No business on its own is going to save the planet, but there’s an ever-growing army of green entrepreneurs and eco-conscious organisations all pushing for a more sustainable future – and Art Division is one of them.

As a business that recycles almost everything, we’re pleased to report that our recycling efforts over the past 12 months has resulted in saving four trees and one tonne of CO2.

Our recycling efforts over the past 12 months has resulted in saving four trees and one tonne of CO2

Our food is recycled through First Mile, a company which provides recycling and waste services for businesses across London and Birmingham, while our electricity and gas is supplied by Ecotricity, the ‘world’s first Green Electricity company’. We’ve cut utility costs, and reduced our carbon footprint. Our next eco-friendly move? Probably recycled paper.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that small gestures don’t impact big issues like global warming. In fact, we could all sleep a little more soundly in our beds at night by ignoring the not-so-well-informed opinions of none other than the current President of the United States, and doing our bit to help, however insignificant that may seem.

The US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and in response we encourage other businesses to do even more now, and not rely on politicians to do all the work for us.

With the pressure to protect the environment arguably at an all-time high, ‘going green’ is the best solution.

It is the news we’ve all been hoping for… we are Finalists once again at the 2017 Merton Best Business Awards.

We are shortlisted for 2 awards – Best in the Creative Sector and Best Business under 50 Employees.

We were delighted to have made it to the Finals especially as we have been up against some great local businesses and we are now looking forward to the glamorous gala dinner on 27th September 2017 when the winners will be announced.

Merton Awards Finalist

Incessant mobile phone usage might be hindering interpersonal communication, but the way in which we use website technology has shifted to the point where a personalised experience is now preferred - and expected - by the user.

Personalised Website Design by Art Division
74% of customers feel frustrated if website content is not personalised

A personalised website is one which tailors content to specific visitors so that every visitor’s needs are met at the right time.

A Infosys report states that 74% of customers feel frustrated if website content is not personalised, and that percentage is only likely to increase. We all want to feel special. We all want to be treated as an individual, as a human being, even when browsing an e-commerce site. This is the nub of the answer to the question: what difference does a personalised website make? To the website users of today, it makes all the difference in the world.

When a user visits a website, there is often a ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality. People lead busy lives; the time they spend online is limited. When browsing a website, a user wants to be directed to their goal straightaway and without complication. A personalised website will help to make the user feel special, feel appreciated, while smoothing the path to conversion.

Every business needs a website, and every business needs to present their customers with a personalised website – one which appears bespoke to every visitor. A website that delivers a personalised experience is important to the user – but also to the business itself.

Why website personalisation is important for your business

According to Gartner, by 2020, personalisation engines will allow online businesses to boost their profits by 15%. For a business, establishing your point of difference and standing out from the crowd of competition is becoming increasingly challenging, so a personalised website is key.

A personalised website will:

  • Improve customer retention – the value of repeat business and customer loyalty must never be underestimated. Repeat business is just as valuable as new business. A personalised website will help you foster strong relationships with visitors and customers, and build a good reputation in the eyes of visitors.

  • Increase conversions – personalised content and personalised customer journeys have been shown to increase conversions. If you catch a visitor at the right stage of the lifecycle and present them with the right message, they are more likely to convert. The human to human touch is crucial to achieve high conversion rates.

  • Boost engagement – if a visitor is presented with information which chimes with their interests they will be more likely to remain on your site, and therefore more likely to engage. Engagement can mean anything from signing up to receive a newsletter to downloading a free guide.

  • Boost digital marketing efforts – this comes back to customer retention and the importance of brand familiarity, brand recognition and trust, all of which can be improved through digital marketing. Personalised content will aid your digital marketing efforts, from custom audience retargeting on Facebook to personalised landing page copy and call to actions.

