Where Do You Find the Time To Stay Current on Digital Marketing Best Practices?

By BP News, Digital Marketing Resources No Comments
timetitle Time is a rare commodity when you are competing for the attention of new homebuyers, showcasing new communities, and building market share for your new home brand. It's no secret that in 2008, Marketing teams shrunk as the industry contracted during the financial crisis.  Today's Marketers have reason to be hopeful (and busy) as homebuying trends upward again.  What hasn't changed is that Marketing teams are still operating with historically low staffing levels.  And, the role of a homebuilder Marketer has evolved to include an ever-expanding ecosystem of digital marketing functions.  Digital Marketing holds the key to capturing home buyers early in their search for the ideal home, and has become a mission-critical priority for Homebuilder Marketers. This busy infographic (it's so detailed I cannot even insert it here) illustrates the challenge to digital marketers everywhere.  There are an exponential number of platforms to help you capture, engage and convert digital house hunters.  Builder Marketers need to spend more time on digital, without compromising other important Marketing channels. To stay current, I make a habit of studying trends in digital marketing for a few minutes every day. I love Hubspot for their action-oriented blogging content. This recent Hubspot post is a great example of a simple best practice that illustrates the power of digital tools to drive the human interaction which is so fundamental to selling a home.  Realistically,  the best marketing ideas are often relegated to our wish list because we need time to think through their application in our business environment. Where to find extra snippets of time to pursue "the list"? Builder Promotions likes to think of ourselves as "gifting" you back your time with a centralized e-commerce service. E-storesolutionimageWe manage the procurement and timely delivery of branded products you use throughout the home selling cycle so that you can focus on your mission-critical Marketing priorities. Our e-Store Solution delivers Control, Convenience and Peace of Mind. It's a complimentary service, too (what's not to love!).
  • Order when and where it's convenient for you
  • Preferred Pricing that helps everyone's budget
  • Control marketing spend with Corporate/Division reports
  • Peace of Mind that your Brand is being protected
  • Click to Quote access for Custom Products
By centralizing with Builder Promotions for offline products, we hope to give you more time to execute your digital strategy and perhaps a few extra minutes to consider your marketing wish list! Marketing Blueprints Content, August 2015

Rewarding Your Prospects' conversion to Sales Model Visitor

By BP News No Comments
07loganhomesdesignstudio When a digital prospect converts from online shopper to Sales Model visitor, they experience all the qualities that make new homes stand out in a real estate market dominated by resale product. The Sales Model visit is an ideal time to reward the investment they've made in learning about the benefits of owning a well-designed, beautiful brand new home. our-purpose-design-center Many of our clients  consistently reward their sales model visitors and we'd love to hear about how you are rewarding yours! Meanwhile, we thought we'd share a list of engagement touchpoints where you can reward prospects throughout the new home sales cycle. 
  • Reward event registration when you are trying to capture specific segments. (in a previous blog post, we share one Builder’s success with this)
  • Thank Realtors who promote new home communities.  They will multiply your sales efforts.shea-block_updated1
  • Reward digital shoppers who click to call for a model home tour
  • Host a 48 hour Facebook Event where users share photos of life in their new home. Reward each entry and make a permanent album for Facebook.
  • Recognize customers who tell their stories in video testimonials. They are credible to digital house hunters browsing your site at 10 pm.
  • Ask customers for online reviews and reward them for taking the time. Google will reward you with higher rankings because today’s house hunters expect to validate their findings with reviews from your customers.
  • Reward prospects with a digital gift when they download your Mobile APP.  Your next prospect is just an "APP away"!
  • Ask new homeowners for a family selfie on move-in day. Selfie_1 (2) Give them a branded selfie stick to inspire a playful photo shoot. Prospective home buyers want to imagine themselves having a happy life in their new home. Candid images deliver fresh content and authentic reactions to a new home purchase.
  • Deliver product and warranty information on a USB flash drive and embed a link to your social channels so new homeowners can share their experience with your brand.
  • When prospects download a brochure or finish a virtual tour, reward them with digital gifts they can redeem while they are online.

