Inc.com recently stated that “2017 Will Be The Year of Online Video” — and this form of content production shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, a study by Cisco predicted that by 2020, online videos will account for 75% of mobile traffic.
Without a doubt, video storytelling provides a powerful marketing tool for realtors and agents to build their brand and capture new leads.
Intimated by the thought of it? Fear not – We’ll fill you in on all of the basics of “livestreaming,” which is live broadcasting exclusively for the Internet. Plus, we’ll point you in the right direction if you’ve already caught on to this new trend but are looking to take your productions to the next level.
Before you begin live streaming, you should come up with a plan for the different types of segments you’d like to record. The most common live streaming segments in real estate are home tours, open houses, neighborhood tours, vlogs (video blogs) and events (we even caught a few of our members live streaming at The MLS™ Summit!). These are all great practices to incorporate into your video marketing plan.
However, you don’t need to limit yourself to these categories. Some of the most successful social media moguls have grown their audience by sharing candid, everyday moments, such as their thoughts during a morning hike or a casual coffee shop conversation with a friend.
The best way to get your feet wet in live streaming is by using the equipment you already have. Modern phones and tablets are fully equipped with live streaming capabilities. For the best quality, we recommend using the most up-to-date model phone or tablet from Apple, Samsung, or Google. Below is a great example of the types of segments you can stream with a mobile device:
Although this is a pre-recorded, edited video, it was performed in one take, which can easily be livestreamed through sites like Facebook or Instagram.
As you can see in the video, it doesn’t require a whole lot of production equipment to make an engaging video. He has his car, his phone, and himself. That’s it!
If you’d like to step up your production and begin recording higher quality videos, check out this article from livestream.com on the best cameras, and this article from vloggerpro.com on the best microphones.
Websites To Use
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and (to a lesser extent) Twitter have become the primary sites for livestreaming in the real estate industry, which is understandable since much of your audience are already frequent visitors of these sites. Alternative options like Periscope, Livestream and IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream) tend to appeal to different markets. For the purposes of real estate marketing, we recommend keeping your livestreams on popular social media websites. This will minimize your costs, maximize your engagement, and narrow your targeting so that you reach the right people.
For simple vlogs and home tours, you can use the live streaming features pre-packaged in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube (note: an additional app is required to stream through Youtube Live from a mobile device). The process of streaming on each site is very straightforward – it’s usually as easy as a few clicks or taps to start and stop your recording. If you want to produce higher quality streams that compare to network television or superstar Youtubers, check out the list below:
- Manycam (Android) / BoxCast Switcher (iOS): These mobile apps add multiple video feeds, which allows you to broadcast multiple angles or spaces for your livestream.
- Open Broadcast Software Studio (Windows, Mac, Linux): This free, open-source program is perfect for the first stages of higher level production.
- vMix Live / Wirecast (Windows, Mac) – These programs help to produce the highest quality livestream productions, with features such as adding multiple video feeds, broadcasting to multiple sites, templates, transitions, effects, and overlays.
Before hitting the record button, remember these rules of thumb to engage your audience and maximize your viewership growth over time:
- Authenticity: Authenticity is key, not only in the real estate market, but in today’s culture as a whole. When you’re speaking to your viewers, don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s okay to share your honest opinions, so long as they remain professional.
- Recovery: People know that you are live, so don’t worry about your hair blowing in your face, stumbling over your words, or that silence while you think about what to say next. The best way to keep a steady flow is to recover from any hiccups and transition into your next moment with charm and clarity.
- Consistency: If you plan to start a live streaming vlog series, set your schedule in stone and announce it on multiple platforms so that your audience knows when to tune in. As the weeks pass, you will proliferate your recorded streams (which you can save and upload to YouTube), and those that really like your content will be happy to subscribe to you and binge-watch your videos all at once.
Have a question, comment, or story to share about live streaming? Leave it in the comments below!
Want to see what videos The MLS™ has on tap? Check out our videos here.