Generating Leads with Video Advertising

8-sec: Video Advertising

What’s the secret to developing a continuous stream of leads and sales?

Well, it’s not a secret to everyone. But there are plenty of folks who haven’t heard about it. This includes some free video advertising from Google, as part of their low-cost video advertising on YouTube, which many aren’t aware of. But that’s not the best part.

I’m going to tell you exactly what it is, but it will make more sense in the context of how to use it. In fact, there are multiple ways to use it. But we’re going to use a specific example of developing and nurturing an ongoing stream of prospects.

The first thing to understand is that it’s not a stand-alone type of advertising. In the example that I’m about to outline, it’s part of a lead generation system with multiple parts.

In brief, it’s targeting ads to individuals who have completed certain actions, such as watching a YouTube video, clicking an ad, or visiting a website. This will make more sense in a moment.

VIDEO ADVERTISING

Imagine if you could show follow-up video ads to people who have previously watched an earlier video of yours. Although you have no idea who they are, Google does.

Google will not only offer new videos to the same people who watched your first video, they won’t even charge you to do so – unless such persons elect to watch your new video or click on it. (Viewers have a choice to watch or not).

The best part is you WANT people to watch your second video (and so does Google). Better yet, if they click on it, they arrive on your website. So you’re perfectly happy to pay a small fee to Google when they do.

On average, the majority of people will only watch the minimum amount required, 5 seconds, before they choose to skip it. Google doesn’t charge for that. In other words, the majority of people will only watch part of your video and you won’t be charged anything for those short views. That’s free advertising.

Now if this sounds a lot like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, that’s because it is. However, it’s a modern flavor. It’s not the type of PPC advertising that your father used. PPC, like all advertising, is constantly evolving.

OK, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go through a real-world example. More specifically, this example is how to develop and nurture an ongoing stream of prospects through video advertising.

TWO DYNAMIC COMPONENTS

This system has two primary components

  1. The mechanical parts form the framework for this system. This would be similar to a car since every car is comprised of numerous parts to create a vehicle that most anyone can drive.
  2. There’s a labor component. This system needs to be customized and optimized for each business. And like a car, it needs to be tuned and maintained.

As an educational example, we’re going to apply these two components to one individual person: a realtor. However, this can be used for any business that needs leads.

Returning to our analogy of the car, this driver is our realtor who needs more leads.

THREE OPERATING PRINCIPLES

There are three basic operating principles that form the foundation of this system. They would be similar to how a car needs gas, oil, and tires.

I) Most people will not buy from you the first time they are introduced to your product or service. Depending upon your product or service and industry, it might take many contacts or engagements with a prospect before they consider what you offer.

II) Most people prefer to buy from someone they like and trust, whether that’s an individual, like our realtor in this example, or any other business.

III) The more prospects you have at any given time in your pipeline, the more opportunities you have for increased clients and sales.

The above three principles support this lead generation system like the gas, oil and tires of a car.

OUTLINE OF LEAD GENERATION SYSTEM

1) ADVERTISE A SHORT INTRO VIDEO ON YOUTUBE: This is not the same as posting a video on YouTube for free. YouTube offers paid advertising. (That’s how they make money). We’re going to pay to show our video ad to prospects. (Like a TV commercial).

Viewers must watch at least 5 seconds of this video advertisement before they can watch a video they selected to view. The viewer can skip the ad after 5 seconds if they want. Or, they can continue to watch it, if it is relevant to their interests.

There are other types of video ads that cannot be skipped. But for this lead generation system, we are only interested in skippable ads, which will make more sense in the next few moments.

We start out by creating and advertising a short (15sec) introductory video ad on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

This general strategy works on Facebook and LinkedIn and other platforms (with some differences), but to keep this simple, we are going to focus this example on YouTube.

In this example, we start with a simple, 15-second video that introduces our realtor.

To follow along with our analogy of the realtor as the driver of a car, advertising this 15-second video on YouTube is like getting into a car.

2) TARGET THE VIDEO: This 15-sec introductory video ad is offered to individuals on YouTube who are interested in real estate in the same city the realtor serves. (Target audience). In other words, it’s not going to be offered to everyone.

This video ad will only be shown to a very specific set of people with specific interests in a specific area.

This type of targeting is more precise than advertising on TV.

YouTube categorizes all its users into marketing segments for advertisers, based on what each viewer watches. So, someone who watches videos about real estate would be part of the target audience of this example.

Our realtor/driver has now started the engine of his car.

3) VIEWERS WATCH PART OF THE VIDEO FOR FREE: The people who are shown this video ad can choose to watch it or skip it after 5 seconds. If they skip it, it’s free advertising. If they watch it or click it, Google charges a small fee.

