The Ultimate Online Real Estate Marketing Breakdown
In my conversation with digital marketing expert Kasim Aslam, he provided a breakdown of an online marketing approach that a real estate investor starting from scratch can use to begin generating and converting on massive amounts of leads.
Start Basic – Google Ad Words
To begin the process, Kasim stated that all you need is $2,000 and access to the Internet. The initial goal is to bring in enough profit to cover the marketing expense of $2,000. The fastest marketing method, from a ROI and cash flow perspective is direct response. And Kasim finds that Google Ad words are the most effective direct response-marketing channel.
However, it is important to realize that the first month’s results are not an indication of the ROI that you will be seeing in the long-term. In this initial phase, you are essentially paying for education by using the data that you gain and then modifying the future campaigns accordingly.
For example, Kasim’s company tested two key phases – “sell my house fast” and “sell my home fast” – to see which was more effective. Interestingly, both key phrases produced a similar number of leads that were equally qualified. However, the profit per lead from the sales associated with “home” was less than “house.” Kasim modified future campaigns to exclude “home,” which is know as conversation optimization. Although, without actually performing the test and tracking the results, how would he have ever recognized the difference? That is why trial-and-error during the initial education period is a requirement. Kasim compared it to throwing spaghetti on the wall and then seeing what stuck!
Add Sophistication – Content Marketing
Once you have a solid baseline from direct response marketing using Google Ad Words, branch out to more sophisticated, higher in the funnel marketing strategies. In Kasim’s world, this usually equates to content marketing.
To determine what content to create, pick a specific vertical that is heavily applicable to your geography. Kasim stressed the importance of not going outside of your geography. You want to stay close to home with digital marketing at first because you aren’t going to know the specifics of other geographic locations from a search perspective (i.e. certain geographic search tags). Little things like that make a massive difference when trying to relate to a specific demographic, so stick to a geography that you know.
Here is some example target verticals based on what is occurring in a specific geography
- In a shrinking market = go after job loss demographics
- In a growing market = go after relocation demographics
- In a market dominated by a younger demographic = go after marriage, upsizing, kids, etc.
Once you have selected your target vertical, it is time to play the “empathy game.” You need to understand the target demographics needs, pain points, what they are looking for, what turns them on, what turns them off, etc. Then, create relevant, valuable content around that specific demographic AND try to find a way to connect it to your value as a thought leader.
If you are a real estate thought leader, you probably shouldn’t be creating content about the best way to raise their kids or what schools they should go to. Instead, you want to create content that connects back to real estate. Once you make that connection, you can speak to them as a thought leader and contextualize a message according to their needs.
Kasim’s favorite channel for content marketing is Facebook. Facebook allows you to target people based off their interests – known as interest-based segmentation.
For example, let’s say that you select “golfers” as the vertical you are going to pursue because you are trying to sell a property on a golf course. Targeting people that are interested in Tiger Woods may not be the best strategy. He is also a celebrity and people may be interested in him but not interested in golf. Therefore, you want to select an interest (golfer) that non-golfers wouldn’t know. Then, you are in a position to deliver your message to a demographic that is perfectly and uniquely qualified for exactly what you have to offer.
Facebook allows you to be super creative. The more intelligent you are about how someone’s interests relates to their buying patterns, the more leads you will be able to mine!