International real estate company Coldwell Banker launched a branded YouTube channel last week that is home to hundreds of videos, from original clips uploaded by local sales agents to content provided by CNN, Turn Here, and This Old House.
The real innovation is the localization of the content. Visitors to Coldwell Banker's "On Location" channel can view geo-targeted, region-specific videos highlighted on a local map. "YouTube doesn't offer the ability to find out what videos are local, but we geo-targeted the videos and populated them onto the map," said Mike Fischer, Coldwell's SVP of marketing.
He said there are currently nearly 600 videos on the channel, with new ones added daily from around the world.
The Coldwell channel "incorporates the typical search and mapping functionality you see on real estate listing sites and [brings] video to it, which is unique," said Sam Sebastian, Google's director of local and b2b markets.
He said the channel is one of the first examples of a branded channel by a typical classifieds advertiser. "Video is being used by automotive manufacturers to sell cars and employers to list jobs, but Coldwell put it in a nicer package. We'll see who else follows," he said.
Century 21 Real Estate also recently indicated its intentions to allocate more of its marketing budget toward social media.
Video content includes localized clips provided by agents and content from CNN and other third party providers featuring information on local entertainment or tips for homeowners.
The goal for Coldwell, recognizing the popularity of YouTube, is to generate traffic outside of its own site. "Many go to YouTube first, instead of the normal site. It's the place to engage people where they look for info," Fischer said.
"Listings on video give property greater salability," he said. "The agent personality comes through. Added to the power of the general interest content from CNN and other providers, it offers a much richer engagement experience."
Coldwell is supporting its YouTube channel with a multi-media search and banner campaign.
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