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Digital Marketing Resources

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

"How to 2X Your Email Marketing Results with Pay Per Click" A Webinar you won't want to miss.

By Digital Marketing Resources No Comments
cropped-img_6516_pp.jpgBuilders are using email marketing to generate leads, and there is no sign that this form of marketing is about to slow down.  I've been looking at resources to help our builder clients get the best email marketing results, and I couldn't resist sharing this with you. I think this webinar is worth a look"How to 2x Your Email Marketing Results with Pay Per Click", by leading PPC innovator, Larry Kim of Wordstream.  It took place today, so here are links for the SlideShare and youtube recording. I am obsessed with inbound marketing tactics because they invite digital shoppers to engage with your brand, and they are evolving to provide the majority of presale support.  I've followed Larry Kim's company, Wordstream because he's a thought-leader in PPC, and he aligns with our mission to make work-life easy for marketing and sales professionals. There is a reason to be especially interested in Pay-Per-Click (aka google Adwords or PPC) if you are a builder. As some of you may know, one of Google's recent algorithm updates (nicknamed "Pigeon") has had a major impact on real estate related search results. We are now seeing significantly fewer local map search results for real estate related terms and most keywords are only displaying results from the top real estate aggregators. In an upcoming blog post, we'll hear from organic search expert, Julien Brandt who is the founder and CEO of Organik SEO. Julien will discuss the impact of Google's algorithm changes and how they impact real estate rankings. He will also give insights and suggestions on how your digital teams can best adjust in the continually evolving SEO landscape. My recent conversation with Julien got me thinking about the many benefits of PPC in a world where it's getting harder to occupy page one real estate in Google. Do you have a favorite resource?  We'd love to hear from you if so.  Stop by again for our upcoming series about the unstoppable power of email marketing when it connects to a total CRM eco-system.  (Remember if we are talking about CRM, it's simple, centralized and cost-effective).   Cheers! Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions, a centralized procurement platform to help coordinate the myriad of branding products used throughout the home selling cycle.  We deliver work-life simplicity for our clients and brand consistency for their new home communities.

Pssst… it's easier than you think to acquire, curate and manage customer reviews.

By Digital Marketing Resources One Comment
images (10) Builder Promotions' clients are building some of the most thoughtfully designed and referral worthy homes in the nation. But when I look at local Google listings for new home communities, it's hard to find a lot of current customer reviews. I have spoken to builder marketers who would like to implement a review system but simply don't have the time. Our amazing clients are running very lean marketing departments and managing an ever-growing list of digital tactics to advance the conversion from digital shopper to actual buyer! So I decided to find out how customer reviews are being automated to make life easier for builder marketers who want to mine the marketing gold held by their happy new homeowners. We recently interviewed Henri Isenberg, COO of  a leading reputation management platform, Reviewinc.com,  about the business of delivering easy Customer Review management to Homebuilder Marketers.   Here are his thoughts about why reviews are important, and what you want to be thinking about when you consider automating this important marketing asset. Marketing Blueprints:  Why customer reviews? What's important about them today? Henri Isenberg, COO Reviewinc:  It's in our tagline, "where reviews mean business".  Reviews generate business for enterprises who capture and amplify them.  We now know that a majority of customers search customer reviews before making a purchase.  This is especially true of the first-time homebuyer demographic who skews younger. We've done some research to illustrate this, and marketers will be interested in the growth of search among the 65+ group, too. This signals a much broader adoption of review search from my perspective. Marketing Blueprints: Referrals vs. Reviews - what's more important? Henri Isenberg, COO Reviewinc:  The answer is both! Referrals are given by someone you know.  For instance, if you tell a friend, "I love the Del Sur Community because the location offers larger homes, and you are still only 20 minutes from one of the best beaches in Southern California.", that's a vote of confidence from a trusted person you know.  People have been referring their friends to neighborhoods forever, so the idea of referrals is well understood in the home selling process.  Today, when you hear this from a friend,  you automatically check out Del Sur online. In your digital journey, you validate what you are hearing from one person with reviews from many people. That's the expectation from consumers now. Reviews are earned media in which a collective group of customers talk about your brand.  If you aren't soliciting them and amplifying to every possible relevant review source,  you are missing an opportunity to influence and convert digital shoppers browsing your communities. Marketing Blueprints - Can you speak to the value of customer review management for negative reviews? Henri Isenberg, Reviewinc: If someone has something bad to say about your business, would you rather they tell you directly or would rather they amplify it without your knowing? With a review management system, you are empowered to insert yourself into the process and engage with unhappy customers to avert a negative PR event.  Review management platforms are a necessary tool for today's customer service teams. Marketing Blueprints:  download (4)What are three key points Builder Marketers should be thinking about when they assess an automated customer review system? Henri Isenberg, Reviewinc: 1). My top piece of advice is to get a comprehensive system, and don't be lured into a solution that has a few features.  You have to  capture reviews, solicit reviews, curate reviews, engage with reviewers and amplify reviews to all relevant sources without hiring a new marketing person or taking more time from your already busy schedule.  To do this, you need a simple and comprehensive platform. 2.).  Integration is key.  You want to be able to integrate with your CRM and your email contact management along with customer service and PR systems.  Again; integration saves time, and we know builder marketers have a full plate. 3.) Automation is essential.  This is the business of delivering fast, simple, easy and actionable results for busy Marketing professionals.  I don't think people realize that you can manage large volumes of reviews in minutes per day. 114c84cMarketing Blueprints asked Reviewinc to create a special offer for Builder Promotions' clients and prospects.  If managing reviews more effectively has been on your marketing wish list, please be our guest and Use this code - BPVIP to receive a discounted subscription to try Reviewinc's solution. To make it easy for you, feel free to call or email info@reviewinc.com/877-9REVIEW, and they'll take you for a test drive.  Just let them know you are using the Builder Promotions invitation code. Thanks for joining in the conversation!  I love sharing good marketing finds and hocropped-img_6516_pp.jpgpe that, with customer review management, you can convert more digital shoppers into happy homeowners for your brand. Cheers, Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions.

