Tips for using Vine, Instagram and YouTube video for real estate marketing

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In today’s world of tweets and short attention spans, you might think that getting your message across quickly is always the best
policy. Even when it comes to video.

After all, as a real estate professional, you need to catch your prospect’s attention in the first few seconds and get your message across before they move on.

Between Twitter’s 6-second Vine videos and Instagram’s 15-second tweetable mini movies, it does seem that folks are enamored with short snippets.

But then again, there’s also an audience for longer videos on YouTube. In a recent HubSpot marketing blog, Dan Lyons uncovers a trend toward success for longer videos, especially when there’s a story to be told.

So as a savvy real estate pro, which video option is better for you?

It depends on your marketing strategy — but we’ve found that agents have had success with all three whether they’re promoting listings or their brand. We’ve gathered a few insights on each so that you can decide for yourself what’s right for your efforts.


Can you make an impression in 6 seconds? If you’re skilled (and comfortable with social media) the answer is yes.

Katie Lance, a contributor at Inman News wrote a piece on how agents could use Vine when it debuted in January. Here are a few nuggets she suggests:

Celebrating moments and promote your brand. 

I could see a fun Vine made up of a shot of the happy homeowner at the title office, signing the papers, holding up the set of keys, shot of the kids, shot of the SOLD sign rider being held up.” 

Introducing a feature of a home and highlight a new listing.

“Vine is not a good app for a home tour – but I think it would be awesome to give a glimpse; a glimpse of an amazing backyard or kitchen – highlighting 4 or 5 different angles.”

Showcasing your team at a sales meeting and strengthen your agency’s brand.

How about a few quick shots of a few agents milling around, smiling, hanging out, on the phone or checking their messages? It’s an easy way to get the message across that you have a fun team.”

Working on 3 deals at the same time? Let everyone know that what’s behind your brand.

“Do a quick Vine of your computer, your iPad, the app you use for your contracts – show how you can work quickly and multi-task using technology.”


Joe Heath with Realty Biz News just wrote a nice piece on how agents can use Instagram to boost their listings and their brand. His top suggestion for listings is to shoot a short video as a “tease” for prime listings.

“Micro video clips are the perfect way to convey tiny bits of information to all your social media followers and potential home buyers while hopefully leaving them with the feeling of wanting more,” he said.

Need a little more inspiration? Take a look at this Instagram video below from Lulumon that highlights at least 16 locations while still keeping its focus. Imagine something like that for your next listing. Or, if you’re looking to promote your brand, maybe it’s you standing in front of sold sign after sold sign!


Vanessa Pappas, Global Head of Audience Development at YouTube, sees a trend for longer videos. 

“It’s kind of counterintuitive,” she says. “But we’re finding the audience is there for all types of content. Possibly there’s a shift taking place from thinking of YouTube as a place for snackable content to thinking of it as a place for more engaging content, and more storytelling.”

If you’re looking to tell a longer story, give more detail on a listing or demonstrate your expertise and build your brand, you may want to stick with a longer form and YouTube. Here are 4 tips from Pappas on how to get the best out of YouTube:

1) Plan a series, not a single video:

“Don’t go for a one-off. Think about the longevity of the channel and build in that loyalty,” Pappas says.

2) Think like a TV programmer:

“A lot of times it’s just consistency. People are creatures of habit. They want to know when to tune in, what to expect, upload frequently and letting them know what your schedule is …”

3) Focus on meta data:

 Adding the right tags and information “can help us to surface that content, and help you get your videos discovered,” Pappas says.

4) Read the playbook:

Here’s a link to the YouTube Creator Playbook, a must-read for anyone trying to make videos for YouTube. Word is that a new version should be out in August.

So what about you? Are you a short and sweet kind of videographer? Or ready to create an epic film? Let us know in the comments below.


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