Guest Post by Indiana Lee
Drones have become a familiar aspect of our everyday lives. Where once the ability to pilot a flying camera rig might have been considered impractical and expensive, our digital age has developed to the point at which these are accessible to most private citizens. This is not only exciting from a recreational photography perspective; it’s also proving to be a boon for a variety of industries — including commercial real estate.
Marketing professionals representing commercial properties often have to be nimble in their approach to business. Due to frequent changes in consumer demands and behavior, the marketing industry, in general, has often been at the front line of exploring new ways digital and technological tools can be used to boost engagement. Recently, this has meant drones are being used creatively to drive interest in commercial real estate.
So where do drones fit practically into the toolbox of commercial real estate marketers? We’re taking a look at a few areas they can be used to generate vital engagement, alongside some tips to make the most of this exciting asset. Don’t just think outside of the box; think above, and far beyond!
Raising the Game
One of the prevalent issues in any marketing field is being seen and heard amongst the vast amount of noise, audible and otherwise — particularly in our online environment, where potential audiences are constantly fed advertisements from businesses that may have a bigger profile and greater resources than our own. As a result we often need to be smarter about utilizing tools that can help us punch through and reach our demographic.
Drones represent an opportunity to make an impact with a more agile marketing strategy. Marketing specialists and MBA students are placing a high premium on campaigns that create more meaningful connections with consumers through a combination of personalized content and presenting the client company as a source of industry expertise. Utilizing drone photography can help serve both of these areas while providing content that is memorable.
Using data captured from the online behavior of a target demographic, marketers can gain a greater understanding of not just the types of properties consumers are looking for, but also the types of imagery that immediately draws them to click through for more information on a property. This information can then be used to plan drone footage that meets their needs and capitalizes on the visuals that they find most appealing. By combining this advanced but accessible technology with informative narration, marketers can also reinforce their client’s expertise in the area.
As consumers and professionals, we know that each of us is subjected to a huge amount of visual information every day. The images we receive often influence our decision-making processes. The fact that our minds process images faster than text means that a commercial real estate marketer’s choice of photography can mean the difference between immediate engagement and being consigned to the pile of other forgettable images received that day. With a little knowledge of photographic theory, marketers can make the most valuable connections.
Color theory is an excellent place to start — color is one of the most important ways we interact with images, and evokes powerful emotional responses. While the final decisions on a purchase will often be intellectual, that initial emotional reaction should not be underestimated. Strategize your drone footage to progress through useful colors. Take in surrounding greenery to provide a sense of freshness, of fertile ground for ambition. Transition toward warmer colors and tones to help encourage enthusiasm and energy; couple these with calls to action and clickable links.
Using a drone for visual dynamism is often about using the footage to tell a story. Remember, you’re not just using these images to show potential buyers exists on the land; you’re showing them what could exist. Support their imagination and ambition by showing aerial footage that also displays nearby developments, and the potential customers and business partners that could inhabit them. Plan a visually rich presentation that shows both the product and the possibilities.
Understand the Drone
One of the biggest mistakes commercial real estate marketers can make is in assuming that drone photography is just an opportunity to gain aerial shots. Certainly, the fact that you use a flying device to take a camera high into the air can result in a great overview of the property, but this is only the beginning. In order to use a drone as a successful marketing asset, you need to understand the full breadth of its potential.
A drone is a small, portable, highly maneuverable device. This means that when planning your video, you should be taking into account how these aspects can best be used. Unlike your average ariel flyover, you can provide your panoramic view of the landscape, and then travel down to intimate views of interesting detail in the same shot. You can provide a close to the ground point of view to simulate their drive onto the property, immediately carrying through inside the lobby of the building.
This technology is a storytelling and mapping device all rolled into one; able to give the viewer both an eye-catching visual, and a practical inspection of even the most difficult to reach elements of the property. If you’re unable to spare the time to learn the ropes yourself, there are drone photography professionals specializing in the commercial market. Initiate a dialogue with them that makes it clear what your goals are, what story you’re trying to tell, and use their specialist drone skills to make the most out of the technology.
We live at a time where our ability to reach consumers across the globe is affordable and simple. This has also resulted in a huge amount of competition, each vying for attention using a variety of techniques. The drone is your key to creating meaningful engagement. Take the time to understand the types of imagery that connect with your target demographic, learn how to the composition of images drives emotion, and gain knowledge of how the unique attributes of the drone can serve your marketing story.
*Cover Image Source: Pexels