Our realtor hopes people will watch the video. But, on average, most people won’t. And for all those people who only watch part of the video, he won’t pay anything. That’s a lot of free advertising!

But in reality, this initial free introduction is not memorable. Like most advertising, viewers instantly forget what they saw. But this is only the beginning. The subsequent “free advertising” stages become much more meaningful.

Following along with our analogy, our realtor/driver has now engaged the transmission of the car and is leaving his driveway.

15sec intro example above: (Logo shown twice in first 5sec).

4) SOME PEOPLE WATCH THE ENTIRE VIDEO: Those individuals who watched the entire 15-second video have now been introduced to the realtor. Our realtor paid a small fee to Google for each person who watched it or clicked it, but our realtor doesn’t know who these people are. However, Google does.

The fee paid to Google for getting a bunch of people to watch a video ad would be analogous to paying for gas to fill your car’s gas tank. So, let’s say our realtor/driver has just driven his car to the gas station.

Now, the people who watched the video can be grouped in three ways:

  • Those who watched the video only
  • Those who clicked on the video to arrive on the Realtor’s website
  • Those who called or emailed the Realtor. (New lead!)

For those people who watched the video, they got introduced to our Realtor. (And Google knows who they are).

Those who clicked on the video visited our Realtor’s website and learned more about him or her. By the way, most will not click, but you can bet that those who do click are stronger prospects. (And Google knows who they are).

Furthermore, occasionally, someone will call or email our realtor on this initial introduction. This is not common, but it does happen now and again. (How many times have you contacted a company or realtor the first time you were introduced?) But those who reach out with a call or an email inquiry are now a new lead. Yay! (More will be doing so in a few moments).

But let’s keep this real and re-state that most people who watch the 15-sec introductory video commercial will not call or email our realtor the first time they see it. (See operating principles above).

So, what’s the likelihood that this advertising campaign, up to this point, would be profitable for the realtor? Spoiler alert: it’s low. He may not have spent much, but he may not have received any new prospects.

It’s as if our realtor/driver just drove back home from the gas station. He paid money for gas but he didn’t go anywhere.

NOTE: Everything up to this point is common knowledge to those familiar with PPC on YouTube. But this is as far as many (non-professional) advertisers go with YouTube PPC (and other types of advertising). It’s like filling your car with gas and then never driving anywhere.

SECRET: As mentioned previously, this is no secret to seasoned online advertisers. But there are still plenty who are unfamiliar with this next step, which is where the real lead generation begins.

It’s called remarketing. (Or retargeting).

There are a number of ways this can be used to generate leads and sales. But for simplified educational purposes, we’re sticking to this one example.

5) REMARKETING: In this example, remarketing means we are going to target the people who watched the first video with a new video.

We’re not targeting the entire audience who had the opportunity to watch the first video. We’re only targeting the people who did watch it. Technically, we could show them the same video, but for this second video, we are going to introduce a more effective lead generation component, which will require a longer video.

These viewers will also have the choice to skip the ad, or not, after 5 seconds. And once again, if the viewers skip the video ad, there’s no cost.

This second video invites the viewers (who watched the earlier 15-sec intro video) to visit the realtor’s website to enter their name and email address to receive valuable ongoing information. This second video also describes the value they will receive.

The most common language used to represent this is an “email newsletter.” Although the idea is similar, the language should reflect our use of video. Our realtor might choose a name such as “Local Insights Videos” (or anything else) since our realtor is going to be providing an informal sequence of videos about the local community.

By the way, nowadays not everyone pays as much attention to email as they did in the past. The magic of this system is that we can still reach the people who watched our earlier videos (and those who visited the website), even without their name, email, or phone. But for those who do provide their email, they become even more valuable as a potential client, because we can connect with them at will for the least cost.

Email is incredibly effective as a marketing channel (and cheap!) for those subscribers who prefer email.

Getting back to our example, the central point here is that our realtor needs to not only provide something valuable enough so that prospects will enter their name and email into his website, but what he is offering should include a series of valuable messages. The longer the series the better. Every new message in this series offers a new opportunity for the realtor to build a relationship with these prospects.

For this step of the outline, the operative words here are using “remarketing” to get people to subscribe to a “series” of emails that provide real “value” to the subscribers.

In fact, the productivity of this system parallels the value provided to the subscribers. Furthermore, the longer the sequence of the messages, the more opportunities to build a relationship with the subscribers.

And now for some more good news. Even though it’s ideal when prospects add their name and email to subscribe to “Local Insights Videos,” it’s OK if they don’t. Because Google still knows who these viewers are and we can keep offering them new videos (and not be charged if they only watch the beginning). For those who subscribed via email, we can also remarket new videos to them, in addition to sending them emails, for greater relationship building.

