Take Control of Your Content, But Dodge Hosting

By Christian Sterner
July 23, 2014

There was recently a great post published by Sam DeBord (Managing Broker, Seattle Homes Group) within Inman News about the future of real estate video. There were two sections of this post that were most applicable for real estate companies looking to take video to it utmost plateaux. Here, I’ll cover one of them: content ownership (which is a great thing) and “self-hosting” (which is dangerous if misinterpreted).

I. Content Ownership

Sam does a great job of demonstrating his position regarding free platforms here...

“There is plenty of material on when and why self-hosted video can be better for a business. Having spent a large chunk of last year studying video search engine optimization (SEO), I can simply tell you this:

More than 99 percent of potential customers who view your video on YouTube won’t click through to your website. You know this inherently when you see all of the competitors’ videos and other distractions after you watch a YouTube video, but it needs to be pointed out statistically to drive home how poor it is for video conversion. When your video is on YouTube, you’re putting your customers in the pit of lions and hoping they come back out looking for you.”

Clearly what Sam is saying here is a popular topic here at WellcomeMat, but between the lines, he refers to a couple things that-even after I remove my WellcomeMat founder hat-should be front of mind for anyone in real estate looking to do what’s best with their videos:

1) Studying video SEO has to become a real focus should you want to stay ahead of the game. There is no half stepping here...a choice must be made from the following:

  • Work with a company that can place you in the best position, creating video sitemaps that demonstrate you as a video publisher (video publishers are most easily identified when their domain links show up within search engines).

  • Learn how to do video SEO (staying on top of all changes and trends) in a way where every video you post follows a specific data format, presented to Google, Facebook (open graph), Bing (MRSS), Yahoo (MRSS) etc etc.

  • Fall back on a free platform (which, to clarify, does not qualify as SEO because search engine optimization is the act of optimizing content on your own site for search traffic)

2) “Self-Hosting”

Here is where the rubber hits the road with Sam’s post, at least in regards to establishing oneself as a video publisher without scraping your knees. I don’t want to speak for Sam, but I think it was not intentional for him to state “self-hosting” in a way that reflects its actual definition. Rather, what he is advocating for is the use of enablement platforms to achieve publisher status. If so, bravo! If not, beware: hosting video content is a full time occupation. For marketing professionals, we know it is largely your developers’ job to build more than they buy. But, with video, you are asking for trouble.

Getting to today’s status quo with video tech is somewhat easy. You read all the newest set ups and start building. Luckily, status quo doesn’t move as quickly as your team, so you will start to feel a sense of euphoria in getting up to par. You will feel most euphoric before quantum shifts in video tech happen, after which you fully understand that video is a core, focus on it all the time thing.

Sam’s post was awesome in a lot of ways. I found his thoughts on automated content to be right in line with our thinking. But, after reading his Inman News post, I wanted to make an effort to clarify his statements for those closest to WellcomeMat.

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