The use of video continues to gain momentum quickly. Video’s showing up in more and more places.
So how do you make yours stand out? And how do you make sure it connects with each person who views it?
The answers can help you increase video play rates and response rates.
Whether you focus on one-to-one videos or videos for a mass audience, we’ve got a few tips for you to make those videos feel personal. When you increase that feeling – that connection – you increase the likelihood of people taking you up on your immediate call to action, as well as of people viewing your future videos.
Get recommendations on creating a curiosity gap, giving compliments, and using a whiteboard or notepad to make each video or video email more effective. See two video examples to bring the ideas to life. And look for some bonus tips and psychological insights to improve video plays and conversions on calls to action.
You’re just a few minutes away from being prepared to get better results by making your thumbnails or animated previews and your videos feel personal.
How to Make Your Videos Feel Personal
Note: this video is just one of ten that we recorded for a real estate continuing education course we co-created with McKissock Learning. And those ten videos are just one small part of the course, which is titled “Video is the Bomb.” It’s available for CE credits in nearly 40 of the United States. Get great insights into video for your real estate business and get continuing education credit – for less than $50. Click here to learn more.
Video Tip: Greet Them By Name
The most sure way to make your videos feel personal is to greet people by name. Seeing our name in text in a subject line or email body, though, has no “wow” to it anymore. It’s so easy to automate it that we’ve all seen it too often to impress us anymore. Variable data inputs make it personalized, but not truly personal.
Seeing our name in a video thumbnail or animated preview and hearing our name off the top of a video is something different completely. Two of our best and longest customers, Michael Thorne and Andy Alger, both have a similar origin story. In short: “When I clicked play and heard you greet me by first name, I knew this was different and I knew this was for me and how I want to work with my prospects and clients.”
Making One-To-One Videos Feel Personal
Of course, the person’s name and any promise of value specific to his or her situation in the subject line, video preview, and email body make it personal. Those touches say “I made this just for you and I’m interested in helping you with your challenges and opportunities.”
We see this in Daniel’s open in the video embedded at the top of this post (starts at the 2 minute mark). He has Mike’s name written on a post it note, which he taps to draw attention to as he says Mike’s name. He loads the rest of the video with a number of additional details specific to Mike. Daniel recites back specific information he’s learned about Mike, which is sure to keep Mike engaged throughout the video.
Off the top of Michael’s video, which is also in the video embedded above (starts at the 4:15 mark). He greets Ryan, Amy, Oliver, and Violet by name in the beginning, because he’s responding to an email that had four family members’ names in the email signature. Without spoiling the story (you should watch the video), this personal touch of naming everyone, not just the sender, resulted in 12 plays of the video in less than one day and a signed contract with the clients.
Bonus insight: notice that Michael recorded his video from his iPhone with the BombBomb iOS app, but over his shoulder is a couple thousand dollars in video equipment. It has its use, but not for a video like this one. A “perfect,” produced video won’t convert more leads. By keeping your videos simple and conversational, you can send them more often, increase transparency, and make yourself more approachable.
Bonus tip: notice, too, that Michael was very specific with his call to action. He didn’t offer an entire day, a window of time, or even two times for the appointment – he very specifically offered “tomorrow at 7pm.” Of course, it has to work for the clients, as well, but minimizing options typically produces maximum compliance.
Extra example: I swapped video emails recently with Lou Zebedeo of Blue Dog RV in Seattle. He’s modified the sheets printed for “Sold” signs in RV windows to use on a clip board in place of a whiteboard. Of course, he holds it up to be included in the animated preview BombBomb automatically generates and delivers with all of his videos – and he has the recipient’s name written on it.
One of the specific benefits of this process (in his words): “Doing it on individual sheets give me an easy physical count at the end of the day.”
Of course, the BombBomb Dashboard shows you total video count (among many other helpful details), but if you want to keep track of your activities day to day, Lou’s technique might be a useful for you, too!
Making Mass Audience Videos Feel Personal
Again, it’s easy when you’re talking to one person, a couple, or a family about a specific opportunity. What can you do to make your videos feel personal when they’re for 50, 500, or 5,000 people?
In one word: segment. Cut the list or audience down to one or two common factors, then write to that in the subject line, email body, and whiteboard. This helps make it as relevant as possible for each person. For a real estate agent, that might be: buyer leads with timelines in the 6-12 month range or seller leads in a particular zip code where home values have changeed. Think about ways you segment your prospects and clients and make video sends match.
You can also use your background and setting to increase relevance. If you’re talking about a specific community, be in that community.
Bonus tip: having motion to the background adds intrigue. With the way BombBomb delivers your automatically generated preview, that motion comes through and helps drive the video play.
Video Tip: Create The Curiosity Gap
You’ve seen headlines that include these obnoxious phrases:
- “… and the Reason Why Will Shock You!”
- “… and #7 Will Blow Your Mind!!”
- “… and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!!!”
When we talk about creating a “curiosity gap,” we’re not talking about creating click bait. We’re not talking about the episode-ending or season-ending cliffhanger, either. Instead, this is a subtle art.
The curiosity gap is the mental distance between what we know and what we want or need to know. A subtlety in the concept is offering something counter to what we know or expect.
In the context of a video or a video email, what your viewer knows is what you give them in the subject line and video thumbnail or animated preview – along with what brought him or her to you in the first place (an online form fill or a direct inquiry, for example).
What you give them along with it is the promise of what they want or need to know in the video.
So, you use the subject line and the video thumbnail or animated preview to set up a story or idea, but leave it incomplete and drive to the video play for completion. Steve describes it in the video embedded above like this:
“Give them part of the story on the whiteboard and finish the rest of the story in your video.”
As their curiosity rises, people can’t help but play your video.
Video Tip: Compliment Your Viewer(s)
Like a smiling at people in video or in person, giving a compliment is a very healthy thing to do.
Among these 7 benefits of giving a compliment …
- Sparks creativity
- Builds trust
- Spreads more compliments
If you’re looking for more substantial research, here it is. Among the benefits of receiving a compliment …
- Induces happiness
- Promotes motivation
- Activates reward-related areas of the brain
Intuitively, we know that giving a sincere and specific compliment shows that your listening and paying attention. Compliments definitely help videos feel personal.
Daniel does a great job of this in the video embedded at the top of this post (at about the 2 minute mark). He compliments his prospect on the selection of area of interest and backs it up with all the good things going on commercially and residentially in the area.
Look for an opportunity to provide a compliment to people you’re reaching out to based on the information you have available, the nature or topic of their inquiry, the way they inquired, their timing, or anything else you sincererly view as favorable.
Bonus tip: Include the word “because.” Give a reason or explanation. It doesn’t have to be heavy handed or over the top, but substantiate your observation. This shows you’re thoughtful and sincere about it.
Beyond this, using “because” adjacent to a call to action dramatically increases the likelihood of compliance, per Dr Ellen Langer’s classic “copy machine study” (here’s a brief overview). Even a weak, basic reason behind a request produced a 50% lift in people responding favorably – almost the same result as a more complete and compelling reason behind the magic word “because.”
Have a Question or Tip to Make Videos Feel Personal?
Send me an email or a video email: Ethan (at) BombBomb (dot) com
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Want to Learn Video AND Get Real Estate CE Credits?
The video in this post is just one of ten that we recorded for the eal estate continuing education course we co-created with McKissock Learning. And those ten videos are just a small part of the complete course, which is titled “Video is the Bomb.”
It’s available for CE credits in nearly 40 of the United States. Get great insights into video for your real estate business and get continuing education credit – for less than $50. Click here to learn more.