In the below post, we discuss omnichannel marketing by putting search engine optimization, paid advertising – including paid search, display, and paid social advertising – and social media networking side by side to tease out their individual strengths and how they work together (hint – they get on like three peas in a pod). 

What is omnichannel marketing?

The real estate industry may be expansive and complex, but there is one simple truth about it that is undeniable: an investment in digital marketing is necessary in order for companies and brands to succeed. 90%+ of consumers did online research before purchasing their last home, which means the vast majority of your next clients will find you online. If this is old news to you, good.

The new(er) news? Real estate companies are beginning to invest more and more in omnichannel marketing. Omnichannel marketing is a way for brands to keep their potential customer at the center of their overall marketing strategy. To achieve this, brands deliver consistent, seamless interactions with their customers across multiple channels and devices, giving due recognition that engagement with their brand will happen in many different ways. If you are not only leveraging your website, but also social media, digital advertising, and other real or virtual places your customers spend their time, then you may already have succeeded at omnichannel marketing. If not, pay attention, because investing in a well-rounded digital marketing strategy for real estate will help you do it much, much better. 

What are the digital channels of omnichannel marketing?

While your office and landline still have their place in connecting with customers (especially post-COVID), chances are those customers call you or walk into your office after finding you online – and most will connect with you online before walking in your doors. 78% of new home shoppers visit 3 or more real estate websites prior to taking action on one of those sites, so frequency and reach are key to standing out in the digital world. How do you get those homebuyers to choose your site and to connect with you directly? The answer is simple. Focus on your potential customer, not your brand. Personalize your value proposition. From channel to channel, tell them something they want to hear. Keep it consistent with what you’ll tell them on the phone and in person, and make sure your message adds value to their lives.

Let’s break it down by channel:

  1. SEO. Search engine optimization promotes your site in organic search engine results, improving your brand visibility, and connecting engaged website visitors with your website content that’s relevant to them. 
  2. Paid Ads. Consumers are 4 times more likely to be encouraged rather than discouraged to buy something if they see a relevant ad during their research stage. This tells us that paying for targeted ads on search engines, across display networks, and on social media to get your site noticed by a specific audience is a highly effective strategy.
  3. Social. Liking, sharing, commenting, retweeting, mentioning, pinning… the list of social media actions goes on. Together, these small actions constitute a strong presence in the world of online social networking. It’s like handing out your business card to everyone you pass on the street; most of them may never use it, but you sure are creating a buzz.

What ties these all together? We can’t forget about content. Good content – from video to images to copy to buttons and links – is the unifying thread across SEO, paid advertising, and social media. Whether you need to create an image ad or add new copy to your website, content is still, and will always be, king.

Better Together

Not all channels are created equal, nor do they perform in equal ways. But just because one channel has a low conversion rate or another yields higher bounce rates doesn’t mean they’re not both worth investing in. In fact, the differences in the channels are what makes them work better together.

An effective marketing mix requires investment in each stage of the customer acquisition process, and social media and display advertising are key pieces of the first and second stages – brand awareness and consideration. For this reason, you’ll see the greatest percentage of new sessions from social media, as well as the highest average growth quarter over quarter. Conversely, paid search yields fewer new sessions, but far more conversions. This is because it targets an audience that is further along in their home buying process, when users are more likely to reach out to an agent or office. Together, the three channels build your brand awareness and online exposure, get users engaged on your site, and drive conversions and leads.

Real Estate Consumer Decision Funnel

 

Given the growing importance of omnichannel marketing, our team is excited to help you improve your digital marketing strategy! Contact us to learn more.