Is video really the future of classifieds?

Mauricio Morales, CPO from themotion.com talked about how online video could be the future of classifieds. Let’s have a closer look at this topic.

The numbers are pretty clear: Internet video traffic is growing and will continue growing in the coming years. Cisco Systems predicts that consumer internet video traffic will be 80% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019. All major social networks are pushing the video format. So far so good.

When it comes to user-engagement, video is one of the best content formats to use, which is why video can’t be missing in your professional content marketing strategy. And I agree that video is king.
By telling your story on video you can catch user attention and build trust towards your brand and/or company. At the same time you’ll win more use-time, which will benefit your SEO goals as well. We all like videos. Especially those which catch our attention, and provide a level of entertainment. When it comes to classified ads I’m not sure how videos can contribute to the success of a single listing.

In Real estate
Buying or renting a new property is a highly emotional occasion. This is the perfect opportunity to use a video within a listing, and also a chance to stand out from your competitors. A tour through the property catches a potential buyers interest. With a good video an agent can save time (and money) when it comes to showing the property to potential buyers, since only really interested people will contact the agent.

But there is also a downside to video in real estate ads. There is a risk that agents will be contacted less by potential buyers. That means less leads and the opportunity to promote other properties disappears. A seller can refuse to show his furnished home due privacy reasons. Agents don’t always have the know-how to film and present a video online. Not to mention, video editing skills. An agent could always hire a professional to make the video, but they might be unwilling to cover the costs. And what if an agent is successful in selling houses without publishing a video in his listing? Why should taking videos even be considered?

New services promise to turn static content into engaging video ads. Is this really a good shortcut?
The question here is: What is the added value for your audience? The same information that classified sites try to organize in your listing will be re-used and packed in a video. Does a slideshow with fitting music and maps integration really improve your ad? Will you stand out? I have my doubts here.
It might be my preference, but I like to scan the listing myself and click through the gallery at the speed that fits my needs.

In my opinion, in this case video should be used in the presentation of the agent and/or company. Such videos build trust and may be a measure for getting new clients.

Conclusion
In the case of real estate, I believe a 360° virtual tour fits user needs better. For the agent it’s easier, faster and cheaper to create than a video. Additionally it can be used with virtual reality glasses, which could really be the future of real estate classifieds.

Extra
If an agent’s budget allows it, there are great examples out there on how to present the property. See this one: https://youtu.be/K_50_-lW7mo
Since we like videos, this one is great too (even if it has little to do with video): https://youtu.be/QbqkQUrhBHQ

Author: Gianfranco Gaio, Product Manager at Homegate.ch