Categories
General

5 ways real estate content marketing can take your business to the next level

With more than 90 percent of buyers starting their search for homes online, the success of your real estate business largely depends on how easily they can find you in the virtual world. A strong online presence will build your brand’s reputation. This reputation will automate the lead generation process helping you get more clients with no or little efforts on your part.

If you want to improve your brand’s online presence, content marketing is the first thing you should get on with. Here are five ways content marketing can take your real estate business to the next level:

Better results with a shoe-string budget

If you have invested in traditional marketing methods like ads or flyers, you already know that these mediums are expensive and have a very short lifespan. Compare it to a detailed blog post that ranks high in search engines. You can have it written for a few dollars or do this yourself. This single blog post will ensure your brand’s online visibility for a long time.

Real estate content marketing spreads your brand message quickly

A common argument against content marketing is that you have to invest a lot of time to get long-term results, while traditional marketing methods can show results quickly. This may be partly true, but a content marketing campaign executed in the right manner can also produce great results in a short period of time.

If you are aware of the concept of viral marketing, you probably already know that you can reach a big audience with a single piece of content. It may be a blog post, a video, an infographic or simply an image.

Helps you network

You can network with other professionals in related industries even without meeting them in person. You can become acquainted with other people in your industry and connect them before ever being introduced in real life.  If they find interesting content on your website, they will refer clients to you.

Helps you know your prospects better

When you use content on your website, you will get reactions from your target audience in form of comments, questions and feedback. You will get to understand their problems and challenges in a better way. You can take a peek at the demographic of people who are interested in working with you. Thanks to free tools like Google Analytics, you can easily find out who’s reading your stuff, what pages they’re clicking on, and much more.

Builds yours and your real estate brand’s reputation

Content marketing is the best medium if you want to have your brand noticed by the mainstream media. Content marketing will establish you as the go-to person whenever there is a debate over a major development in the real estate industry in your area.

If you have a blog, people know that you understand the industry, and are able to share your knowledge in plain terms. This already puts you two steps ahead of any competition.

In conclusion

It is true that you will take a lot of consistency and persistence to build and successfully run a content marketing campaign but once you do that, you will reap all the benefits mentioned above.

 

Categories
General

Reasons to Create Real Estate Content

There are a number of reasons to create real estate content, here are a few:

Reasons you should create real estate content.

Categories
General

The Ultimate Guide to Developing a Real Estate Marketing Plan

When most agents make the plunge to start marketing their listings, they tend to rely overly on using marketing plan templates that are usually, for the most part, not well suited for their particular niche or business. And this is usually because marketing plans can only come as a result of having a marketing strategy.

Most real estate agents mistakenly assume they are both the same when in fact, they are entirely different.

Marketing Plan vs. Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy: Your real estate marketing strategy is simply a detailed explanation of the goals and objectives of your marketing efforts. It takes into consideration your business goals and your target audience and lays out a road-map on how to market to them effectively.

Marketing Plan: A marketing plan, on the other hand, is a detailed plan on how you are going to achieve those goals and objectives outlined in the strategy. Without knowledge of what your marketing strategy is, creating your marketing plan would be a waste of time and resources.

Before embarking on creating either a marketing plan or strategy, you should first identify your main marketing goal, which is the reason you’re thinking about creating a marketing plan in the first place. Your goal could be to sell more houses, to build brand awareness for yourself as an agent or just simply to rank higher in search engines.

Once you’ve identified your marketing goal, then you can go ahead start creating your marketing strategy ad plan. Both of them actually work together. For example, if your ultimate marketing goal is to sell more houses; below is a simple analogy on how you can integrate both a marketing strategy and marketing plan into a concrete action plan:

Objective: To sell more houses

Marketing Strategy: Reach out to new prospects through content marketing.

Marketing Plan: Develop marketing communications and choose channel distributions to promote content to generate leads which will then be nurtured until they’re ready to buy.

Once you’ve outlined your marketing strategy, implementing this guide will make your marketing plan much more effective.


Pro Tip: Download Guide: A Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Benefits of Having a Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan is essential if you want to achieve your marketing goal(s). If you’re still contemplating whether or not to develop a marketing plan for your real estate marketing, then consider the benefits outlined below. This ought to nudge you in the right direction.

