Digital marketing initiatives that increase value for customers
The impact and importance of digital marketing in real estate is undeniable, and although it is a difficult mechanism to wield effectively at first, those that do without it entirely simply don’t get very far when it comes to advertising and broadcasting in an increasingly modern world. An important component to digital marketing, apart from the processes and continuous maintenance required to keep itself moving, is the wide array of digital marketing assets. These are the materials that prop up digital marketing initiatives and increase value for customers, which is pivotal in an industry that is already full of big players vying for audience attention and dollars.
Why is it so important for agents and real estate businesses to get their digital marketing assets in order in 2022? Studies have shown that despite the upheaval and prolonged uncertainties that arose from the pandemic, real estate actually continued to grow in the last two years. In the US alone, the Census Bureau approved permits for nearly 1.5 million privately-owned housing units in 2021, and, even more surprising, buyers were going digital, with as many as 63% making an offer on a property without ever having visited on-site.
Most businesses are already familiar with physical forms of assets, (think brochures or pamphlets), but digital assets are the lesser-known, ever-changing, virtual versions of that. They may not be physically seen or handled, but they promote or enhance user experience; they can be viewed, listened to or even shared, because digital assets, arguably, move better and more interchangeably than physical entities.
Here’s a list of some of the most valuable and impactful digital marketing assets that make a difference for real estate agents.
1. Custom Website / Real Estate Landing Pages
This is where people will come to get a good look at what services, experience, local knowledge, testimonials and listings an agent/agency has, and more. This is where visitors are taken to when they click on ads, and real estate landing pages should be optimized to highlight properties while promoting and maintaining the brand ethos. They should be clean and professional, be omni-device friendly, with ample opportunities for visitors to input their email and details to gain more information. The website and landing pages remain the most important asset for real estate professionals, with lead captures being as simple as name and email, or strategic as using qualifying factors like move-in date and home preferences. Once collected, this information is fed automatically to the chosen CRM software to be further organized and nurtured as valuable leads.
Online, where 51% of buyers in 2020 bought a home they found on the internet, content dominates. The power of online content and particularly in its long-form formats, is an important tool for agents to harness. Blog posts not only exhibit expertise and industry knowledge, but they are easily shareable across a wide range of online platforms, moving freely across cyberspace and, importantly, crawled and indexed by search engines, (boosting visibility on search results). Writing fresh content consistently and using keyword-rich content informs prospects of who an agent is and what they can deliver to the table. Together, the real estate website and blog form the core assets for agents in a digital world, and best performing agents know to treat them collectively as an investment, not as an expense.
3. Digital hub(s)/social media profiles
Many professionals wonder how social can bring real returns, but what they’re missing out on is that social spaces are excellent at building awareness at the top of the marketing funnel and promoting initial discovery for customers. The vast number of users at any given time also provides free crowd-sourced marketing for agents, especially useful if much of an agent’s other digital marketing assets are highly shareable with easily recognizable social buttons. A retweet or a like may seem like a small start, but it is the beginning of true virtual community building that has potential to be replicated in real-life, especially for agents who are really good at championing local communities. Social media platforms helped generate about 47% quality leads for realtors, brokers and agents within a given year, while 44% of agents found a new client during the pandemic simply due to consistent use of social media.
4. Whitepapers and e-books:
Google is favorable to longer forms of content, which means ‘content’ doesn’t only have to be in the form of a Tweet or a blog post. Whitepapers are useful for real estate professionals to expand on complicated topics by providing authoritative information and recommending actionable steps. eBooks are also valuable long-form content that are digital publications that educate and entertain, promoting a company’s brand and established stance on a subject. Both formats can be gated, (a free download in exchange for an email or a share), or paid, (from a few dollars per digital copy all the way to premium online courses and programs).
5. Video Content
From beautiful, sweeping drone footage of a property listing to lifestyle and aspirational clips on TikTok, video is where it’s at. Studies consistently show that adding high-quality videos to website landing pages can increase conversion rates to an incredible 80%, as well as make it 50x easier to get a page to rank first on Google. Although primarily used to showcase properties and the USPs of each listing, today’s digital agents are becoming more creative with what they do with this format, using video to showcase testimonials, market updates and tips and tricks for homebuyers - great resources that are not only informative and engaging, but memorable and shareable too.
6. Influencer Relationships
Influencers today may be most recognizable as young, digital personalities who are good at hyping up a sponsored product on their social media channels. But brands all over are recognizing that the term influencer can mean a lot more, and are tapping into the passion and enthusiasm that can arise from already trusted figures with the same interests, often much more efficient and speedier than traditional methods that took years of publishing, promoting and building a loyal fanbase. The beauty of it all is that it can take just two different interested parties, (perhaps posting a video collab on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat), a roundtable talk on Youtube, or even an industry-wide panel discussion done completely virtually like Adfenix’s Real Conf. that instigates meaningful conversations surrounding deep real estate insights.