10 Key Elements to Include in Your Home Builder Digital Marketing Plan
As a new home builder, you've spent hours dreaming up what your business will be like when you're able to grow your customer base, increase your website conversions, and earn more followers on social media.
There's just one problem - you have no idea how to create the kind of marketing plan that will actually make it happen.
You might be an expert in the home building industry, but when it comes to digital marketing, you may feel lost and unsure of what to do. And even if you do know, you worry your current practices aren't as effective as you'd like.
You may also be concerned you don't know enough about the strategies needed to take your branding to the next level.
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In it, we're sharing the top ten things you need to think about when you're creating your digital marketing plan.
1. Narrow Your Market
When you're first creating your marketing plan, it can be incredibly tempting to want to target anyone and everyone.
However, the more generalized your marketing strategy is, the less likely it is to succeed.
Sure, if you cast a wide net, your website may get lots of visitors. But how many of those visitors are actually interested in your homes? How many of them will sign up for your newsletter or share your information on their social networks?
Before you do anything else, you need to take the time to get to know your market.
This starts with creating a customer profile, or an avatar of your ideal customer. We like to call these your buyer personas, and they play a vital role in getting your marketing started off on the right foot. Ask key questions like:
- Where do they work?
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- Which of their pain points will your company solve?
- Which social media sites do they favour?
- What time of the day are they most likely to access your site?
- What types of content, and what tone and voice, do they respond to the most?
This is just a starting list of some of the questions you need to know the answer to. The goal is to use your buyer personas in all aspects of your digital marketing plan. Seeing "someone like them" interacting with what you have to offer is a wonderful way to pique consumer interest in your homes.
Tip: When it comes to getting to know your market, social media is a gold mine. Explore relevant hashtags in your industries, and see the types of people who follow blogs and companies similar to your own. These people are more likely to be close to your buyer persona.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
So, you've gotten to know your target market. What's next for your marketing plan?
Yep - more research.
When you're looking for something online, what's one of the first things you do? Head over to Google or another search engine and type what you're looking for into the search bar.
These words and phrases you type into search engines are called keywords, and they're incredibly helpful in connecting you to your target market.
As a home builder, you want the people typing "new home build" to be directed to your website. Keywords make it happen.
When you're using your keywords, make sure to avoid obnoxious and desperate keyword stuffing. No one wants to read content that's clearly out to game the Google Algorithm, plus your site may actually get penalized - the exact opposite of what you want to do.
Instead, focus on seamlessly incorporating these keywords into your content. In addition to placing keywords in your blog posts, also include them on the home and internal pages of your site. Don't forget about using them in your URL address, image files, post and page titles, and even meta tags!
To get started on finding the top keywords you want to focus on, check out this list of 10 free keyword research tools from Neil Patel.
Tip: Remember, keywords don't have to always be an exact match. Google's algorithm, RankBrain, is intuitive and can find similar search terms.
3. Work With Influencers
Looking for a cost-effective way to boost your marketing plan, especially as it relates to social media?
Welcome to the world of influencer marketing, which helps to connect you with the biggest names in your industry and establish yourself as an expert that's on their level.
Think about some of the biggest Instagram stars or YouTubers in the home building industry. Think about the blogs you read when you're looking for business inspiration. These people are influencers, with a huge social media or online following.
Though asking an influencer to promote your company on their blog or social media pages might be a bit of an initial investment, trust us when we tell you it will pay off big time.
Because consumers already trust these influencers. They feel like they're not being "sold to", but rather they're talking to a friend. Plus, you'll have access to a market you know is more likely to buy what you have to offer.
You'll even grow your social media following in the process, making your future postings more impactful.
Tip: Ask an influencer to write a guest post on your blog and watch your following explode. Because they wrote it, they'll be much more willing to share it with their network, rather than simply promoting something you wrote. Pander to their ego a little bit!
4. Loading Speed Matters
Nearly 40% of visitors will navigate away from your website if it takes too long to load. And by too long, we're talking between two to three seconds.
Not only will this cause you to immediately lose homes sales, it will also cause your website to fall in search engine rankings.
This is because all those people rapidly leaving your site are letting Google know it's not helpful. This means, even if you've worked hard to develop great content and even better website design, none of it will matter.
To speed things up, make sure your file sizes are manageable (you don't need HUGE image files), use a caching plugin, fix any and all broken links (you can check in your Google account to help find them), just to name a few. MOZ put together this list of 15 tips to help speed up your site with some other great ideas too.
Also, especially as you get more traffic to your site, you may need to get off of a shared hosting platform and get a dedicated server.