  • Having a marketing plan helps you have a clear vision of your entire campaign. Once you know where you are and where you want to be, you can focus your key strategies at enhancing your strengths and working on reducing your weaknesses.
  • Having a marketing plan gives you a clear focus on the most important aspects of your marketing strategy and reduces your chances of being distracted by using tactics that don’t align with your overall marketing goals.
  • Another benefit of having a marketing plan is accountability. You’re able to tie each planning step into your overall campaign and this leads you to achieve a greater success rate and provides you more metrics to help you measure what actually worked and what didn’t.
  • Finally, a marketing plan quickly helps you to identify key brand partnerships that will help you achieve your marketing goals faster. For example, if you’re trying to sell more houses for young families, you could consider cross-promotional articles with Day Care companies by guest blogging on their website talking about houses and safety for kids etc.

Once you’re ready to get started with creating your real estate marketing plan, then the following sections will guide you through the steps needed.

Define Marketing Goal(s)

The first step towards creating any effective real estate marketing plan is to define your number one goal. Although you’re most likely to have more than one goal, we suggest keeping it fewer than three in order to be able to focus all your efforts effectively.

If your marketing efforts are not focused, you won’t feel any coherence with all your activities and it will all seem disconnected. However, when you have a set number of goals that have been detailed and outlined, then it makes it easy for you to focus every marketing effort at achieving that goal.

Some goals you can consider as a real estate agent are:

  • Sell more houses/Get more listings
  • Build up an email list of prospective buyers/sellers
  • Build brand awareness by growing your social media audience etc.

Once you’ve determined the combination of goal(s) you want to pursue, you can now get started with preparing the outline for your marketing plan. The section below outlines an outline template that you can use to organize your thoughts and strategies.

Basic Outline of a Marketing Plan

Before you start writing your marketing plan, you need to know its components and how they work together, thereby complementing one another. Below is the basic outline of any marketing plan; even for a real estate
agent:

Situation Analysis:
This will normally include a market analysis (describes where you currently are in the market), a S.W.O.T analysis (strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and threats), and a competitive analysis. The market analysis section will include a market forecast, segmentation, customer’s information for better targeting and market needs analysis.

Marketing Strategy:

At the very least, this section will contain a mission statement, objectives, and focused strategy including market segment focus and product positioning. Your product, in this case, can either be your brand (if your goal includes brand awareness) or your listings, or a combination of both.

Sales Forecast:

This section is focused on calculating return on investment (ROI) for all your marketing efforts. This section should include enough detail to track sales every month and follow up on the entire plan versus the actual analysis. Normally a marketing plan will also include specific sales by product, by region or market segment, by channels, by manager responsibilities, and other elements but you can eliminate these details as they do not relate to your business model. This forecast alone is a bare minimum and should act as an approximate.

Expense Budget:

This section is designed to include enough detail to help you track your marketing expenses each month and also help you follow up on the entire plan versus the actual analysis. Normally this section will also include specific sales tactics – programs, management responsibilities, promotion, etc – and this should not be ignored as it is critical to guide your process towards success. The expense budget is also a bare minimum and should only act as an approximate.

Getting Started

Now that you’ve defined your goal(s) and you have a basic understanding of how to structure your marketing plan, it’s time for you to actually start writing your real estate marketing plan. The first step towards doing that is to start laying the groundwork for all your marketing activities.

To do that, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who exactly are you targeting and what do you need from them? This might sound obvious, but you should prepare a detailed analysis of the individuals or companies you want to sell or lease property to, and what you want from them once they get to your website
  • Who exactly are you targeting and what do you need from them? This might sound obvious, but you should prepare a detailed analysis of the individuals or companies you want to sell or lease property to, and what you want from them once they get to your website
  • What is your total budget (not an approximate) and how are you going to allocate that amount for different marketing activities?
  • Who are your competitors (other agents, agencies, and brokers) and how do they market themselves and their properties? What are their key offerings and how can you differentiate yourself from them in order to stand out?

Once you’ve gotten your answers down, you now have a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, how you’re going to differentiate yourself and what your marketing goals are. But before moving on to the next section, the following needs immediate attention:

  • By investing in high-quality professional photographs that can be used across all online and offline marketing efforts, you’re setting yourself up for lasting success. This is because a fundamental step towards introducing your property to potential customers is through strong, visual and picturesque imagery that brings the property to life and tells its unique story. This alone can easily set you apart from your competition.
  • You need to create an identity and brand for yourself the properties you wish to sell. You will be establishing a reputation for yourself by creating an original identity and logo that targets your niche market. Make sure you use fonts and colors that are memorable.
  • You identified your key differentiators earlier when getting started with creating your plan, now it is time to define those key messages in a compelling way that connects with your target audience. Figure out what makes each property stand out from competitors and craft out individual value proposition with a good copy will help set the foundation for your marketing communications and materials on all your properties.

Outline Your Marketing Mix

Gone are the days when real estate marketing was one of the most expensive methods of getting new leads, especially for solo agents. These days, especially with the advent of technology and the increasing changes of online user behavior – consumers now do their own research about their needs as opposed to being motivated by an advert.

