5 Tips to Leverage Real Estate Digital Marketing
Digital marketing of the real estate project always requires a lot of effort. One has to think about reaching out to the right target audience, visually impact them with a nice development concept, have all the communication in a usable and understandable manner, and finally convince prospects to make the decision.
When digital marketers or brokers are creating the plan, their main goal is to collect the required amount of relevant leads, who are interested in purchasing the property, as well as to enable a shorter sales cycle. The two things that one should balance here is the leads’ acquisition price that provides the best ROI (Return on Investment) and, at the same time, keeps the campaign from quickly running out of the budget.
During the digital marketing campaign, many questions might arise, like:
- Is everything done right?
- Do I use the most effective channels to promote real estate property?
- Do printed flyers work?
- How to get more leads?
- Should we do anything additional?
In this article, we are giving an overview of digital marketing practices envisioned and applied at the Wild Dots for the promotion of agency clients’ real estate projects. We’re sharing our 5 tips on how to plan, run, and improve the campaigns. These things give a holistic approach to real estate digital marketing and cover the entire process. Each of the tips will be discussed in closer detail in the next series of posts, so keep an eye out for updates (or subscribe below.)
They are the following:
- Develop a multi-channel marketing strategy
- Setup end-to-end analytics
- Build prospects avatars
- Engage with your audience
- Optimize key metrics
Let’s look at each of them in detail.
1. Develop a multi-channel marketing strategy
It’s not enough to put the printed ad in the magazine and publish a banner on the immobilier portals like Homegate or Immoscout. You should be looking for the combination of online and offline marketing channels that are optimal for your target audience, project features, location, and available budget.
For example, older people barely use Instagram, while they are more likely to read a flyer found in their postbox. Or a person, who searched for something on Google and visited a project web-site, has a higher probability of getting back and leaving their contact information if they see the video ad on Facebook a day after.
The budget for the selected marketing channels has to be allocated in a way that enables their effective synergy and maximizes the overall ROI. With online advertising, it’s relatively easy to calculate, but is it possible to know how many leads came from offline billboards or how much to invest in banners? Let’s move on to the next topic to learn how to do it.
2. Setup end-to-end analytics
In order to find the answers and make the right decisions, digital marketers (as well as brokers) need data and the insights that data can provide. Thankfully, there is a variety of tools available for digital marketers to track every event and transaction that took place (yes, including offline.)
With the help of Google Analytics and special UTM tags added to every link, it is possible to measure how much traffic every source brings, whether it was an immobilier portal or an email newsletter. The same applies to Facebook, Instagram, and Google Search ads.
Connecting the website to Google Search Console gives understanding about search queries that visitors used and which ones were clicked. This helps to improve the content and increase free organic traffic that the website receives.
There are special call-tracking tools that help calculate how many people have called brokers directly. They also can track whether it was from a phone number taken from the magazine ad, website contact page, or a flyer. With the help of different domains for online and offline ads, one can know how many people saw the website address on the billboard or flyer and typed it in the browser to learn more about the project.
Finally, using a tool like Hotjar that records click maps will help to reveal and improve potential bottlenecks in website usability. As a result, it increases the number of received conversions, because the visitors were able to find all the necessary information and perform the target action: download a brochure or submit a contact form.
Data storage and matching
The more tools are used, the more data is collected. Nice reports provided by each of the tools give a lot of insights. All is well… until it’s not.
The flip side of the medal is twofold:
- The data from different sources might not be consistent with each other. The information is stored in various formats and systems, which makes it hard to get a full understanding of the digital campaign performance, track the flow of individual users when they click the ads and fill out the contact form, and calculate the main metrics across the campaign.
- There also might be too much data collected and you need to properly store and process it. This requires a lot of time-consuming manual and repetitive work of aggregating raw data exported from each of the tools into one report. As a solution to this, the data can be organized with the help of a data warehouse (f.e. BigQuery). Such tools offer automated data extraction, matching and transforming algorithms, and storing them in plain tables that are easy to analyze.
