.

Equity One is doing more and more videos, Bui said. “We’re trying to do two videos a week now,” he said. “We’re pushing out agents to do more live stream videos, so it seems more real life. Those videos actually get watched a lot more than canned videos. People like to know that they’re watching live video.”

Don Jessup of Silicon Valley Associates began using video three years ago.

“It’s okay to make stumble once in awhile,” he said. “It makes you human, a little more real. Have fun with it. Just do it.”

Jessup incorporates video in his biweekly show, which provides company and industry news. He also does video tours of homes and uses video in emails, for example when he emails people to thank them.

Additionally, he uses video to promote events in which Silicon Valley Associates participates.

“Everyone wants to see what we did at Make-A-Wish,” he said. “You’re not just doing business, you’re doing other stuff.”

It’s important to have a call to action with your video, Jessup emphasized. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” he said. “In everything you do, there has to be a call to action.”

In order to be competitive, you need to use video, Jessup emphasized.

“If you are competing with the big boys, so to speak, you need to be doing it,” he said. “It makes every deal easier to close. If you’re going to be in the Top 10 percent, it’s one of the things people do.” Video provides a third-party valuation when people look for you on the web, Jessup noted. “Video is another thing when they search Don Jessup,” he said.

If you aren’t already using video to market your business, now is the time to start. Businesses are increasingly turning to video for their marketing needs and this will only continue to become more popular in the years to come. Video isn’t a trend that’s going away, it’s here to stay.