The key to a successful real estate marketing campaign is to integrate both online and offline marketing strategies to help you achieve your number one goal. A simple definition of an integrated marketing campaign would be the consistent use of your brand messaging across both traditional (e.g. direct mail, cold calls) and digital (e.g. social media, email) marketing channels and use different promotional methods to reinforce each other.

The key word here is consistency. Your brand messaging must be consistent across all marketing communication channels. And the best way to achieve that is to focus on your goals. Below are both offline and online strategies you can use to achieve your marketing goals:

Offline Marketing

Print Marketing Materials – invest in high-quality print collateral such as a glossy brochure, flyers, and other marketing materials that tell prospective buyers the right story about your real estate property.

Invest in Quality Signage – Another way to truly stand out from the competition is by investing in display and window signage. If your budget allows it, a signage helps your brand reinforce its imagery and also showcases what the property has in a nutshell through banners and window graphics.

Broker Events – If your target audience includes those interested in commercial real estate, staging a networking event at the property will enable you to connect directly with them. Both prospective customers and brokers will be attracted to such an event, especially if its other properties are on showcase within the same environment.

Print Media – It is always a good strategy to build a relationship with both local and national newspaper reporters and editors. You can also network with industry specific magazines that your target audience consumes. These relationships will not only give you coverage, but you can leverage their online presence to reach more people.

Direct Mail – mail can still be an effective method of reaching a key segment of your target audiences such as brokers and baby boomers. You can also experiment with other segments such as Millennials as well. The key to success, however, is targeting your message specifically to your audience and also to invest in a direct mail piece that stands outs in terms of quality.

Pro Tip: Ensure that your printed materials are easily adapted for digital use. This will ensure your marketing is truly integrated.

Online Marketing

Website Development – This is the foundation of all your marketing activities. In order for your website to be successful, it must fulfill three criteria:

  • Your website must be mobile responsive. According to a 2015 Google report, 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information. What this means is that a lot of people are on their mobile phones, researching for informational content which leads us to the next point.
  • Your website must be fully optimized for search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important if you want to rank higher than your competitors on search engines. According to a Mashable report in 2015, Google gets over a billion searches every month. Utilize this data to your advantage – leverage your website’s content for traffic generation and lead generation.
  • Your website must have regularly updated content such as blog posts, videos, ebooks and special reports (for lead generation) and infographics. All your content must use relevant keywords in order to rank higher in search engines to drive in organic traffic to your Blog.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to use calls to action to generate leads everywhere on your website.

Digital Brochures – Get a good designer to help you create attention-grabbing and creative digital brochures that can be sent via email to your prospects. These brochures are ideal for bridging the gap to a wider audience. Always make sure your brochures are available to download from your website too. These can be the same brochures you designed for your offline marketing activities.

Influencer Marketing – Remember those journalists and editors you networked with offline? You can now use those contacts for influencer marketing – leveraging people with a large audience to boost your marketing reach. Influencers can be journalists, industry influencers, analysts, and blogger. Conversely, you can contribute as a guest writer on other real estate blogs and external websites that a segment of your target audience is an audience, but make sure to include links that lead back to your website and specific blog posts or listings.

Email Marketing – Nearly everyone in the United States has an email address. As a matter of fact, email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020 (The Radicati Group, 2016). Apart from that, email marketing has the highest ROI compared to other digital marketing channels. One of the reasons emails is so useful in converting customers is because of how personal an email is compared to Social Media. However, the key to a successful email marketing campaign is segmentation.

Social Media – Another great marketing channel that you can use to generate leads and drive traffic to your website is social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be used to:

  • Build awareness about your brand and your listings
  • Build a relationship with your audience that will establish trust
  • Build your social media fans and followers and establish yourself as a
    credible source of real estate information.

Pro Tip: Download Social Media Marketing EBook

Online Advertising – By using a performance-based advertising model such as cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns, you can get a good bang for your advertising buck. Platforms such as Google Adwords, LinkedIn, and Facebook all offer this pay per click model and this gives you a cost-effective way to deliver your marketing communications to a highly targeted online audience. One major advantage of this type of advertising is that it produces immediate and measurable results and it gives you more ability to control ROI.

Measuring Results

A very important section of your marketing plan is the Measurement section. This section deals with what metrics you would be measuring and how you plan on reporting these analytics. Most real estate agents neglect the reporting aspect because they feel they’re not reporting to anyone but themselves, but what they don’t realize is that these reports tell a story that will begin to make sense after your second or third marketing campaign.

