As a real estate professional, you are continuously driving traffic to your website and capturing as many leads as possible. Most likely, your primary traffic sources are pay-per-click or banner ads. Generally, these ads do a good job at driving traffic, but are you seeing a return on your investment? What happens if you stop spending money in these areas? Will your traffic dry up? It’s important to build your organic traffic through inbound marketing—to gain the attention of customers through interesting content rather than reaching out to get their attention.
Inbound marketing should be the focus of your digital marketing strategy to increase organic traffic, develop lead capture funnels and create long lasting value that is much greater than traditional media placement.
How to Grow Your Organic Traffic
The holy grail of your website is organic traffic. Having visitors reach out to you without spending money is a win-win. From the search engines' perspective, content is king. Producing quality content will help you rank on a larger variety of keywords and develop a higher domain authority, which in turn improves your rankings. The basic strategy of inbound marketing is to write targeted blogs that appeal to specific audiences known as “personas.” Personas embody your target audience by establishing their core priorities, pain points, internet habits, income level, needs, wants and recreational habits which will help you create content they will connect with.
Quality content starts with identifying keywords to build around. These keywords should have higher search volumes but lower competition levels which will increase your ability to rank higher. Developing a consistent strategy for content creation will keep your website fresh and broaden the variety of content and keywords that your website will rank for. If you need ideas on what to blog about, check out 3 Ways to Generate Real Estate Blog Content Ideas. This will give you a head start on your inbound marketing content.
Capturing Leads With Inbound Marketing
Driving traffic is just the start of inbound marketing. Getting more visitors to your website is worthless unless it increases the bottom line. To move visitors along in your sales funnel you need to create capture points for visitors provide their contact information in exchange for something of value. We call this an offer. An offer could be a downloadable piece of content, a comparative market analysis (CMA), or a market report that appeals directly to your target persona. (An offer is different from a visitor inquiring about a specific listing, however that is another capture point and should also be a part of your website.)
Your offer should reside on a landing page that visitors can access from your targeted blog posts. For example, if you are trying to reach first time homebuyers, the posts could have a call-to-action such as a “First Time Home Buyers Checklist”— a valuable piece of content worthy of providing contact information in exchange for the ability to download the checklist.
To be effective in capturing leads, your content offer should be well thought out, original and provide something valuable to the visitor.
Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Media Buying
Traditionally, marketing has been about broadcasting a message through advertisements that interrupt the consumers’ attention—things such as newspaper articles, TV commercials, radio spots and magazines were the only outlets. But consumers aren't there to see ads, they are there for entertainment and the advertisers hope to catch their attention.
With inbound marketing the goal is to capture attention with great content that educates, inspires, informs, entertains and provides an offer. These days, consumers spend more time educating themselves during the buying process through blogs, forums, product reviews and price comparisons. If your website can be that source of knowledge it will help build trust during their real estate purchase.
The other benefit to inbound marketing compared to traditional marketing is the longevity of value. When you run a banner add on Realtor.com you get great exposure and you might get a few click-throughs. When the term of that media buy reaches its end, the ad stops running, eliminating the exposure and click-throughs. An inbound marketing campaign produces content that resides on your website and doesn't have an expiration date. It can still produce traffic months or years in the future and push visitors to your landing pages to capture leads. An inbound campaign may not produce a rush of traffic, unless you have some great channels to promote your blog posts, but it will outlast any banner ad or PPC campaign and is relatively much cheaper to produce. Banner ads and PPC do have their place in your digital marketing strategy but they should not be the primary source of your traffic.
Now that you have some insight on inbound marketing for real estate, the next step is to get a content strategy in place. Identify your target personas, research keywords and create a content offer. You can use your PPC and banner ads to promote your offer, but quit relying on traditional media placement to fuel your pipeline.
Get Your Real Estate Marketing Checklist
Don't be overwhelmed with marketing on the internet. To get a better understanding of what you should be doing to improve your digital marketing presence, download this checklist.