Being that it is the first week of the new year, I thought it would be worthwhile for us to take a moment and reflect upon some of the lessons learned in 2012. So, for today’s Creator’s tip episode, I spent some time reviewing the top 10 most-watched videos of last year to highlight certain video marketing lessons that can be learned from each.
Lessons Learned in Video from 2012’s Top-10 Viral Videos
1) Psy – Gangnam Style
Seed your videos. Creating great content and putting it up regularly is only the first part of having a successful channel. After that you need to be sure to engage with your audience.
2) Somebody That I Used to Know – Walk Off the Earth
While original content is important, sometimes utilizing something else that is out there and adapting it to make it your own can be just as effective as was done with this music cover.
3) KONY 2012
Your video does not need to be short to have a successful video on YouTube. In fact, many of the new statistics point to videos that are longer than 2-3 minutes are shared more often, possibly because there is more time for your audience to have a more emotional connection resulting in them forwarding the link to other people.
4) Call Me Maybe: Carly Rae Jepsen
Don’t worry about creating videos that have all the bells and whistles. Viewers will more likely respond to a real connection than to fancy effects.
6) A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Street
Marketing videos do not need to be typical or boring. If you are using video to marketing your brand, provide compelling content first and then attach your brand to it. This will give you a higher likelihood of reaching viewers than sticking with the standard marketing gimmicks.
7) Why You Asking All Them Questions
Be consistent with your videos. Regularly provide your viewers with content that speaks to your channel, brand and messaging.
8) Dubstep Violin Original – Lindsey Sterling
Collaborate more. Contact other YouTube creators who have skills and talents you do not and combine both your audiences and your abilities to create something original you couldn’t create on your own.
9) Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen
Create content that reaches your audience on a personal level and creates an emotional connection.
10) Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic Freefall from 128K
Look at utilizing Google+ Hangouts for more videos. Create good pre-event buzz and allow your audience to engage with you live.
QUESTION: What lessons did you learn from the top viral videos of 2012?
Generation Y, those of us between the ages of 20 to 34, are playing a large role in the multifamily market and reshaping how it will look moving forward.
“Clearly Gen-Y is having a huge impact on the real estate community. What’s really significant is that real estate developers and the whole community are studying demographics and incorporating it in strategic plans. We didn’t have much of this in the past,” Stan Ross, Chairman of the Board of the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, told HousingWire. “The key thing here is that they’re using it in an analytical way to build their plans as to where and what they develop.”
This generation graduated college and was immediately thrown in a struggling economy with very few jobs. Because of this, many in this group either were forced to move home or live with multiple roommates in order to afford their housing.
Ross says that many in Gen-Y are often surprised when they find out how much a mortgage costs and what an adequate down payment is in order to buy a home.
Analysts at the Lusk Center say that once this group does move into their own place, which is typically a rental at first, the biggest appeal are affordability, on-site amenities, nearby retail and restaurants. Greater square-footage now gives way to easy transit for this generation. “As a developer doing my strategies, I’ve got to really reevaluate the location,” Ross said.
One developer, AMF Development, is taking this into consideration with its first in a series of complexes that caters directly to Gen-Y. Elevé Skydeck & Loft, which will be located in Glendale, Calif., will be a 208-unit multifamily complex expected to open in the early spring of 2013.
“This concept is designed specifically to appeal to young professionals who would rather live in a smaller, yet well designed apartment set in a vibrant, hip and social community,” said Alan Dibartolomeo, chief development officer of AMFD. “Given the pent up demand for this type of housing in Glendale as well as many other urban areas, the timing is right.”
AMF Development, who holds 22 years of history building large multifamily projects, decided to develop this complex based partly on a research project completed for AMFD by The Futures Company. The project revealed that 62% of respondents would prefer to live in a smaller living space alone, than in a larger space with a roommate, even if that meant spending more money.
Elevé will be located within a quarter-mile of more urban amenities than any comparable project outside of New York City, said Greg Parker, CEO of the development company.
“There are 108 restaurants, 161 clothing and accessory stores– both local and national chains, the main public library, 12 churches and two weekly farmers markets all within walking distance,” Parker said.
Those looking to rent in this complex will need to be willing to give up apartment space in lieu of amenities. The Elevé apartments themselves are space efficient, coming in under 400 square feet. This includes a full kitchen, bath, living room and bedroom.
“They’re able to spend less of their total income on the unit and still be in an urban area where they prefer to be,” Dibartolomeo said of potential renters.