Metrics

Determine what your key performance indicators will be. This will mostly be influenced by the goals you outlined at the beginning of your marketing plan. Below are four basic KPIs you may want to consider when choosing yours:

· Blog Views and Click-Through-Rates (On your Blog posts and content offers for your content marketing initiatives)

· Brand Impressions (for your Ad performance)

· Website Visits and Conversion rates (for online marketing campaigns)

· Leads generated (for overall success)

Reporting
Reporting the results of your overall marketing activities will help you to measure your campaigns’ success and make informed decisions as a result. Your second and third campaigns should always be influenced by the reporting of the previous campaigns as this will help you optimize your campaigns for better performance.

Google Analytics is still one of the best (and free) reporting tools you can use to keep track of all your marketing activities. Key features include:

  • Tracks website visits and average time spent on each page
  • Shows traffic source, for example, social media, paid adverts or organic search results
  • Enables you to set conversion goals for your campaigns which help you determine which of your KPIs has been achieved or not
  • It also offers dashboards and reporting statistics that you can download or share for future reference or team collaboration.

Conclusion

Writing a marketing plan is one of simplest steps you can take to help you increase the chances of your marketing strategy being successful. Keep in mind, however, that your marketing plan hinges on the quality of your digital marketing strategy.

Nothing can replace having a solid content marketing strategy in place. Not even the best-written marketing plan. And the foundation of a content strategy lies within the content, which could be blog posts, videos or eBooks.

By investing in top quality content, you can easily attract, engage and delight your customers in such a way that they will begin to refer more clients to you.

Over to you; share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

Categories
General

Infographic: 5 Components of a Real Estate Blog Post

Creating an effective real estate blog post isn’t difficult. And it only takes 5 different elements to make it effective.

Categories
General

How Net Media Plan Creates Your Real Estate Content

Every week our team works hard to deliver fresh compelling real estate content to your inbox. This is how the process works.

Real Estate Content Creation Process
The Net Media Plan Real Estate Content Creation Process
Categories
General

A Real Estate Agent’s Definitive Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

The success or failure of your digital marketing efforts relies heavily on your ability to create a compelling strategy that not only helps you to focus your marketing efforts on attaining your marketing goals but also helps you build a sustainable business along the way.

Digital marketing is simply the process of advertising any product or service using digital channels such as social media, email, Google search etc. As a real estate agent, you can use digital marketing to your advantage. Here are five advantages that digital marketing offers real estate agents:

  1. Digital marketing is affordable, compared to traditional marketing channels such as radio, television, and newspapers.
  2. Digital marketing provides a level playing ground with other big players in the real estate industry.
  3. Digital marketing provides a means to reach a larger audience, engage with them and build a profitable relationship with them through lead nurturing (more on that later)
  4. Digital marketing provides measurable results and returns on investment (ROI) can easily be tracked.
  5. Digital marketing can be automated and scaled for success. You can easily nurture an email list of thousands of people effortlessly thanks to digital marketing automation. When compared with traditional marketing, this advantage really packs a punch.

Real estate agents obviously have a lot to gain by including digital marketing in their overall marketing mix which usually includes cold-calling and networking at industry specific events. And even though these tactics don’t yield much ROI, it still has its place in an integrated marketing plan. But for the sake of clarity and focus, this guide is aimed at helping you create a successful digital marketing strategy.

Types of Digital Marketing

Unknown to many real estate agents, there are types of digital marketing. Many assume that digital marketing simply means marketing and promoting your brand and listings on digital channels, and even though this is true to an extent, it is the strategy behind the usage of these channels that determine the type of digital marketing employed.

There are basically two types of digital marketing, namely:

Inbound Digital Marketing: This can simply be defined as using valuable content such as Blog Posts, eBooks, social media posts, videos and infographics to attract, engage and convert prospects into customers. Key components of Inbound Marketing are:

Outbound Digital Marketing: Outbound marketing is the exact opposite of inbound marketing. It is the digital version of traditional advertising – a one-way communication marketing. Outbound marketing has a lot of disadvantages such as it being expensive to practice and annoying to prospects at the same time, another thing to consider is that the ROI is relatively low compared to Inbound Marketing. Key components of Outbound Marketing are:

  • Cold-Calling/Cold-Emailing
  • Google Adwords and Website Banner Ads
  • Paid Directories

Now, this is not to say that using Google Adwords or other online advertising platforms is a bad idea, what it means, in essence, is that unless these advertising campaigns are backed by a solid digital strategy, it’s most likely going to flop.