Visit our Facebook page and share your Homebuilder brand ideas for rewarding prospects and new homeowner engagement. Your reward? The first 15 posts receive a sleek portable power bank that provide power when you need it most on-the-go.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,

Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger

Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions, a centralized solution for consistent branding throughout the home selling process.

Do Call-Only Campaigns Speed the Sales Cycle?

By BP News No Comments
gty_mobile_phones_nt_130529_wblog This just emerged in email traffic from my favorite resource for all things Pay-Per -Click!  For Homebuilders, the statistics below are of significant interest because there is now proof that digital shoppers are more likely to connect with you via their mobile device. This post tells you about the one tactic you can test right now - Call-Only Campaigns.  Here's the background from Pay-Per-Click wizard, Larry Kim of WordStream. According to Larry Kim, WordStream Founder, Calls to Businesses are Worth 3X More Than Clicks to Websites. Why does this matter to builders?  Read on!  I am going to let Larry describe this himself from his blog post about "call-only campaigns" which can be incredibly successful if you are engaging digital house hunters through a mobile device. "In May, Google revealed that mobile phone searches have finally surpassed desktop. The anticipation has been building for years with critics claiming having a robust mobile strategy is overrated, but now the importance of mobile literally cannot be ignored by marketers. Users are 9X more likely to place a call on the search engine results page (SERPS) than on desktop, according to a WordStream study.  If calls are proving to be so much more valuable what can marketers do? For those using Pay Per Click to capture prospects, the solution is simple, implement call-only campaigns. Call-only campaigns are available on mobile devices and essentially force the searcher to call directly from the SERP rather than visit a landing page, cutting out the leakiest part of the sales funnel. “Pay per click is turning into pay per lead,” says Larry. This is exciting stuff!" Build your own Mobile App,  and you can curate prospects' experience with your brand from their mobile device.  Builders can use the call-only campaign to promote Sales Model Tours.  Our custom Sales Model App is a one-of-a-kind App designed by an experienced developer, to help you deliver a convenient and entertaining experience for prospects visiting your Sales Models. HandH_Promo Image_Horizontal (3)With your own Mobile APP, you can guide prospects from a phone call to a Sales Model Tour with one-stop navigation that brings them to you, enables them to enjoy the surrounding neighborhood and share the experience with their network. Want to know more?  We'd love to let you speak with our software developer to discuss your custom Sales Model App. Thanks for stopping by to engage. Cheers!  Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions a centralized procurement solution that delivers brand consistency throughout the new home sales cycle.

Increase Your Builder Marketing Currency by Staying Digitally Current.

By BP News, Digital Marketing Resources No Comments
search-for-homes Since paid search is now becoming the norm, I've been seeking input from industry thought-leaders so that I can intelligently invest in keyword search that is intuitive to prospects searching for us.  And because we live, eat and breathe Builder Marketing, I began to think about how our clients and prospects could use this information too. I am a big fan of Larry Kim's content at Wordstream, a leading pay-per-click solutions company.  What I like about Wordstream is that they are genuinely focused on educating marketing professionals about how to best use pay-per-click dollars to achieve their marketing goals.  Their resources are plentiful with strategies and tactics you can implement right now. Here's a link to Wordstream PPC University White Papers.  My top three Builder must-reads are:
  • How to Drive 1 Million Monthly Blog Visits
  • The 3 Types of Search Query & How to Target Them
  • Complete Guide to Geotargeting & Local PPC
Here's why I think these titles are a worthy read for Builder Marketers:
  1. Brand journalism is being expressed through Corporate Blogs everywhere! But who reads them and are you really being heard? Builder Blogs have a distinct advantage because purchasing a new home requires decision support that touches a myriad of lifestyle categories.  Your blog is an ideal venue for distributing content about lifestyle topics that influence consumers' decision to purchase a new home: schools, energy efficiency, financing, design, transportation, green space.  None of these live in a silo, and a blog post can weave them together intuitively to deliver a holistic message about the benefits of your community.
  2. iStock_000016897651SmallI like the simplicity of focus on three types of search Query.  It's a customer-centric way of looking at how house hunters are looking for new home information online.
  3. Geotargeting and local Pay-Per-Click is made for new home communities.commhome_cfa161e3efb04a4d9b4c92e0d5ce5445 Consumers imagine their lives in a specific geography within a new home community that draws them into beautifully designed homes and a carefully curated vision of a lifestyle they can purchase.  Local search is an imperative for Builder Marketers.
We know that Builder Promotions' clients are managing a broad spectrum of marketing activities with historically lean teams.  We hope that these white papers and other resources we share will add value to the task of getting digital house hunters into your sales models.  And when your prospects make that critical conversion, Builder Promotions can help you create community-themed gifts to reward their engagement and reinforce next steps in the sales process. What are you favorite digital resources?  We'd love to hear from you!  Thanks for engaging with us here. Cheers! Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions, delivering brand consistency throughout the complete home selling cycle.

