Studies show that first impressions are formed within a fraction of a second. When viewers see the thumbnail image of a video, they immediately form an opinion that can dictate whether they watch the video or move on. Unfortunately, video creators often spend hours building quality content, only to use a poor thumbnail and generate fewer views than desired. Creating and choosing the right thumbnail for a video often has a significant impact on the size of the audience that video ultimately attracts.
The best video thumbnails may seem to be randomly selected, but they are usually not. Most often, thumbnail selections are the result of careful consideration with regard to a video’s target audience and how that audience should be targeted. Most video creation software will default the video thumbnail to the first video frame. However, this is rarely the best thumbnail to use. Using different types of video editing software, creators can select a new thumbnail in several different ways. Still images from the video can make for excellent thumbnails, as can uploaded images or custom images snapped from the video.
Thumbnails need to serve the purpose of video “teaser” and embody the entire message of the video. The viewer should know what the video is going to be about before they watch it, just based on the thumbnail. When choosing a thumbnail, aim to hint at the overall theme of the video and make sure the thumbnail is eye-catching and will compel viewers to click. Additionally, the thumbnail should be consistent with your branding and optimized to look great on a screen or device of any size. Other ways to make your thumbnail more appealing are branding the thumbnail with your company logo or adding text that represents the video content. Some professionals also believe that adding a human face to the thumbnail builds an emotional connection with viewers and thereby makes them more compelled to click.
Want the right video content for your mortgage marketing strategy? Let your instincts guide you and keep an eye on the local and national news. As for specific topics, see our suggestions below!
- Walk your clients through the loan process
- Set the right expectations
- Create a road map of issues that could arise and the things for which potential home buyers should prepare
- What do you specialize in?
- What are your strengths in business?
- Why are you in the mortgage business?
- Why is now a good time to buy?
- What trends are you seeing in the market?
- Explain confusing or hard-to-understand mortgage terms (one at a time)
- What apps do you use and why do they give your clients/referral partners an advantage?
- Share the story of the sales transaction about which you are proudest
- Explain what not to do when selling or buying a home
- What should a buyer look for in a real estate agent?
- Home search tips
- Benefits of home ownership
- What documents are needed when buying a home?
- Explain the difference between fixed and adjustable interest rates
- Talk about and explain the various mortgage programs
- What does a first-time home buyer need to know?
- Ways a borrower can begin to improve their credit score
- What are closing costs and who pays them?
- What is PMI and how is it avoided?
- What your buyer can expect during the sales process
- The importance of a Mortgage Checkup
- Review a Moving Day Checklist
- Share some unpacking tips
- What is your favorite part of your job?
- Why do you love your city/area in the city?
- Give a mini tour of your downtown (for smaller cities)
- Give viewers a look into your daily life
- Share your favorite places to shop, dine and take the kids (such as museums and parks)
- Ask for reviews by “showing” how much a review means through your tone, facial expressions and just how much you appreciate their business
Need help learning how to create great video content? Take a look at our article about video techniques.
Nothing paralyzes a person faster than putting them on camera. A permanent record of what you say or do can almost seem worse than the anxiety that comes with public speaking. Our article about ramping up your video marketing by creating great real estate and mortgage marketing videos may go a long way in assuaging your video fears about everything from what equipment to use to knowing what to say and how to edit. But when it comes to content, the most important part is being authentic, honest and human. Yes, you will stumble over words sometimes. You won’t always look perfect, but how you tell your story is far more important than what you look like when you do. There are several schools of thought on how to hook a potential customer into your story and keep them coming back for more:
Walk them through your life. Let customers know what is happening in your world both professionally and personally. Your comfort level with digital intimacy will be your guide here, but people are more likely to do business with someone when they feel connected to them.
Share about your area & market. Talking about current events in the market or sharing stories of your successes (or failures) creates trust and value.
Go through a real process. Put your co-workers and your customers in the video. Especially on Facebook and Instagram, snippets of you and a buyer going through homes and exchanging real-time feedback will open the door for those who are intimidated by the process to see how easy it can be.
TEACH and ASK QUESTIONS! Create an \”Instastory\” on Instagram to let people vote on which house they like best. Turn your videos into episodes of a show you host on homeownership. You have all the keys; you just need to turn your phone around.
Video marketing is an important and effective way to send personalized messaging to your customers and prospective leads. With the right techniques and a few small pieces of equipment, you can be on your way to creating excellent marketing videos in no time!
While marketing videos can be created with any type of video equipment, the simplest and most cost-effective way is using your smartphone. There are several accessories you can purchase to enhance the video capabilities of your smartphone as well. This halo light and tripod provide excellent lighting and stability while including a clip to hold your phone.
Making a Video
If you are using a halo light with a tripod, follow the simple guidelines below to create the best video.