In brief, we can remarket (or retarget) new videos to those who watched the introductory video and we can also remarket (or retarget) new videos to those who visited the realtor’s website but did not leave any information.

We can also remarket to those who subscribed via email, which is double goodness of promotional impact since they will keep seeing our realtor on YouTube and via email.

This is powerful! (See operating principles above).

Essentially, Google is creating a highly unique database, solely for our realtor (or any other business that uses remarketing) so that we can offer new videos to those individuals who have signaled an interest in our realtor, even though we don’t have their contact information.

To summarize, there are two databases of prospects.

  • Google’s anonymous database of people who watched earlier videos. We use remarketing to follow up with these prospects.
  • The realtor’s email database of subscribers. We send emails and use remarketing to continue following-up to this database. (Double goodness).

This is where our Realtor has taken his car out on the highway. There are no traffic lights or stop signs to slow him down.

Are you starting to see how this system seeks to fulfill the three fundamental operating principles from above?

Well, hang on.

There’s more.

6) COMMUNITY BUILDING: The purpose of this lead generation system is to build a community around our realtor. And if he or she does a good job providing value to this community, the realtor is developing a positive relationship with people he has never met (yet).

Some of these people are going to need a realtor. Some, sooner than later. Don’t forget that the initial advertising went to “persons interested in real estate” in a specific geographical area. Again, this is better targeting than TV.

The more people who become part of this realtor’s community, the more who will become clients (even though the clients will represent a small part of the overall community).

Furthermore, this system is how our realtor can stand apart from the many realtors in the same area.

Back to the example: Our realtor is offering a free educational series of automated email messages that he has named, “Local Insights Videos” (or any better name). In this example, our realtor has elected to create a series of informal, brief videos that provide valuable information about their city, such as information about local businesses, restaurants, parks, points of interest, etc. He is going to do short, casual (maybe even fun?) interviews of owners and managers about their businesses.

Additionally, he’ll offer insights into home buying and selling so that the viewers are reminded he is a realtor. He can even occasionally broadcast to his community the homes he is selling or has sold.

SIDENOTE: You might think it advantageous to only offer realtor-related information. This is what most realtors do. (At least those that offer an email newsletter).

But if there are many realtors in the same area offering that, then it will be harder for our realtor to stand out and the relationships he builds may be temporary.

Our realtor wants to stand out by providing more value and building longer-term relationships, knowing that even if some of his subscribers never turn into clients, they may recommend him to others they know, who do become clients. All because they know and like our realtor, even though they’ve only met him through videos. (See operating principles above). In other words, there’s a balance between being overly promotional about real estate (resulting in more people un-subscribing), versus becoming a truly unique leading light of community information.

By the way, what is meant by “automated” email messages? Each person who signs up will automatically receive messages in a pre-programmed sequence. Someone who signs up today, will automatically receive the first message today and then receive each subsequent message once a week, or twice a month, or on whatever schedule was pre-determined. Once it’s set up, it’s all automated.

Someone who signs up tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year will automatically receive their first message on the day they signed up and then receive each subsequent message once a week, or twice a month, or on whatever schedule was pre-determined.

Although messages could be sent automatically every day, that would likely be considered a nuisance by the recipients, and they’d un-subscribe. Once a week, or every two weeks, or once a month are some common timelines.

It’s worth re-emphasizing that this lead-generation system will prove significantly more productive to the degree the subscribers are provided exceptional value. The higher the value, the more productive the system. If our realtor provides low-value and/or irrelevant information to the subscribers, the system will perform poorly as they will stop watching the videos or un-subscribe from the emails.

The fundamental point of this step of the system, indeed, of the entire system, is building a community. With the right mix of advertising, remarketing and automated emails with videos, every day new people are introduced to our realtor. After that, they are continually presented with new videos from our realtor. This means that after a while they will become quite aware of our realtor, even if they never watch another full video again. Yet, those who do watch more full videos will grow to like and trust our realtor as they see him in action in the community. (See principles above).

This stage is similar to our car driver cruising down the highway using cruise control.

7) WORK THE COMMUNITY (HAVE FUN): Our realtor’s personality contributes to this system’s success. We’re creating a community around this realtor and his personality will be key to relationship-building. He’s the star of this local universe. If our realtor can inject a little fun into the videos, that can magnify the appeal.

Even though an important part of this system is set up on automatic, it’s not entirely automated. In addition to the automated emails, our realtor will manually broadcast periodic video updates about the local real estate market. These would be manually broadcast as needed since these are time-sensitive.

If our realtor is providing an update on first-quarter real estate trends, he wants to send it out right after the data is available. Whereas, the automated email videos are evergreen (not time-sensitive).

