Did you know that in 2013, 34 per cent of all online leads came from inbound marketing, according to Hubspot? And that was three years ago – this percentage is getting larger every day.
Everyone reading this article has been to a company’s website through inbound marketing. Perhaps you didn’t know it was happening, maybe you didn’t know what it was called. Still, it has happened to us all.
To paint a clear picture of inbound marketing vs. outbound or interruption marketing, here’s a very simple example.
Imagine walking by a bakery and catching a mouth-watering whiff of cinnamon buns (your favourite pastry) coming from inside. You walk in, buy a cinnamon bun and have a look around while eating it. Turns out they have a few other goodies you love so you buy a few things. That bakery’s cost of acquiring you as a customer was practically nothing, as they were making cinnamon buns anyways.
You’re watching sports on TV, when a commercial for a local bakery comes on. The ad tells you they carry cinnamon buns and other treats. The same ad runs every time this TV channel goes to commercial break. By the end of the game, you are aware of this bakery’s existence. But their cost of earning your awareness was somewhere in the $$$ or $$$$ area, and you’re not guaranteed to ever visit or buy from them.
The example I used above is primitive on purpose. I did not include the internet and all the modern tools at our disposal today.
The four tactics I’ll share with you below are almost entirely dependent on you having an online presence. However, before diving in, I wanted to make sure you understood the fundamental purpose of inbound marketing – that is, feature content that appeals to the interests of your buyers… It “smells” (or looks or feels, etc) amazing to them and attracts them into your “store” (company, service, etc) because they want to be there, not because you told them or even asked them to visit.
Put another way, inbound marketing establishes you as the expert because you’re demonstrating expertise, and not just saying “I’m an expert.”
For example, I write for REW.ca/News in part because I love to write and in part because they are gracious enough to let me, but mainly because I want myself and RealtyNinja to be viewed and respected as real estate marketing experts. Ultimately I am hoping that some of you REALTORS® click through and learn more about us, because you liked what I had to say here. This is one form of inbound marketing.
With that said, here are four awesome inbound marketing tactics that Canadian real estate agents should start using... yesterday!
1. Real Estate Infographics
You may already have some neighbourhood statistics and information listed on your website – or you may not. Either way, compile some info and hand it to a designer who will put together an infographic that displays the data in a beautiful and engaging way. Publish the infographic in a blog post, share a link to it on your social networks, and monitor the traffic/leads.
Here’s what an awesome neighbourhood infographic could look like, or one about energy-efficient homes. Also check out this real estate infographic that went viral the other week: “Real Estate Mania” by Visual Capitalist.
Ninja tip: Check out 99designs, Fiverr or Upwork to find good-value designers.
2. Exclusive Local Deals
Get in touch with some local vendors in the community you serve and set up an exclusive deal with them. In fact, set up 12 deals from 12 local vendors and release one every two weeks for the next six months. Set up a landing page for the deals on your website – one for each deal would be ideal - then email the deals out to your mailing list!
Make it clear that the only way they can claim the deal is by visiting your website. Give prospects a “whiff” of the good stuff, and lure them into your “store”…
3. Aerial Community Tour Videos
Drone videos are becoming a standard to every modern agentstool kit. However, you are normally using drones to capture stunning photos or videos of a property – not of a community. Check out this drone video of downtown Vancouver which has over 13,000 views.
Hire a local drone video/photo company to create some beautiful and unique aerial community tours, embed the videos on your website or blog, and give people a real reason to visit and share.
4. Educational e-Book for Buyers and Sellers
I browse hundreds of awesome Canadian REALTOR® websites weekly, and one thing I see often is pages dedicated to educating buyers and sellers. This means REALTORS® understand the value of providing resources. The only problem is, most of these pages look the same to me. How can you stand out?
Turn these webpages into a couple of small, downloadable PDF eBooks. Ask your website visitors to subscribe to your mailing list in order to download them, or simply host them on your site and promote them through your online channels. However you do it, good content is going to drive traffic to your business. Check out how this Vancouver REALTOR® is using a professional buying guide to acquire traffic to his site and leads to his business.
I’ve only scratched the surface of inbound marketing tactics for real estate agents. The main takeaway here, like in my initial bakery example, is that people are more likely to buy from you if you appeal to their interests with content. Advertising alone doesn’t cut it anymore.
Customers spend 50 per cent of their time online engaging with custom content (says Hubspot). Content must become the lifeblood of your online marketing strategy, and thus your inbound marketing strategy. It must become a part of the DNA of your brand, and cannot simply be an afterthought.
If you have any questions about inbound marketing for your real estate business, or would like to chat further, don’t hesitate to email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, ninjas [-_-]~~