Video Hosting – which is best for estate agency?
A survey of 1000 UK adults found that consumers are more likely to share (39%), comment (36%) and ‘like’ (56%) an online video than they are a text article. And of those asked, more people said they better engaged with online video in these ways than with online articles.
With video sharing apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, Snapchat becoming ever popular it’s clear that video is becoming a massive part of how we interact with each other, and it makes sense to introduce video into your business, but what are the best ways to get your videos out there? I’m not suggesting you start Snapchatting your video tours, but there are a number of excellent video hosting sites to get your started.
When you think ‘online video’ chances are your first thought will be ‘YouTube’. Such is the attraction of video that YouTube is the third most popular website in the world over 1 billion users but in my opinion it has it’s drawbacks, especially when it comes to business, Advertising, Distractions as well as the fact that video plays cannot be effectively tracked:
Since Google’s purchase of YouTube in 2006 third party advertising has become the norm across the site. If you watch as much online video as I do you’ll know how irritating it is to have to sit through an unwanted ad before getting to your video: especially if it doesn’t give you the option to skip.
These ads can be particularly off-putting to some viewers, who might even choose to click away before they arrive at your video.
You want your agency’s video to be the sole focus of the viewer’s attention, and YouTube is full of distractions. Viewers will be bombarded with suggestions of what they should watch next, making it difficult to focus on what they’re watching now.
YouTube does not appear to have been designed for professional, business-centric videos and it’s appeal seems to be mostly for funny cat videos and teenage girls doing make-up tutorials. But there are other video sharing sites that are better suited to business.
Vimeo and Wistia
Vimeo and Wistia are both free options for hosting video. They are designed for professionals and neither site bombards the viewer with annoying advertisements. However Vimeo, being designed for professional filmmakers, still offers the viewer a distracting selection of other people’s videos to watch next. In other words, there can be confusing “ownership”.
Of the two, my loyalty goes to Wistia. Wistia was created with business hosting in mind, and it shows: when you follow a link to a Wistia-hosted video you get a clean interface where the video is the main focus of the page. When uploading to Wistia you are given a number of customising options allowing you to colourmatch the play button to your brand, and add annotations and calls to action that can link through to your website.
As with YouTube, you get basic video stats, allowing you to see when a video was played, and the ‘viewer engagement’ aka how much of the video the average person is watching, which can be helpful when sharing general marketing videos.
Whereas YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia are great for sharing videos to a wide audience, VOX has been designed with personal business video communications in mind (although VOX can be sent to huge lists of contacts as well). VOX’s focus isn’t on polished, over-produced marketing videos – it’s about one-to-one, raw, immediate video, delivered by email, SMS or social media.
As well as uploading and hosting pre-recorded videos, VOX allows you to record and send video directly from your desktop or smartphone via their app. It’s a really simple but effective way to introduce yourself to a new client, and lets them put a face to your name without losing the connection with your brand, as all videos appear within a fully branded player with contact details etc. As VOX says: “it lets you be there in person when you can’t be there in person”.
The thing that really makes VOX stand out from the crowd is its tracking function: not only do you get basic stats such as number of views, but you can also see WHO has watched your videos. This is a particularly good feature if you are sending out, for example, a property preview video or open house invitation: by sending it through VOX you can see exactly who from your list of potential buyers has engaged with the video, and call these people directly to follow them up and secure a viewing. It’s also great for viewing feedback or reporting maintenance issues to landlords.
VOX also gives you the option to turn on alerts for when a video is played, which may not sound particularly useful but in fact it lets you know that you are already in the front of the viewer’s mind: which is the perfect time to follow up with a phone call.
Unlike the other sites, VOX isn’t free but in its favour it does move video from simply being a marketing device and makes it an everyday business communication tool. It helps to build rapport with potential new customers, and cements relationships with current ones.
However you choose to start sharing video, the important thing is that you START. Video is here to stay and those who embrace its entry into the business world are likely to be the winners.
To learn more about the applications of video in the property industry you can register to attend the FREE Video Technology In Estate Agency Conference and Expo at http://videa15.co.uk/