Tip: Not sure how quickly your site is currently running? This free speed checker tool from Google will help you to figure it out.
5. Consider Local SEO
Another crucial part of your digital marketing strategy?
The all-important local SEO.
Don't think your local market matters? What if we told you over half of all searches conducted on mobile devices (which are geared to feature local search results first) lead to someone coming to see you that same day?
Now that we have your attention, let's talk about how to beef up your local SEO strategy.
First, head over to Google My Business and other listing sites (think things like Yelp and online local business directories) and claim your page. Make sure to fill out these pages as completely as possible. Include contact information, photographs, and even online reviews.
Tip: When you create content as a part of your marketing plan, include several location-based keywords in your writing. For example, a good local keyword for some of our clients would be "new homes in Langdale Edmonton", hitting both a specific neighbourhood and the city.
6. Never Underestimate The Power Of Mobile
A quick note when it comes to your marketing plan?
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. In fact, you want to take a mobile-first approach when it comes to your website. The latest updates to come from Google include mobile-first indexing.
Condense image sizes, eliminate pop-ups and advertising redirects, and run tests to make sure the mobile loading time is as fast as possible.
Tip: To figure out how mobile-friendly your current site is, use Google's own mobile-friendly test tool .
7. Embrace Marketing Automation
When someone leaves a comment on your social media platform or writes a review on your page, you know how important it is to take the time to respond and to do so quickly.
The same goes if someone asks you a question on your website, or sends you a message on social media. You wouldn't hang up the phone on a customer. But if you don't respond to these messages and notifications, that's pretty much what you're doing.
Enter your salvation - marketing automation.
First of all, automation means you can automatically send out emails and publish posts.
However, it also means you can "like" comments from your social media followers, and send out automatic replies to customer service queries on both your website and on social media.
This won't just save you time, it will show your customers their concerns and interactions have been noted.
Tip: Get your company an integrated software program that will let you do all of this from one place, you know which one we're talking about ;)
8. ABB - Always Be Blogging
Blogging is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial elements of your home building company's digital marketing plan.
First of all, it tells Google your site is frequently updated. As you've likely guessed, the more often you update your site, the higher you'll rank in the search engine results. Especially if you're optimizing your posts.
Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in the home building industry. It tells your readers you're an expert, offers them valuable advice, and keeps them coming back to your page -- and buying your homes.
Tip: Aim to blog at least once or twice a week, and then build from there. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is quality over quantity. Crappy posts won't serve you well.
9. Try Out Video Content
Hopefully, you now understand why constantly creating quality content is so important to your overall marketing strategy.
But if you're not switching up the type of content you post, your visitors are likely going to lose interest - and fast.
One of the most effective types of content out there, that's certainly gained traction in the past year?
Think about it: you likely know from your own life that you'd much rather watch a quick, twenty-second video than read an article five pages long. Plus, videos give you the opportunity to explain and break down the features of your homes or discuss your services in greater detail.
Video marketing lets you flex your creative muscles! Don't be afraid to take a risk, take a side, and watch that view and share count climb.
Tip: Ensure you're creating your videos to maximize the platform. Square videos do well on Instagram and Facebook, while landscape is better for YouTube. And whenever possible use captions and/or text. Not everyone wants to listen to your video while they're supposed to be working!
10. Create A Content Calendar
Last but not least, you need to make sure your marketing plan finishes as strong as it started.
You might have lots of energy when you first created your campaign and started your blog. However, as you got busier and took on more clients, we're willing to bet the number of postings you do every week has shrunk a bit.
In addition to marketing automation, which we mentioned earlier, you should also create a content calendar. This will help to keep you accountable and ensure your ideas are well-developed, relevant, and fresh.
Meet with your team on a regular basis to conduct research on topics for your next post, blog, or campaign. Then, create a schedule of when those postings will go up.
Tip: Ideally, you want to be creating your content calendar well in advance. The last thing you need is to realize you're short for next week and have to spend all weekend writing to meet your timeline.
Need Professional Help Developing Your Marketing Plan?
Now know how to create a solid digital marketing plan for your home building business.
Keep in mind though, SEO and digital marketing are far from static - the marketing world is constantly changing and evolving. So are the rules put in place by the search engines that govern it all.
To make sure you always stay several steps ahead of the competition, avoid getting penalized, and create the most engaging and effective content possible, it's a good idea to rely on the professionals whenever you can.
We're here to help you do just that.
Spend some time on our website and blog to learn about the tools and services we have to offer you.
When you're ready, reach out to us to start creating a marketing plan that will help your company reach new heights in selling homes.