60 Second Magic
Video is being lauded by the industry as the next big wave. Not long ago, it seemed daunting to think of creating a video and posting it on your website. The tools were expensive and the ROI (return on investment) was not too obvious. Internet download and streaming speeds weren’t supportive either.
With small form factor high-definition video devices like Kodak’s Playtouch, taking great video and sharing it on the Web has become extremely simple and inexpensive. More consumers are flocking to online video sharing venues for information, further proof that film is more engaging than plain text. Google has also begun to place higher priority on video content in its rankings. During the month of October alone, Americans watched over 42 billion online videos!
So real estate agents, take note.
How to tap video in your marketing is an intriguing challenge. There are numerous ideas to consider. But whatever you create, heed the 60 second warning. Shortly after that threshold, consumer attention begins to wear down. Get into the two minute timeframe and you’ve likely lost the audience completely. Of course unless you’ve got some ‘intriguing’ footage media would pay millions to get their hands on.
Whether you choose to create a video to welcome your website visitors, neighborhood information and news videos, home staging tips or client testimonial videos, the 60 second guideline is ideal. It’s just the right amount of time needed to deliver a message with focus, while retaining your audience’s attention.
There is also a strong argument for 45 and 30 second clips. As you practice creating short, focused videos, you’ll get better at cutting the length of your clips for certain types of videos.
How to make the videos compelling is the next opportunity. Besides practicing with lighting and sound to ensure you have solid quality, content and flow play a critical role in the convincingness department.
Large consumer product giants figured the 60 second machine ions ago. Just like in advertising, some tricks and rules apply also to marketing videos. Through years of research and testing, corporations that largely use advertising to sell products figured how a 60 second film should be structured. They apply the same format pretty much in all their advertising campaigns and run them hundreds of times each day on TV costing millions of dollars each year. Because they deliver results. Whether the ad is in 60”, 45” or 15” format, the structure is invariably the same.
While there will be many and much more creative minds than mine out there, here is one story idea you might want to practice with. Irrespective of what your video is about, the points to remember are those that pertain to the structure and flow of the video. It’s the success formula.
Where relevant (may not apply to a property video tour), such as a staging tips video, use the first few seconds to highlight a problem. An issue that the audience associates with and relates to. Second, introduce your solution. It might be you. The home sales pro with tons of staging experience. Thirdly, share some tips on how to effectively stage a home. The next scene should be of a beautifully transformed space. A before and after shot also works great as an option, because it offers a benchmark and tangible proof for the audience. It demonstrates that you are capable of transforming their place into a more saleable home.
To go further, you could close with a secondary, powerful benefit scene. Like a happy client shaking hands with you right next to a ‘sold’ sign. Alternatively, a scene of you delivering the last lines of the video clip with a big smile, next to the ‘sold’ sign, will also do.
To recap, here is your ideal video flow:
i) problem set up / a relevant scene where in the course of a typical process, an obstacle or challenge is encountered
ii) introduce the solution
iii) visualize the solution / product at work
iv) show results / proof that the product or service delivers
v) compelling benefit visualization
Start by writing down your copy. Once it’s ready, read it aloud. Edit it and re-edit it until it flows right. Next draw up a scene sketch above each sentence, to capture the visual flow as you envision it for your video. Decide on the shoot location and line up any models you want to include in the clip.
Try using this formula in your next video project and let us know how it turns out. Maybe a clip to convince your website visitors that you can make their home search experience easier and stress free. We’d love to share it with our community on our message boards. And of course, if you have questions along the way, drop us a note.
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