Why should Home Builders pay attention to SEO for Local Search?

By BP News, Digital Marketing Resources No Comments
cropped-img_6516_pp.jpg I recently interviewed SEO Expert, Julien Brandt, CEO of a successful Digital Agency, Organik SEO, a firm specializing in local search.  What got me interested in Julien's perspective is that he has real estate experience.  His knowledge about the intersection of Real Estate and Digital Strategy informs his thinking about how Homebuilders can get the best results from their SEO efforts.  Here's what he had to say during our interview: Leslie: What would you suggest a Home Builder marketer should expect from their SEO Partner?   Julien: What you should NOT expect are immediate results. SEO is a time intensive process that takes a lot of factors into account. Anyone who guarantees top rankings or offers immediate results is not interested in a long-term relationship! People making these claims are often trying to game the system which may create a short-term result and almost certainly have longterm negative effects. A successful partnership should be based on long-term goals and the company should focus on educating you about their process and how you can all work together to accomplish your goals.winning-kpis Make sure to have in-depth conversations with the SEO team to identify the most valuable goals and establish KPI’s to measure them.  A good SEO company will create a timeline that incorporates all the moving parts into a meaningful strategy. Leslie: What do you see has the biggest challenges for Home Builders in their SEO efforts? Julien: Some industries are an “immediate need” with a very short sales cycle. As an example, someone looking for a plumber will likely conduct a Google search, call the top result and buy the service. In contrast, the sales cycle for home builders is much more in-depth, typically lasting 12+ months. For this reason there needs to be a well thought out sales and conversion funnel. People in different stages of the sales process are looking to consume different information. It's not simply enough to rank for “new homes” and expect that your prospects are not going to research all other possible options.  A solid strategy should focus on having a great website to showcase your product. You should also create great content that can answer questions at every stage of the buying cycle, establish strong “calls to action” that entice people to join your email list or inquire about your product, and build a solid online presence with PR, social media, and great back links. Leslie: What is Pigeon and how can Builders navigate this and other changes that rewrite ranking rules? Julien: Pigeon is a recent and the first Google “local” ranking-centric algorithm update. The industry that was impacted most heavily with this algorithm update was real estate. In the past we had seen a lot of terms like “San Diego real estate” or “homes in San Diego” display local map based results but with this recent update Google no longer displays local results for most real estate related phrases. In addition, builders can no longer use virtual offices/PO Boxes to rank in the local results section of a google result page. Additionally the ranking factors for local are looked at more closely which means citations must be uniform, the “Google My business” page must be claimed, and it needs to be verified and managed appropriately as part of a strategic campaign. The local results are a lot more competitive now, and the ranking factors look more like traditional organic rankings factors than in the past. Leslie:  Top 3 DIY tactics Marketing teams can implement to increase in-bound traffic? SEO-Increasing traffic
  1. Being active on social media and publishing unique informative and strategic content on your blog can significantly help increase organic traffic and social media traffic.
  2. Continuing to analyze your existing website traffic will help a great deal. By understanding how people find your site, where they are located, what they are interested in and how they interact with your website you can make ongoing improvements.  Refining and improving your overall UX (User experience) will help increase conversions.
  3. Getting active offline will also reward you online. Activities such as sponsoring little league teams, 5ks and school functions are the best way to naturally earn links to your website - which is ultimately one of the best ways to improve rank, show transparency/credibility and convert more business.
Leslie:  Anything else you want to discuss that is relevant to Home Builders?  The-Digital-Hunt-for-a-House
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things, just make sure to utilize landing pages and A/B testing.
  • Pay-Per-Click can be a great way to get instant traffic to specific pages of your website from people typing in specific keyword phrases. You can then track and analyze this data to make ongoing improvements to your website.
  • Make sure to spell out the entire home buying process for searchers. Tell them to fill-out the form or offer a call-to-action, along with offering an explanation of what to expect after they act.
  • Don’t expect leads to come through online sources without a funnel to make it as easy as possible to navigate next steps.
  • Continuously test and improve your website.
Builder Promotions' branding solutions support tactics that increase engagement, traffic, referrals and sales.  How does that compliment SEO efforts? Julien: That’s a great statement because a good SEO campaign will indeed bring way more than just rankings. The Marketing Lab Online and Offline-resized-600An SEO campaign will benefit greatly from your supporting tactics. Over time SEO has become less of a technique and more of a result of having a holistic and strategic approach to marketing your brand online. Online marketing is a must in today's technology driven world and a great compliment to your offline marketing efforts. Thanks for joining the conversation.  Feel free to reach out to Julien if you would like to get more clarity about how your SEO is working for you. Cheers! Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger

When do you reward a digital house hunter for engaging with your brand?

By Rewarding Prospect Engagement No Comments
When does it pay to reward engagement on the buyer’s journey to becoming a happy homeowner? Ultimately, you decide that, but here’s our list of touchpoints  where a well-placed reward might nurture your next happy homeowner.
  • Reward event registration when you are trying to capture specific segments. (in a previous blog post, we share one Builder's success with this)
  • Thank Realtors who promote new home communities.  They can multiply your sales efforts.
  • Reward digital shoppers who click to call for a model home tour.
  • Host a 48 hour Facebook Event where users share photos of life in their new home.  Reward each entry and make a permanent album for Facebook.
  • Recognize customers who tell their stories in video testimonials. They are credible to digital house hunters browsing your site at 10pm.
  • Ask customers for online reviews and reward them for taking the time.  Google will reward you with better ranking because today’s house hunters expect to validate their findings with reviews.
  • Reward prospects  with a digital gift when they download your Mobile APP.  Your mobile channel is the next new sales channel.
  • Ask new homeowners for a family selfie on move-in day.  Give them a branded selfie stick to inspire a playful photo shoot.  Prospective home buyers want to imagine themselves having a happy life in their new home.
Check out BP Digital Tech Store for cost-effective tech gear that provides the ideal real estate to give prospects an easy way to return to your digital content. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers, Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger cropped-img_6516_pp.jpg

When does it pay to reward conversions? Ask Jared Weggeland of Southern Homes.

