A Beginner’s Guide to Commercial Property Videos
We recently touted the benefits of using video marketing for your commercial property site, but if you’ve never created video content before, it can be a little overwhelming.
The truth is, however, you don’t need to be a Kubrick to create quality video content – nor, in fact do you need to have thousands of pounds to spare. With HD cameras now standard and offering automated solutions to things such as lighting and focus, you’ve more than enough means to work within both budget and capabilities.
Most importantly, though, is that target markets are being measured with an increased impetus on internet presence – and video is considered to be one of the greatest ways to reach your online visitors. Take the time to perfect it, and you might find yourself surprised by the results.
– An HD or 4K Camera
…Naturally. 4K looks set to become the future standard of video, offering 4 times the clarity of a 1080p image, so you might want to invest for the future. That may sound ludicrous to you, and at last year’s 4K TV prices we would have agreed; however, manufacturers are intent on making 4K the new standard, and recent prices suggest as much with the cost of both 4K TVs and camcorders dropping into much more reasonable territory.
Though 4K isn’t quite a household name yet, it’s certainly something to consider for future proofing. If you’re looking to cut costs, you still won’t want to go much lower than a camera with 1080p resolution. Given that videos are most commonly watched on home PCs and mobile devices – which typically offer this resolution as standard – you’ll at least want them to match those standards. Oh, and don’t be swayed by 3D capabilities: there’s a reason that gimmick comes and goes every 30 years.
Here’s the terrifying part. If talk of volume envelopes, transitions, splits, trims, cuts and plug-ins has you confused and scared, you’re not alone. Many first-time video makers panic at the unavoidably ugly face of video editing software – a mess of screens, buttons, bars and dials. Why can’t we just point and shoot?
Don’t be fooled. Video editing software is no more difficult than learning Microsoft Office. There’s a lot going on, and a mind-boggling array of options, but you can absolutely get by using only the most basic functions. Learn how to manage your volume, cut unnecessary footage and stick a couple of clips together and you’ll not only be set – you might well get addicted. Then you can channel your inner Cameron and experiment with the good stuff.
A low-cost, beginner friendly favourite is VideoStudio Ultimate X10 at £89.99. Sony Vegas Movie Studio’s prices are more flexible, with the simplest edition costing as little as £39.99, but it isn’t quite designed with beginners in mind.
– A YouTube Account
If you’ve got a Google Account, you’ve got a YouTube account. Aside from an ill-advised attempt to force Google Plus accounts onto YouTube users back in 2014 (which was later abandoned, quite rightly), Google have made creating a YouTube account relatively seamless; simply click “Log In” in the top right of the main page and any Google account you’ve activated within the browser is ready to have a video channel set up. From there, you’ve got an option menu on the left of YouTube’s main page: simply click ‘My Channel’ and you can upload any finished videos that are sat on your hard drive awaiting an audience.
Complications can arise if you’re looking to add links to your website from within the video, and while YouTube does provide some in-depth tutorials on how to do so, you may feel more comfortable leaving your website manager to do so. Nonetheless, we at NovaLoca were able to make the necessary changes in as little as 5 minutes, and having our videos link viewers to our site with a single button click certainly isn’t a privilege we’d go without.
The beauty of YouTube is how nearly every blog, website and social media platform supports it. Sharing your videos on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere online in fact, is typically as simple as copying the link and pasting it into your text. However you choose to reach your audience, directing them to your YouTube videos is as simple as it is beneficial.
What Kind of Videos Should You be Making?
Well, that’s kind of a trick question – the answer is anything. The trick is to work within your limits. If all you have are your camera and a car, consider contacting agents for on-site interviews. If you’re frequently out to photograph properties, consider the extra dimension a video walkthrough of the building could provide. Can you capture a feature or a sense of scale that a static photo might not?
Some of the most common – yet effective – videos include:
If you’re relying on a strong brand image or you’re a new business looking to gain recognition, a promotional video can make for a strong introduction. Concentrate on what immediately makes your business stand out visually. If you’ve got a nice new office, flaunt it. If you’re able to offer properties that nobody else can, get some shots in there. If nobody in the office is keen to get in front of the camera for hosting duties, don’t underestimate the power of text; an increasing amount of viral videos are relying on text or subtitles because – just like you and us – their viewers are often in busy office environments.
If you’re not at all camera shy, don’t be afraid to sell yourself. If you’ve got over 30 years’ experience, awards, accreditations… boast a little. It’s no different to providing the staff biographies you have on your site already, you’re just doing it through a more direct and personal filter; an excellent way to introduce yourself to prospective clients.
If you frequently write blog posts, an accompanying video can expand or condense as you see fit. In fact, they’re exactly the kind of video we like to produce most. As mentioned before, we often create these with the ‘text-only’ approach mentioned above, condensing the main points of the blog into more bite-sized chunks. You can read our 2017 blog here, and watch the accompanying video below.
If you can keep your videos constant and current, quick video blogs on local or national events are perfect. They’ve already got public interest, are likely to be trending topics, and viewers will want to hear it from people in the industry. Best of all, they can be as high or low profile as you want. Many popular ‘Vlogs’ on YouTube are little more than spoken word delivered in front of a static camera. Granted, you’ll want your video to look a bit more professional than the average teen broadcasting from a webcam in his bedroom, but the setup needn’t be much more complex.
It’s not just camcorders that are leading the way for video content – check out our blog “Video Content – The New Era of Property Advertising” to learn more.