Digital Marketing For Builders: 6 Tips To Skyrocket Your Results
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by
As a builder, if you want to stay competitive in the digital age, you need to take your marketing operations to the digital side.
Digital marketing is an incredibly powerful marketing medium and allows you to reach your audience in new, innovative, and exciting ways. But as a builder – and not a marketer – the digital landscape can be confusing. Where do you start? Should you be focused on SEO? Blogging? Advertising?
Don’t worry, builders. We’re here to demystify the digital space and give you clear direction on where to put your focus to get the results you want – selling more homes and filling your communities.
Here are six digital marketing tips for builders to skyrocket your results:
Focus on Content
When it comes to marketing in 2017, it’s all about content. Content marketing burst onto the scene a few years ago in a huge way and has since moved past more traditional forms of digital marketing, like SEO and PPC, as the most effective way to drive business online.
Content marketing, in simple terms, is using content (whether that’s blog posts, ebooks, lead magnets, videos, or any other type of content) to build a connection with your audience. What content marketing ISN’T about is being overly “sales-y;” the best content is the kind that educates and engages an audience. The sales happen as a byproduct of your audience finding value in your content.
So, for example, let’s say you were trying to drive interest in one of your new communities. An effective content marketing strategy might include a checklist for new buyers in the area that covered everything they needed to know about their new city (like recommended vendors in the area and where to find the best cup of coffee) or a video series answering FAQs about the current state of the home buying market and how they could find the best properties at the best price.
By creating content that’s valuable to your target audience (people looking to buy in your community’s neighboring area), you’re establishing yourself as a trusted expert and someone they want to engage in their home search, which will lead to more sales in your community – without you having to go for the hard sell.
Leverage The Power Of Video
One content area that all builders should be focused on is video. There’s no content medium more powerful for builders – and more likely to end up driving home sales – than video.
As a builder, video is extremely powerful in a few different ways. One, it can put a face to your business and forge a personal connection with your potential home buyers. People want to do business with other people, not a faceless corporation. By putting yourself and your team on camera, you can personalize your business and forge the one-on-one connection your potential buyers need to consider buying a home from you.
Video is also incredibly powerful in that it allows you to showcase your home in a controlled way. By using video, you can create a realistic experience of what it’s like to live in one of your homes or communities, which can help to pique your target consumers curiosity. Video tours of your properties and communities are engaging, educational, and will generate serious interest in your homes.
If you want to use video to your advantage, the one-two punch of branded video and property walkthroughs will help you drive more customers into your property.
Build Out Your Email List
Your email list is one of the most effective and valuable tools in your arsenal; it gives you the ability to continually build a relationship with your core demographic so that when you are ready to deliver sales messaging, your audience is familiar with your building business and ready to hear it.
You can also use content marketing as a way to build out your email list. When you develop a great piece of content, use it as a lead magnet; offer the content as a free download in exchange for the user’s email address. The people who are going to be interested in the type of content you’re creating as a builder are also going to be the same people who are likely to be interested in buying one of your properties.
Let’s use the checklist we referenced above as an example. People who would sign up to receive a free checklist of information about moving to your city are likely people are getting ready to move to that city – also known as your core audience. By capturing their email address, you’re able to continue to send them valuable content about you, your business, and your community and drive those potential buyers right into your communities.
In addition to content marketing, you can use other strategies, like advertising and website pop-ups, to build your email list. But just make sure you do it – those email addresses are just as invaluable to your building business as your bricks and cement.
Use Facebook Advertising To Connect With Your Target Audience
Digital advertising is an incredibly powerful way to get your messaging in front of the people most likely to purchase your homes and move into your communities. And while there are plenty of ways to advertise, arguably the most powerful – and effective for builders – is Facebook.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking platform with over 1.94 billion active users. And since one of the cardinal rules of marketing is “get them where they already are,” advertising on Facebook gives you the biggest pool of potential buyers for your home.
Facebook also offers unparalleled targeting that puts you in control of who sees your ad. You can filter your audiences by age, geographic location, interest, companies they follow, recent life events… you can niche down the audience that sees your ads until it’s comprised of the people most likely to buy your homes.
For example, let’s say you were selling homes in a new community and wanted to target potential buyers. You could create an audience of people between the ages of 25 – 45 who had recently moved to your community’s area who “like” and follow your competitors. This pool of people are likely in the market for a new home, and by serving them targeted messaging, you can drive them into your community.
Facebook also offers what’s known as retargeting, which allows you to create audiences based on people who have already engaged with your brand. So, if someone visits your website but doesn’t fill out the contact form to tour your property, you could serve them an ad encouraging them to do so.
To run Facebook ad campaigns, all you need is a business account. From there, you can run your ads from the Ad Manager dashboard, create your custom audiences, and review results of your campaigns.
A/B Test For The Best Results
A/B Testing (also known as split testing) is a strategy that can (and will) drastically improve the results of your marketing. But unfortunately, it’s a step that so many marketers in all industries – including the building world – skip.
Split testing happens when you create two identical versions of your marketing material; identical, that is, except for one element. Once you have your two nearly identical versions, you test them against each other to see which performs better. You can split test almost everything in your marketing plan that has the potential of converting customers, including:
Split testing is hugely powerful. Sometimes a small change can have a HUGE impact on your conversions. For example, marketing automation software company HubSpot ran a split test and found that an incredible 21% more users clicked on a red call-to-action button on their page then the same button in green. Obviously, this increase in conversions caused a huge spike in profits, and they never would have known this small change would make such a huge impact without split testing.
The key to a successful split testing is focusing on one small element at a time. If you try to test too many elements at once, you won’t know which element is causing the change in conversions.
So, for example, let’s say you wanted to split test your website pop up that encouraged people to sign up to learn more about your homes. You might start by testing a blue pop-up and a red pop-up.
Once you’ve run your split test and know which version of your pop-up converts better, you take the more successful of the two and create another A/B test to test another element, like the copy or the size of the sign up button. You keep split testing different elements until you have a conversion level you’re satisfied with.
If there’s only one thing you take from this article and implement in your building business, you’ll find the most dramatic results with A/B testing.
Make Sure You’re Dominating Local Results
A rule of thumb in SEO is whoever is ranked at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) is the one getting the most business. And thanks to local search results, it’s become easier to get your business to the top of the page.
Google has recently changed their algorithm to favor local results. Which means if someone in your area searches for “home builder,” Google is going to put local results at the top of the page, before the organic search results. This new algorithm change gives you the opportunity to move to the top of the search engine results (in the local search) for competitive keywords you might not otherwise have ranked for.
Search for “home builder” in Los Angeles
So, how do you get to the top of local search results?
Well, most experts believe the biggest factor is proximity – how close your business is to the searcher at the time of the search. And while your location may be out of your control, there are other contributors you can control to help improve your rankings:
Google uses reviews, particularly Google reviews, as a way to determine the value of a business and, as such, where to rank it. Ask your residents and potential buyers who come to tour your community to leave reviews; you might even want to offer an incentive, like a gift card, in order to incentivize them.
Claiming Your Business
Claiming and verifying your Google listing will also make you appear more authentic and authoritative to Google.
Citations are online references to your business entity’s name. Making sure you’re properly listed in any directories (like Yelp) with the correct business name, address, and phone number, helps Google determine your authority – and helps you move up in the rankings.
Since local searchers are the most likely to engage with your building business (and ultimately buy a property), you want to do everything in your power to rank at #1 in your local search results.
When you know what you’re doing and where to put your focus, digital marketing can take your building business to new heights. And with these six tips, you’re well on your way to a digital strategy that will have you selling homes faster than you can build them.