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Build Buyer Interest, Generate Leads With Videos on YouTube

This is the latest in a series on social networking and marketing new homes.

Social media marketing has become, quite frankly, an essential way to do business and one of the premier sites the home building industry should use is YouTube.

We in the industry work with prospective buyers who are savvier than ever — due in large part to the information they glean from the Internet.

However, no matter how savvy the buyer, they still seek the most fundamental of all sales concepts — they want to trust the salesperson and company they are working with. After they have gathered all their information, they want to be validated. They want to work with real people with real insights.

This is where a vehicle like YouTube can be your most influential tool.

Videos bridge static information and the visual. They give your prospective buyers a view into your product and your personality. In addition, they function as a lead generator as well as a lead qualifier.

YouTube Is Simple to Use

With YouTube, you can shoot a short video and upload it to the site within minutes. YouTube then provides you a link that you can copy and paste into an e-mail to your prospects, or post on your Web site, blog or other social sites you may have, such as Facebook or Twitter.

All you need is a video camera and an idea.

The video camera can be as simple as the video feature on your cell phone or hand-held Flip Cam, which generally retails for less than $250.

YouTube technology is easy to use. But in case you’re a technophobe, don’t worry. Someone in your office, or just about any high school student, will be able to upload a video for you.

What you will probably find more challenging will be creating and developing the ideas for videos that will distinguish you and elevate you above your competition.

The following are a few tips on what to do when making your video — and what to avoid doing.

Video Do’s

  • Brevity Is King. Your marketing or product video is not your parents’ vacation footage. You are working in a medium where viewers have a short attention span, so think of your videos as fast food for customers. Make your point and show your product quickly.

  • Authenticity Rules. Be personable. You don’t have to take professional acting classes; you just need to be yourself. Smile and remember to be friendly. Think trust and remember, you are showcasing how easy it is for people to get along with you in a sales environment.

  • Frequency. Post videos and update your footage regularly. There are virtually no hard costs associated with uploading videos, so you have no excuses for keeping outdated information online for all to see.

  • Be Original and Spontaneous. Carry your video camera with you at all times and be ready to record anything that is remotely interesting or informative in your line of work.

  • Brief Customer Testimonials Are Very Powerful. Anyone can write a testimonial, but with a video testimonial, the viewer can look into the eyes of your customers and gauge their sincerity.

  • Archive Them in One Location. Create your own YouTube TV station. It’s free, simple, quick to do and can be customized with your corporate colors and logo.

What to Avoid

  • Bad Lighting, Bad Sound, Too Much Background Noise. You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to produce a decent video, but use some common sense when it comes to the quality of your videos.

  • Disrespecting the Copyright Laws. If you wish to use music, photos, literature and other videos, conduct a brief Google search to see if you are infringing on any intellectual territories. There are plenty of royalty-free pictures and music available for your videos.

  • Distasteful, Off-Color, Unruly, Offensive or Objectionable Material. Can you be edgy and interesting? Absolutely. How is objectionable defined? I don’t know, but I know it when I see it. So will you.

  • Not Integrating Your YouTube Videos With All of Your Other Internet Marketing Strategies. YouTube videos should be a component of a well-thought out marketing plan. In the housing industry, videos are not a business plan in themselves, they should be a component of your overall marketing landscape.

  • Copycat, Copycat. It’s okay to take an idea and expand it to make it your own. Be as original as you possibly can and avoid copying the video ideas of a competitor or colleague.

  • No Contact Information. Every video you produce and post should include your contact information. A simple e-mail or Web site address is sufficient. As with other marketing, your goal is to have prospective customers contact you for more information. Help them out.

  • Not Combing Your Hair. Think about the impression you wish to make and dress accordingly. If you want to project a highly professional image, wear business clothes and film the video in your office with you behind a big walnut desk. Or, because you’re selling a lakefront community, casual attire is more appropriate as you film your video on an outside patio overlooking the lake (possibly with a mojito cocktail on the table).

  • Keeping Your Videos a Secret. Market it. Market it. Market it. If you are going to make an effort to shoot video footage, by all means let the world know it’s out there.

There are other video storage sites available, such as Viddler.com and Flickr.com, that you can use as well. Each has its own special features, but YouTube is by far the most widely used and is universally recognized.

Keep in mind that, as with most other forms of marketing, video marketing is a work-in-progress. The more you work with it, the more it will work for you.

Paul Montelongo, CSP, CGR, is a nationally recognized speaker, author, syndicated columnist, entrepreneurial consultant and an international authority on sales motivation. He works with businesses and organizations around the country to build team responsibility and personal morale. Visit www.youtube.com/plmontelongo for video evidence and his blog at www.paulmontelongo.com/housingblog for social media marketing proof. For more information, e-mail Montelongo, visit Paul Montelongo International, based in San Antonio, or call 210-541-5553.

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