By Customer Stories 2 Comments
The other day our new Production Manager received a call from a builder who had heard Jared Weggeland of Southern Homes, speak about how he is building engagement with home buyer prospects.  The builder was inquiring about Builder Promotions' Cruise Ship Certificates, which Jared had used successfully in his event marketing. This made me curious about what went so well that Jared shared his success with other builders during a public speaking engagement. So I interviewed Jared, and what I learned is that our promotion was one piece of a well-constructed marketing effort to reward prospective homebuyers for their engagement with his brand.   He covered several sales success stories with quantifiable results, and I wanted to share them with our blog community. Southern Homes attended a Bridal Event where they were pursuing a strategy of attracting “life changes” home buying prospects.  Jared was challenged with stiff competition from cake-tastings, wedding photographers, dress designers, and other wedding planning resources. Couples attending the Bridal event needed a reason to give  mindshare to their future home. Jared tapped Builder Promotions Customer Gift Collection to reward every couple who registered at his booth with an entry to win a Honeymoon Cruise. Jared used the Cruise theme to transport young couples away from the details of planning their wedding, to dream about their Honeymoon.  And it worked.  The results: Jared and his team captured close to 300 quality prospects through registrations, and they are now being nurtured in a targeted email campaign for the "life changes" segment of their home buyer prospect list.

Now if you have read Jared’s book about selling homes on Facebook, you’d know that he didn’t stop there! He expanded the cruise idea to engage Southern Homes' Fan Page friends in a Valentine’s day event where  Southern Homes "friends" (prospects and homeowners whom the brand had connected with) could submit their love stories, and the Southern Homes Facebook community would vote for the best story.  The winner took a romantic cruise compliments of Southern Homes. The results: The winning couple alone, accumulated 1400 Facebook interactions all within the real estate of Southern Homes' Facebook page.  Social media is nurturing brand friends through this and other Facebook promotions at Southern Homes.

But that wasn’t enough, Jared then ran a publishers clearing house style promotion to reward referrals.  Southern Homes rewarded referrals from their business community in addition to specific stakeholders in the home buying process:

  • Homeowners who referred a friend
  • Realtors who referred a client
  • Sales Model visitors who posted a photo of their visit on the FB page
  • Homeowners who recorded and posted a video testimonial on the FB page

Anyone who took these actions was entered into a drawing for a $2000 luxury cruise.  The results: Over 20 Referral Sales. The surprise visit to personally deliver the award to unsuspecting winners, created even more social currency for Southern Homes, and the winner is still referring homebuyers today!

What’s impressive about these tactics is  that they support a strategy by Southern Homes, to build and refine a list of quality prospects in order to reach more narrowly targeted homebuyer segments.  Sales results speak for themselves. For instance, it used to be that 9% of online sales were tied to a generalized e-blast sent to 9000 Southern Homes prospects.  After an 18-month effort to refine and segment their list with groups like the "life events and life stages" prospects, the number jumped from 9% to 20% of online sales contracts tied directly to email outreach.  Jared also shared with me that he and his team sold out a community that a national builder was previously unable to market.  How? You guessed it -- through Facebook. Friends told friends, and the Southern Homes team posted on Facebook to reinforce everything from construction milestones to move-in day celebrations.  It’s a digital home selling dream. When does it pay to reward engagement on the buyer's journey to becoming a happy homeowner? Ultimately, you decide that, but here's our list of touchpoints where a well-placed reward might nurture your next happy homeowner.
  • Reward event registration when you are trying to capture specific segments.
  • Thank Realtors who promote new home communities.  They can multiply your sales efforts.
  • Reward digital shoppers who click to call for a model home tour.
  • Host a 48 hour Facebook Event where users share photos of life in their new home.  Reward each entry and make a permanent album for Facebook.
  • Recognize customers who tell their stories in video testimonials. They are credible to digital house hunters browsing your site at 10pm.
  • Ask customers for online reviews and reward them for taking the time.  Google will reward you with better ranking because today's house hunters expect to validate their findings with reviews.
  • Reward prospects  with a digital gift when they download your Mobile APP.  Your mobile channel is the next new sales channel.
  • Ask new homeowners for a family selfie on move-in day.  Give them a branded selfie stick to inspire a playful photo shoot.  Prospective home buyers want to imagine themselves having a happy life in their new home.
What are you doing to invite engagement? How is it working?  We'd love to interview you if you'd like to share your successes. Cheers, Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions.