Archive for March, 2008

8 Easy Steps to Advertise Video Testimonials

March 3, 2008

 There is nothing more reassuring than reading a testimonial from a past client when choosing which real estate professional to use.  The more testimonials, the more likely the agent will be selected.  If consumers recognize names on the list then assure it is a done deal.  One testimonial may comprise 200 words or less.  A picture of happy clients is worth a thousand words.  A video on the other hand is worth a million words because you listen and watch the comments pour from their mouth.

 

Advertising a video testimonial is extremely simple.  Find a device, shoot the video, edit the video, produce the video, upload to a video host, post it to a website, post to a blog or email the video testimonial to a prospective client.

 

Here are the seven simple steps create and implement video testimonials from start to finish:

1.     Choose a recording device.  The easiest device on the market to use is the Flip Video.  This device has a built in USB port that plugs into your computer.  Move the .AVI movie files just like pictures from a digital camera by copying and pasting to a video specified folder.  It can store up to 60 minutes of video and only needs 2 AA batteries.  Other video recording devices work but prices may vary widely.  Check to see if your digital camera has one built in to save money.  Be sure that the video file is either an .AVI, .MPEG4, .MOV. OR .WMV before you move to the next step. 

2.     Shoot the video.  At your next closing or encounter with a past client make sure you bring your Flip Video with you.  Tell them you want to record 30 seconds or less some statements about their experience working with you.  Ask them to say their name, where they moved from, and how much they like their new home.  The more cheerful and excited they are the better the shoot.  Also make sure they speak up so the device can properly record the sound.  Also, ask their permission to use the video on your website, blogs, or email marketing.  Satisfied clients will be thrilled and inclined to help you advertise as well.

3.     Edit video.  Every single windows based computer comes with Windows Movie Maker video editing software.  Open the program and import the video from the Flip Video device or folder where videos have been placed.  Move each video onto the timeline at the bottom of the screen.  Edit each testimonial by cutting out sections of unwanted footage.   Click on any section of the timeline to make a revision to split a section of movie.  Select Clip at the top of the screen, and then split.  The video file will then be broken up into two clips and delete unnecessary footage. 

4.     Produce video.  When finished editing, choose File, Save Movie File, and choose the desired file format of the movie.  I like .WMV file because it is smaller than the .AVI file.  Choose the quality of the produced video.  Videos with a higher quality have larger file sizes and it may take longer to upload and view.  Videos with low quality will play faster but not appear clear.  Choose a bit rate (quality) that is somewhere in the middle so that it looks clear and plays at a regular speed.  Internet connection speed will also determine how fast the video will play back so check your internet connection to see how fast is the connection speed.

5.     Upload to a video host.  YouTube is the way to go if you have a limited budget.  Create an account at www.YouTube.com and start uploading videos.  Each video has a title, description of the video, and tags (keywords) to make it searchable on YouTube.  The most important feature of YouTube is displaying the correct tags.  Choose tags that are easy to type and describe the video or your niche in detail. For example: Ladue, acreage, sold, mansion, listing, real, estate, etc.  Once a video has been uploaded to YouTube then the program will give you a specific URL (website) for each video and the embed HTML source code to use the video in advertising.

6.     Post video to website.  This can be tricky especially if you do not have access to the back end of your website.  If you do not have access to change your website then forward the HTML source code to your web host to add the video.  If you do then go to the HTML source code editor and past the embed code provided by YouTube.  Here is an example of the HTML source code:  <object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/SC9I6sRTOGo&hl=en“></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/SC9I6sRTOGo&hl=en” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object>  You can change the height and width of the video by changing the numbers in the code.

7.     Post video to blog.  There is little difference between posting a video to a website than posting to a blog.  Copy and paste the HTML source code into the HTML source code editor of the blogging software.  Most blogging software gives you the option to edit your own HTML source code but some software may not.  There should be an icon on the blog entry toolbar that says HTML.  Select the icon and then paste the code at the beginning of the entry.  Next, select the HTML icon again to view the entry how the video will appear on the blog entry.  Select the video by clicking on it and center justify for a cleaner look.  Each blog entry creates an individual website.  You can copy and paste the hyperlink of the blog entry into your email marketing or other online marketing software that gives you an opportunity to showcase your video testimonials.

8.     Email the video.  Be careful not to email the attachment of the video.  The size of movie files can be quite large and require a significant time to send and download.  YouTube will give you a hyperlink (individual website) of the individual video so you can just email the hyperlink.  Instead of emailing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC9I6sRTOGo, type: See my Video Testimonials in the body of the email, select the text by dragging the left mouse button over the text,  press CTRL-K, and then copy and paste the URL of the YouTube Video on the menu.  Select OK and then your text has now become a hyperlink to your YouTube testimonial. 

Cost for Flip Video = $162.74 

Video shoot = Free

Recording software = Free

Video host = Free

Post video to website = Free

Post video to blog = Free

Email video to prospect = Free

New client for life = Priceless