For estate and letting agents it’s all about the results – hardcore conversions from leads to paying customers. When it comes to marketing, everything is now measured against the ability to contribute to the business’s bottom line.
Over the years, proving marketing ROI has consistently been a challenge for marketers, especially when it comes to traditional print media. But how has this changed and what impact does this have on the strategic planning for measurable activities for ROI?
A recent report by HubSpot revealed that, across the globe, most businesses have similar marketing priorities: converting leads into customers, growing website traffic, increasing repeat business, and building relationships. So how does this translate into measurable marketing campaigns to focus on over the next year?
GROWING ORGANIC PRESENCE (SEO)
Fifty-one per cent of traffic to websites comes from organic search. On average, 83 per cent of the traffic from search engines comes from SEO, and 17 per cent from paid search. While SEO does require an upfront and ongoing resource investment, search engine rankings, once earned, have long-term duration. If your agency ranks well for many local and relevant phrases, your enquiries are likely to go up as well.
BLOG CONTENT CREATION
If optimised well, a blog article can rank organically, bringing traffic through search. Blogs can also be used as a ‘bait’ when shared through social channels or email campaigns, encouraging more local prospects to visit your website. By running a blog, you can present your business as an authority in your field, answering potential customers’ questions, giving free advice, or providing further information about a subject of interest to your audience.
CONTENT DISTRIBUTION AND AMPLIFICATION
If you invest in content creation, you need to invest in its distribution and amplification. You may have the best blog out there, but if no one knows about it, it’s useless. Depending on who you want to attract with your content, you need to select the channels you will use. For example, Facebook is perfect for article boosting, especially if you are after local homeowners or residents. If you want to attract property developers, you could try LinkedIn, and if you want to attract existing clients or prospects on your database, try email marketing.
PAID MARKETING (PPC AND SOCIAL)
With all the changes introduced by the search engines, there is no escape. Paid marketing should form an integral part of an estate agent’s marketing. Search for ‘ estate agents YOUR AREA’ in Google and you’ll find the first four results are paid ads. Running a paid campaign in Facebook is the only way to reach a wider audience or expose your message to most of your page followers. And with the introduction of remarketing campaigns, both on Facebook and Google, paid marketing should have a place in your marketing budget allocation.
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier. For example, if you run a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page, posting in real time on each channel separately can prove frustrating and time-consuming. Introducing a tool which allows you to schedule and post on all channels from one place will reduce your time investment significantly. Sending follow-up emails to your registered tenants or buyers based on triggers within your CRM system can not only reduce your time involvement but increase your conversions too.
INTERACTIVE CONTENT CREATION
Content that requires the participants’ active engagement is classed as ‘interactive’. This includes stamp duty calculators, mortgage calculators, polls, surveys and most recently, as we have seen on several online estate agents’ websites, how much one can save in fees. Part of why it works is because humans simply can’t resist the call to test themselves, compete, compare, share their opinions, and have fun. At the same time, there’s a give and take with the content that allows the user to get a different result or next step in their content journey based on how they answered – and that personalisation is appealing.
VISUAL CONTENT CREATION
Just writing a blog and posting it on your website is not enough anymore. Visual content that communicates or complements the valuable information you share with your audience is a pillar of any successful marketing strategy. This includes images that are relevant to your content, infographics backing up your statements, memes, adding a bit of humour, screenshots, videos and property walkthroughs, if relevant.