Online marketing strategies are becoming increasingly important for companies looking to maintain a better relationship with their customers and stakeholders. This is true of all companies, large and small, and especially so in the real estate industry, where the World Wide Web has become an absolutely essential component of business marketing.
Not everyone is an expert in online marketing though, and so many look to follow strategies that they read about online or learn from other people. However, real estate professionals need to realize that there is no ‘easy fix’, and many of the so-called winning strategies they hear about cannot be adapted to their particular products and services.
Even so, there are some ‘basic rules’ regarding online marketing that everyone should follow, although these need to be adapted to each particular industry. What follows are ten great ideas that anyone looking to implement an online marketing strategy should pay attention to:
1-Listen to customers
Find out what customers think, what they like or do not like, how they feel about the brand or the competition, whether they are satisfied with the products or services offered and how they relate to the brand. All of this information is essential to create strategies geared specifically towards our targets, which can save us money by avoiding multiple processes of trial and error.
2 – Provide Value
The first step is to figure out what it is that customers consider the most important thing they can receive from the brand. Next, it is necessary to incorporate it into our brand and communicate it. This is going to be what sets our company apart from the competition in a market that is overrun by messages of all kinds.
The ideas presented below are based on these two mentioned above:
3- Adwords campaigns
These campaigns have the objective of instantly increasing the number of visits on a Web site or Facebook profile, for example. They consist of a group of ads that are targeted at particular user profiles, based on specific keywords and within a certain budget. But although they allow a first contact between users and a Web Site or profile, the latter must be properly designed and kept up to date to be useful to those users.
4 – Search engine optimization (SEO)
Being well positioned in search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) can help to increase the number of visitors and, as a result, to get more sales. That said, understand that SEO does not mean just placing a website in the top positions of search engines; it refers to properly structuring and optimizing the web site to be easily indexed by search engines.
5- Website Update
A company or organization’s website can be thought of as a letter of introduction to society and groups of interest. The way that the products, services or brands are presented, how easy the interaction on the Web site, profile or account is, the navigation, and the design are essential and should always be updated for our target groups.
6- Social network profiles
These days, social media plays an absolutely pivotal part in any brand’s online marketing efforts. Chances are that a good proportion of a brand’s current or potential consumers are active on social networks like Facebook, using them to learn and communicate. It is vital for brands to be active on these mediums, in order to establish closer communication with users, analyze their spending habits, try to make more sales and harvest information to obtain a better management of these relationships and get better results out of them (like Sancor Seguros in Latin America).
7- E-mail Marketing
Email enables companies to provide their customers with all the latest information, news, and updates about their brand or products, and what’s more it’s a completely free method of doing so. For this reason, websites should always incorporate a button that allows users to easily sign up for a newsletter via e-mail. But companies should understand they have a responsibility – it is important to avoid spam, and to send e-mails only when users have consented to receiving that information.
8- On Site improving
Organizations should be constantly investigating, detecting and improving the design of social network profiles, accounts and websites to make them clear, understandable and easily accessible to users. To this end, companies will need to consider and include relevant key words and phrases, accurate descriptions of “about us” and “what we do”, titles with keywords, and readable, user-friendly texts to create value for site visitors.
9- Off-Site improving
Not only is it necessary to maintain up to date web sites and social media accounts, but also to have strategies outside of these. Off-site strategies are just as important for strengthening a brand’s presence, and involve things such as creating links, posting comments on blogs, distributing press releases, posting on forums, writing articles etc.
10- Start over
One final, indispensable step is to analyze and review the entire online marketing strategy that has been implemented, in order to examine whether these are yielding the expected results.
Here, we should into account what was mentioned earlier: there are no strategies, ideas or specific steps to make a successful strategy; what is needed is to use those ideas that suit our business and pay special attention to the first two ideas proposed here: Listen to the customer and create a valuable proposition. The rest of the ideas should be adapted to these.
About the author: Hailing from Córdoba-Argentina, Virginia González is a student of Public Relations at Siglo 21 University. Virginia is currently working with oMelhorTrato.com, which is focused on expansion into Brasil and Mexico.