It’s okay to screw up on video, panelists say

by Kimberly Greene18 Sep 2019

The statistics on video marketing are never-ending. From Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2019 report:

  • 87% of business now use video as a marketing tool
  • 96% of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service
  • 68% of people say they’d most prefer to learn about a new product
  • or service by watching a short video
  • 48% of people said they’d be most likely to share video content with their friends, ahead of any other type of content
  • 87% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2019

Then why aren’t more originators increasing their reach using video content?

In spite of the buzz around video marketing over the past couple of years, few mortgage originators have gone all-in using video as a marketing strategy, and that number is even smaller for realtor partners.

At NAMB National 2019, the national conference for the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, Paul Lucido, national marketing director for Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, led a panel of media influencers who figuratively grabbed originators by the shoulders and said: Right now is the time for video.

“As mortgage professionals, you have more competition now that you've ever had. You’re also living through a time that's never happened before . . . . there’s never been a convergence of culture, of technology, of media, and everything happening at the same time where changes are happening by the month, not by the years; you've never gone through this stuff, where attention is paramount, said Jason Frazier of Shred Media.

Mortgage News Network (MNN) recently conducted a survey on video usage that found 42% of mortgage professionals are using video to consume content, yet only 12% are actually using Facebook as a platform for sharing video content. Rather than seeing video as a dreaded item on a to-do list, MNN’s Andrew Berman said that originators can overcome the mental hurdle by “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable,” acknowledging that video is out of their comfort zone but recording in spite of that.

“Maybe we're going to start and the first time [we] create a video, maybe we'll be at a two, but then we can get to a six. And that's I think that's an acceptable place to be,” Berman said.

A video marketing panel wouldn’t be complete without Josh Pits, the founder of Shred Media. He admits that he doesn’t have the most experience or the highest volume compared to some of the top producers out there, but he does have a dedicated following of people who engage with his content and are attracted to his brand.

Building a brand isn’t the same as branding, Pitts says. A brand, he tells originators, is what people say about you when you’re not in the room and when it comes to creating content for that brand, it’s simpler than people realize.

“Don’t overthink your content,” Pitts said. “How I built my brand was document, don't create. Document what you're doing. People like to see your day in and day out, what's going on with you in your life. Document, don't create, and that creates incredible content.”

Video, Luciano said, reveals who you really are, and that’s critical for someone who is building a business based on relationships.

“You need to be transparent with people. People can see right through you. Don't think they can't; they can. And sometimes they actually like the flaws. Sometimes they like to see a little bit of the vulnerability. And those videos seem to gain more traction than the polished videos out there.”

Being active on social media is a choice, but, Kevin Peranio says that the average first time homebuyer is 32, and mortgage and real estate professionals have to meet them where they are in order to have a chance at reaching them first. Where they are, of course, is online, using social media and You Tube.

There’s nothing wrong with getting business from real estate agents; in fact, many top producers have business models that rely heavily on realtors. Originators who can get business both ways, however, have much more to gain.

“I think a lot of us have come up in this industry thinking, ‘I'll just get all my business from a real estate agent; Consumer Direct is not me,’ Peranio said. “But what's the difference between putting out a video and putting it on Facebook versus talking to someone in my grocery store, or talking to somebody at the softball game? There's no difference. It's just a different way of interacting. But you got to get more interactions out there because FinTech companies are banking on the fact that they're going to steal that first contact.”

One of the most common gripes about producing video content is that people don’t feel comfortable being in front of the camera. They don’t like the way they sound, they don’t like the way they look, they don’t have a perfect place to record that puts them in the best light. The irony is, especially for professionals who enjoy face-to-face communication, it simply isn’t possible to hide from clients and partners forever.

“You look the same whether you're on video or not on video,” Pitts said.

Research indicates that consumers are likely to do business with one of the first—if not the first—service providers that they contact, so originators need to learn how to be there first, especially since more people do research online now than ever before. Make sure people see you first by creating video content that’s sharable and honest.

Maybe at first, the video content won’t be perfect. Consumers identify with perfection, Frazier said, and they’ll be more drawn to you because of it.

 “Don’t worry about if your hair is perfect, don't worry if you’ve got the perfect Instagram angle and filters,” he said. “Just be who you are, because that's because they're going to identify with. Let the fake people be fake.”