Well-structured data can serve its main purpose – provide insights. By visualizing them in business intelligence tools like Google Data Studio, Microsoft PowerBI, or Tableau, it is possible to make the analysis in different cross-sections and dimensions.
The good thing here is that the reports are fully interactive and automated. One can see the results of the entire campaign or double-click certain metrics value for specific marketing channel and date.
3. Build prospects’ avatars
Once the lead has been captured, it is not the end of the story, but of the chapter only. Now it’s time to convert it into a successful sale.
Relying just on the contact information the prospect has provided makes the broker’s job start from the very beginning. What they usually have in their hands is the email address, a message from the contact form, and maybe the floor plan that has been requested. Based on this information it is very hard to clearly define a buyer’s interest and need.
You can learn a lot about the website visitor with the help of data that is internally collected, for example:
- What ads have sparked their interest?
- Is it their first time on the website?
- What filters (number of rooms, price, surface) they have used?
- Which content did they spend more time reading through?
In addition to this data, there is a lot of publicly available information that can be collected in compliance with GDPR. They enrich the prospect’s profile with the probable age group, occupation, income level, all of which the marketer can identify the prospect’s needs more precisely to build personalized communication with them. You can also automate parts of the communication flow, which allows brokers to focus attention on the most promising leads.
4. Engage with your audience
The communication with the target audience starts from the ads they see. The text and image have to be relevant to their intent. For example, if a person is Googling “buy a house near Lausanne,” they will more likely click on the ad which contains these words combined with the benefits the project has.
When we bring a visitor to the website, it is not only important to visually impact them with the beauty of the project, but also to provide a natural and understandable way to perform a target action like view the promotion video, download the brochure or fill the contact form. If the visitors did not do the required action and left the website, they can be brought back again with the remarketing ads.
The more time a visitor spends on the web-site and more pages they click through, the higher positions the web-site gets in google search results. The same is for paid ads: the number of ads displayed increases while the cost per click goes down. As a result, this not only boosts the conversion rate but releases a budget that can be saved or reallocated. For example, to invest in the content that covers usual buyers fears like:
- I’m afraid I can’t afford a home, prices are too high right now
- Are there any hidden purchase costs?
- I think I’ll need more space in the near future
The posts covering these topics can then be distributed through social media pages or automated email newsletters. This simplifies a lot of broker’s work.
5. Optimize key metrics
There is a simple rule saying that the more marketing budget is allocated, the more leads and closed deals are in the result. However, this only works if you take certain steps.
When running the digital marketing campaign one should start with the test. Setup all the accounts, upload ads, put a small amount of money on balance, and run the campaign for a few days. This will give the first touch with the audience, understand that they react to the ads, and shape everything.
Then during the next phase, it is important to calculate the main campaign metrics for each marketing channel:
- How many time the ads were seen (Impressions)
- How many times if was clicked (CTR) and the cost per click (CPC)
- How many conversions (C0) were received and what was the cost per each acquisition (CPA)
Automated reports discussed in section 2 will help a lot here. When you have all these numbers on the same page, it’s much easier to inspect for and reveal bottlenecks in them in order to improve the metrics. Once they are improved, you see what channels/ads are the most beneficial and can be invested in more.
At first glance, the implementation of these 5 tips may seem complicated and hard but the existing tools allow quickly and easily make the first and big steps toward building effective digital marketing campaigns.
One of the routes to success can consist of configured Google Analytics with mandatory UTM-tracking of every published link, combined with the calculation of lead cost for each marketing channel that is used.
While marketing strategy development might look more complicated to you than real estate development, when these two work together they create magic. At the Wild Dots, we strive to create the process in such a way that benefits both our clients as well as their end customers.
So, once again, summarizing the tips we’ve discussed above:
- You should consider a multi-channel marketing strategy – and the mix of the channels will be unique to each of your development projects
- You should set up and use end-to-end analytics in order to gain insights about the marketing performance
- You should create your ideal prospects’ avatars in order to create the marketing campaigns targeted at these people in the real world
- You should engage with your audience – see what works for them and what doesn’t. Do more of the former and less of the latter.
- You should continually optimize your key metrics. It’s not something that is done once and that’s it.