Personalised customer journeys

Personalisation Technology - Both Netflix and Amazon utilise data to construct a personalised experience

Customer personalisation technology has been adopted by some of the world’s most influential companies and honed to perfection. Both Netflix and Amazon utilise data to construct a personalised experience for each customer. Netflix looks at a user’s past activity and proposes alternative TV shows they might enjoy, while Amazon demonstrates just how persuasive recommendation engines can be by suggesting other items a user might be interested in based on what they’ve previously browsed or bought. The recommendation system, which essentially pushes relevant products before the eyes of users encouraging them to purchase items they didn’t even know they needed, increases Amazon’s revenue and builds customer loyalty.

How to create personalised experiences for your website visitors

Google Analytics allows you to track site users’ journeys and to better understand your audience and how they engage. Your website can then be personalised in multiple ways. These include:

  • Usability – the quality of the user experience is closely linked with website design and personalisation. Website personalisation is not only concerned with content, processes should also be personalised to guarantee the best experience for each user. Usability and the user experience refers to how successfully the site functions for the individual user. The more personalised the website, the better its functionality.

  • Mobile-responsive design – we live in a mobile-first world, and businesses need to capture and engage their mobile audience as well as their desktop audience. A mobile-responsive website is a must for businesses across all areas of industry.

  • Content marketing – your website content, whether it be blog articles or videos, should offer value and be relevant for your target audience.

  • Localisation – the customer experience can be tailored to complement the location of the user by way of transcreation. Websites need to be truly global, adapting accordingly to the location of every user.

  • Live chat – make sure this feature benefits the customer, not the company.

  • Social networking sites – social media is an essential element of online marketing. Businesses can use sites like Facebook to segment their audience and remarket a particular message to a pre-defined pool of people.

A personalised website makes all the difference to the majority of customers and to a business itself. Our advice? Be more focused on your audience and their needs and less focused on the whims of your brand.

If the above has raised some concerns and you need advice, please get in touch with us for a free, no obligation chat.

The fitting of a new air con at our office few weeks ago has changed my view of capital investment. The old AC started showing signs that it needed replacing about three years ago and in that time we’ve made so much use of our service contract that the provider increased its charges for the start of 2016.

That was our signal that we needed a replacement AC, and the benefits it has delivered since its installation make me wish we’d invested the capital three years ago. Not only are we more comfortable in the office as it’s nice and cool but I’m promised that the model is costing less money to run.

Unfortunately, too many individuals and business continue to follow my old mantra of “if it’s not completely kaput, why waste money updating capital assets?”

This is a false economy. Many businesses carry out regular reviews of the performance of their staff so why not do the same for your company’s most valuable asset – its website?

Your website is the engine that drives any brand’s customer acquisition, conversion and retention strategy.

It is more than a shop window or a digital sales brochure. Your website is a living, breathing marketing ally and should drive your digital strategy. But it can only do this if you take control of its power.

But for your website to deliver the acquisition, conversion and retention targets you have set it in a cost-effective manner it needs regular care, attention and updating.

How to discover if your company website needs updating or if it's as efficient as it should be for today's users:

The answers to the following five questions will reveal whether your website is performing as efficiently as our new air con, or if it should be your first company asset that receives capital investment over the next three months.

  • 1. Is your website mobile friendly?

    The days when people accessed the web on a desktop PC are disappearing far into the distance. A growing number of people feel a need to have their smartphone within reach of them 24 hours a day. And more than 50% of your customers are using their mobile devices to browse the web and make purchase decisions. If you site is not designed to automatically resize itself to the screen it is being viewed on, the user not only has a poor experience and is unlikely to convert, Google will unleash its wrath.

    In 2015, Google introduced a mobile-friendly label to its search results that website owners can only gain if their sites deliver the same user experience on a smartphone or tablet as a desktop browser.  In May 2016 Google rolled out an update to mobile search results that increased the effect of the ranking signal to help their users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly. This means that your website will no longer appear on Google search results for phrases relating to your business unless it is optimised for mobile.

    Sites that gain Google’s approval, and with it a mobile-friendly label in search results, invariably use a technique known as responsive web design to create sites that:

    • Use text that is readable without zooming
    • Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
    • Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
  • 2. Can Google find your website?

    According to Search Engine Journal, 75% of Google users will never go past page one, which means that if your website is not making the top 10 results then you are not going to be getting the traffic that you need to get sales.

    There are 3 components that contribute to the ranking of a site:

    1. The way the site was structured and optimised – we also refer to this as ‘technical SEO’.
    2. The content on the site and how well it’s optimised.
    3. The number and quality of external links pointing to your website.

    Technical SEO is extremely important in the ranking process as if done incorrectly can make any marketer’s job very hard or impossible. It’s quicker, easier and more cost-efficient to build the necessary SEO components into the site design and architecture right from the start but if this is not possible, there are ways to improve this on your existing site as well.

    Technical SEO looks at things like:

    • Proper site architecture and URL structure that incorporates keywords so both search engines and human visitors know exactly what your page is about.
    • Clean and W3C validated code
    • Schema structured data
    • Site loading speed optimisation
    • Mobile CSS
    • XML sitemap

    Creating a new website has the added advantage of reducing the load time of pages. You’re in trouble if it takes more than a few seconds for your site to load. Research by Kissmetrics shows that the website abandonment threshold is 5 seconds for mobile and a mere 3 seconds for desktop.

    Once you’ve built your mobile-friendly site, it’s important to continue following SEO best practices in terms of link building both internally and to other sites that Google considers to be authoritative, social media activity, video creation, local search and, believe or not, positive reviews on third-party sites.

  • 3. Does the design of your website grab a viewer’s attention?

    You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your website is very often the first introduction a potential customer will have of your company and no matter how easy your digital asset is to find on Google or how well it can be viewed on a variety of screen sizes, your digital marketing strategy will fail spectacularly if it appears to be dressed in the online equivalent of flares and slippers.

    Many of the web design trends that are big in 2017 take into account the mobile user’s needs. This is why sites that make the most of flat design, large images and typography are bang on-trend. Using such elements, plus infographics and scrolling screens, will give out the message that you are as forward-thinking as your new website, and promote conversion.

  • 4. Is your website’s content super-fresh?

    While Google does not yet rank websites for their look (although the behaviour of your users based on your design and usability does), the search giant lays great importance on its content.

    Companies that still consider their website as a sales brochure need to think again. Content is king. By constantly updating your site with fresh, unique and informative content in the form of blogs, area guides, infographics and even video, you are telling Google that you care – if the search giant knows it’s there.

    When Google directs visitors to your fresh content, they will receive your clear message that you have your finger on the pulse of developments in your market, which will increase your levels of customer engagement.

    The question is, can your current website expand? Can you add more pages, blog posts and other type of content easily and in a logical structure? If the answer is no, this can play against your growth plans this year.

  • 5. Does your website convert visitors into leads?

    This, of course, is the true test of a business website’s effectiveness. In the unlikely event that this is the only question that is leaving you shaking your head, there’s a three-word fix to this problem – calls to action.

    Whether you’re directing visitors to sign up to a newsletter, start a free trial, complete a sale or even a social media button, the CTA is a potent tool to help convert window shoppers into paying customers.

    If your website was not planned, designed and build with your key call to actions in mind, adding them at a later stage may look like an afterthought or confuse the readers.

    Not all the solutions to the five signals outlined above that you need a new website are quick fixes, or easy to carry out without specialist knowledge and expertise.

    Just as it never crossed our mind to turn our AC installation into a DIY project, the benefits of outsourcing your website redesign are clear. It will be carried out by professionals with specialist knowledge and deliver results that can recoup the cost in a relatively short space of time, while leaving you to focus on your areas of expertise.

If the above has raised some concerns and you need advice, please get in touch with us for a free, no obligation chat.

What is a call to action?

A call to action (CTA) is an instruction, formulated in such a way as to provoke a response from the user. The call to action should persuade the user to take a particular action, whether it be to sign up to a newsletter, sign up to a webinar, download a brochure or report, fill in a form, request further information, or buy a product.

