Big companies have big budgets to fuel their big brands. They know that effective branding is the key to their success. In a 2013 study from Interbrand, Apple, Google and Coca-Cola were named the three best global brands. Top global players like these spend more than $400 BILLION each year to make sure each of us will consider their products when we’re on the hunt for a tasty beverage or a new laptop.
The truth is, you probably encounter these brands every day, sometimes without even recognizing it. Coca-Cola knows they need to be the first thing you think about when you’re thirsty. Google has dominated online search so completely that “googling” something has a permanent spot in the lexicon. And Apple? They’ve turned their brand into a status symbol, something consumers crave.
Sure, with a massive budget at their fingertips big brands have access to sophisticated advertising techniques that may seem out of reach for the average real estate agent. However, as we’ll discover in this post, real estate agents can achieve similar results on a localized scale in a very affordable way.
Want to run with the big dogs when it comes to your branding? Well you’re in luck! Here are five key secrets to successful brand advertising. And don’t worry, we don’t mind if you share our secrets!
1. Target the right audience
This advice may sound simplistic, but it’s one that’s so important. You have to know your audience and target them in the areas they frequent. This means if you are selling cars, you want to show ads to people interested in buying a car. The same concept applies for real estate. As an agent, you want to target people who are interested in buying or selling homes in your local zip codes. Showing your ads to anyone else would be a waste of money.
In this Hubspot post, marketing expert Anum Hussain explains that two ways Coca-Cola achieves success in branding efforts is by knowing and reaching their audience. “Coke may have a large audience, but it’s not about size of the audience; it’s about having the right audience,” Hussain says. “Personalizing your marketing can help you reach a quality audience.” When you can provide quality content to the audience you want to reach in the right place, at the right time, you’re bound for success.
2. Be everywhere they go
Once you identify who needs to see your ads, you will want to make sure they see them everywhere they go.
“Google succeeds because its search results are relevant to its customers, who use those results to make decisions about what to buy, read, investigate and so on,” says marketing guru Patrick Murphy in How Would Google Market Your Company. He also explains “the best time to market to people is when they are in the mood to buy.” If people are already searching for a house, and you can appear to them with the information they need on the sites that they already frequent, you have a much better chance of making a lasting impression.
3. Remind them every chance you get
It’s not enough to just appear to customers once. According to marketing research, it takes 7-10 times of seeing an ad before the viewer will remember it. It’s important that they continue to see your message until it sticks in their mind.
“Brand associations are stored in our long-term memory,” Brand Strategiest Tjaco Walvis reports in this article from Google. “But as memories decay if not regularly reactivated, marketers must continually reiterate both a brand’s promise and the proof that it delivers. Advertising is, of course, one of the best ways to refresh brand memories, especially among light users. As a result, advertising generates sales even when the brand’s sales volume remains flat or, worse, when volume is decreasing.”
It’s important to advertise constantly and not just for repetition’s sake, but also because you won’t have to guess when it’s the best
time to advertise to prospective buyers. You’ll be doing it all of the time. It will also ensure that you will be at the top of a buyer’s mind when they go to make decisions. A person isn’t likely to remember you from a single advertising push like a mailing, but they
will be if you have repetitive ads that follow them where they frequent online.
In this past blog post, real estate agent Bill Gassett says, “The classic mistake Real Estate agents make when doing mailings is looking for someone to call them to either buy or sell from that one mailing. What they fail to realize is you need to be in front of someone multiple times before your marketing will work to it’s fullest.”
4. Advertise with the buyer in mind
Forbes writer Panos Mourdoukoutas states that the biggest branding lesson that can be taken from Apple is that “branding begins on the demand side of the market.” Branding needs to begin with the prospective buyer, including their “needs, wants and desires and quest for a better life.” A brand needs to offer the buyer with advantages over the competitor. So as a real estate agent, this means you need to offer prospective clients with easier ways to reach you and more opportunities to interact directly.
Advertising is a great way to get someone’s attention, but that attention can often be fleeting. While a print ad may supply a phone number, the prospective buyer must take the time and effort to pick up the phone and call to learn more about you. By advertising on the Internet, you can turn a simple click into a new customer by linking to your website, offering immediate ways to start a conversation and gaining an advantage over other real estate agents who may not even have a strong online presence. One way to do this is through our own product, AdWerx for Real Estate.
5. Offer something compelling
This is the easy part that you’ve probably already mastered. Keep providing high-quality service and great listings. Though Apple, Coca-Cola and Google all incorporate branding efforts that extend beyond the product, remember that at the end of the day they still rely on their products to make sales. If you weren’t selling houses, you wouldn’t have buyers in the first place. If you maintain great customer service and sell quality homes, you’ll find the right buyers and sellers to grow your business.
Still Not Convinced?
Research by the National Association of Realtors said that almost 70% of buyers and sellers only interview one agent. This means that your brand needs to be top-of-mind for buyers and sellers, because you want to be the first agent they go to. As we mentioned before, AdWerx provides a simple, easy-to-use tool that can help you start advertising your brand in minutes that costs only $50 a month. An ad campaign is an integral part of your branding that will take it to the next level, and get you killer results. If it doesn’t, we’re happy to give you your money back.
Maybe you won’t rival Apple or Google for size, but if you use the right online ad technology, you can be the one agent they think of when they’re in the market to buy or sell.