So far with the SamSpeaks! series, I’ve talked about business, about branding and about technology. Andrew Strickman fits into all of these categories as he is able to relate to just about any entrepreneur who’s focused on building their business, brand and tech space through video.
As Senior Vice President, Brand & Creative at Realtor.com, Andrew is helping one of the world’s largest real estate portals do something it hasn’t done in the sixteen years it’s been around: talk to consumers.
What unique skill did Andrew need to help Realtor.com do this? Simple.
“I have a background in storytelling,” he said. That’s right — storytelling. The telling of stories. And considering Andrew’s background includes Microsoft and Yahoo, it’s clear the crossroads of tech and storytelling is Andrew’s sweet spot.
You’ve probably seen the ads he’s helped usher into the market — the entire Elizabeth Banks series of campaigns for Realtor.com. Real estate agents have had mixed reactions, from super-enthusiastic to skeptical, but it doesn’t really matter because the audience they’re trying to reach is watching and engaging, and that audience is home buyers and sellers. Lesson here– know that in any type of marketing, (in this case video), you will hear criticism for everyone. But as long as you engage with the audience you are targeting, you have nothing to worry about.
Why has their campaign done so well? Elizabeth herself is a big reason. She’s lived up to Andrew’s expectations. “She has this reputation as a fantastic comedic actress, but she’s also a digital pioneer.”
So I was curious: what can this massive corporate campaign teach the everyday entrepreneurs about using video?
“High-quality cameras on smartphones have democratized video,” said Andrew. “You can do it yourself. The (real estate) agents we’ve seen do effective things have defined personalities. They let their personalities come to life in front of the camera.”
On camera training is something you can do more formally. I’ve done it, and it was an absolute must for the kind of work I do with news and media outlets. It’s a given if you plan to be interviewed on TV, but can be equally beneficial for live webinars or creating your own videos. Looking into a round piece of glass and being comfortable is a skill you need hone if you want to use this channel. Know that while you think you’ve got what it takes to be in front of a camera, sometimes the camera doesn’t capture your full personality (you must be “bigger, brighter, and even more of a personality” in front of a camera than you are in real life — and this is something that takes practice and training).
So once you decide to use video, what kind of videos should you create? Brand-only videos or listings videos? Tutorials or tips? Andrew suggests a combination. First, invest in the high quality, personal video he calls and “anthem.”
“An anthem video is really a way to put your best foot forward. You invest in it once and it has a longer shelf life.” Then you intersperse that with more casual videos to keep content fresh — your Facebook Live videos or your YouTube spots. Focus on your local expertise and your listings. Even go into your hobbies and your activities that make you YOU.
And when it comes to distribute that video, think about your audience. Where are they most? If the video is short, think about Instagram. If it’s longer, think about Facebook. And a great tip from Andrew: use caption!
Watch the full episode for more insights and tips on video and branding from Andrew Strickman, and don’t forget to subscribe!
Here’s what you’ll find in this episode:
1:00 How did Andrew get into real estate + Realtor.com?
2:00 How should entrepreneurs think about video and visual storytelling
4:30 What should someone do first if he or she is thinking about using video?
5:18 What are the best platforms for engagement with video?
7:00 What’s the best kind of video for personal branding?
8:44 How should you use hashtags?
10:15 What’s the perfect length of a video for social?
12:30 How has the Realtor.com brand strategy changed in the last year?
14:30 What is the right timing for video content to be posted?