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Investing in inbound marketing

If you follow any marketing trends, you may have heard the terms ‘inbound marketing’ and ‘outbound marketing’, says Nelly Berova, but do you know the difference?

Nelly Berova

Inbound Marketing Strategy image

Outbound marketing is what used to be termed simply ‘marketing’. It’s the type of marketing which pushes a message at you, whether you want it to or not. Examples of outbound marketing include TV ads, newspaper or radio ads, telemarketing, cold calling, billboards and pop-ups.

Outbound marketing used to work, and in many cases, it still does. Many online agents invest thousands in outbound marketing to establish themselves as a known brand. Like it or not, we have all seen Purplebricks’ ads. Familiarity with a brand is important, as then we are more inclined to purchase from that brand.

But outbound marketing has largely fallen out of favour in the last ten years.

We are all bombarded by so many marketing messages, online and offline, that people started to ignore them, mostly subconsciously.

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?

There is a relatively new player on the market: ‘inbound marketing’.

According to Wikipedia, “Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation and branding.”

Inbound marketing campaigns are concentrated efforts which align your marketing channels around a single message and goal. It starts with something valuable and relevant for your audience, that you promote through your marketing channels and continues through a funnel of relevant touchpoints.

WHY IS INBOUND MARKETING PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR YOU?

Independent estate and letting agents rely on quality relationships to attract more customers. Unless you have deep pockets and can invest in nationwide campaigns, targeting everyone and anyone, inbound marketing is becoming the best type of campaign to attract quality clients consistently and cost-effectively.

Inbound campaigns are effective in attracting leads as they are focused around your goals.

Do you want to attract more vendors or landlords? Or perhaps you have a new-build development on your books and want to attract buyers? An inbound campaign will be far more effective to attract those type of leads from your targeted locations as it will be focused around your goals.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Let’s take vendors as an example. A good inbound marketing campaign starts by identifying your ideal clients (or the buyer personas). To us, the ideal client is the person who benefits greatly from your service, the one you can give the most value to but also the one that can help your business grow. Ask yourself, what is my ideal client looking for? What kind of things do they like? What is their ‘pain’?

Let’s assume that you are good at helping families with children move from 2-3-bedroom houses into bigger properties. Or equally, couples who are moving from 1-2-bedroom flats into their first house to start a family. In both cases there will be a chain, which adds to the stress of selling and buying.

An inbound marketing campaign will approach the potential seller with an informative article or piece of information, such as a download or a video which helps them understand the selling process when in a chain. This article can be promoted on Facebook to the selected audience or through other social channels. It can be optimised to rank for certain search terms and found through Google Search, it can be published on a third-party site which attracts the type of customers you are after.

It will then continue the journey by adding more touchpoints, giving your prospects value while building trust with the estate agent behind the campaign. What other piece of information can you give the prospect who has read your first article or watched your video? This is where remarketing campaigns work well.

The end goal is for the prospect to book a valuation. By that point, there is already a relationship between the agent and the prospect, and so the selling process becomes easier.

BUILDING THE RIGHT MARKETING STRATEGY

Let’s face it, you will never get it 100 per cent right from day one. The goal is to start generating leads through your funnel and then to work on improving and refining it. If initially you spend a lot to get a lead, the improvements could focus on reducing the cost per conversion. Don’t be afraid to try new things but persist with what works. And don’t forget that audiences change too – what worked the previous year may not work today. As the market changes, so should your content. Analyse your data, improve, test, measure and repeat.

June 22, 2018

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