A CTA can be placed anywhere on a website, it can be placed in an email, on a Facebook post, at the end of a video, or at the bottom of a blog article. The CTA itself may be a banner, a sign, an image, a button, or simply a bit of text allowing visitors to click through.

The aim of a CTA is to encourage visitors to take action then and there – not, necessarily, to leave the website and return later – but to take action immediately.

call to action

What encourages a user to take action?

In other words, what makes for an effective CTA? When it comes to the psychology behind a call to action, there are multiple elements to take into consideration. These include:

  • Colour

    Colour psychology in marketing is an expansive subject. For example, blue is said to signify trust, while green is associated with health and growth. Women are said to be drawn more to the colours blue, green and purple, while men favour blue, green and black. It’s worth taking this into consideration when choosing colour, but no one colour converts better than any other. The main thing is to make sure the background colour of the page doesn’t clash with the colour of the CTA icon – look to establish a happy contrast.

  • Wording

    Depending on your audience, the right phrases or wording can make all the difference to your conversion rates. For example, the word ‘free’ will be enticing to most visitors, so if what you’re offering is free, use this word. The words/phrases you use need to evoke a sense of urgency, be clear, pithy, personal, action-orientated, and unequivocal in meaning. Create the impression that there is a limited supply of whatever it is you’re offering, and focus on the benefits of your product/service. Some examples include: now, new, you, guarantee, hurry, last chance, limited, today only, sign up.

  • Placement

    Above the fold or below? The answer’s not that simple. Traditionally, most marketers placed the CTA above the fold, but more recent studies have shown that placing the CTA below the fold can result in higher conversions. Placing the CTA below the fold gives you space for content first, which can be read and understood by the user before they reach the CTA. If they read this content, they are more likely to know what to expect from the CTA, and therefore more likely to convert. The best approach is to run tests to see what works best.

  • Font

    Above all, the font must be legible and scalable. Use a different font for the CTA than you’ve used on the rest of the landing page, as this will emphasise it. Make sure the contrast between the different fonts is complementary.

  • Image

    An image should evoke emotion in some form. Make sure the image is relevant to the CTA and helps push the visitor into converting.

  • Size

    Naturally you want your CTA to stand out, so make sure it’s noticeable. However, you don’t want the call to action to be so large that it detracts completely from the other content on the page.

  • Shape

    It’s well known that curves and rounded edges are more pleasing to the eye. Studies have shown that rounded corners pull your attention to the inside of a box or button, so it’s worth testing this to see how it works for you.

Does the layout of the landing page matter?

Yes. The entire landing page should be built around the CTA. You naturally want users to come to your landing page, but you don’t want them to just visit the page and leave without taking action. Placement is important, and a logical flow of information through to the CTA should leave users in no doubt of what they can expect if they click on your CTA. You need to make it easy and simple for users to take action – be persuasive.

There is no one answer, but there are certain elements which characterise a successful landing page. These include:

  • An arresting headline – this should be compelling, simply worded, and attention-grabbing.
  • A high-quality image – this should enhance and be relevant to the service or product you’re offering, and, like the headline and subheadline, attention-grabbing.
  • Well-crafted, easy to understand content – the user needs to understand what the product/service/offer is about, so make sure you explain it to them clearly and concisely.
  • Logical layout/flow – there is a ‘conversion funnel’ which users need to go down in order to convert. Start with a piece of explanatory content, outline the benefits of what you’re offering, then end with the CTA.
  • Testimonials – testimonials indicate trust and value in a service or product.

Why you should A/B test your CTAs

Otherwise known as split testing or bucket testing, A/B testing your CTAs is crucial. A/B testing will enable you to see what performs well and what doesn’t. As previously stated, there is no one answer. What works for one campaign/landing page might not work for another. The only best practice approach is to conduct A/B testing and be guided by the results.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact Art Division for a free consultation.

