The cost of YouTube

By Phil Thomas Di Giulio
March 22, 2013
Is YouTube really free?

Google controls the search game, that much we can agree on. On the surface, it seems to make a ton of sense to post video to YouTube. However, one should also consider the costs of ceding value and traffic to a third party. But wait, I thought YouTube was FREE, right?

Here are three reason to think again:

1. Are consumers searching on YouTube for real estate?

Perhaps they are, but the real question is: are they having a good experience and--importantly for real estate professionals--does YouTube serve your goals (new and repeat business)?

One search on YouTube for real estate content should be all you need: consumers that search for videos in their area of focus are inundated with non-applicable content, listing videos that aren’t active anymore, and--most importantly for both consumers and the real estate industry--no valuable ways to take action.

2. Consumers are definitely searching via Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor and/or their local brokerage.

Consumers generally search Google for local data and turn to the aforementioned for the listings. There is certainly a place for local community (evergreen) related content, but what happens after someone watches a community video on YouTube? On average, less than 1/10 of viewers click off YouTube to visit a content owners website. The other nine either bounce (abandoning your video altogether) or indecisively click off to an unrelated video via the right rail (i.e. another Harlem Shake video). Ninety percent of what should have been traffic to your website is now in the abyss of YouTube. Potentially more disconcerting, these visitors could be negatively influenced by 'other' unrelated content associated with your brand (see image above).

3. If #2 is true, can my video(s) rank well (get found) within organic results without relying on YouTube?

The answer is yes, if your video is positioned correctly online, using a premium video software platform. Posting content which you control on your website, listing pages, and anywhere else online will help ensure an excess of 80% of views occur on your website. Remember, a website such as YouTube--even if the consumer was there looking for property--has no idea how to properly present value, but you do! Upload your content to a premium video host > post it on your website or listings > done! Your site is real estate specific and likely has all you need to connect with consumers and win new business. All you needed was for your video content pulling consumers to your site and now it will be.

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Want to control how your content shows up in search results? You absolutely can do it, you just have to play to your strengths, not theirs. If you are interested to learn more or looking for guidance developing a video strategy that is beneficial for your brokerage or brand, check out our tour pages. Let's go video!!

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