Even though the automated email/videos may have been recorded last month, new people joining the community won’t see those until they subscribe. Those who subscribe next year will see them next year. Those that subscribe in two years will see them in two years, etc. (Over time, the earliest automated videos may need to be updated/replaced as businesses expand, go away, or in any other ways change enough to warrant a new video).

There’s some effort required. Much of the work can be delegated. But our realtor should be the personality (the star) that ties all the videos together, for the purpose of building relationships with viewers.

However, our realtor doesn’t need to be the one editing the videos, programming the emails, running the advertising and remarketing as well as updating the website. He doesn’t even need to be the one shooting the videos if he brings along a cameraperson to the interviews. (Or, if he does it himself informally, he uses his phone “selfie-style” to record the videos.)

From a practical perspective, he or she should delegate everything possible in this system so he can focus on the central task of running his business.

Our realtor needs to work the community in a similar way that he might work a networking event. Except, in this case, he’s doing it via ongoing videos. It’s like he’s cloning himself to go out and interact with exponentially more individuals than he could without video.

In addition to the series of video interviews about the local area and real-estate updates, “working the community” could include sending holiday messages to subscribers throughout the year. It could include sending surveys and requesting feedback. It could include offering swag (such as T-shirts and other promotional items) to people who comment on your videos. It could include offering “dinner for two” to those people who provide a client referral. It could include promotion for a local charity. It all boils down to, “How can you provide more value to the community?”

Personality Factor

What if our realtor has a certain charm? What if our realtor can make boring things more interesting? What if our realtor can make his interviews seem fun?

Not everyone is gifted with such a personality. But for those who are, such amplifies the entire system. More email subscribers and/or social media followers will share the content. This further contributes to the ongoing development of community-building and relationship-building. This whole system becomes a force that magnifies itself. It’s like rolling a snowball down a mountain whereby it gets bigger and faster and larger and continues to accelerate.

The point is to have fun working with the system and community. Let one’s personality shine!

Our realtor is now driving his car on the highway on cruise control with his favorite music blasting on the stereo while he’s singing aloud to his favorite songs.

8) OPTIONAL (BUT DESIRABLE): Remarket the community-building content (the interviews).

The earliest phase of working and growing a community takes time. And as previously mentioned, not everyone will sign up for emails and for those who do, not all of them will open every email.

In the beginning, not many people will be watching our realtor’s content. He won’t have much of an email list or social media following, so not many people will know about what he’s doing.

Nevertheless, if he does a reasonably good job interviewing local businesses (or in any other way providing community value), some of those businesses may promote his interview video on their social media channels and/or their website.

Also, YouTube may serve his videos to people who are searching for information about businesses that he interviewed. In other words, some views will start to accumulate organically over time.

In fact, “time” is the important factor here.

  • What if our realtor wants to jump start these views?
  • What if our realtor wants to build his community faster?
  • What if our realtor wants to do more promotion by taking advantage of additional inexpensive and free video advertising?

After all, if he can approach businesses to do an interview and they can go online and see that his earlier videos are getting watched, not only will they be even more receptive to his interview offer, but they may give him special access to their behind-the-scenes operation or in any other way make the video interview even more valuable. They may also recommend our realtor to their business friends. Furthermore, they will be even more likely to promote the video, which will increase its views.

So, how do you increase video views without a large email list or social media following? The answer is to remarket new videos to people who have watched your earlier videos.

OK, right about now our realtor may be saying, “Hold on a moment. Why would I pay to advertise another business?”

Valid question.

Some additional money is involved with this step, although the amount to spend per video is modest: $50 per video could go a long way towards generating local views. (This payment would be once, not monthly). And that doesn’t take into account the free views. Regardless, this step is noted as “optional.”

Bear in mind, that every view of every interview is also promoting our realtor. Also bear in mind that most of the time people will skip the ad, which means it’s free. But each time they see our realtor again for another 5 seconds, it means more promotion.

More importantly, it’s the kind of promotion that doesn’t wear out its welcome, because it’s not all about promoting real estate all the time to people who may or may not be interested in real estate every day. It’s about providing a service to the community. Not only a valuable service for the businesses that are interviewed but also a valuable service to the people watching the videos.

It’s worth repeating that with remarketing, videos are being presented to viewers who have already been introduced and most aren’t going to watch more than 5 seconds. (It’s mandatory to watch 5 seconds). That means most of the views are free. Yet they saw our realtor once again, introducing something or someone about the local community. Over time, these viewers are going to become quite aware that this realtor is involved with their community!

This is magic here, and it really needs to be understood to get the magnitude of this.

So, please read these next words carefully: When done right with remarketing, our realtor will have many people briefly seeing him or her on video every day, but the majority of those views are free.

Of course, some people will watch the complete videos and our realtor will pay a small fee to Google for those viewers. But, on average, the majority will not watch them, yet they will still see our realtor on video for at least 5 seconds for free.

