One main characteristic that sets a realtor apart from his or her competition is their ability to market themselves, showcasing their aptitude, capabilities and trustworthiness. As the middle-ground between vendors and buyers, marketing sets the pace and tone of real estate agents; giving their prospective clients a chance to familiarize themselves with their brand and earn trust in their business. A well crafted real estate digital marketing plan will give any business a leg up in the market and an edge to overall showcase their business’ differentiator from its competitors. But...how do you build a successful digital marketing plan?
Identify Your Digital Marketing Goals
The initial step to creating a unique and dynamic digital marketing strategy is to identify your goals. For example, do you want to increase your leads or sales, get more people to sign up for your webinars or conferences, or drive higher-quality traffic to your website from various channels or mentions? Having clearly defined goals will help guide your digital marketing strategy, and build out tools and tactics that will help ensure you're on the right path to achieving those goals.
The classic SMART model comes in handy here where SMART refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
The benefit of using this methodology for your real estate business is that it sets tangible numbers that you can track. You have a concrete measurement for your deadlines throughout the year, a goal such as, “generate more listings in my farm area” doesn't hit the mark compared to a SMART treatment, like “generate 20% more listings in my farm area by Q3” you’re giving yourself more tangible (and thus, more achievable) objectives to work with.
Develop a Target Audience
Then, you need to know who you are focusing on with your plan. In the event that you don't know who you’re targeting, this is the best time to start building your ideal customer personas. You’ll ask yourself questions like; what are your key demographics, location, budget, income etc of your target audience. Recall, that the best type of marketing seeks to fill a need, with that in mind, what are your clients' problems? And how does your service or agency reduce that problem? Moreso you can think about your brand communication. What type of marketing messaging resonates with them? Are they more likely to respond to email marketing or social media posts?
Choose Your Digital Marketing Methods
Once you have completed your research and your brainstorming, it's time to put together a list of tactics and marketing channels you want to leverage in your new digital marketing strategy. Focus on which channels and strategies you need to invest the most energy and budget in then clearly define your goals for each channel. This is the part of your marketing strategy that you'll want to spend the most time on as it will end up being your guide for executing your plan throughout the year or set period.
Digital marketing tactics typically include the following:
Search Engine Optimization
Whitepapers, eBooks, Webinars
Social Media Advertising
Conversion Rate Optimization
Landing Page Optimization
Full-Funnel Digital Strategy
Develop a Digital Marketing Budget
It goes without saying that no marketing strategy is complete without outlining a budget. Think about where you want to spend the main part of your financial plan. Is it on pay-per-click advertising? Email marketing? Or hiring a social media manager to write posts, respond to comments, and generally make the most of your social media presence?
As you're making your marketing budget, put a projected return on investment (ROI) on each item. That way, you'll be able to tell during the year whether you've been successful. Also by benchmarking throughout the year, such as at each quarter, you'll be able to adjust your tactics and projections if you aren't hitting the initial goals.
Set Up Your Digital Marketing Process
In addition to the goals, you'll want to confirm your tactics and channels and make sure that your overall strategy is cohesive and consistent. If you are adding new channels, you'll want to set those up so they are ready to use when you need them.
Also, you'll want to regularly check in with your team to review and analyze the results of your strategy. Giving yourself a chance to examine what's working, and barriers or roadblocks in your execution. You can also consider discussing the financial results and ROI of a strategy with your team to allow them to see how their results impacted the company and its financial health as a whole.
Measure Your Results and Make Adjustments
Lastly, you absolutely need to set up ways to monitor, measure and review your results. The best digital strategy will fall flat if you are unable to measure whether it's performing or not. For instance, if you use a website data tool like Google Analytics to generate website reports on traffic, audience, user behaviour etc, ensure that the system is set up properly to be able to give you the information you need to track your goals. To do this, make sure you have goal tracking in place along with marketing attribution and goal values setup.
You need to check your data consistently, Weekly check-ins are substantial. Let the information, you acquire from monitoring guide your decision and not your "gut feelings". Collaborate on this information as you review opportunities for change and improvement. While using the data to back up your suggestions.
Creating an effective digital marketing strategy doesn't need to be frightening or tedious. Simply separate the process into easily managed steps, start early, and get your advertising team to share their thoughts and insights, and soon you'll be set for success.