People are spending more time online. In fact, the average American spends 24 hours a week online, surfing the web. That’s 151% growth since 2000 when people only spent about nine hours a week online.
When it comes to marketing your business, all of this time spent online means digital strategies are the best options for real estate advertising.
When you hear “digital real estate advertising,” Facebook ads might be the first thing to come to mind. The truth is, running ads is only one way to manage real estate advertising.
Since audiences differ from niche to niche, you need flexibility and more ways to get in front of the right people and attract your ideal clients.
To get you started, we’ve found five examples of digital real estate advertising strategies that use different online marketing channels to get you noticed. Let’s take a look.
1. Use social media to target unique audiences
Facebook and Instagram aren’t just for advertising and posting pretty pictures. With 2.27 billion and 1 billion active monthly users respectively, both platforms offer a tremendous opportunity to advertise to different types of audiences.
Since social media is free to use, choosing the right strategy guarantees your advertising gets you noticed by a larger segment of your audience.
You can use Facebook to post new listings:
Or use Instagram to attract buyers looking for luxury multi-million dollar properties:
Chances are you use more than one social media channel. As a result, your real estate advertising strategy should start with defining how you’ll use each platform. For each channel you use, think about:
- The types of content you’ll share: You don’t have to post the same content across all platforms. For example, post open house pictures, walk-throughs, and special offers on Instagram, and post events and reminders, client testimonials, industry news, and your successes — like awards and the number of homes sold — on Facebook. This way, the content caters to specific audience interests on each platform.
- How often you’ll post: Studies show that for the best engagement on social media platforms, you should post at least once a day — for example each week post about a new series, like how to prep for an open house, to have a constant stream of content available. When you post, invite people to leave comments and ask questions. When they do, respond quickly because they expect you to. In fact, 39% of people want a response within 60 minutes on social media.
- Your goals: Think about what you want your posts to achieve. For example, do you want your posts to increase lead generation, convert more leads to clients, or get more engagement from your audience? Depending on your goal, your social media sharing should include posts that match these goals.
For each platform you use, learn how to get your content seen. For example, do hashtag research for your niche audience, and test and place different hashtags in each of your posts as a way to get traffic to your page and eventually your website.
Plus, when it comes to sending traffic to your website, keep in mind that Instagram and Facebook use the same Advertising Manager. This way, you can use a tool like HomeSpotter to automatically get your listings seen by people on Facebook and Instagram. Just upload a listing to MLS, and we’ll take care of the rest by creating ads and lead pages and give you a dashboard to track lead engagement.
The key to advertising on social media is to think inclusively to prevent targeting discrimination. Facebook has already removed thousands of targeting options, but you still need to think about how to target people with relevant ads without leaving anyone out based on factors like their political beliefs, religion, and ethnicity.
2. Use automation to improve customer experience
One of the benefits of digital advertising is the option to automate processes. As your business grows, automation makes it easier for you to focus on things like closing sales and guiding first-time buyers through the buying process without worrying about manually creating ads or sending individual messages to all new leads.
Automation lets you focus on your strengths as an agent so that so that you can focus on building lasting relationships.
There are tools like Boost and our messaging feature available to help you manage your client base more efficiently.
For example, use Boost to automatically create Facebook and Instagram ads that are optimized to target different types of audiences every time you post a new listing.
Boost also creates branded lead pages for each new listing so that you can track audience engagement:
You even have a dashboard to quickly track all of your ads to see where your leads come from and how your ads perform.
3. Optimize your website with a lead magnet
People coming to your site are trying to solve an issue — they’re either looking for a new property to buy or they want to sell their existing home.
In order to cater to these needs, you have to understand them and offer a quick and easy fix. One way to do this is to offer free downloadable content in the form of a lead magnet.
Lead magnets are a powerful real estate advertising tool because they’re action-oriented and offer people something they can use immediately. The quicker people experience value — their aha! moment — the sooner they realize you offer the best solution.
An effective lead magnet offers some kind of valuable content in exchange for a person’s contact information — usually their email address. With an email address, you create an email nurture campaign that consists of five to seven emails.
The first email should include the free content followed by a series of emails that introduce you and highlight your services. Emails should also provide ongoing support and value — like links to relevant blog posts, industry news, special events, and more.
To create a nurture sequence that solves the issue website visitors are experiencing, segment your email list based on where people spend the most time on your site.
Add different types of lead magnets to different pages on your site so you know who your buyers are vs. sellers vs. current clients who you can ask for referrals vs. people interested in open houses. Then create relevant email content vs. sending the same email blast to everyone on your list.
Some examples of lead magnets to use include:
A downloadable guide – share tips like how to stage a home, a first-time buyer checklist, or a neighborhood comparison chart:
A video guide – get in front of the camera and talk about current mortgage rates and market reports:
Access to a free service – offer a home evaluation:
Keep in mind that lead magnets can be a pop-up on your homepage or embedded on different pages on your site.