Over time, as they see our realtor for several seconds — again and again and again and again — talking about local businesses, events, parks, etc. (as well as real estate), things get interesting.

As awareness continues to grow, more and more people will start to follow our realtor on social media as well as subscribe to his email list.

And of course, this further accelerates his personal promotion as well as the promotion of everyone and everything featured in his videos.

When done well, eventually he can become so known that he may become somewhat like a local celebrity. Some businesses may even offer to pay for an interview if they see the videos are getting enough views.

More importantly, when these people need a realtor, who will they call?

It’s a win-win-win opportunity.

  • The local businesses win by way of promotion.
  • The viewers win by learning something interesting and/or valuable about their community and specific businesses.
  • Our realtor wins by insinuating him or herself into the very fabric of the community as well as growing an email list and social following of people within the community and generating new clients.

As noted earlier, this won’t happen right away. In fact, this can start out so slowly that he may wonder if it’s worth the effort at all.

It certainly will not be worth the effort if he simply “tries” this for a few months.

And there are plenty of challenges (see below) to make it less likely that he’ll be successful. Make no mistake, there’s work involved. And there’s money involved. (More below).

But right now, the advertising and remarketing value of YouTube is substantial, and that’s without considering all the “free” partial views. In the future, this type of advertising will get more expensive as people learn how to use it profitably.

So, if a realtor, or any other business, can overcome the challenges below, this is a unique time to gain exceptional video advertising value (including a tremendous amount of free video promotion) for a reasonable cost.

WHAT IS SPLIT-TESTING?

Although this is only a brief mention, split-testing is a vital part of making this system more productive.

It’s running two video ads at the same time to see which generates the best viewer response and then testing more videos to improve viewer response. This would pertain to the introductory and other key videos about the realtor and his messaging (not the interviews).

It’s a process of finding out what type of messaging resonates the most for a product or service relative to specific buyers.

This is very powerful and deserves more attention to fully understand since it’s a critical part of how to build the types of campaigns outlined in this article. But just like you don’t need to understand how an engine works to drive a car, you don’t need to know about the various ways marketing and advertising can be constantly improved.

For those who are interested, here’s additional information on the topic. Split-Testing: What is it? Where to Start?

WHAT DOES ALL THIS COST?

Like most kinds of advertising, the costs can vary. More can be spent to build the community faster. Or, less can be spent, which will take longer. Additionally, there is a cumulative effect of advertising (similar to TV) whereas the more times the videos are seen the more they are recognized and the more the brand, or in this case, our realtor becomes part of the local culture.

Nevertheless, let’s break down the costs.

YOUTUBE ADVERTISING VIEW RATE: “View Rate” represents the percentage of individuals who don’t skip a video ad and choose to watch it. By the way, this system is designed to take advantage of the fact that people generally don’t like ads. When they have the option to skip an ad, or not, on average they skip it. But for those who choose to watch it (because they were inspired in the first 5 seconds), they have been engaged in a much more meaningful way than with most advertising that is forced upon them.

This, by itself, makes this advertising exceptionally effective, because each viewer made a decision to watch it!

The average view rate of skippable YouTube ads is 31%. Again, that’s an average. The full range of view rates varies between industries, video messages and targeting. For our clients, we’ve seen view rates as low as 7% and as high as 68%. These would be outliers. View rates are contingent upon the video message and quality (particularly the first five seconds), in relation to the targeting of those who view it.

A relevant video ad that is properly targeted will generate a higher view rate. But, for some businesses that need to reach out to a wider audience, by necessity they need to target more broadly, which means showing videos to audiences who are less interested, which will generate a lower view rate.

So, if a video ad has a view rate of 31% that means 69% are skipping the video. It also means 69% watched part of the video for free.

That brief viewing is not meaningful if they only saw part of a video one time, since they quickly forgot it.

But as this occurs over and over and is continuously repeated, all of these people who are skipping the (free) video ads are starting to become familiar with the personality.

Consider your own experience: When you watch a number of YouTube videos there are video ads you keep skipping. But you eventually became familiar with some of the brands anyway. And those brands didn’t pay a penny to gain your awareness if you never watched any of those video ads beyond the first 5 seconds.

Here’s another way to look at this: on average, for every 1000 times a video ad is presented to viewers, a fee is paid to Google for only 310 of them to watch your video. Nothing is paid for the 690 who only watched part of it.

By the way, in case you’re thinking, “Why don’t I create bad videos that people don’t watch? That way I will have a low view rate and have more free advertising?” That will only work for a short while. Google is in business to make money. If people don’t like your video ads, Google will show them less and less. Instead, they will show videos from other advertisers that make Google and YouTube money.

