Are you the head of marketing for a home builder? If so, you have a lot on your plate. If you are a veteran marketer in the home building industry, you probably feel like there’s more on your plate today than 10 or 20 years ago since Internet marketing is now so important for home builders. What’s more, the fact that best practices for Internet marketing change so frequently can be nerve wracking. Because of this, we’ve boiled down the entire landscape of Internet marketing into four basic premises that marketers of new and custom homes should always consider when navigating the world of Internet marketing.
1. A Good Content Strategy Will Convert Your Website Visitors into Qualified Leads
You constantly hear from industry experts about the countless different types of internet marketing tactics you must be implementing. The list can seem endless, and you might wonder how these tactics will lead to actual home buyers. Creating good content is the answer. Many internet marketing tactics require a good content marketing plan to be successful.
Here’s how good content directly effects major aspects of internet marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – A good content strategy includes writing blog posts that will answer questions your target audience is researching online. When they submit those questions to a search engine, your blog posts may appear if you have implemented best practices for blogging, including keyword content as well as appropriate title tags and meta descriptions. The more you blog, the more opportunities you have to show up in search engines. This is because each new blog post creates a new page on your website. The more pages your website contains, the more pages Google and other search engines can index. The more pages that are indexed, the more opportunity you have to appear in search results. If your pages contain high-quality content, your blog posts won’t just appear in search results – they will be more likely to appear HIGH in search results.
Social Media Marketing – Have you ever wondered how to turn Facebook followers into actual home buyers? Content is the answer. You should be sharing links in social media to high quality blog posts and content offers on your website. Doing so drives your social audience to calls-to-action on your website. These calls to action encourage visitors to provide their contact information. Once you obtain contact information, you can have a sales professional follow up with that website visitor.
Blogging – Aside from SEO and social media, your high-quality blog and content offers help establish you as the local expert in your industry and give people a reason to choose you over your competitors. Why? Because 90% of home buyers use the Internet as a research resource when making their buying decision. If they find tons of helpful information on your company’s website, you look like the obvious choice for their next home! For more tips on creating a successful blog for your builder’s website, check out these 8 home builder blogging tips.
Email Marketing – A great content strategy including frequent, high-quality blog posts and helpful content offers (such as free downloadable e-books and guides) allows you to provide your contacts with constant material of value. If you email your contacts with nothing but information about your company and promotional offers, your unsubscribe rates will soar. However, if you send frequent helpful information in the form of links to your blog posts and free downloadable material that provides information your contacts can put to good use, they will appreciate your emails. They’ll look forward to reading your content, which means they’ll return to your website often and you will be top of mind when it comes time for a new home or to make a referral. For more info on successful email marketing, check out these 6 email marketing tips for builders.
If you start to feel overwhelmed with the idea of creating a strategy for each internet marketing tactic, back up for a second and think first about your content strategy. If your content strategy is strong, you’ve completed half the battle of creating strong SEO, social media, blogging and email marketing campaigns.
2. Sales Training is Important to Ensure Your Hard-Earned Leads Become Buyers
In many industries, marketing and sales have a challenging relationship. Sometimes this is true even in the home building industry. After all, the marketing team may be doing a great job of generating qualified leads for the sales team. However, if the sales team is not converting those leads into sales, then your company’s bottom line isn’t improving. Therefore, it’s important for marketing leaders to help ensure the leads their team creates are converted into sales. Talk to your CEO and your sales leaders and encourage them to consider professional sales training so that marketing and sales truly work hand-in-hand to accomplish your company’s goals.
3. You Can & Must Measure ROI of Your Internet Marketing Efforts
Many companies fall into the trap of implementing tactics without measuring them to learn if they are effective. Sometimes, marketers aren’t even aware of HOW to measure the effectiveness of an internet marketing tactic. For example, people often assume it’s impossible to measure the ROI of a Facebook “like.” While it might not be possible to attach a dollar figure to a Facebook “like”, you CAN attach a dollar figure to the number of sales your company made as the result of website traffic from Facebook. How? By using inbound marketing software. Inbound marketing software allows you to track where your website leads come from on the web, including social networks, search engines, email campaigns, and more. If you know the source of each website lead, and you know which leads converted into sales, then ultimately you can track how many sales came from each source – including Facebook. For more information on inbound marketing software, check out “4 Important Ways Builders Benefit from Inbound Marketing Software.”
4. Educate Your CEO So He/She Provides the Resources to Make You Successful
The fourth thing you should keep in mind is that internet marketing strategies require a lot of time. This is one of the main reasons many companies aren’t successful with Internet marketing: because they don’t have enough time to do it correctly. They don’t have enough time because they don’t have enough resources. Either there aren’t enough people in-house to carry the workload, or there isn’t enough budget allocated to hiring an outside agency to help. If you, as the marketing leader, educate your CEO on what creates a truly successful Internet marketing campaign, you are more likely to convince him or her to provide you with the resources you need to successfully do your job. For example, creating excellent content is vital for a successful internet marketing campaign. However, creating excellent content requires time, research, and writing talent. If you can explain to your CEO that creating highly targeted content is directly related to improving the number and quality of tangible leads your website produces, he/she will be more likely to provide the resources you need to create great content. Just be sure to explain how the resources you need will impact the goals that matter most to him or her. For help educating your CEO, check out “4 Things Every Builder CEO Must Know About Internet Marketing.”
Feel like we left something off this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section!