Digital Marketing Framework

Before crafting your marketing strategy, you need to lay the foundation on which you will build your entire marketing campaign. As a real estate agent, you need to focus on three key aspects when planning your digital strategy. These key aspects represent a framework that has been tested and proven to achieve exponential results. These are:

  1. A professionally developed website and blog.
  2. An inbound marketing campaign targeted at potential home sellers or buyers in your area with the goal of driving traffic to your website.
  3. Create mechanisms for lead capture and prepare an email campaign series to nurture and follow up on those leads until they are ready to buy or list a house.

This framework can further be expanded to get a better understanding of how these steps can work together to create a successful campaign:

Create a Real Estate Website

This is the foundation of your entire digital marketing campaign. You cannot really do much without a website – and not just any kind of website for that matter; a very professionally designed website. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your real estate website:

  • Ensure your website is mobile responsive i.e. it can be viewed using either a Smartphone or a tablet. This is especially important considering that recent statistics prove the growing usage of mobile phones globally.
  • Make sure your website is optimized for search engines by creating a sitemap and submitting to search engines. Also, include relevant keywords into your website and don’t neglect all the necessary SEO tags. For a quick how-to guide on optimizing for SEO, read this article.
  • Another element to consider when designing your real estate website is site speed. The real estate industry is a show and tell industry which means your website is most likely to have a lot of images and videos and this tends to slow down your website. If you currently have a website, there are tools you can use to check how fast your website speed really.
  • Finally, consider implementing an Internet Data Exchange (IDX) application on your website. This allows your website visitors to easily search for Multiple Listing Service properties within your target area. You can set up your property search using an IDX provider like Showcase IDX.

Create an Inbound Digital Marketing Campaign

The second step towards a successful digital marketing campaign is to create a content marketing strategy that involves creating high-quality content offers, such as eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars, and Industry Reports, and promoting these offers through several blog posts. Social media marketing is still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog posts and content offers. Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have especially been proven to help real estate agents generate leads.

Capture and Nurture Real Estate Leads

The final steps towards a successful real estate digital marketing campaign are to capture AND nurture the leads you’ve generated through your content marketing campaign. But how do you capture leads? By simply adding calls to action telling your website visitors to give you their name and email address. Below are few simple ways you can easily capture leads through your website:

  • Create and design landing pages which will be used to capture your visitor’s information. Ensure that your landing pages are optimized for conversions by removing every other page navigation.
  • Offer lead magnets in the form of a high-quality content offer like a home buying/selling guides, whitepapers, and webinars. This should complement your landing pages and persuasive copywriting skills will come in handy here.
  • Also, consider using pop-ups and email opt-in forms on your blog posts to increase conversion rates.
  • Another lead capture trick that you can use (which is also good for qualifying hot and cold prospects) is to set up a “Click to Call” button on the mobile version of your website. This provides a way for you to convert prospects quickly.
  • Finally, a lot of IDX providers will allow you to set up “Delayed Forced Registration” which forces your website’s user to enter their information when trying to search through your property listings.
  • After capturing leads, the next and final step is to nurture these leads until they become customers and finally your brand advocates and promoters. When you get a lot of brand advocates, you will begin to see a lot of your new customers coming through referrals.

In order to nurture your prospects effectively, you will need to set up a drip email campaign to help you connect with these leads. Your real email marketing campaign must be about educating your leads and leading them down the funnel of listing or buying a home. You will need a comprehensive content marketing strategy to nurture your leads throughout your entire sales funnel.

Real Estate Digital Marketing Strategies to Consider

There are various strategies that you can use for your digital marketing campaign, but the most successful ones are those that use a combination of each or all of them.

One thing all these strategies have in common, however, is valuable content that solves the needs of prospective customers. This is still the best foundation to lay your entire campaign upon. Below are strategies that you can consider implementing as your digital marketing strategy.

Inbound Content Marketing

All the content you post on your website, such as blog posts and content offers are forms of inbound content marketing because they are hosted on your website and traffic comes from various sources such as social media marketing and organic website traffic.

This provides numerous benefits such as keeping your audiences more engaged with your brand and on your website and also provides content for your social media posts and email nurturing campaigns.

Outbound Content Marketing

This follows the same rules of creating highly valuable content for your targeted audience, but the only difference is that instead of posting it on your website, you’re publishing on another (hopefully better established) website.

The benefits of this include giving your content more exposure with an audience who may have otherwise never heard of you. An SEO related benefit would be inbound links coming to your website from these established platforms will give your website more authority and you will rank higher in organic search engine results.

Pro Tip: Consider reaching out to bloggers who write in a niche where a large number of your target audience cluster and offer them guest blogging opportunities on your website.

Search Engine Marketing and Optimization

Search engines play a large role in the way people use the internet these days. Before people contact an agent, they’ve already spent days, sometimes weeks and even months, researching the kind of property they want, the neighborhood they want to live in and finally, real estate agents within their target area who have good online reviews.

