Posted by Bethany Handy ● January 8, 2014
Does Inbound Marketing Work for Real Estate Professionals?
One reason inbound marketing works for real estate is the same reason it works for several industries, including the medical industry.
It's a strong tool for any business that deals with building relationships.
Inbound marketing is the art and science of building an online following with web content that attracts new customers or clients. At the core of inbound marketing is the strategy that sharing knowledge helps build trust. Even though a lot of real estate business is built on referrals, having a website is where many new people can find out about your business, if you adopt the thinking of inbound marketing.
Blogging About the Market
One way to gain attention online is to write about the real estate market in your region. The blog needs to be informative on a regular basis to be competitive in search engines. Even though the internet is flooded with real estate firms competing for rankings in search engines, using inbound marketing techniques such as blogging can provide a competitive edge. If the competition isn't doing an inbound marketing campaign then you have an even stronger advantage.
Any good inbound markting agency will tell you that the purpose of a blog is not to create fluff and see how well it does. A strong blog is one that answers questions and educates people so that they develop trust. The blog can be presented in a friendly or casual way like a conversation, but it must have useful content. The blog should be more than about statistics that can be found on other websites. It should have a unique perspective and provide information that makes people want to learn more. It ultimately links to landing pages in the sales funnel.
Since real estate involves local business activity, it's a good idea to optimize your web pages for local search. By signing up with local search engines like Yelp, you can control the information the public finds about you and increase your chances of being found online. It's better to focus on signing up with popular search sites than trying to sign up with as many local directories as possible. The more you can come up with unique keywords that people are searching for and relate them to real estate in your market, the more edge you can gain. Optimizing your site for mobile devices has become crucial, since many people now use mobile devices to find quick answers, especially to questions dealing with anything local.
Another way to gain an edge on local competition is to create a lot of unique web pages about your local market. The content can even include opinions from a local perspective, which can include reviews. If you aim at becoming an authority on your local real estate market involving specific niches then you can gain credibility with search engines. The more you understand your market, the more content you can create about it. Using locations in your web page titles helps identify you as an authority in your market. Making YouTube videos can give you an edge if you follow a few professional tips.
A big part of your content you use to attract leads should be based on a series of planned articles or blogs. Since inbound marketing is still in its early stages of evolution, there are still some pitfalls to work out. One of the main reasons why a campaign fails is due to lack of planning. Other reasons include not building a big enough community or trying to rush a campaign. It's a slow process that requires patience and a well planned strategy. Learning as much as you can about your audience and developing thorough profiles on individuals is the key to shaping and sharpening your marketing strategies.
Collect New Leads
Use your website's sales funnel to collect leads. Inbound marketing does not try to use hype to attract leads. The focus is educating people about your business and developing relationships with them. By offering free information on your blog or site, you attract new visitors who are searching for that information. The website is where the sales funnel exists. Every other marketing tool should point to the website. Once visitors arrive at the site there should be a call to action that directs users through the sales funnel. Using social media to share links to your site can generate conversions, which can lead to repeat business.
It's important not to be in a hurry to create a long list of leads since inbound marketing encompasses a long process of showing up in search engines and building an online following. Sometimes a campaign can take several months before you notice any results. Each lead needs to be scored in order to determine a focus on qualified leads. All other leads, including conversions can be considered for future lead nurturing.