A brand is a living, breathing entity. It is constantly evolving. By looking at it in this way you’ll soon appreciate the importance of a timely rebrand. When a brand appears lacklustre or outdated to its target audience or no longer reflects the nature, spirit and philosophy of the company, then a rebrand may be necessary.

time-for-a-rebrand

A rebrand is all about connecting with new audiences, differentiating your company’s service offering from that of your competitors, shifting your position within a given sector, and allowing you to stay fresh and relevant within the marketplace. As a company evolves, its goals evolve with it. A rebrand is a way of making sure your brand identity reflects new goals, a new message, or a new purpose.

Take Rightmove, for example. The online house hunting portal has virtually taken over the UK property world, aided by the emotive power of its two key messages: ‘help make the right move’ and later ‘find your happy’. But last year, Rightmove rolled out changes to its brand with an aim to alter its visual identity and ‘humanise’ it. The company’s new goal was to convey the humanity behind the big brand, while retaining the ‘find your happy’ message. A humanising approach can help a company forge an emotional connection with their audience, and this is what Rightmove hopes to achieve by rebranding.

Many global brands with an instantly recognisable identity have made a success of rebranding, whether it be Apple, Burberry, or Coca-Cola. But what if you operate on a much smaller scale, and fear a rebrand might alienate your local audience or loyal customers? Whether you’re a global brand or a small, independent outfit, if your goals and philosophy have changed over the years and you feel a fresh approach is needed, in-step with where you are now, then follow your intuition. A SWOT analysis should help you determine whether a rebrand is necessary, but if you feel your brand is dated, your message stale and no longer representative of who you are as a company, then take a deep breath, plan a strategy, and rebrand.

Why rebrand?

Through a rebrand you can:

  • Reposition your business within the industry, thereby reasserting your presence in the marketplace. This is especially useful for smaller businesses that need to work hard to stand out from the competition
  • Diversify your service offering
  • Expand the business – a smaller business may want to rebrand before it expands its size or services
  • Stand apart from your competitors
  • Revivify your brand image and update your brand identity
  • Connect with new audiences
  • Change your message and the way you communicate with customers
  • Restore or alter your company reputation

What are the benefits of rebranding?

The benefits vary from business to business and may depend on the goals you set out to achieve during the planning process, but a rebrand can:

  • Boost your bottom line
  • Increase sales/leads/enquiries
  • Boost your company reputation
  • Strengthen the brand generally, which will bring its own benefits
  • Increase market share

Rebrands can prove the making of some businesses, large or small, and in any industry. Take one of our clients, M&M Property. M&M Property is an independent estate and letting agent with a single office in Newington Green, Islington, London. Marji Adeyinka, the company’s founder, oversaw the rebranding of her business last year. A new business website was launched around the same time. The rebrand and the new website have contributed to a rise in enquiries and improved rankings in Google.

before-and-after-M&M

We spoke to Marji about why she chose to rebrand the business when she did, and how, if at all, the rebrand has benefited the business.

After 12 years of service, our previous brand was starting to look dated. It no longer fully represented who we are as a company. We have evolved over the years, and wanted a new image to reflect that.

The goal was to showcase M&M Property as the boutique estate agents of Newington Green, Islington. Professional, stylish, modern and welcoming. We were also keen to reflect the mood of the area, which has also seen vast changes over the last seven years.

The rebrand has certainly reaped its benefits. Nearly a year after the rebrand, we still have people walking into the office just to talk about the quirkiness of the décor and to compliment us on the new look. Most people we go out to visit tell us they have more confidence in the new brand. Following on from the launch of our newly branded website, we saw an immediate boost in enquiries.

Overall, the rebrand was a great success. The process was detailed and lengthy, and we were concerned that there may be issues with people marrying the old brand with the new, but it was certainly worth the effort and we are told now that we stand out even more than before.

before-and-after-M&M-shop-f

A few tips, if you decide to rebrand…

Tip 1:

A rebrand is a big decision; it involves more than changing the colour of your company logo. A rebrand takes into consideration your entire service offering and the way in which you communicate with your clients or customers, whether it’s over the phone or via social media. So think beyond visual marketing.

