You may think of YouTube as just a place to host your longer videos, but if we look under the hood, it’s actually a well-oiled search engine.
That also makes YouTube an incredibly powerful lead generation and business growth tool, albeit vastly underutilized these days (so there’s a bigger opportunity for you).
I truly believe that the average Realtor, mortgage lender, or business owner can start using YouTube for business and see results after 30 days, with significant ROI (or, ROT: Return on Time), within three months or less.
Oh, and it’s also easy, free, and requires no special knowledge or equipment.
I’ll break it all down for you in this article, but to start, we have to talk about a different company: Google.
By far the most popular search engine in the U.S. (and the western world), Google now accounts for 73% of all internet searches.
Next on down the list of traditional search engines you’ll see Bing second with 7.91% of internet queries. They’re followed by Yahoo with 3.95%, Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves) with 0.42%, and AOL (which wouldn’t even be notable save for their prominence in the early days of the internet) with 0.06% market share.
If we add it to that list, YouTube is a far bigger search engine than Yahoo, Bing, Ask and AOL – combined!
Thinking of YouTube as a search engine – not just a video platform
YouTube isn’t widely used as a search engine yet, but that’s exactly what it does, syncing seamlessly with Google to produce one of the most powerful and effective search engines in the world. (Notice that they ask you for a Google account or Gmail address to log in?)
Just by posting enough quality content with the right headlines, descriptions, tags, and links, you can vault your content to the top of the search engines. That will allow you to rank highly for important key words and search equerries, reaching your potential audience en masse like never before.
It’s within easy reach for the average Realtor, mortgage lender, or small business owner to rank high on YouTube, whereas ranking #1 or even on the first page of Google can take a whole lot of SEO and money.
Here are some quick stats on YouTube, particularly as a search engine:
YouTube by the numbers
And YouTube is still growing
The YouTube youth movement…and seniors, too?
An audience that is looking for YOUR content, not the other way around
Most Facebook and Instagram users scroll, post, and comment for entertainment’s sake (or messaging, sharing photos, etc.).
But YouTube viewers are specifically looking for information, reviews, guides, video experiences, and How-To’s.
In fact, the average YouTube viewer spends 8 minutes and 41 seconds on the site each day.
YouTube instruction is so prevalent, that the term, “University of YouTube” was coined for DIY learning, and one US mother built her own house from the ground up just off of instructional videos – with no previous building experience!
In fact, the three times as many people prefer to watch a How-To video on YouTube instead of reading an instruction manual.
That’s a big paradigm shift – and the key to how YouTube can completely revolutionize your marketing.
YouTube as a lead generation tool and sales magnet
With one simple video, a Realtor, mortgage lender, or business owner can reach tens of thousands of viewers (or way more) in your local who are actively searching for that kind of content.
Don’t get me wrong: Facebook or Instagram are important tools as well.
But, when someone scrolls through their newsfeed on FB or IG, they aren’t actively looking or searching for your content (usually). You can only hope to capture their attention for a second or two – usually by paying for ad placement or boosting a post – before they scroll on.
That’s like placing a billboard under an airport and expecting air passengers to see it as they zoom on by!
Conversely, YouTube is much more efficient for getting your message across to a larger and more appreciative audience – on their own terms.
It’s as if they park their car under that same billboard and look up.
It’s also an ideal way to initiate your marketing funnel.
(YouTube > Subscribe > Giveaway > Email List > Website or Blog > Social Media > etc.).
But, like everything, the key is being consistent with your branding, messages, and frequency of posts while always focusing on adding value.
I’ll talk a lot more about best practices for using YouTube as a lead generation engine and sales magnet in future articles, but we’ve established that YouTube is a kick-ass search engine and WAY underutilized among real estate agents, mortgage pros, and other business owners.
Contact me if you’d like to chat more about how YouTube could help your business.
Realtors and loan officers – have you set up your Google My Business listing yet? (Why the heck not?!!!)
As the top search engine in the world, Google drives more traffic than any single source, responsible for about 75% of all search queries in the U.S. today - including when consumers look for a local Realtor, mortgage lender, or any business.
Google has been around almost as long as there's been an Internet, but it has a relatively new platform that can do some pretty incredible things when it comes to expanding your reach and presence online. (We're not talking about Google+, which is dead as disco!)
I’m referring to the Google My Business page feature on – you guessed it – Google.
As a real estate agent, getting your NAP (name, address, phone numbers, etc.) as well as brokerage name, the area you serve, email address, and website, etc. are crucial, and Google My Business will help you do that – and way more.
And the best part is that very few Realtors and loan officers are bothering to use it yet, so you have a window to be ahead of your competition.
In fact, having (and using) a Google My Business listing can:
The best part is that it’s free!
However, it does take a little bit of time and know-how to do it correctly (you don't want to just use your home address, but set up your business as a solo practitioner at your brokerage address, etc.) so contact me if you need helping setting it up quickly and inexpensively.
Ok, let’s dig into the features and benefits of Google My Business:
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a convenient tool for businesses, organizations, and even real estate agents to organize, catalog, and promote their online presence across the Google universe. That includes syncing Google search, Google Maps, and more.
You can find the portal to get started at Google.com/business.
The powerful benefits of Google My Business:
By setting up and using Google My Business correctly, you’ll make it far easier for potential clients to find you, forums to connect with them directly, and ways to measure and optimize those interactions.
One of the main benefits, of course, is that your business will show up right when people are searching for your services or similar business in your area.
For Realtors, that may mean that when people search Google for "Real estate agents in East Sacramento" or "Buy a home in San Jose,” your business will appear in the search, complete with all the information you want them to have right at their fingertips – your name, phone number, website, email and even a flag on the Google Map. Amazing!
Since a Realtor's business is hyper-local (you don't care about showing up for home sale searches in Kansas, or even Los Angeles, if you're a real estate agent in Sacramento), Google's Google My Business (let’s call it GMB to save my typing finger) is a powerful and focused tool – and one that gives you a competitive edge over the 98% of other real estate salespeople who aren't using it.
Here is some information that GMB will document and share across all Google platforms:
• Phone number
• Website URL
• URL to make an appointment
• Business hours
• Address (Again, this can be tricky for Realtors, but there's a correct way to do it.)
• Company Logo
• Profile Photo
• Internal and external photos
• Virtual Tour (if applicable)
• Other social media links
All of these tools will be at your disposal – and more with their advanced function. It's no wonder why an estimated 39% of local retailers and walk-in businesses have already claimed and verified their Google My Business listing.
Do you need more convincing? In part two of this blog, we’ll bring you information about these 10 benefits of having a Google My Business page:
1. Your Google listing will attract a new audience via Google Search.
2. Your business will pop right up in Google Maps.
3. Easily manage your business information.
4. Gain reviews - and answer them directly.
5. Write and share Google posts.
6. Access user insights and search analytics.
7. Get a free Google website!
8. Offer specials, promotions, special discounts, etc.
9. Enjoy their Question & Answer feature.
10. Direct message your audience and potential clients.
Tune in for part two coming soon, or email me if you'd like help setting up your Google My Business listing.