Find out how our Chief Marketing Officer, Laurie Andrews, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about digital marketing and its impact on the real estate industry.
1. What does social media marketing really do for your business? Can you quantify the results?
Social marketing has become the core of our digital strategy. The advanced targeting tools within the platform allow us to narrow the consumer base to our true potential homebuyers. Of course, the way we use the social channel is very strategic. Much more about educating and informing the consumer, rather than selling. The results are very quantifiable. We have data on every aspect of our engagement, and we also gain terrific exposure from the viral aspect of creating great content.
2. What type of networking/marketing events work best?
Taking the pressure of a one-on-one sales encounter off of the client is always more successful. Inviting them to join us in an atmosphere where they are entertained while being presented the homebuying opportunity. The experience needs to be enjoyable, where everyone in the family feels comfortable and “at home.”
3. Are word of mouth referrals still the most important marketing tool?
Word of mouth referrals are incredibly important, but it’s not just a verbal referral. Nine times out of 10 this is happening online via recommendation, rating, “shared story” or positive engagement. It’s important to create your own referrals by providing opportunities to share feedback.
4. What is the best way to capture and follow up on the leads/inquiries from your marketing?
Always remember what is important to your consumer – not yourself. Provide information or assistance that will solve some challenge that they are facing during this process. Providing an immediate buyer benefit will always help improve your data capture rate. At RiverTown, we’ve created a magazine that we offer to our visitors. It’s filled with stories and editorial content that is more believable and less salesy than a brochure. We’re pulling them in, not pushing a message.
5. Does old school marketing still work? Direct mail, door knockers, print media advertising?
Great marketing always includes multiple touch points. That’s true for mixing traditional advertising with digital content. Direct mail that is personalized to the recipient is proving to be very successful these days. Print media is still a useful tool for a transient market who grabs a local magazine or publication to get up to speed.
6. What’s the best way to focus in on a specific target audience when formulating your marketing strategy?
Knowing your specific audience is the first and most important step. If you can clearly identify the demographic and psychographic profile, there are incredible data profiling companies out there that will help you narrow in on a digital strategy. Facebook is the largest advertising platform on the planet because it’s so accessible and it’s targeting is so accurate, but new programmatic digital media buying is also using identity matching to serve your advertising to a specific target profile, rather than through a specific media source.
7. Has technology changed your marketing strategy and how?
Most definitely. Every marketing meeting we hold starts with analyzing the data from our website, landing pages and digital campaigns. These numbers have a direct correlation to what we see in the Sales Center. We can evaluate the quality of the traffic by the length of time on site, the pages they visit and the actions they take. The real key is putting together a program that takes a consumer from an internet inquiry to a live body in our sales center. That follow up process is critical and it can span quite a length of time. Especially in Florida with our retirement market.
8. How is your marketing changing in a shifting market?
We keep a constant eye on the data and have a full digital marketing team of professionals in house to ensure we’re up to date on the changing technologies and opportunities. As far as performance, we don’t judge success by “likes” or “followers,” it’s all about conversions and sales. We all understand that we have to be constantly evolving with technology to stay connected to our buyers. Media is also reinventing itself in new ways. We have to be ready to take advantage of those opportunities as they emerge.
To learn more about the digital services offered at Cotton & Company or how to receive a digital audit click here.