Tip 2:

Plan, strategise, and plan again. Don’t embark on the rebrand without vision and real planning. You need to set goals, then build a comprehensive rebranding strategy from scratch with those goals in mind.

Tip 3:

If you’ve built up a loyal band of customers, remember to show loyalty in return by letting them know in advance about the rebrand. An announcement on social media or an email should suffice. Not only will your customers be expecting the changes, but you can take the opportunity to assure them to expect the same good service. Keeping your customers in the loop will also make them feel a part of the journey as your business enters a new phase – and more likely to remain loyal to your business after the rebrand is rolled out.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact Art Division for a free consultation.

The virtual reality experience isn’t just for video gamers. Last year, Nottingham-based estate agency, Walton & Allen, opened a fourth branch office. This office stands apart from most estate agency premises for one reason in particular: it hosts a ‘Virtual Reality Zone’.

When Walton & Allen joined forces with Newton Media to allow them to add virtual reality property viewings to their list of services, they described themselves as the ‘first estate agency in the UK to bring large scale virtual reality property tours to customers’. That’s as may be, but other, typically more established estate agents and property portals are also embracing virtual reality (VR) for property listings and viewings. For example, Strutt & Parker offer what they’ve termed ‘3D model walkthroughs’, which can be viewed via a web browser. The ability to view a property in VR through a web browser is important, as it allows prospective buyers from anywhere in the world to view a property. Meanwhile, Rightmove allows people to experience a 360-degree video tour of a property through a Google Cardboard headset via their YouTube channel.

When estate agents use VR, the aim is to make the viewing process more efficient for vendors, buyers, tenants, and agents, limiting the number of unnecessary viewings and saving time for all involved.

How affordable is virtual reality technology for estate agents?

Affordable VR technology is becoming a reality, but there are inexpensive and expensive options available. If funds allow, you could invest in a VR system with far more advanced capabilities, such as Oculus Rift. It all depends on what your budget is and what you’re prepared to spend. For example, if you’re an independent high street agent with large overheads to pay, your budget may be smaller. In this case, you could invest in Google Cardboard (prices on Amazon start from around £5) as a means of introducing virtual reality into your marketing offering. Alternatively, if you’re prepared to spend a little more, the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream might be suitable. Samsung, Sony, and Google have already brought out headsets which make VR devices of smartphones.

What are the pros?

Potential buyers with busy lives don’t always have the time to visit multiple properties in multiple locations. You could make the argument that potential buyers must make time to view properties, but if VR technology allows potential buyers to see multiple properties in a shorter space of time, why not offer it as an extra service to them? What’s wrong with wanting to make life easier for your customers? Likewise, vendors won’t need to prepare their properties for unnecessary viewings, while agents will have some of their time spared. Everyone’s a winner.

Photographs and floorplans can only do some much (although there is a lot of scope for estate agents who want to offer digitally enhanced floorplans). A virtual reality tour will allow a buyer or tenant to see inside a property properly without setting foot inside, while getting a feel for size and scale, and how the property flows from room to room.

A virtual reality video tour and a detailed floor plan are all a potential buyer/tenant should need at the first stage of the hunt for a new home. From an estate agent’s perspective, it’s a competitive marketplace. By working VR technology into your service offering you’ll be stepping ahead of much of your competition.

What are the cons?

High quality equipment is crucial to create an authentic VR experience, yet it is more expensive. Traditional 360 tours are formed using 360-degree photographs which are sandwiched together. This doesn’t really cut it or create the virtual experience which is needed if you are to offer the customer real value. 360-degree cameras vary, so if you want to take 360-degree images you’ll probably need to spend a little more on the equipment. A 360-degree video tour (which requires a special camera) should offer more of an immersive experience.

