Despite what you learned in kindergarten, 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 doesn’t always equal 4. If you leverage the power of integrated marketing, it can equal 7 – or more. It’s not funny math, I promise; it’s reflective of the greater power your marketing efforts will have as an integrated group rather than on their own.
If you buy in to the concept, even to humor me for a few minutes, read on to learn about the essential pieces of a basic* online marketing campaign and how to integrate those pieces:
Step 1: Develop your website
Ten years ago, having a website made you really stand out from the crowd — you were “cutting edge.” Today, it’s the foundation of your online marketing strategy – a necessary but not sufficient component of your success.
As you work to develop your site, answer this critical question: What are the goals of my website? Do you want to:
- Brand yourself in the marketplace?
- Generate additional leads?
- Convert leads into clients?
- Add value for your current clients?
How you answer that question will determine how you should best develop your site. For example, if your goal is to brand yourself, then you’ll want to pay special attention to design elements, colors, your logo, and copy that tells people who you are and what you’re about – and you’ll want to ensure the consistency of those throughout the web.
If your goal is to generate leads, you’ll need to have a way to capture web visitors’ contact information (at least names and e-mail addresses) to turn anonymous visitors into leads you can market to. A good way to entice visitors to leave their contact information is to offer something valuable in exchange. Free home value estimates and MLS searches are popular and tend to work well to capture leads.
If your goal is to convert leads to clients you need to have regularly-updated, valuable information that will keep your leads coming back to your website. Frequently posting articles that reflect the latest developments and trends in your real estate market can be a great way to keep visitors coming back to your site on a regular basis. Also, property listings with detailed information, photos, and virtual tours work well to keep leads engaged.
Certainly, those lead-converting tools can be a way to add value for your current clients, but you may also need to develop some slightly more sophisticated web applications – such as a portal through which your clients can access information about the sale of their home (details of offers received, lists of visitors, comments from other real estate agents and visitors, updated information on how you’ve been marketing the home).
Clearly, these goals are not mutually exclusive. You can certainly develop your website to meet all of the goals at the same time. The sky’s the limit in terms of your site’s potential.
Stay tuned for next week’s Step 2: Stay in touch with your leads through e-mail marketing and Step 3: Set up a blog to direct prospects to your website. Until then. . .
Onward and upward.
*I stress the word “basic” because there’s so much more you can do to market yourself online, but there’s simply not space here to talk in detail about all of the options – so I set out a simple integrated marketing strategy, one that can serve as an excellent foundation for you to build on.