OK, back to costs. We’ve talked about view rate, but what’s the average cost of a view?

COST PER VIEW: There is no single cost. The cost per view (CPV) of a YouTube ad varies widely. Common averages would be between a nickel and 30 cents per view. As an “average,” that means sometimes they can be higher and sometimes they can be lower than those indicated averages.

To use some round numbers, a CPV of ten cents (.10) and 20,000 views, would cost $2,000. Don’t forget that with an average view rate of 31%, an additional 63,000 people would have seen part of the ad for free, for a total of 65,000 people reached. Where else can you make that kind of promotion for only $2000?

NOTE: At Skyworks Marketing, we sometimes offer an introductory package of creating two videos and providing 20,000 YouTube views to your target audience in your specific geography.

Nevertheless, the CPV is only one part of the cost.

For instance, you need videos.

VIDEO RECORDING: Once again, costs can vary. But let’s say you want to record four short interviews per month. It would be more economical to do them all in one day. So, let’s say $500/day, once a month (about 4 interviews per month). There are many videographers who charge more than this, but when you explain you simply need one camera on a tripod, with a good microphone and one light, you can find those will shoot for $500/day. Alternatively, if you record the videos yourself in “Selfie” style, then there’s no cost.

VIDEO EDITING: The cost can vary widely. The least expensive would be if you do it yourself and just trim the beginning and end so that the video the viewers see starts when the first question is asked and then ends when the last question is answered. There would be no cost when you do it yourself.

However, the interview can be improved in many ways with professional editing, including removing unwanted parts, making corrections to audio volume, adding titles (such as your name, website, phone) and the most important part would be establishing a unique “look” or template style for all your videos, which would integrate your logo along with special graphics and even stock video clips to really make your videos stand out.

So, you could spend nothing (do it yourself), or spend $500 or more for the video editing of four shows per month.

Also, the editing becomes even more important when conducting longer interviews to then cut them shorter with only the best parts. Furthermore, additional clips, such as an overall shot of the establishment, as well as close-ups of important details can provide more value. And those need to be edited into the interview.

YOUTUBE MANAGEMENT: A YouTube “channel” needs to be set up and connected to a Google Ads account. Every new video needs to be uploaded to this channel. This is simple enough that most people could manage this themselves if they wanted (for free). Alternatively, some agencies (including Skyworks Marketing) will manage this for no cost when purchasing other services.

WEBSITE MANAGEMENT: Every new video needs its own page on your web page. If you’re creating four videos every month, that’s four web pages that are added to your website each month. That might cost about $400 per month. Alternatively, an agency might provide a reduced cost as part of a package deal. (Such as Skyworks Marketing).

Furthermore, your website needs a prominent place for visitors to enter their name and email in order to subscribe to the “Local Insights Videos” (or whatever the topic of your content would be).

For our realtor, the website should be inviting, informative, personal and professional. What is meant by “personal” is that it should feature the realtor as an authentic personality. This also means that the website should not be impersonal and corporate. That may be fine for a number of businesses, but for our realtor, the idea is to readily represent the most unique facet of his business that he can offer to clients: His personality, further bolstered by the exceptional service he or she offers to everyone who he/she meets or visits.

The easiest way to do this is via a photo of our realtor.

But a much better way to do this is via video.

One brief video welcoming visitors to the website would be personal. However, a series of brief videos educating visitors about his or her service would not only be more personal but would also be more informative and would further contribute to relationship building.

GOOGLE ADS MANAGEMENT AND GOOGLE REMARKETING MANAGEMENT: You could spend as little as $500 or up to and over many thousand dollars per month to manage the ads. This doesn’t include the media cost to Google/YouTube (see CPV above). There are different experience levels and skill levels in the industry. Some specialize in certain markets, some specialize in certain types of ads, and any agency usually charges more as you start spending more dollars per month in advertising media because there is more work involved.

Furthermore, this outline does not explore additional ways to make your video advertising even more successful with additional types of advertising. For most people, this is not a “do-it-yourself” service.

EMAIL MANAGEMENT: $300 to $500 per month (and higher). You “can” do this for free yourself, but you should not use a completely free email service. We recommend Aweber, which is a professional paid service, although it’s free for up to 500 subscribers. Once you surpass 500 subscribers then the cost is about $20/mo. A service like Aweber (and other pro services) is able to deliver more messages to subscribers. Completely free services can have messages blocked by email service providers, such as Google, Yahoo and others. That doesn’t help community-building or relationship-building.

COST REVIEW: In brief, there are two primary cost variables in this system:

  • The advertising (including remarketing)
  • The labor

The advertising costs will vary, but to build your community the fastest, you should try to spend the maximum your geographical area can support relative to your target audience.