In a few years’ time, VR technology will doubtless have evolved, and estate agents may be able to use affordable 3D scanning technology in real time, offering the ultimate VR property viewing.

Do virtual reality property viewings help to sell houses?

According to Walton & Allen, they’ve experienced reasonable success, including receiving an offer on a property from an overseas buyer who had sat through the virtual tour beforehand. Naturally, the more successful the VR experience, the more likely the vendor/agent will be to grab a sale.

But it’s not just estate agents who are embracing VR technology and using it to sell homes.  Property developers are also putting its capabilities to good use when marketing their properties, and it’s especially useful for the marketing of off-plan properties. Developers can then market their VR service to potential buyers of off-plan properties via social media, as VR design companies are already doing:

Of course, virtual reality may never have all the answers, and it’s likely we’ll always want to experience first-hand the atmosphere of a property, to feel and touch a place, and see it with our own eyes before choosing to push ahead with what is usually one of the largest financial transactions of our lives. Virtual reality viewings are not intended to replace the physical practice of viewing a property, rather to make the property viewing process easier for all involved.

That doesn’t mean estate agents shouldn’t be using VR technology – they should. Headsets, 3D scanners, drones, and virtual reality will likely form the future of property marketing. For estate agents, there’s a whole other world – a virtual world – just waiting to be discovered.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact Art Division for a free consultation.

Is video the future of personalised digital content? We say yes, and if you want to connect with potential clients/customers and increase engagement, video should form part of your marketing strategy.

video content publishing

In 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that in five years’ time, Facebook will be mostly video. Video is the perfect medium if you want to evoke emotion, generate a response, and tell the story of your brand. Videos are interactive, entertaining, and accessible – and there are many social channels which allow you to publish or live stream videos.

Here’s a list of the best platforms for video:

  • 1. YouTube

    Over 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube every day, and it is the second largest internet search engine. To publish videos, you’ll need to set up a YouTube channel, but first, you must consider what your video marketing goals are. For example, do you want to gain a new lead or expand your brand’s presence on social networks? You will also need to identify your audience, and establish what type of video will appeal to that audience. Google now owns YouTube, and uploading videos to YouTube can have a positive effect on your search engine rankings.

  • 2. Facebook and Facebook Live

    Launched in April 2016, Facebook Live aims to make it ‘easier to create, share and discover live videos’. It allows you to stream live events, which gives the videos a sense of immediacy. Be sure to create a buzz around your video beforehand by promoting it a few days earlier, then end your video with a clear call to action to encourage conversions and sales. Facebook, with over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, is leading by example and taking a video-first approach – don’t leave Facebook out of your video marketing strategy.

  • 3. Twitter

    Most Twitter users – 82% – watch videos on Twitter. It’s not costly or difficult to create and upload a video to Twitter. You can either shoot the video on a smartphone and upload the video files to Twitter, share links to YouTube videos on Twitter, or shoot the video using the Twitter mobile app. However, things are changing. Since December 2016, Twitter allows for 360-degree live streaming on its live video app, Periscope. It has recently announced the new Periscope Producer API, which will make it easier for media publishers to stream live video on Twitter.

  • 4. Instagram

    If you want to drive more visitors to your website and convey the personality of your brand, try video marketing via Instagram. Primarily an image-based social network, Facebook-owned Instagram is all about shorter videos.

    Instagram introduced an update which allows users to record and upload 60-second videos (an improvement on its 15-second videos) and add filters. As the platform continues to grow (it currently boasts over 600 million users) more video capabilities are being brought in.

  • 5. Snapchat

    Every day, 10 million videos are watched on Snapchat. Snapchat is all about being ‘in the moment’, and gives users the ability to send videos which only last for a matter of seconds. However, the majority of Snapchat users are millennials, so you should bear this in mind when planning your video marketing strategy. If millennials form part of your audience, you might want to use Snapchat.

