NEW ORLEANS, LA - As one of the multifamily industry’s most sought after leasing, training, and performance marketing consultants, Kate Good, a partner and director of multifamily development and operations with Hunington Residential and a professional speaker and partner with Apartment All Stars gets to see a lot of video.
This April, Good will host the AIM 2013 Video Awards, an inaugural event recognizing the industry’s best community marketing, training, and vendor videos. Good visited MultifamilyBiz.com this week for an exclusive look at why video has become such a trusted tool for marketing, conversion, and training in the apartment industry, and shares her thoughts on how apartment professionals can better succeed with refined video design and distribution strategies.
MultifamilyBiz.com: Kate, you're recognized as an apartment lease-up expert and multifamily marketing maven. Why do you think video has become such a critical tool for today's digital marketer in the multifamily space?
Good: Quite simply, we are seeing that the potential renter is spending more time watching videos. I used to think we were doing well if we could get the viewer to watch up to 30 seconds, now we are seeing four plus minutes of viewership. This means that video has become a step in the decision making process and I honestly feel that if you don't have videos out there promoted in Social Media and on your Websites (including mobile), you are missing an important sales opportunity. Video marketing has increased our SEO rankings and that is important in today's marketing mix, as well.
MultifamilyBiz.com: And what makes for great marketing video? We've heard you are a big fan of the "peep show" MINI and Dollar Shave Club videos. What do you think makes them so compelling to consumers?
Good: Yes, those are my two favorite videos. I just saw the Dollar Shave Club video as a commercial on cable TV. I guess their business is growing! And to think, it all started with the launch of a killer video on Twitter. These videos work because both were totally unexpected. One was uber funny and the other uber sexy and ironic. Both played on the viewer's emotions and created a quick bite of footage that you could not look away from. In fact, many people have commented they wanted more when it was over.
To be compelling you have to do the unexpected and execute very well. Case in point: the funny, viral videos that Property Solutions has created to promote their new software. They get it. Or look at the videos by property management staffing firm APT Companies: they understand that people talking about the apartment community during the video will provide another level and layer of sales effectiveness.
MultifamilyBiz.com: What makes for videos that are successful as conversion tools for multifamily?
Good: When it comes to customer prospecting, communities can show off their property thoroughly to prospective customers and through social media. Videos should absolutely be funny and creative, but remember that people are looking for information, and videos need to be very informational as well as engaging. Nothing is more frustrating to customers than watching video and not come away with enough information to take a closer look or complete an action item. Remember, we are trying to reach a targeted audience, not the 30-second commercial masses. That’s why we are seeing prospects spending more time on videos beyond the 90-second narrative. They want to see more, hear more, and get more info.
MultifamilyBiz.com: For community marketing, how can we be more creative about how we're leveraging video to showcase and promote our properties?
Good: Simply put, it you want your video to work for you, you have to get it posted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Craigslist. But from a design standpoint, we do need to be more effective job and breaking the traditional mold of sales videos. From music to pace to subject matter, it has to be fresh and new. I like humor, many people like drama and crescendo. But it’s not enough to just to have a stellar video living on your Website: you have to market the link. Companies have found by putting video into their Craigslist ads, viewership goes through the roof. You have to put it out there either yourself or through services like WebListers, RentSentinel, or with ILS services. Video success is like having a great car. It will get you from A to B but only if you know how to drive it!
MultifamilyBiz.com: What about video as a training tool? Are there compelling opportunities to engage leasing and property management associates with video content that is shareable, tablet viewable, and —let's face it— less boring then a training guidebook or seminar?
Good: Our industry needs more "just in time" training. When I first entered the industry I attended leasing school that lasted 5 days. I was only 2 weeks into my job and could not relate the material to anything and so my retention was very low. Videos can be an effective way to deliver smaller doses of education on more specific topics. Smart companies are creating massive libraries of content so if you see a team member struggling with their ability to covert a phone call to a visit, leadership can direct them to a video to coach them along. The best case scenario is when video engages a team member enough to direct their own learning through the library. The video thus has to be interesting and relatable to the audience or you will lose them. Video material almost needs to be able to stand-alone: if the trainer walked out of the room, they would remain watching it.
MultifamilyBiz.com: Let's talk about video hosting and sharing. What are some of the top tips for succeeding with marketing videos on YouTube or Vimeo. What's the difference, anyway?
Good: YouTube is free and Vimeo if being used commercially and used to promote a business is $199 per year. YouTube is literally a search engine for video content. Vimeo is mostly used as a video hosting site. Your videos need to be on YouTube because it is the number two search engine, is owned by Google and Google Search loves YouTube videos. Also with YouTube you have unlimited storage and many custom functions like video enhancement features and uploading transcripts for Closed Captioning. Vimeo advantages include a more customizable video player, strong privacy controls, and the ability to create branded portfolios.
MultifamilyBiz.com: What about social media. Can video content open up some new opportunities in customer prospecting, customer service, or even retention?
Good: People want to see more. Videos that just roll through JPGS are boring. Your video should show movement. Why not include testimonials, footage from a recent party, introduce your maintenance team? This is what people need to see in order to make a buying decision. For better customer service, create How-To videos, preventative maintenance videos and community events marketing/highlighting videos.
After the lease, videos can be used for illustrating community policies and procedures and are a great reference tool for residents regarding terms of their lease, addendums and community policy. Your resident holiday card can even be in the form of a fun video!
MultifamilyBiz.com: We hear you're hosting the AIM 2013 Video Awards. Can you give us a sneak peak into this inaugural event?
Good: I am honored to be a part of this awards program. For those entering, it will be a great opportunity to earn kudos for your work. For those looking for some insight into creating and improving their video marketing, you will witness the best of the best. I have also heard about some super-secret surprises that will be in the event. I highly encourage you to enter one or all of the categories.
The deadline to enter a video in the AIM 2013 Video Awards is quickly approaching. To enter a video in this inaugural multifamily marketing event, click here.