The real estate industry is a competitive game. It can be a marketing minefield – print advertising, social media, radio commercials, billboards, signage and online content. If you don’t have communications and content strategy marketing initiatives, chances are you will be left behind. And while having a plan in place is vital, it is just as important to review and adapt your plan regularly.
The pace at which consumer behaviour and media habits change is head-turning, particularly in this post-pandemic world as we all continue to adapt and grow.
Take, for example, digital marketing. Developing in its own right, digital marketing has experienced additional growth post-pandemic as business owners work to connect with consumers. Globally, the digital marketing market was valued at nearly US$305 billion in 2020. This is expected to jump to US$807 billion by 2026. Why? Because it works, and it is pandemic-proof.
So, where do you start?
Your marketing strategy should include so much more than an advertising plan. It should reflect your business ethics, promote your business integrity and professionalism and identify ways to help you build and foster relationships with clients. Your strategy is the base on which your brand is built. Understanding what engages your audience will allow you to connect confidently and successfully. A strong marketing strategy will ensure you keep pace with your competitors, connect with your audience, and help shape and propel your business into its next stage.
5 Marketing Initiatives to Implement in Your Real Estate Agency for 2023
We have identified just how important a strong marketing plan is, so now it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty. How do you develop a successful strategy?
1. Develop a Content Strategy
Successful business people plan. There are financial plans, budgets and projections; business aims, processes and procedures; future goals; staff planning and management. Why then would you not have a plan in place to promote and build your brand, and engage with consumers?
Without clients and client growth, there is no business. A content strategy will not only grow your brand but also generate online leads. In fact, studies show that content strategies work and increase the chances of brand success. In 2020, 79 per cent of B2B marketers had a content strategy in place. And 85 per cent of marketers rated the overall content success of their business in the last year as extremely, very, or moderately successful.
Before starting any initiative it is important to develop a content strategy. A content strategy creates a framework for all your marketing initiatives and is a great way to identify your current and future marketing goals and topics of discussion. There are seven key steps to developing a confident content strategy:
- Know your goals
- Understand and assess your competitors
- Decide what medium to use
- Repurposing of content
- Building a backlog of ideas
- Creating a content strategy calendar
- Monitoring and reviewing
A content strategy will ensure that you have a cohesive line-up of content that is interconnected, further building your real estate agency’s branding and authority.
2. Leverage Your Social Media Platforms for Listings
How often do you upload a post to your agency’s social media accounts? Once a month? Once a week? We are here to tell you that it is not enough. Studies show that you need to post, at the very least, three times a week to have an impact. Now is the time to reassess your use of social media and start utilising your business accounts to expand your reach and connect with your target audience. We are talking about property listing updates and content, customer communication, and creating conversation and a flurry of interest around a property. Trust us, it works.
According to recent study from the National Association of Realtors, 77 per cent of realtors actively use social media for real estate in some way, shape or form. This is because 99 per cent of millennials and 90 per cent of baby boomers begin their home search online (as opposed to in-person referrals).
Social media is here to stay – in one form or another. One in every three minutes online is spent on social media. According to Global Statistics, 82.7 per cent of Australians use at least one form of social media each day, with Facebook leading at 76 per cent and Instagram following behind at 57 per cent. It is important to understand what platforms your target audience utilise, when and how often. This is where a content strategy comes into play – a vital part of your strategy will be identifying your key audience and maximising exposure.
It’s crucial to leverage the potential of social media, especially now that people use it to search for products and services they need.
3. Offer Virtual Tours and Stagings
Interstate buyers have been snapping up properties, and if there is one thing COVID has taught us, it is that we don’t need to physically view a property to purchase. Through lockdowns and quarantine, virtual tours provided an option for buyers to view a property subsequently enabling the real estate industry to continue selling. Now that buyers and sellers have had a taste of the convenience, the demand for virtual tours remains even in this post-pandemic world.
Digital access to a property makes a listing far more accessible, having a wider-reach to potential buyers. Creating a virtual tour is relatively easy. According to Forbes, it takes just six easy steps:
- Select your equipment.
- Choose your virtual tour software.
- Plan out your photos – plan the tour in advance.
- Clean and stage the home.
- Test your equipment and lighting.
- Take the photos and upload.
With a little practice, anyone can create a virtual tour, and you can share it on your digital platforms for as long and as often as you like!
4. Use Short and Vertical Videos
A study by Statista in 2019 showed that 73 per cent of Australians accessed social media via their mobile phones, while 70 per cent consumed news and 62 per cent watched YouTube videos. Visual content has long been one of the most popular forms of content because it can be entertaining, educational and engaging all at once. Videos in particular are the most sought-after type of content in social media. Now, with statistics showing that consumers prefer vertical videos, it’s important to tap into this opportunity as another way to reach your audience.
So, what is a vertical video and why are we reading about them more and more? Platforms now make it even easier for consumers to upload and view vertical videos. YouTube now supports vertical videos on their desktop site, while Instagram launched IGTV, which hosts vertical videos. Vertical videos are growing in popularity, much due to the fact that viewers feel more comfortable while watching content this way (we are accustomed to holding our phones upright!), which in turn means they will consume more content for longer periods of time.
According to Smart Insights Are vertical videos the future of video marketing article, vertical videos have more potential in reaching the intended target audience. There is a definite growing trend in short-form content too. In fact, short-form vertical videos have a higher completion rate than horizontal videos.
What does this mean for real estate agents? Well, it is yet another way to successfully share content and market your business. While short-form vertical videos aren’t ideal for sharing home tours, it is a great way to engage your audience and keep them updated about the latest industry trends, agency news and even do quick snaps of a spectacular home.
All of these videos can be shared digitally via your social platforms, website and even via e-newsletter links to boost your market reach.
5. Revamp Your Email Marketing
Email newsletters are one of the most fundamental tools of marketing, but it can seem old-fashioned and even outdated if your newsletters aren’t evolving alongside your marketing initiatives.
A good e-newsletter open-rate ranges from the mid-to-low teens up to around 28 per cent. Hit the 20 per cent mark, and you are doing pretty well. But, how do you get to this figure, and how can you keep readers engaged so that they continue to read time and time again?
The first step is to develop a strong email campaign as part of your overall content strategy. Inboxes are crowded with marketing material, so you need your offering to stand out in the crowd – and steer clear of those pesky spam folders.
Familiarise yourself with the five ways to keep your e-newsletter fresh, and from going to spam – set expectations when people subscribe, personalise your e-newsletters, clean up your sender and recipient list, cut out spam words and include an unsubscribe link.
Follow these simple guidelines and you will be hitting that open-rate goal in no time.
As we move into the new year, there is no time like the present to refresh your content marketing strategy to ensure you start 2023 with a bang. Contact a content strategy agency and we’ll develop marketing initiatives that will get you results.