Dibartolomeo added that socialization on-site is important to AMF, so a 26,000-square-foot roof level deck called the “Sky Deck” will be included in the development. This space will be designed with semi-private cabanas, a media center, grills, fire pits and a separate deck with hot and cold spas and a fenced dog park.
Let’s face it; most blog posts that are currently being put out are simply b-o-r-i-n-g.
Dull. Unexciting. A big fail when it comes to keeping our attention.
The blogger is writing about a worthwhile topic no doubt, but the writing does nothing for the reader. It fails to engage, or draw you in. Even when you are supposed to be paying attention, you really aren’t. You keep on thinking about what else is out there. Your mind is wandering.
The writer is unable to form a connection and you end up clicking away. Hardly surprising, is it?
A tiny number of people are getting it right, though. They open their posts with a bang. They are spot on with their calls to action. Before you know it, you have read every single word and you wonder what happened to logging off for the day.
People like Jon Morrow, and Sonia Simone, and Darren himself. They are masters of engagement. They are talking directly to you. Only you.
How on earth do they do it? How do they make you stay put even though your pots are boiling over and your kids are screaming for dinner? Turns out they have quite a few tricks up their sleeves.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Write like you talk—only better
You have probably heard this advice before, but we will take it up a notch here. Dig a little deeper. What does exactly it mean to write like you talk?
1. The most important word in blogging is “you”
Address you audience. Imagine you are sitting across the table from a really close friend, and write your post for them. You are allowed ask rhetorical questions, but cut down on ums and ahs. It makes for poor talking and appalling writing.
2. Mirror their responses
Say things like, “so you feel like nobody’s paying attention …” or “I know crafting effective calls to action can be really hard.”
What have your readers been telling you? Use some of their language to reflect that you are paying attention.
3. Use contractions
Some people hardly ever use any. They stay proper, but that’s not how you talk to a friend. Use don’t, isn’t, it’s. Make it less stilted. Make it flow better and sound like human speech.
4. Be bold with exclamatory phrases
By this, I mean things like “Oh no!” and “Holy cow!”
Psst! Watch some reality TV or reporting shows. See how they keep you glued to the set with exclamations.
5. Ignore your high school English teacher—within reason
Your old English teacher was right when she told you to choose the right word, make it vivid and interesting and add adjectives to your prose.
This is not something you should mess with. You can, however, get away with breaking some rules of grammar. You just need to know which.
5. Use fragments
Like this one. Believe it or not, it is fine to use them even if you are not actually saying them out loud.
6. Start your sentences with a preposition
But that is not grammatically correct, you say. Well, this is one of those rules.
7. Stay away from adverbs
On most occasions that add nothing to your writing. Most of them are redundant like scream loudly, sigh sadly. Use sparingly.
8. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of slang, but don’t go overboard
9. Use exclamation points when necessary
Cut back on the usage though. Dramatically.
10. Write at an eighth-grade reading level
Reader’s Digest does it. So can you. Keep it simple.
11. Avoid being formal
Instead of saying however, moreover, or furthermore, say but, so, or then. We are aiming for conversational here. Get a dialogue going.
12. Avoid jargon
Corporate lingo, marketing speak, gobbledygook. Call it what you want, if it is unintelligible, it has no business being there.
13. Use short words
Leave the thesaurus alone. Stephen King suggests picking the first word that comes to mind (in most cases). That’s gold.
14. Don’t be wordy
Notice how eyes begin to glaze over when it happens in face-to-face conversations?
Same is the case in the virtual world. Keep it tight; nobody likes people who ramble.
15. Don’t use the passive voice
Consider these options:
- A decision was made vs. I decided.
- Your email has been received vs. we have received your email.
- Your response is appreciated vs. we appreciate your response.
Which sounds better? You decide (or, it has to be decided by you)!
16. Avoid monologue (keep paragraphs short)
You are not really having a conversation, we get it, but does it have to come across like a lecture? Keep your paragraphs short. Talk to readers, not at them. Don’t preach.
17. Forget about being politically correct
“He or she” is fine. Nobody will say anything, I promise.
18. Show off your personality
Pretend you are writing an email to a close friend. What’s different about this writing? It’s more authentic, more genuine, more you.
19. Don’t use words that you won’t use while talking
Is it something you’d say to somebody’s face? If not, it might be a good idea to skip it.
20. Use phrases that only you would use
Put your unique stamp on all your writing.