For example, in some areas, you might ‘not’ be able to spend a few hundred dollars in your geographical area per month, if there are fewer people interested in real estate.

Or, maybe there are enough people whereby you could spend $500/mo. In some areas, it could be more.

Of course, if you expand your geographical advertising zone, you’ll be able to spend more, but the further away you advertise, the more you will be moving away from your most likely prospects.

The best way to find out is to begin video advertising and start seeing real numbers for your area. (Google does offer some “estimates” but they can be way off). Having said that, there are plenty of other ways to spend more advertising money to increase the community size faster.

To re-state the obvious, you can save money on labor by doing as much of the work yourself as you can. Although, that will take you away from running your biz.

IS THERE A BETTER WAY?

There are a number of moving parts and varying costs for this type of lead generation system. And we didn’t even include Facebook and LinkedIn, which should be considered if your target market is on those platforms. (Facebook could be good for realtors and LinkedIn for business-to-business advertising).

Here’s a better way to narrow down the costs to a practical number. Contact an ad agency and ask for a proposal.

At Skyworks Marketing, we would typically ask for a budget range so that we can customize a proposal that’s realistic for your needs. In the same way that a realtor wouldn’t show a five million dollar home to someone seeking a home for a half a million, we would offer different proposals for someone wishing to spend $1000/mo vs someone wishing to spend $10K/mo vs someone looking to spend several million per year (the latter usually involves online video advertising as well as TV advertising).

Furthermore, if we have an introductory package that serves your interests, we might recommend the package as a way to get started.

CHALLENGES

The following challenges should be confronted. If you don’t have the money, you won’t be able to do this. But even if you do have the money, but not the commitment, you still shouldn’t do it. Because “trying” this for a few months will not likely result in a meaningful and/or profitable experience.

On the other hand, if you see this as potentially fun (as it should be) and you have the right personality, a level of commitment, and at least a minimal amount of advertising money, this can change your life.

Let’s look at some challenges.

WHAT IF OUR REALTOR IS SHY?

This system won’t work. It requires taking the initiative to go out in the community to meet people.

WHAT IF OUR REALTOR IS CAMERA SHY?

This system won’t work. The whole idea of all this video promotion is to engage people in a way that provides them value and allows them to get to know you. Video is how to accomplish that. Although technically, you can do this all via written text, it’s not nearly as effective. (Plus this system takes advantage of the current low costs of YouTube advertising).

By the way, this type of video promotion can be done poorly. If we have a wonderfully knowledgable, likable and service-oriented person in real life, but on video, he comes across as a stiff, uncomfortable person, the use of video would have worked against our realtor. He’s not building a relationship in this case. He’s pushing people away.

WHAT IF OUR REALTOR IS LAZY?

It won’t work. There’s real effort involved. Having said that, if a realtor is comfortable with being on camera and comfortable talking to people, all this work could still be less work (and more fun) than the years it takes many realtors to build a meaningful career in their community.

WHAT IF OUR REALTOR GETS SICK?

Well, here’s an advantage. When our realtor gets sick enough that he can’t work for a few days or longer, at least the automated parts of this system will continue working around the clock, every day of the year, regardless of whether our realtor is able to provide it any attention, or not.

WHAT IF ANOTHER REALTOR IS ALREADY DOING THIS?

It depends upon the size of the community our realtor is serving. In a smaller community, there may be a limited number of people who want to hear from more than one realtor. A larger community can not only support more realtors, they expect more of all services to select from. But even if someone else is doing this, if our realtor can do a better job, the system will work just fine. Nevertheless, the first realtor who does this in his or her area in a big enough way will have an advantage over those who come later.

WHAT IF I’M A STRUGGLING REALTOR AND DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR MONEY TO DO THIS?

I’d say don’t do this. Although this has the potential to change everything for you, it certainly won’t if it’s too difficult to keep it moving forward.

CAN I DO THIS SYSTEM WITHOUT ADVERTISING?

Maybe. But unlikely. It won’t work for most local businesses, including realtors. There may be some exceptions, but where it has a better chance of working without advertising or minimal advertising, is if you are educating people about something of interest globally.

For example, if you offer a paid service training people how to use a specific type of software and there is a large body of people who use that software around the world, then, over time, you ‘could’ build up a large enough community of people who watch your free training that the smaller percentage who take advantage of your paid service can be profitable.

In such an example, YouTube is helping by referring global visitors to your channel when YouTube observes that many people who get introduced to your videos watch all or the majority of them. But this can take years. And for those few that it does work for (YouTube stars) there are usually many others attempting to achieve the same thing, but will not. There is only so much room for true YouTube stars on a global level. However, with YouTube advertising and remarketing, a similar status can be established on a much smaller, local level.