4. Create a YouTube channel to promote new listings
YouTube has over 1.8 billion monthly users which are made up of a mix of many user demographic groups — like millennials, Gen X, and men. Currently, only 9% of businesses use YouTube which makes it easier for you to stand out from your competition.
Use YouTube to attract more leads because it’s the number one place home buyers use to research properties. Plus, 70% of homeowners use real estate agents who use video as part of their real estate advertising.
If you have properties that need to sell quickly, use YouTube to get your featured listings in front of more people within your target audience. You can create videos that make it easy for viewers to picture themselves in the homes you’re selling.
Take this video as an example:
Instead of just showing rooms in a home as part of a guided tour, it uses an actor to show what it would be like to live in the property. The video also includes a few shots of the house but the overall takeaway is clear — imagine yourself living here.
Just like with social media, instead of posting videos at random that don’t have a theme to tie them together, start with a goal and a strategy.
If your goal is to get your agency and services lots of exposure, use YouTube to show yourself talking about your services and how this helps the audience.
Other best practices to keep in mind include:
- Create more than one channel. If you work with different types of clients — like buyers, sellers, renters, and commercial customers — create separate channels for each group. This way, you share relevant content that offers value vs. showing everyone the same content. A blanket approach doesn’t show people how you plan to meet their specific needs.
- Incorporate your branding. Use the same branding from your website, social media accounts, and marketing material in your YouTube channels. People are more likely to do business with brands they recognize because recognition offers comfort, since people know what to expect. People are more willing to trust you, so update your channel art and icon to meet your brand standards.
- Make sure videos are mobile friendly. More than half of the videos watched on YouTube are seen on mobile. That’s an average of 1 billion views on mobile every single day. Keep videos short and to the point to hold user attention.
- Add descriptions below your videos. Instead of pasting the same listing description from your website to your video, get creative. Mention features your audience is interested in, talk about the neighborhood and amenities, and more. Also incorporate keywords into your video description and title to make your videos easier to find when people search not just YouTube but Google as well.
5. Use content marketing to share information
More people are doing research before they work with an agent. In 2017, 84% of buyers used online research as part of their home search. But people aren’t just researching different types of homes, finance options, and neighborhoods; they’re also researching different agents.
One thing a lot of real estate websites have in common is their layout. There’s a page of listings, a page with content for buyers, another page for sellers, and a page with contact information. Some sites also include pages for client testimonials and a page that lists additional services — like home evaluations.
A blog is one of the best ways to gain trust, add more resources to your site, and show people your value as a real estate agent.
Only 11% of real estate agents have a blog.
Write about housing trends, market insights, and offer solutions to buyer and seller needs. Combined, this type of content shows how knowledgeable you are about the industry and positions you as someone clients can rely on.
For content marketing to help with real estate advertising, use search engine optimization (SEO) basics to make your site easy to find.
This way, when someone searches Google for information, your blog content shows up on the first page of search results. Ways to incorporate SEO into your content include:
- Do keyword research. This research helps you understand the types of content your audience is searching for. Use keyword research tools like Google Ads and Ahrefs to plan what you’ll write. Choose keywords with no more than 5,000 searches a month with low competition. Even though there are a lot of searches for the word, the competition is low enough that your content can rank for these words.
- Add keywords to your content. Add your keywords to your URL, titles, headers within the post, and within paragraphs. This makes it easier for Google to find your content.
- Write quality content. Be professional but write the way you speak — like you’re having a casual conversation. If your writing sounds too formal, it turns people off. Also, include lots of valuable takeaways readers can use.
- Share your blog content on social media. This doesn’t just get your content noticed and shared, it also helps you build links back to your blog. The more quality sites linking to your content, the better the chances of your content ranking high on Google.
Of all the options on this list, content marketing takes the most time to establish and see results. However, once you’ve built a blog following with consistent traffic and low bounce rates, it gets easier to create more quality content.
Use a tool like Google Analytics to see what types of content get the most traffic and then write more of that to keep growing your blog.
Also, start guest posting on sites your audience visits as a way to share your expertise in an area, introduce yourself to a wider market, and drive traffic back to your website and social media accounts.
Real estate advertising is easier than you think
There’s no shortage of options available to you when it comes to digital advertising. The main benefit is this strategy helps you to create custom campaigns that cater to the specific needs of your audience. The result is people see the value you provide and are willing to work with you.
You don’t have to use all of these advertising strategies though. Test out each option until you find the combination that works for your audience.
Track engagement and lead-to-client conversions over time and make adjustments so that your real estate advertising efforts are up to date and meaningful to your audience.