- Using the adjustable phone clamp attached to the tripod, slide your phone into the clamp. If you have a case on your phone, you may have to remove the case to allow it to fit. We recommend placing your phone so the screen is facing you, as this will allow you to see yourself in the video so that you can perfect your placement.
- Make sure the halo light is plugged in, then turn on the light using the dimmer switch located at the bottom right corner on the backside of the halo. This will allow you to adjust the brightness of the light to suit your needs. If you do not have a halo light and tripod, holding your phone in selfie mode or propping it up on a table will work as well.
- Place your phone in “video mode,” ensure the camera is in “selfie mode,” and begin recording the video.
- When making your video, begin by turning to face the camera and pausing in a still frame for at least five seconds. This will allow you to make a clean start to the video when editing. As you record, make sure to annunciate your words fully and look directly at the camera. Appear animated and excited to ensure engagement of your audience. Keep the videos short; we recommend making them one to three minutes long. When you are finished speaking, pause in a still frame for another five seconds to create a clean close to your video when editing. Stop recording and watch your video to ensure it is what you want.
Editing Your Video
If you are using an iPhone, you can use iMovie to edit your video. If you do not like iMovie, or are not using an iPhone, you can download the following free video editing apps to your phone:
When editing your video, it’s most important to remove the beginning clip and ending clip. We recommend starting and ending the video in the middle of your five-second pauses.
A few additional recommendations when filming your video:
- Ensure your phone has adequate storage before you begin filming
- Turn off notifications before you start filming so they don’t distract you while you are creating your video
- Do not zoom your video, decreasing the quality of the video. It’s better to place the phone and tripod closer to you, instead of zooming.
For more information on tools that will help you shoot better smartphone videos, watch the video below.
Video can make business feel personal, especially in a world of digital mortgages. If you are considering making the move to video, you may not be familiar with the following different types of video available for mortgage marketing: Intro Video
- How did you get into the mortgage industry?
- What do you do?
- Why do you do it?
- Why will it benefit your clients?
- Do you have a team?
- Have you shown your office or introduced the people who support you?
- Specialty products/services you offer
- What’s your niche program?
- Do you have bond loans or down payment assistance programs you can explain?
- Credit repair info
- Anything that sets you apart from the competition
- Statistics for popular cities or areas
- Examples of success in the area to which you are marketing
- Explaining documents such as Closing Disclosures
Monthly Updates Video
- What is going on in the industry?
- What’s going on in the market?
- What’s happening in town?
- What is the holiday?
- What can you answer or solve in this video?
- Have a customer share how you improved their home buying experience
- Tell a story of the successes you have had
- Share challenges that buyers face
- Have your real estate partners tell stories about working with you
Don’t forget to have birthday or home loan anniversary videos at the ready for the special people you have helped!
BombBomb is a video marketing tool for email that lets users establish relationships through recorded videos that can be sent from essentially any location via text, email and social media platforms. Whether users are working from their office or on the go, BombBomb can be utilized to ramp up marketing efforts. One of the biggest advantages of BombBomb is how it connects users with their customers using a level of sincerity that cannot be achieved by traditional email or messaging. BombBomb, in essence, puts users face-to-face with their customers and offers the kind of humanization that can greatly improve the effectiveness of digital marketing. Several specific features make BombBomb a great solution for video email marketing. First, BombBomb requires no attachments. Videos can be clicked on and played immediately. Second, animated three-second previews are generated so recipients see the sender’s face when opening the message. Finally, videos can be recorded and played back on every device.
Click here for more information on BombBomb. Here are some other notable video email marketing tools to consider:
Videos are an important and personal way for you to connect with your business partners and customers. There are many smart ways to create good, sharable content, but you also must evaluate the effectiveness of what you are creating. For example, if only your mortgage peers are viewing and commenting, you may need to try new tactics such as the ones below.
Best Practices for Mortgage Videos
- Be clear and concise
- Start with an introduction
- Give a brief description of what you are going to cover
- Center the video around the story, and keep the video focused and coherent
- Showcase your personality
- Educate and add value
- Less is more: 45-60 seconds is a sweet spot
- Include a Call to Action such as how to contact you or visit your website
- Thank viewers for watching
- Post the video on your social media platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and more)
Tips for Making a Video Shine
- Thank viewers for watching
- Set your intention by identifying your audience and what you want their takeaway to be
- Visualize it: Think about what the person on the other side of the screen will be seeing and hearing
- Develop a script
- Use bullet points to keep it simple
- Pause between thoughts
- Break up the script into small blurbs
Two Ways You Can Use the Video
- One-off: Specific to an individual and situation
- Evergreen: Recorded once and can be used multiple times
Check out our next video blog to learn more about video best practices and topics you can use to create videos.