21. Ask hard-to-answer questions
Exercise tough love. Make their brains hurt!
22. Watch your tone
Snarky, inspirational, flippant, self-deprecating, tough … how do you want to come across? Carry it throughout your piece. Be consistent.
23. Take a stand
Say what you mean. What’s the point otherwise?
You are writing for the most important person there is—your reader. Do you want to be clever or engaging? The choice is yours.
Yields on mortgage securities that guide U.S. home-loan rates jumped to the highest in almost four months as the minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting signaled the central bank’s bond buying may end this year.
A Bloomberg index of yields on Fannie Mae-guaranteed mortgage bonds trading closest to face value rose 0.07 percentage point to 2.34 percent as of 3 p.m. in New York, the highest since Sept. 12. That was the day before the central bank announced plans to add $40 billion more of government-backed home-loan securities to its balance sheet each month.
Fed policy makers said they will probably end their purchases of the debt and $45 billion of Treasuries each month sometime in 2013, with Federal Open Market Committee members divided between a mid- or end-of-year finish, according to the record of its Dec. 11-12 gathering released today in Washington. That assessment of its so-called quantitative easing, or QE, program was a “big surprise” to the bond market, according to Jim Vogel, a debt analyst at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee
Higher bond yields “point to the Fed’s very real QE dilemma,” Vogel said in a note to clients. “When it signals an end to QE, higher rates could endanger the very recovery that is improving the labor market conditions. Look no further than how many bullish economic forecasts for 2013 lead with a better housing market.”
Yields on the Fannie Mae bonds widened about 0.03 percentage point relative to an average of five- and 10-year Treasury rates, to 0.99 percentage point, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s 0.01 percentage point less than the average during the past three months, and up from a record low of 0.55 percentage point on Sept. 25.
The Fed minutes were “somewhat bearish” for spreads and an end to its buying in the third quarter may mean they “find a floor at current levels,” Nomura Securities International analysts led by Ohmsatya Ravi wrote in a note. “Most” traders and investors had been “expecting the Fed’s purchase program to continue at least until the end of 2013,” they said.
In four-county Metro Orlando, a RealtyTrac snapshot of more than 1,300 foreclosure sales in July and August revealed an average discount of 4 percent below the homes’ market value — only slightly more than what banks are shaving off repossessed homes nationwide.
“This is likely the result of home prices stabilizing and even increasing in many markets, along with a limited supply of bank-owned properties, giving the edge to the sellers,” said Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president. “Unlike an individual homeowner selling his or her home, the banks are not emotionally attached to these properties or to a certain value that they think the properties are worth.”
The local price-slashing varies widely by lender and location, however.
Some Metro Orlando locales reported deep discounts in bank-owned homes — from 15 percent to 29 percent below market value, according to RealyTrac’s July-August sample. Those areas, which are disparate geographically and in terms of income levels, include:
Orlando’s 32806 ZIP code, an eclectic area between downtown and Conway.
Lady Lake, a haven for retirees in Lake County.
Orlando’s 32807 ZIP, with the working-class subdivisions of Azalea Park.
Maitland, a city of middle-class and lakefront neighborhoods.
Orange County’s 32818 ZIP code, which includes parts of the historically low-income Pine Hills area.
Discounts on bank-owned homes are important not only to deal hunters but also to other homeowners. Orlando’s housing market is so thin on for-sale listings that, although it could absorb more foreclosed homes without crippling property values, the market’s recovery could slow if banks slash prices to move their distress sales faster. And getting rid of properties quickly is attractive to lenders trying to minimize legal costs, homeowner-association dues, property taxes, repair bills and other fees.
Orlando real-estate broker Dean Asher, president of the statewide industry group Florida Realtors, said the market is moving in a direction that is conducive to investment groups armed with cash buying up multiple residential properties directly from large lenders. Homebuyers dependent on financing, he added, are having a difficult time competing for the bargains.
“Years ago, we would have gotten these [foreclosures] off the books and cleaned up” the market, Asher said. “We’re moving forward, but [banks,] they’ve been holding on to these assets, and as they’re tightening the discount, they are discouraging ordinary buyers.”
According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the much-larger gap between prices paid for bank-owned homes and those paid in “normal” home sales has also been shrinking. For example, in the Realtors’ core Orlando market, the single-family homes sold by lenders had a median price of $90,000 — or 42 percent less than November’s conventional sales, which had a midpoint price of $155,048. A year earlier, in November 2011, the gap had been 46 percent.