NOTES

The above system has been simplified into a series of steps for educational purposes. In reality, once the system is in production, all the steps are continuously operating at the same time.

For example, the first step of advertising a short, introductory video to your target audience within your target geographical area not only needs to be continually advertised but this video should be split-tested so that more effective ones can be produced that will replace the earlier versions.

In other words, there should always be two introductory videos advertised at the same time to find out which attracts more viewers (higher view rate). More introductory videos should be created and tested over time, based on viewership results. This way the messaging can be optimized to resonate the most effectively with an audience. (See the split-testing link below for more information).

This system works by starting with a brief introductory video (which should be professional) and follow-up videos which can be informal interviews of others pertaining to the local community. It should also feature additional “professional” videos and/or informal videos that directly pertain to real estate.

The system can be sped up or slowed down depending upon how much advertising money is invested to make an impact in your market. However, it should be appreciated that the system may not start generating new clients right away. It might, and of course, that’s great if it does. But if you are expecting this system to make you a star right away, then you are likely to be disappointed.

This system can be amplified with additional advertising on other platforms. For our realtor, Facebook would be an obvious candidate, even though the advertising cost there would usually be higher. LinkedIn would be a platform for anyone desiring to connect to business people, but this will be more expensive. Local TV advertising might be valuable to someone wishing to build a community around a broad demographic. For instance, someone who is interested in building a community around health and fitness might consider TV advertising in their city or their part of a city.

For more info, visit these articles:

WHY 15 SECONDS?

The intro video in this system is 15 seconds. Why not make it longer? Well, you could. You could make it much longer if you wanted. You could tell your whole story in one video instead of a sequence.

However, this intro video is uniquely important. Google establishes a database of viewers who we can remarket to based on those who watched the entire video.

The longer the video, the fewer who will watch until the end.

15 seconds provides just enough time to make an introduction. For the purpose of this lead generation system, we want to get as many people as possible to watch the end of the intro video so that we can send longer follow-up videos to them.

In other words, the 15-second intro video serves two purposes:

  • Introduce the viewers to our realtor
  • Establish a Google database to target our remarketing

It’s worth underscoring that the lead generation and community building results from the remarketing, not the initial intro video. But we need an effective intro video to accomplish everything that follows.

TOPIC

The community in this system is built around a topic, which is presented by a personality. In the above example, the topic is “Local Insights Videos” represented as a sequence of videos about the local community presented by a realtor.

This same topic could be appropriate for other businesses interested in building a network of prospects around a topic of general and local appeal.

Nevertheless, the topic is a vital part of this system and businesses should carefully consider the best topic for their market.

For example, local health professionals might want to consider interviewing health experts. In this case, the experts don’t have to be local, they would just need to be of interest to local viewers.

HOW MANY TYPES OF VIDEOS?

This lead generation system is built around using video as the best representation of our realtor’s personality. there are many different types of videos that can be integrated into the system.

But for our purposes, we can fit them into two general categories:

  • KEY VIDEOS (Shorter, like TV commercials)
  • CONTENT VIDEOS (Longer and less formal)

The short intro video is a key video. (See 15sec intro video example further above). The second video inviting viewers to subscribe to “Local Insights Videos” is another key video. These are intended (and split-tested) to generate the greatest possible viewer engagement and response since they are key to establishing the two prospect databases.

Content videos are the interviews, the updates on the local real estate market, holiday greetings, etc. This is the value that is being provided. These are longer and can be presented more informally, although some realtors may want to make even the content videos as professional as possible. It really boils down to how one wants to present himself.

By the way, both the key videos and the content videos should show off the realtor’s personality. But the content videos can be looser, as well as longer.

CONCLUSION

This is a lead generation system. It features video advertising and remarketing on YouTube. It uses email and a website. It’s based upon building a community around a topic, with a personality at the center. There are labor costs and advertising/remarketing costs. Although the personality at the center is more important than the mechanical stuff, a poorly maintained system will not be as effective, no matter how engaging the personality.

This system can be adapted to different businesses and markets.

Three basic operating principles monitor this system:

I) Most people will not buy from you the first time they are introduced to your product or service. Depending upon your product or service and industry, it might take many contacts or engagements with a prospect before they consider what you offer.

II) Most people prefer to buy from someone they like and trust, whether that’s an individual, like our realtor in this example, or any other business.

III) The more prospects you have at any given time in your pipeline, the more opportunities you have for increased clients and sales.

If you understand these principles and you like the idea of continually building and nurturing a dynamic community around yourself and a topic related to your market, then you should do well with this system. If you can approach this with an attitude of “Let’s have fun!” then you’re not only much more likely to be successful, you’ll enjoy the journey.

Visit our Skyworks Marketing home page to see what promotion we are offering this month.