This is where content marketing really shines because by providing informative blog posts that cater to all of the needs of your target audience as they move from one phase of their research towards the next, you are building yourself as an expert in your field and when these prospects you’ve “nurtured” with your content are finally ready to buy, you’re the first agent that will come to their mind.

By incorporating your content marketing strategy with search engine marketing (buying website traffic through PPC campaigns) and organic search results (SEO), you can greatly amplify the strength of your content and get a high conversion rate on all your efforts. The most important thing is to produce quality blog posts consistently.

Social Media Marketing

Another digital marketing strategy that you can utilize to build brand awareness, generate website traffic and establish a two-way communication with your target audience.

Another benefit to consider when using social media for your real estate marketing is that it is a great way to collect reviews and testimonials that people can trust. Depending on the kind of reviews you’re getting, however, you may either be getting referrals or turning away clients immediately. By monitoring your reputation online, you can quickly jump into conversations about your brand and try and resolve any client displeasures and generally get a positive review. Potential clients look at reviews when considering which agents to choose for their needs.

There are various social media platforms you can use for real estate marketing, but the most popular ones for real estate agents (and those generating the highest ROI) are:

Facebook: This is still the largest social media platform in the world. Real estate agents can leverage the large numbers on Facebook for their social media marketing activities by using visually appealing content such as images and infographics. Videos also have a high engagement rate on Facebook, especially if the videos are short and have a viral effect. Finally, Facebook offers one of the best advertising services with a very robust targeting option – which will come in handy when you’re trying to set up your Facebook page’s core audience.

LinkedIn: This is the world’s largest professional social network and it is best used for generating leads and establishing your brand as an expert in the real estate industry. LinkedIn is a perfect opportunity to collect endorsements and reviews which could client testimonials or from agents you’ve worked with in the past. LinkedIn Pulse is also a great place to share your blog posts (or variations of it) and link back to your website. This is good for search engine optimization.

Twitter: A fast-paced social network with real-time conversations that you can tap into, Twitter offers real estate agents a way to connect with potential clients through relevant hashtags and trending topics. With a limit of 140 characters, you need to be creative with your updates and don’t forget to include a lot of visuals.

Google Plus: This a social network owned by Google and its biggest strength is the SEO capabilities it offers to your overall digital marketing strategy. Read our comprehensive guide on how to leverage Google Plus and Google My Business for your real estate marketing strategy here.

Instagram: This is a picture sharing social network owned by Facebook. Instagram allows you to share images and video tours of your listings.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a very good way to establish credibility and brand awareness faster. In order to generate a high chance of digital marketing success, leveraging the influence of influencers within your target niche is still the best way to go.

Simply put, influencer marketing means targeting individuals such as bloggers, reporters, analysts or similar people who have a large social influence and engage them in your brand marketing efforts.

The hardest part of influencer marketing is identifying and connecting with these influencers. You need to target only individuals who will give your marketing a boost in traffic and referrals.

Email Marketing

This is the number one tool for lead nurturing. Email addresses are personal and people rarely ever change theirs. Email marketing provides you the opportunity to build valuable relationships with your leads until they’re ready to buy from you.

Pro Tip: Read our complete guide to email marketing for real estate agents here.

Personal Branding

Finally, personal branding gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand online. Ensure all your blog posts have your name and image on them and make sure all your outreach marketing efforts have your personal branding attached.

Pro Tip: Read more about how real estate agents can leverage their personal brands to generate leads here.

These strategies work very well independently, but their real magic is only evident when you combine these strategies together to make your marketing campaign a success.

When used well, these strategies have the power to enhance and complement each other, thereby increasing your total return on investment across all your marketing channels.

Need help crafting a compelling content marketing strategy for your real estate marketing or do you need a high quality blog post to make your content marketing run more efficiently, contact us today for a FREE consultation.

 

 

 

Categories
General

Tips for Real Estate Agents to get more followers on Twitter

An increasing number of real estate professionals are using social media channels to generate leads. When we talk about social media, twitter is one of the first names that come to the mind. Twitter gets nearly 100 million user logins daily and it is the second largest social media channel following Facebook.

It means you are missing out on opportunities if you are not using this platform for real estate lead generation. On the other hand, it becomes extremely difficult to stand out and make your voice heard on Twitter because so many people and brands are using it.

