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Traditional vs Digital Marketing, Which Is Better For More Real Estate Leads & Sales?

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

The great debate continues, which method of marketing is more effective, digital or traditional?

More so which will generate a higher return on investment?

Immediately we can acknowledge that the real estate industry and its consumers have changed and expect to be engaged in different ways. While traditional marketing might be on the decline for more tech-savvy entrepreneurs and realtors it’s not out of the race yet. Let’s settle this and examine both sides and which one fits into your real estate business’ agenda.


Which is More Cost-Effective?



Traditional forms of marketing, such as billboards, radio and print media can be very effective for realtors & companies seeking to build and maintain their brand to a large audience, but also incredibly expensive. Significantly more expensive than digital marketing platforms such as social media, search engine optimization and email marketing in almost every case.


Digital marketing strategies have a proven track record for giving realtors a chance to reach a wider and more targeted audience with a much lower budget. Allowing agencies to build campaigns that reach targeted groups of people, with unique messaging for a cost-effective price.


Even online paid advertising methods (such as social media advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising) are much cheaper compared to advertising traditionally. Advertising online with digital marketing lets you pay, on average, under a dollar per person who clicks on your ad.


Reaching The Right Market


For many businesses, reaching the right “marketing” decision is not easy, even though it can make a huge difference in their results. While digital marketing is steadily gaining an edge there is a percentage of people who don’t use the internet for conducting any transactions.


For instance, realtors who engage mature and elderly prospects should consider looping in more traditional marketing to thoroughly tap into that generation. People over age 50 are responsible for more than half of consumer spending in the United States. That’s considerable purchasing power! Which means that you don’t want to gloss over them. Yet studies suggest that businesses that treat people over 50 might as well be invisible.


From Harvard Business Review: “Only an estimated 5%-10% of marketing budgets are devoted to winning them over. Only 5% of advertising images of people over 50 show them using technology, and even then it’s usually a younger person teaching an older person how to use a device”


The article went on to say that “The lack of interest in going after older consumer goes hand-in-hand with the notorious ageism” something we need to shake as digital marketers. “there has been significant growth in tech adoption since 2012 among older generations — particularly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.”


The data also points to how we consume marketing material, and that although most of us are used to reading off screens, there’s something about paper copy that makes it easier to process and recall the information that was read, signalling the idea that flyers and posters offer a great return on investment, especially when you can print them out for pennies.


Therefore a strictly digital marketing campaign would be wasted with this demographic, but a well-thought-out traditional marketing campaign can see the right overlap between the two forms.


Digital Allows You To Track And Measure



This is the biggest pull to digital compared to traditional, digital tools allow you to track a wide variety of real-time data such as clicks, page views, conversions, likes and follows and more. You can access programs like Google Analytics, where you can track all these metrics in one place. This data gives displays the results around your digital marketing efforts. And by using the data, you can measure how well your digital marketing is performing against your goals.


You can quickly figure out what works well and what doesn’t, which allows you to make changes as you need, giving you a chance to optimize your strategy.


The results of traditional marketing are much more difficult to quantify than digital marketing. Unlike digital marketing, marketers can’t track who views their ad or how they’re interacting with it. Results are also dated. They lack the real-time aspect that digital marketing provides. Leaving many marketers to wait until after the campaign is over to determine how well their campaign converted.


Engagement Levels Between Digital vs Traditional



That takes me to my next point on engagement, traditional marketing provides less room for interaction and engagement with your audience than digital marketing. With traditional marketing, interaction comes, for the most part, from pushing ads and services onto consumers in a one-way information relationship.


And while we mentioned earlier how social media, blogging, and email marketing all present valuable channels to boost your audience’s engagement with your brand. On the other hand, you also have to deal with negative feedback that has higher visibility along with your posts.


So which do you choose? In my opinion, the key to a great marketing campaign is to find the right balance between traditional and digital. A ying & yang combo where traditional and digital marketing complements each other. Taking a multi-channel approach can help a business to flourish.

More marketing advice and strategies for real estate agents

Check out some of our top real estate marketing articles and step up your digital real estate marketing strategy!




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