  • 6. Business website

    The average user will spend more than 88% more time on a website if it has a video on it. You could post a video on a specific landing page (a video on a landing page can boost conversions by 80%), on the ‘meet the team’ page (why not introduce your team to visitors via video), a testimonials page (ask a satisfied client or customer to explain why they would use your services again), or a products page (explain the benefits of a product and demonstrate how it works).

Video is a powerful marketing tool. 76% of businesses which use video say that it offers a good return on investment. What’s more, the mobile-first approach is important these days, and mobile and video are like two peas in a pod.

If you take our advice, start experimenting with video production and use it to reach out to your audience through the best online channels.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact Art Division for a free consultation.

The vast majority of UK estate agents don’t use video to engage with potential clients, but the importance of video marketing cannot be ignored.

Why video, you might be asking? According to Cisco, by 2019 video will account for 80% of global consumer internet traffic. Video has been proved to increase conversions, leads and sales, expand marketing reach, enhance engagement, and boost your bottom line. You can also expect a good return on investment.

So, how can you work a video into your marketing strategy? How can you use video to engage with your audience? We’ve put together a list of the types of videos you, as an estate agent, might like to try.

We’ve also provided an example video with each to help bring these ideas to life for you:

1. Property tours

Property photos have their limitations. If you invest in 360-degree videos as well as photos, it will be easier for potential buyers or tenants to see inside a property and get a feel for the layout. This allows the buyer/tenant to make a more informed decision as to whether to book a viewing. Likewise, your clients will want as much promotion of their property as possible. In using both video and photography, you’ll be able to offer something more than your competitors, which incentivises a potential client to choose your services.

2. Local area tours

If you want to communicate the message that you are a ‘local’ agent, why not create a series of videos to work alongside your area guides? Each video can provide a unique snapshot of an area you specialise in. To make the video more personal, the guide can give his or her ‘top tips’ for the local area, highlighting the best/their recommended cafes, shops, attractions and amenities. This will give viewers a sense of the neighbourhood, helping them decide whether they might want to buy/rent in the area.

3. Client testimonials

Why not ask a satisfied client (vendor, tenant, landlord, buyer) to provide feedback about your business or service? Feature their testimonial in a video and include it on your website. This is first-hand evidence that you’ve done a good job in the past and will likely do a good job in the future.

4. Answering FAQs/visitor queries

Put together a selection of typically-asked client questions, then answer these questions in a video. Be informative but remember: humour never hurts. Answering questions put to you by visitors or potential clients on a video is more engaging and personal than a written list of FAQs and answers on a page on your website.

5. Meet the team profiles

Create an introductory video profiling each member of your team, or at least the people who will be meeting with clients. This will allow potential clients a look ‘behind-the-scenes’, giving the impression that you’re a friendly, open and approachable group of people, which in turn builds trust and credibility, encouraging them to choose you as their agent.

Video marketing and call to actions

Remember to include a call to action in your video (for estate agents, this might be to request a free valuation form or a property viewing, if it’s a property tour) and any relevant links. Studies suggest that by putting a video on a landing page you can increase conversions by 80%. Decide what action you want your visitor to take, and make sure it is clearly written and the call to action icon easy to see.

Video and email marketing

Do you send clients and potential clients information via email? Do you send out a monthly e-newsletter? Well, studies show that click through rate increases by 96% if an email is sent with a video. To do this, insert a screenshot image of the video window with a link to the actual video online (it is best to link to a video on YouTube). However, some of your email marketing recipients may be blocking the receipt of images through email. To get around this, the alt attribute can be call to action text, asking recipients to open the video file.

Video isn’t the easiest thing to create, and create well. Time, and a level of investment, is needed to produce a video. But for businesses – and estate agents in particular – who want to stand out from their competitors, video is a good way to offer value to your visitors while boosting engagement and driving conversions and sales. To succeed with video marketing, be sure to share your videos on the best social platforms for your audience, and publish them on relevant pages on your business website.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact Art Division for a free consultation.