Real estate investors have the typical entrepreneurial spirit which dictates to change those techniques, practices, and methods that don’t bring results, and that probably works for many aspects of their business. However, when it comes to online marketing, REIs would benefit if they aren’t quick to judge the effectiveness of a campaign based on an occasional drop in leads.
There is a way to solve this issue, and if you’d like to learn how it’s done, you are reading the right article.
“Online marketing” covers a lot of ground, and real estate investors might want to pursue different goals through their campaign, so let’s first take a look at these two points. What do REIs want to accomplish?
Paid Google Ads (or Bing ads) allow real estate investor businesses to show up first when search engine users type a specific keyword (like “We buy houses cash in X county”, “Sell my house in X city” or similar). The business places a bid on the keyword and they subscribe to a pay-per-click program.
Organic traffic is when the search engine ranks your REI website first in organic search results. To boost organic traffic, business owners focus on search engine optimization, content marketing, and, in essence, catering to what the search engine favors.
Social media marketing works in two ways: by getting leads from your ad campaigns (think Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads) and by building relationships with your audience through regular, everyday posts.
In a nutshell, these are some popular online marketing methods, and, of course, the goal is to get leads that will close deals.
When REIs start a campaign, they have expectations of success. This is natural since they’ve invested their time and made a marketing budget for this purpose. Unfortunately, the effects of online marketing are not straightforward. We’ve worked with many real estate investors and, over time, certain patterns emerge.
The success of the campaign will:
1) Either be apparent at the beginning, and then fade away; or
2) It will take some time until it takes off and only then can you measure the results.
Both outcomes can be frustrating, but this is how it actually pans out – sooner or later, you’ll experience a drop. And if an online marketer guarantees a specific deliverable to you, most probably, their offer is black hat or the success will be short-lived. Neither of these is good for your REI business in the long run.
Do fish swim? What will an entrepreneur do if things don’t work out as planned? They switch it up, to find something that does work. In online marketing, that translates in the following manner: if Google ads don’t work, switch to social media, and if that doesn’t work, tweak your website, and so on. Even if REIs decided to stick to one thing, like social media, they test everything at once – and this is where the problems arise, because in marketing, consistency is very important.
Let’s say that your campaign loses traction and you want to improve the lead magnet. We are talking design, content, placement, schedule – everything.
You want massive results, so you make massive changes. What do you change?
If you change these elements all at once you are making a big mistake. Because even when the campaign does pick up, you wouldn’t know whether that’s due to one element or another. So the real question is: is there a right way to do this?
As Dan said in this REI marketing nerds podcast episode, focus is key. Online marketing allows you to test many different elements in your campaign and you should definitely make use of it, but don’t overdo it. When you decide to switch things up, change only one element in the campaign at a time.
Keep your focus – let’s say, this week or month test only the headline. If a specific headline causes an increase in leads, then you’ll know that the headline we used on day X brought results. And what if nothing happens, and the numbers remain the same? Did you do this testing for nothing? Actually, no – if the different headlines didn’t deliver any results, then you’ve identified that the headline is not the issue. This is great because you can now eliminate this element from the equation and direct your focus to the next element in the campaign.
Keeping your focus in an online marketing campaign works beyond the sheer testing of different lead magnets. You can use all those tests to benefit from the general feedback that comes through the metrics. Setting clear objectives will make it easier to reach a specific goal. For example, if your REI campaign struggles to get off the ground, tackle only one metric at a time. Go after the click-through-rate (number of people that clicked on the ad) and leave the conversion rate (number of people who filled out your forms) for a later date. Focusing on one campaign metric will help you to identify and resolve the issue. It’s certainly better than playing with all of them at once.
Also, do your best to adjust your campaign to the needs of your specific audience. Are you after motivated sellers in one neighborhood of your real estate market? Do you specialize in one type of deal? There are many options out there (code violation properties, probate proceedings, tax delinquent properties – you name it), so make sure you address your clients’ greatest pain in your campaign. If you have the solution, they’ll follow along.
If you are consistent with your REI campaign, over time, you can gather data that will help you to avoid wasting your time and money. Sometimes, real estate investors don’t delve deep enough into the metrics because they’re simply not into it. That’s OK, too. In this case, turn to someone who has the experience to give you direction. Or, if you want to learn how to do it yourself, join a bootcamp that will equip you with the tools necessary to improve a REI marketing campaign.
Either way, the answer to issues with the performance of an online marketing campaign is always testing. So, make sure to stick to one variable (focus is the key) and you’ll eventually find out what works and what doesn’t.
Consider restraining your entrepreneurial drive to ditch practices that don’t bring immediate results when you evaluate your online marketing campaign. Real estate investors have to take into account that exposing motivated sellers to their business through ads or SEO takes time.
To pinpoint specific elements of the campaign that do work, you’ll need to focus on changing one single variable at a time. This approach has helped other REIs to improve the performance of their campaigns – we’ve witnessed this time and again. So, you might as well jump on that same train and reap the rewards of keeping your focus on one thing at a time.
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