With the end of the year in sight you might be starting to make plans for your real estate business in 2022 – a hopefully more stable year than we’ve become used to. The highs and lows of the housing market, from lockdown to boom, have had a profound effect on how customers interact with estate agents. But there have been changes in the marketing industry, too – more subtle ones you might have missed.
Last month we talked about how Apple’s recent updates require iPhone users to opt in to allow third parties to follow them across apps. From the start of 2022, Google will bring in changes too, in response to privacy concerns. The dominant search engine will address tracking via cookies on the web. This means that businesses, which rely on tracking for their digital marketing, might need new, more direct ways of acquiring data. Add to this a trend towards more personalisation in marketing – tweaking your messages to address the wants and needs of specific audiences – and you’ll begin to see a distinct pattern.
The highs and lows of the housing market have had a profound effect on how customers interact with estate agents…
Taking all of this into consideration, here are five trends we think you should be considering as you plan your marketing for 2022.
1 The prominence of online events will continue to grow
While people are getting back to work – and getting out more – all those days spent on Zoom on Microsoft Teams are more than a distant memory. Virtual meetings and events have become second nature, and will continue to grow as businesses see the value of webinars, Q&As and tutorials. Adding virtual events to your strategy may not bring you an immediate increase in revenue, but they will give you opportunities to grow your customer lists and learn more about them.
2 Content is still king – but it must be the right content
Producing compelling and relevant content to draw in new audiences will be as important as ever, but it must be the right content. People are drowning in blogs, videos and social posts, so it’s becoming harder to get noticed. Do continue to generate content, but make sure it strikes a chord. If the same articles can be found 100 times already, make yours unique with engaging case studies, an authentic voice, user input or a different take on the same subject. If it means posting better content less frequently, so be it.
3 It’s all in the story – and the way you tell it
Storytelling will be important in 2022 as a way of explaining your brand’s journey. Remember, it’s always better to show than tell, so don’t just talk at your customers, telling them how great you are at selling houses. Demonstrate it with your company’s unique story.
4 Personalisation will continue to grow
As the number of channels at your audience’s disposal increases, you need to plan which ones you will use to appeal to which segment. You might want to move into a new area – maybe podcasting. Begin by researching who you would be reaching by this medium before channelling the right personalised messages. Social media is very noisy these days, with hundreds of millions of posts sent every day, meaning it’s a struggle to be heard. Newsletters, on the other hand land right in your customers’ inboxes and can be personalised to whoever you’re targeting.
5 Education will be prized above hard sell
People are getting increasingly immune to hard-sell tactics. They want to engage with brands in more meaningful ways. If you can educate your customers – on the process of buying or selling or becoming a landlord – without pressure to sign them up, your messages will land better. A good example is Apple with its genius bar aftersales advice, a bonus which creates brand loyalty while never trying to up-sell.
Remember, it’s a moving target
Finally, remember that in marketing, nothing stays the same for long. While techniques and strategies may have helped you in the past, keep an eye on new trends, platforms and industry changes. Don’t be afraid to try different ideas – partnerships with related businesses such as interiors or landscaping companies, for example or new platforms, if you can get them to work for you. TikTok may feel like a youth channel but it reached an older demographic during the pandemic and some estate agents are using it to inject humour into their output and grab attention.
The property industry has had an astonishing two years – who could have foreseen a housing boom and rising prices during a recession and global pandemic? So, it’s difficult to predict exactly what 2022 will bring, but the message is know your customers and personalise your marketing to them.
Need help with your marketing in 2022?
Book a free consultation: www.artdivision.co.uk
And have a happy new year!