In order to make your Twitter marketing more effective, you need to have a good number of followers who share your opinion and talk about your brand. Here are 10 tips for you to follow to increase the number of followers on Twitter:

Understand how Twitter is unique from other social media channels

Each social media channel is unique. Most of the strategies that you use to generate leads on Facebook won’t work for Twitter. For example you can run inexpensive ads on Facebook to increase the number of fans on your page, but Twitter ads are very expensive and may not be suitable for small and local businesses.

While you need to have a business page for Facebook marketing, it is recommended that you use your personal profile including image and name on Twitter. People like to follow and do business with other people on Twitter. They don’t trust brands.

Follow the best practices

There are some ground rules that you should always follow.

  • You should use images with your Tweets in order to increase engagement.
  • You have to participate in Twitter discussions about subjects related to your industry and area. You have to reTweet, reply, and exchange information to draw attention of people to your opinion.
  • Your profile should be complete.
  • You should share high quality content only. There are millions of bogus accounts on Twitter, so be useful and interesting before people start ignoring your Tweets. Whether you are curating content from third party websites or sharing your own blog posts, infographics or videos, make sure that it is relevant for your target audience.
  • Use popular hashtags to increase engagement. You can add ‘#’ sign (hashtag) to a popular word or phrase that is being talked about by people on Twitter.

Focus on local events and tag people in your community

Real estate is a local business, so there is no point discussing about things that your audience doesn’t care about.

When using Twitter, you can easily find what people near you are interested in talking about. Just type your city into the Twitter search box and see what events people in your community are Tweeting about.

You should engage with these people by tagging them. In order to tag someone, you simply need to add ‘@’ sign to a person’s Twitter username.

Let’s assume your city council just announced some relief to first time home buyers and people are Tweeting about it and writing blogs and articles on their websites. You can say something like this:

Interesting post @USERNAME. Did you see this: (a link to a relevant article).

Automate

You can make your life a lot easier by using some automation tools that will enable you to greet new followers and retweet interesting content automatically. Make sure that your account automation doesn’t violate the Twitter Rules (by Retweeting spam updates, repeatedly posting duplicate links, etc.). If you violate them, your account may be suspended.

Categories
General

Why should I start a blog for my real estate business?

People come to a real estate agent’s website for a verity of reasons including property search. In most cases, they leave after going through the information they were looking for and never come back. If you want to engage with these prospects and turn them into leads, you should start blogging right away.  Blogging is a great tool to get found by your prospects, keep them engaged and ensure that they return for more information in the future. Not only that, there are many other advantages that blogging offers:

Good for SEO

It is getting increasingly important for real estate professionals to rank their content higher in search engines for local searches. Blogging is the best tool to increase your brand’s presence in search engine results. You can target specific keywords and include them in your blog posts. If your content is high quality, it will improve your search engine ranking. You produce fresh content by blogging regularly. Fresh content is one of most important ranking factors for search engines.

Enhances communication with prospects

You can write blog posts targeting a specific segment of your audience like home buyers or home sellers. It will help you engage with your prospects because they will try to communicate with you by leaving comments and asking questions on particular topics. You can win their trust by responding to these comments and questions. You will also get valuable feedback from people from time to time.

Helps you launch other types of marketing campaigns

You can share blog posts on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. You can send weekly or monthly newsletters containing the links to the latest blog posts. You can also repurpose your blog posts and turn them into ebooks or infographics.

Increases brand awareness

Since blogging helps you engage with your prospects, your brand will become a topic of discussion for prospective buyers and sellers. They will refer to the information you give in your blog posts. It will improve your brand’s reputation.

Establishes you as an industry expert

You can also use this space to provide your opinion on the latest market trends. It will establish you as an expert in your local real estate industry. You will become known as a go-to person whenever someone needs advice on topics related to real estate. Journalists will approach you for your comments on newsworthy developments.

Helps you build professional relationships and networking

You can interview or quote influencers in your local real estate industry and experts from related fields like law, home inspection and banking. They will share blog posts that mention them on their social media channels. They may even refer clients to you.

Helps you think out of the box

In order to produce content on a regular basis, you will have to think out of the box and come up with topics that are unique and interesting. You can review restaurants and report major community events through your blog posts.

If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, it’s time to start your own real estate blog.

Categories
General

6 ways real estate content marketing is different from traditional marketing

If you are investing in marketing to promote your real estate brand, you must be aiming for maximum return on your investment. Real estate agents can increase brand awareness in many different ways. Two of the most popular options are traditional marketing and content marketing.

While traditional marketing has been the favorite method of launching real estate marketing campaigns for long, more and more real estate agents are adapting to content marketing these days.

Distribution

The main difference between traditional marketing and content marketing is the means of distribution.

Yard signs, ads in newspapers and TV, banner ads, fliers, and brochures are some of the most popular mediums real estate agents use to capture leads through traditional marketing.

