Building your real estate brand online with display advertising
For all it’s sophisticated technology and special terminology, online display advertising in real estate has a lot more in common with traditional marketing than you might think. In this post, we’ll show you how the old-school advertising principles of ‘the right message, at the right place, at the right time’ apply just as much online as off, and show how you can use your existing marketing knowledge to build your brand with display ads.
The Right Message
Maybe it’s time for an update…
In the case of display advertising, ‘the message’ isn’t just the content, but also the image, the colors, and the other visual components of your creative approach.
As a real estate agent, you’re likely well acquainted with the branding benefits of placing a high-quality portrait on a yard sign or a post card. Online, the same benefits apply; a professional portrait shows your personality and helps buyers and sellers become familiar with you. So you’ll definitely want to use a high-resolution, digital copy of your professional portrait in your display ads so they appear as attractive as your offline marketing.
Obviously, the ad copy contributes mightily to ‘the message’ online. The copy you write for your ad helps you stand out from your competitors and drive prospects to action. Online, the classic advertising practice of making a clear call-to-action is doubly important, as Internet viewers can take action with just a click — no need to pick up the phone or wait for an appointment. Incentivizing visitors to take action by offering a free buyer’s guide or professional staging tips in exchange for contact information for example, will only further boost your online response.
“Creative is about 70% to 80% of the effectiveness of advertising.”
— Jon Gibs, VP Media Analytics, Nielsen
What about color? Often overlooked, color choices actually prove vital to effective real estate display advertising. Offline, most realtors coordinate the colors of their marketing materials with the colors of their brokerage or office. Online, coordination is important, but not at the detriment of visibility. Remember that your online ad will be placed on web pages where you’ll be competing against a myriad of content for users’ attention. When designing your ad, use bold, eye catching colors to draw the visitor’s eye and stand out on the page.
The Right Place
Traditionally, marketing in ‘the right place’ means sending postcards to neighborhoods of interest or placing ads, yard signs, or billboards in high-profile locations where they’ll maximize your visibility and reach.
Marketing in ‘the right place’ is just as important for display advertising. Not only must you target web users in the areas you service, but your ad also needs to also feature prominently on pages throughout the web to ensure high visibility.
Web users can be fickle in their navigation habits, so your online ads need to be placed on wide variety of web pages to get noticed. That means that the inventory of your ad network is vital. In fact, according to Google & Compete New Home Shopper’ 2012 Survey, 78% of new home shoppers visit over 3 different sites before taking action on a real estate site. Advertising on a single website — or even only on real estate sites — will rarely be as effective as targeting qualified users all over the web.
The Right Time
In traditional real estate marketing, promoting at ‘the right time’ means stepping up your branding during buying season and maintaining touch with past clients to stay top of mind.
Online, your timing is just as important. In fact, the NAR found that last year, ⅔ of sellers end up hiring the first agent they interview. Despite the tools available to modern buyers and sellers online, it’s clear that reaching potential clients before the competition is as important as ever.
Building your lead pipeline with online display ads means branding consistently with campaigns throughout the year to ensure familiarity, and boosting your reach and visibility during peak times in your market.
Making Display Ads Work for You
Unfortunately, despite the principles traditional real estate marketing shares with display advertising, up to to this point online ads have largely been the domain of big ad agencies and marketing gurus. The complications associated with designing ads, setting up campaigns, and maintaining data and tracking have seemed insurmountable.
Here at AdWerx, we recognized the tremendous marketing potential display advertising offers to real estate agents, so we built a product that eliminates those barriers to entry while making it easy to advertise with the right message, in the right place, at the right time.
When you start a campaign, we ensure you have the right message from the start by finding and pre-filling the essentials: your portrait, your agency logo, and your primary market online. Then we place them in your ad with colors to match your branding.
We ensure your visibility by targeting ads to the zip codes you choose so you can target specific neighborhoods. Then we show your ad to online viewers on real estate sites as well as 100s of additional sites around the web like CNN, New York Times, YouTube and Yahoo.
Finally we ensure you’re reaching users at the right time by targeting those ads using the viewers intent. That means that for every campaign, we target users actively searching real estate sites, requesting quotes from moving companies, or shopping for mortgages, vastly improving your chances of reaching users who need your services now.
If you haven’t tried display advertising in your market yet, we think you’ll find Adwerx to be a simple and effective solution for boosting your brand online. If you have, we want to hear about your experiences and the strategies you’ve used to find success. Sound off in the comments below!