We sure hope you didn’t sink a ton of money into your Facebook real estate video marketing over the past couple of years. If you did, it was no doubt because of the amazing stats the platform was posting as a lure to add additional advertisers.
They were lying.
They will now have to face a federal district court judge in California in a case brought by a number of very (and justifiably) angry advertisers who relied on the fuzzy numbers for their Facebook ad campaigns.
Back in 2016, Facebook finally admitted that it had been fudging the numbers about how much time users spent watching videos on the platform,” according to business writer Issie Lapowsky at Wired.com.
And, it wasn’t a tiny fudge either. Plaintiffs in the case obtained Facebook insider documents showing that the “time spent viewing” numbers were “inflated between 150 to 900 percent.”
Not only that, but at Facebook, they knew about this little problem long before they let any of their advertisers know.
Just a warning – don’t believe everything you read about the effectiveness of real estate video marketing.
“Video” doesn’t mean the same thing to all people
Indeed, while researching the effectiveness of video in marketing your business, you’ll need to take what you read with a grain of salt and dig deeper.
For instance, when you hear or read real estate agent advice urging you to start creating videos, ask yourself some questions:
- Who is giving the advice? If it’s a video production company or anyone else who stands to profit from you, be skeptical of statistics they offer and wonder which ones they left out.
- Are the statistics you’re reading specific to the real estate industry?
For instance, although the following statement isn’t about video marketing, it’s one that should made you think twice when you read it:
“Still think you don’t need social media to advertise your business? Maybe that’s true, but according to Realtor.com, 91 percent of realtors are using social media to some extent.”
Your internal alarm should go off and question number one should be: “does the fact that 91 percent of Realtors use social media mean that social media is effective?”
Second question: “which social media?”
Third question: “using it for business or personal purposes?”
Final question: “can you quantify ‘to some extent?’”
When it comes to real estate video marketing, the truth is that it isn’t the end-all, be-all.
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Real estate consumers don’t particularly care for real estate video marketing
and that proof comes from the NAR’s 2018 version of “Real Estate in the Digital Age.”
When they asked homebuyers how they searched for homes, the fewest number said they used online videos.
In fact, only 26 percent of homebuyers watched online real estate videos—10 percent fewer than in 2017
So, the already-low popularity of real estate video marketing is actually dwindling.
Even more important is that those surveyed found photos to be more than twice as useful as virtual and video tours and also found detailed descriptions “more useful” than video.
A note of caution: the NAR may be over-inflating the popularity of real estate virtual tours. We noticed that, in the study, it appears that respondents could choose between “useful” and “very useful.”
The responses they chose to highlight are mixed between the two choices, so without seeing the full study, assume that the virtual tours statistic may be even lower than stated.
“Video” encompasses a gazillion genres
Well, maybe not a gazillion, but there are a number of different genres — some more popular than others — all grouped under the term “video” by folks trying to market them to agents or by those just too clueless to question what they read.
In reality, it’s not just real estate that isn’t a hot topic in video, it’s any type of business-produced video.
Don’t get us wrong; the growth and popularity of online video is phenomenal. But, it’s stagnant or dwindling for certain genres (like real estate). So, if folks aren’t watching online videos produced by businesses (marketing videos), what are they watching?
Movies, TV shows, news and sports, in that order.
Here’s a picture to prove it, courtesy of Limelight.com:
We’re sure you’ve heard the one about Millennials hating all content but videos, right?
It’s a myth.
Yes, they love video, but their list of preferred genres according to Oath.com’s Video Genre Preference Study, has “finance” (which real estate is typically lumped into) waaaaay down at the bottom.
But, don’t rule out real estate video marketing completely – consider “branded videos”
Believe it or not, there are still ways to get leads with video. So, what’s a “branded” video? First, it’s not an advertisement for you or your company, not overtly anyway. Branded video “doesn’t sell anything, in fact, most of this content doesn’t even mention the brand at all,” according to the video pros at DemoDuck.com.
It’s not meant to sell, it’s not meant to advertise. It IS meant to help humanize your business to your target audience.
It gives your brand a voice
Big corporations are using (and have been for some time) branded videos brilliantly. Think about the best Superbowl commercials you’ve seen. In fact, think “Budweiser” and you’ll understand what we mean.
Although this Superbowl spot from the King of Beers is longer than most branded videos, it was recognized as among the Top 10 branded content videos on YouTube.
Or, watch this one from Geico.
In a real estate context, the best branded videos might be of the “explainer” variety.
“95 % of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service,”
according to a WyzOwl.com survey of online consumers.
When considering the production of branded video, keep these tips from the pros in mind:
- These videos should be laser-targeted to a specific audience
- The content should be entertaining
- The content should be authentic
- Appeals to emotion work well
- The videos should be somewhat short, “usually under 60 seconds,” according to the pros at DemoDuck.
Overall, keep in mind that branded video doesn’t mean you slap your brand all over it. It doesn’t mean you slap yourself all over it. It means you fade into the background.
THAT is why people like them.
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”