Distribution channels in a content marketing campaign include email newsletters, blog posts, infographics, ebooks, online video and whitepapers.

Cost

Depending on the scope of advertising targets and channels used in a campaign, content marketing is generally cheaper than traditional marketing. You may have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to run a TV commercial for a few seconds, but you can write a blog post on your own or outsource it for a few dollars. Studies suggest that content marketing costs 62 percent less.

Approach

Traditional channels are mostly focused on outbound marketing. You use channels such as TV commercials or newspaper ads to get your message in front of your audience. You promote an offer or build brand awareness so that people see your ad and approach your for your services.

But content marketing is a form of inbound marketing. Instead of placing your offer or brand before your audience, you draw their attention by providing value so that they trust your brand and hire you for your services. For example, a how-to-guide on home buying can be used to educate homebuyers about various complex steps in the process of a property’s transaction.

Communication

A main advantage of content marketing is that it gives you an opportunity to have a dialogue with your prospects. They can ask questions by posting comments on your content. They can determine what value your services bring to the table before hiring you. On the contrary, most traditional marketing channels don’t provide this opportunity. If a prospect comes across a TV commercial, he or she will have no direct way to interact with you or your brand.

 Lifespan

Content marketing materials have a much longer lifespan. For example a blog post that you wrote on your website can be found by your prospects online months or even years later, but the same is not true for a TV commercial, a newspaper ad or a flier.

Targeting

You can launch a highly targeted content marketing campaign, but a traditional marketing campaign is usually not targeted for a specific audience. A newspaper ad will be visible to people who have no interest in buying or selling properties. In a content marketing campaign, the content needs to be directed towards a smaller, more specific audience so that it speaks to them directly and gives them a reason to engage with it.

In conclusion

For real estate professionals, traditional marketing channels are very effective in many situations, but if you want long-term results from your marketing campaigns, you should also invest in content marketing.

Categories
General

7 steps to getting followers on your Facebook page

If you are hoping you will get more followers on Facebook and eventually real estate leads just by posting property listings day in and day out, you are in for a disappointment. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes most real estate agents make while trying to get business through Facebook – the king of social networks with more than 1.79 billion active users per month.

While Facebook can be a great tool for establishing you as an expert in your area, it is also true that all your efforts may go in vein if you don’t know how to use this very powerful marketing platform the right way. The first thing you need to do is to make your Facebook page popular by increasing the number of followers. There are several advantages of having a large number of Facebook followers:

  • It indicates your brand’s popularity.
  • It enhances trust among prospective clients about you and your brand.
  • It drives traffic to your website.
  • It helps you rank your website higher in search engines

By following the steps outlined below, you can surely increase the number of Facebook followers and even convert some of them into clients:

  • Set up a business page:

Many real estate agents use their personal Facebook profile for business. The biggest advantage of a Facebook page is that you will get to use many in-built call-to-action tabs. You can use these tabs to popularize events, offers, discounts and landing pages on your website.

  • Use your personal  Facebook profile to grow followers on the page

By saying that you should set up a business page, we don’t mean you should ignore your personal profile completely. Most real estate professionals are active in small communities. Your personal profile on Facebook can help you personalize your relationship with families and people in your area. You can also use your personal profile to send invites to people who you already know to like and share your business page.

  • Provide complete information

You should provide accurate and complete information on your page’s profile section. The information include:

  • Page title (username),
  • A short description
  • long description,
  • Company overview,
  • Mission statement
  • Contact information
  • Information about office hours
  • Website URL
  • Promote the Facebook page on your website

If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, you can install plugins to display Facebook Like box on your website. It will enable the website visitors to like your page without even having to leave your site. If you have built a big following on Facebook, this ‘like box’ will show visitors how popular your site is.

  • Share high quality content

Besides property listings and links from third party websites, you should share your own content on your page. Make sure you share only high quality content that your existing followers find useful. They will like it and share it with their friends and it will greatly boost the popularity of your page and your followers’ engagement.

The most popular Facebook pages share images, videos, infographics, charts etc, along with their usual text only postings. This type of content gets more likes and shares and as a result the page gets more fans and followers.

  • Communicate with your followers

If your followers post questions or comments, you should respond to them. You can also use features such as Facebook Live to promote your brand and communicate with your followers in real time.

  • Advertising

Facebook is probably one of the cheapest advertising platforms. You can get dozens of followers for a few dollars. You can set aside a daily budget (which can be as low as $10) and advertise your page to your prospects with highly customizable targeting options.

Conclusion

In the beginning, you can boost the number of followers by doing some paid advertisement and then make your page popular by posting good quality content and following the steps outlined in this article.