The results have been in for some time. According to a survey by industry leader Animoto, videos engage prospective customers up to four times more effectively than print media and online text content. That’s why mortgage professionals need to know the best ways to make and use video productions.
Whether you are the chief marketing officer of a major lender or an independent loan officer, you are responsible for presenting information to your audiences. Therefore, the motion pictures that you release must be fascinating, informative and appropriate to the situation. Otherwise, you may lose customers to the competitor with superior video production, if not a better loan product.
The statistics on video marketing effectiveness are staggering. According to the Mortgage Marketing Institute, audiences have a 75 percent better understanding of a product when viewing a video as opposed to reading information. Landing pages with video increase conversions up to 82 percent, and e-mails that include videos can increase click-through rates by 90 percent.
Here are eight insights about video that will help marketers and loan officers get great results when you deploy video either for lead generation, product and process information, or compliance purposes.
1. Quality is critical
Because every mortgage company offers some variety of video content, you cannot afford to post or distribute low quality content. With more than 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, viewers are drawn to those that are the sharpest. And, even though most videos are still viewed on computer screens, use of mobile devices is increasing exponentially. On small screens, low resolution, unpolished productions are at an even greater disadvantage. Producing quality videos can be affordable. It just takes planning.
2. Your video needs an introduction
People will not watch your video, no matter how good it is, if it is not presented and promoted properly. Hollywood knows that. Think about the press and promotion involved with new film releases. Typically, the more fanfare, the more widely viewed the film is out of the gate. Mortgage marketers can do the same. As soon as you start planning an informational video or Webinar, spread the word. In addition to sending invites, alert people in the footers of e-mails, on social media, and on the relevant pages of your Web site. Wherever you post the video, make sure the description is clear (with appropriate keywords particularly on YouTube for SEO purposes), concise and captivating.
3. Close and personal
Video allows for a visual connection than can only be imagined in print. As humans, we naturally are inclined to feel a connection if we can see an image rather than read about it. Also, audiences relate to presenters and performers. If you are a marketer producing a video, check out what other lenders have distributed on YouTube and make sure your presenter comes across as more engaging, knowledgeable and trustworthy than other spokespeople.
4. Don’t overwhelm your audience
Experts agree on the perfect length for an informative or promotional video: As short as possible! When people find your video on YouTube, your Web site or in an e-mail, they decide to watch because the subject, title or cover image grabs them. Once you have the viewer’s attention, explain what you plan to cover in your video, as quickly as possible. If you do that effectively, they are likely to phone, complete a form or perhaps watch another video. If the video loses focus or wanders, you may have lost the viewer as a customer. According to studies by video hosting and analytics company Wistia, audience engagement is highest for videos of one to two minutes in length.
5. Don’t leave your Webinars in cold storage
Too many companies fail to extract the full value of the Webinars they produce. Depending on the substance of the discussion, one extended length live, interactive session can be morphed into numerous communication vehicles. Was a fresh idea articulated? Use it to germinate a blog post or speech. Was there a particularly dynamic 30-60 second exchange? Edit it and post to YouTube.
6. A video in every e-mail
Sure, you distribute your videos via e-mail blasts and in marketing automation/CRM campaigns. But, mortgage professionals may also consider building their video audiences almost every time they send an e-mail. Whether you are a CEO or a loan processor, you can provide an opportunity to expand the recipient’s understanding of your company. Include links in the footers or in a PS, always with a poignant description or introduction. The overall impact of your videos is greatly impacted by the number of YouTube views and comments. Suppose all employees at your company send 5,000 e-mails a day, each containing your YouTube video link. If 0.5 percent of the recipients check out a video each working day of the year, that converts to 6,500 additional video views each year, enough to significantly enhance your ranking on Google and YouTube.
7. The 3Rs: Reiterate, Reuse and Recycle
The video you create today can be used for many years to come. Compare them to television reruns. You may not hook most of your audience the first time you distribute your video or broadcast your Webinar. Therefore, continually promote each video on different social media platforms. Of course, you don’t want to tweet about the same video 10 times a day. But, you will benefit by announcing each video in your portfolio two to three times a week. Shuffle the times of day you post about each video and use various headlines, teasers and introductions.
8. Ask for it
Ask your customers for a recorded video testimonial after closing. If you record these videos yourself be sure to use a tripod to keep the camera steady. If you cannot record in person, a recorded Skype interview might suffice. There are many ways to use these third-party endorsements. You can post each one individually on social media or use them to punctuate and enhance a longer commercially produced video about your company’s services. Remember to ask your subjects to sign a standard release form to allow you to use their statement and specify exactly how it may be used.
Once you have used these insights and tips to integrate more video into your marketing, the enthusiasm surrounding your products will increase steadily. Remember, quality is critical so you may need to take smaller steps in implementing video. However you decide to proceed, remember to have fun and use the platform to your advantage.
This article orignally appeared in the July 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.