Video is really coming into its own as a branding tool, and Facebook cover videos are set to become the next big thing in social media marketing. They’re also a lot easier to create than you might think.
Here are a few tips to help you setup a Facebook cover video and ensure your real estate brand stands out from the crowd.
Why has Facebook given us cover videos?
Facebook increasingly sees itself as predominantly a video platform. Many of the changes it has introduced in recent years have been to make it easier for users and brands to upload videos as a means of telling their stories.
Facebook believes that video is becoming more and more important in the way we communicate. It introduced profile images first, and now, as an alternative to pictures, Facebook is going one step further by allowing pages to showcase themselves using cover videos.
At present, Facebook is only rolling out cover videos to pages, not personal profiles. This is because Facebook wants to be a positive force in helping brands to grow awareness and engage new audiences. It sees video as having an important part to play in generating interest.
Using video in place of a static cover image on your brand page is a great tactic for making your brand more appealing because it offers both sound and moving images, enabling viewers to experience your brand in much more depth than a photograph. This is why it’s an ideal tool for real estate marketing.
How to create a great Facebook cover video
As a real estate agent, you’re probably not a tech specialist, and you may feel a little daunted at the thought of yet another digital marketing hurdle to overcome. But, fear not, because Facebook cover videos are not that difficult to create – honest!
Before you start, you need to check whether Facebook has given you the option to upload a cover video to your page as yet – it is being rolled out to all pages, but at present, it is only accessible for some.
To find out if yours is one of them, hover over your cover image and click “Change Cover.” If “Choose From Videos” or “Upload Photo / Video” appear as options, you can have a cover video on your page.
Ideally, your video should be shot by a professional videographer. As property is a highly aspirational commodity, it’s important that your cover video shows off your real estate agency to its best advantage if you want it to keep your brand ahead of your competitors.
It’s also important to use footage that can engage audiences with or without sound. Although Facebook is currently rolling out auto-play with sound for all videos, this isn’t available to everyone. The aim is to create visual content that is engaging enough for people to want to turn on the sound by hitting the “un-mute” option in the bottom right-hand corner.
Facebook cover video specifications
At present, the cover video function is not available on the mobile app. You’ll have to upload from your PC. Facebook’s specifications for cover videos are:
- It must be between 20 and 90 seconds in length (it will auto-loop on your page).
- The recommended dimensions for your video are at least 820 x 312 pixels, ideally 820 x 462.
- Your video must be full HD (1080p).
Don’t worry about the fact that the cover image is wider than standard videos – your video can easily be dragged or cropped to the right size once it’s been uploaded. However, if you do have to crop your video, remember that you will lose part of the height, so you should try to keep all your important visual or text information as centrally as possible within your video to allow for this.
Why Facebook cover videos are ideal for real estate marketing
Property is a highly visual, and aspirational product. Video is the ideal medium for showcasing your real estate brand and the calibre of properties that you sell at their very best.
The real beauty of video is that it offers many different ways in which you can do this. The most obvious way is to showcase your properties themselves. Because you can change your cover video as often as you like, consider choosing a “Property of the Week / Month,” and swapping to a different one when that period is up. This offers an excellent addition to your vendor advertising package, which you can offer exclusively for prestige properties – this can give you an instant advantage over your competitors.
However, there are many other ways you could use video to attract potential home sellers to your real estate agency. Remember that you and your team are your brand’s biggest strength, so there’s every reason to offer viewers an insight into what you do and how you do it. You could show one of your open homes in action, or demonstrate the strength of your team by using footage of them at an auction.
Alternatively, create an informative video which tells the story of your brand and the people behind it, as McGrath and First National Real Estate have done below:
Visit McGrath Sutherland Shire’s Facebook page for more video examples.
Visit First National’s Facebook page for more banner video examples.
Probably the biggest edge video has over other media, however, is its ability to involve viewers in a story. This is why it works so well for real estate marketing – property is all about people’s lifestyle aspirations, their hopes, and dreams. Your vendors and buyers will relate to images of people like them, leading lifestyles they wish to attain as they move up the property ladder.
Facebook cover videos are a great way of enabling viewers to feel connected with not just your story but theirs. Showcase your ideal home seller. Planting the seed of imagination through video format that both satisfied home sellers or buyers, who are people just like them, have engaged your real estate services.
It’s this strategy that was kept in mind when we created this cover video for Century 21 The Hills District:
Visit Century 21 The Hills District’s Facebook page to see the video banner in action.
And here’s a picture (taken by the Hoole.co team) that Sam Outch at Century 21 turned into an animation video too:
A cover video offers the perfect opportunity to showcase your properties, your people, your real estate brand and your clientele as a whole – all in a highly prominent position on your Facebook business page.
How to find great content for your Facebook cover video
Essentially there are two options or avenues you can go down:
- Create your video content yourself, or
- Purchase existing video content from a stock library.
There are many great video packages available catering for both markets. You could purchase equipment such as a GoPro, or hire a real estate video company to produce a brand video for you.
If you want to use pre-recorded video content, a package like Slid.ly’s Promo is ideal, as it provides a vast library of videos for marketing purposes. Its stock videos also come with the option of licensed music.
If you want to create an original cover video, Filmora is a simple, user-friendly video editing package. Or, for the best of both worlds, try Wave – this has a stock video library which also enables you to upload your own content, and will even automatically resize your video to the right dimensions.
Another video tool, Picovico, has made it super easy to create video banners for Facebook with their dynamic templates, sized perfectly to the Facebook banner video dimensions they have several to choose from. Here’s the Picovico Facebook cover video blog post that walks you through how it works.
What styles and footage work best?
Your video needs to be visually appealing and able to hold a viewers attention. An eye-catching video using lots of bold, bright colours often works well, such as this stunning example used on the Australia page, taking on an underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef:
Or this one with stunning aerial views over the Kimberly:
Visit the Australia.com Facebook page for more banner video examples.
Or if you want a more classy feel, try a clean, minimalist, look with lots of white space.
You can even animate a still image to bring it to life – Walt Disney World has done this very effectively here:
Visit the Walt Disney Facebook page for more banner video examples.
Also, don’t forget to choose a thumbnail – this should be a still image from a section of your video that gives your audience an idea of what the video is about while encouraging them to want to see more.
It’s also worth knowing that, when you upload video content to Facebook, you gain insights into the performance of your video through Facebooks’ video metrics. You’ll see the amount of engagement via the number of views, and how far, time wise, video viewers watched. This data can then help you determine what length and format your Facebook cover videos should be when you refresh them with new video content.
Brand your real estate business with a Facebook cover video
Facebook cover videos will become integral to digitally marketing your real estate brand, they help drive awareness, home seller consideration and ultimately attract more vendor sales. So get there first, pip your competitors to the ‘video’ post, and you’ll instantly be ahead of them in the minds of potential vendors.
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