Initial Models Have Always Been Limiting
There was a time when the world was thought to be flat. Humans just could not break out of that model.
People simply could not conceive of a round earth. They drew dragons on maps to represent falling off the edge of the world. Even though there was data from visual observation of the night skies and a fledging body of mathematicians with math that said otherwise, it took hundreds of years to break out of the existing model to the mre successful model that we have today.
Why The YouTube Video Model Is Limiting
Should the YouTube model of real estate video be thought of in the same limiting way? I say, yes. Yes to every video site that depends on the user to upload to a channel and "distribute" their video by cutting and pasting some place else.
Lets walk through the limitations of the cut and paste approach:
- Lack of Discoverability: Discoverability is about being able to find interesting content about which I am otherwise unaware. If you really think about it, there's only 4 common ways to find interesting real estate video content: 1) go to the specific user's channel, or 2) encounter it after its been cut and paste on someone else's blog or website, or 3) input the correct keywords in a search engine and have it appear before I stop paging through search results, or 4) if a property video, find it as part of a online listing such as the MLS or other 3rd party listing site.
The interesting part is that these 4 methods of discoverability remain fixed no matter how many sites to which you upload a given video.
- Fickle Distribution Results: The strength of your cut and paste efforts ultimately lies on the strength of your circle of friends. How many of us have friends with 1) a high traffic real estate website that 2) has a high mix of prospective buyers and 3) would let me cut and paste my listing into their site. I'm guessing not many of us fall into this category. Most of us will paste the video into our own blog and/or website and leave it at that.
- Lack of Real Marketing Support: Most provider's view their channels as the online equivalents of simple parking lots or self storage facilities. They just provide a securable "place" and whatever happens in your unit is up to you. Since the model is based on them doing nothing to help you market your video, if your video isn't watched, apparently it's your fault not theirs....this is generally true even if you pay for services.
- Sharing Really Just Means Emailing: We have yet to see a sharing function on a flash video player that isnt just an emailing function. Sharing to me should be just as effective with strangers as it is with friends and there should not be a chance that I'll be "shared" to the SPAM folder...but maybe that's just me.
Are the above points really indicative of a successful approach to managing rich media? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
What's Coming Soon
Stay tuned, we'll be announcing a completely different model for distribution and sharing real estate videos right around the first of the new year. Your real estate video content will be discoverable, distributable, syndicatable, and sharable in more than one direction. The expected results? More views from prospective buyers....it didnt even take hundreds of years this time :)
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