We live in the digital era. Almost everyone you know has a digital presence of some sort on the World Wide Web. As business owners as well as real estate agents, we know by now that we need to be marketing ourselves where our potential clients are.
So what is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is using techniques which allow a marketer to make the best of both worlds – digital and marketing.
For starters, one of the most important aspects of digital marketing is an effective use of social media. Active and smart use of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ are a great way to build up your base of past and potential clients and interact with them on a daily basis.
Then there’s email marketing which is more potent if you have a database of clients or potential clients you wish to directly target. You can DIY an e-newsletter with easy-to-use tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact, or you can hire one of many email marketing services designed specifically for real estate professionals.
Web Design is Digital Marketing
Another important aspect of digital marketing is web design. However, many real estate agents don’t give it the importance it deserves. Think of it like this: while your marketing may grab eyeballs and compel people to take action, your website design is what usually decides whether they will continue to reach out to you or not. Many studies have concluded that around 70% people decide the credibility of a business based the design of its website.
The IDX (Information Data Exchange) that you use makes a big difference. Today’s consumers have an abundance of choices when they go online to look for houses. Using a “sticky” search site that looks good on a mobile device is extremely important. More home searches are being done on mobile devices than on desktops today. Make sure the system you choose looks good and is easy to use. Consumers can easily just go to sites like Zillow and Trulia, so give them a reason to love your more.
More advanced services comprise SEO and SEM. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization is an extremely important component of digital marketing. SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website on the search engine result pages such as Google, Yahoo and Bing among others.
A smart SEO strategy will ensure that your brand ranks consistently high in search results. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and it is a form of Internet marketing which involves promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results page primarily by purchasing ads. Now, SEO and SEM might sound like they have the same function but that is not true. While the purpose of SEO is to get better organic search results, SEM helps you search engine users via paid links in addition to organic search in order to send them to your website.
SEO and SEM services can cost a small fortune, so it pays to learn a few basics and try your hand at blogging or video blogging. There is a surprising number of things you can DIY to get your site found in an online search.
Brave New World of Digital Marketing
There is a lot more to know compared to the way we marketed two decades ago. It can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to figure out what to do, whether to try your hand at DIY or whether to hire professionals. This is why today’s business climate demands that we be lifetime learners, as technology changes continually. Whether you hire a company or an employee to take care of some or all of your digital marketing, or if you are a DIY, as the business owner, it behooves you to have an understanding of the concepts and processes. You’ll know what to expect, as well as knowing how not to get ripped off!