Customer Reviews – Marketing Gold if you can mine them.

By Digital Marketing Resources No Comments
114c84c According
 to Nielsen’s 2013 “Global Trust in Advertising Survey,” 70% of consumers trust online reviews from people they don’t know, up 15% from four years earlier. Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whether from strangers or friends and family, above all, other forms of advertising. I benefited from a word-of-mouth review this week, and it tipped my purchasing decision in favor of the brand.  Here's my story.cropped-img_6516_pp.jpg To set the stage, I’m having a quick lunch with a close friend and we are talking about the perils of giving a teen boy their own set of car keys.  Our boys are 15 ½ and chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel. My friend, a Scientist who prefers to have evidence and data to support all her choices, waxed eloquently as follows. “DriversEd.com was great. I know the name sounds cheesy, but they bundled our online course with driving lessons, gave us a discount, and Wil could use their mobile app to take the course while he rides the bus to school.  They followed up with me to set up driving classes the minute he finished the online course, and a professional driver trainer showed up at our house for the first scheduled lesson yesterday.  Robbi did this with Jared too.” Done!  I could cease my search for a highly rated driving school.  But that wasn't all.  As a marketing professional, I was intrigued with how concisely my friend hit on the value points for their product.  Unfortunately for the brand, I’m the only person who heard that story. Great customer review systems make it effortless for you to tap happy homeowners and amplify their stories to thousands of digital house hunters. Share KeyHappy homeowners are experiencing life's milestones in your communities.  In your brand's homes, they welcome babies,  enjoy career growth, nurture their families and experience a whole spectrum of firsts - walking, running, kindergarten, graduations, college and yes, handing over the car keys to a teen. At the core of a customer review is a human being willing to share their experience, like my friend did over lunch.  If you can tap their stories and make them shareable, you have marketing gold that has the power to convert digital shoppers into sales center visitors. I understand why new home consumers focus their reviews on the presale experience (selecting their model and options), closing and post-sale service. We have expectations of a new home that it will be built immaculately and that the customer service will be as pristine.  But what if builder marketers could easily solicit reviews that focus on the experience of living in their communities? When we shop for a home we are imagining how our life will fit into a new environment.  So, why not solicit reviews about what it's like to live life in your new homes?  Reviews can offer rich content if you have a good system for soliciting the feedback. In an upcoming interview with customer review expert, Henri Isenberg, of Reviewinc.com, we'll take a look at how customer reviews drive homebuyers to your community and discuss "must have" features for any review system you implement. We'll also feature a special invitation for Homebuilders to help you centralize, simplify and shape your customer review content. Thanks for visiting. Cheers! Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints is delivered compliments of Builder Promotions.