Digital marketing for mortgage professionals
For loan officers and mortgage bankers, digital marketing isn’t as complicated as it seems.
It’s anything but. It also doesn’t demand that you abandon traditional print outreach. Like all marketing plans, digital marketing requires balance, knowing your audience, and using a little technology.
Did it all start with LendingTree? Or, did it take almost two decades longer, say, when Quicken Loans shoveled a basement’s worth of cash into a couple of Super Bowl ads to introduce the loan-by-phone RocketMortgage?
Regardless of launch date, it’s pretty clear the mortgage industry is pushing hard to find its place on the Internet. And why not? That’s where the home shoppers live.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 90% of all home buyers search online for their home. For 42% percent of that group, so far this year, the Internet was their first step in the home buying process before contacting an agent.
The stats go on. But few of them should surprise. It’s not a shock to hear how important it is for mortgage professionals to consider the reach and effectiveness of digital marketing.
Those in the marketing industry have noticed the shift in Facebook’s business model. Our vacation photos, company page follows, and video likes are now merely the data-points the company uses to build never-before-seen levels of audience targeting accuracy.
The media giant introduces new ways to buy space and measure effectiveness seemingly every day. It should no doubt be on the minds of mortgage professionals as a way to augment a larger digital marketing strategy.
Despite the incredible capability of Facebook to reach local home buyers, real estate agents aren’t using it like they should. And therefore, people aren’t making home buying decisions on Facebook. Yet.
But, that is not to say they’re not receptive to the advertisements of local businesses. Better stated: local mortgage professionals. It would be worthwhile then, for a local mortgage business to leverage Facebook’s granular audience filtering.
Facebook should be used to support a broader online advertising campaign. Moreover, it can serve as an avenue through which to reach new real estate agent partners; because while they may not be pushing listings, they are hunting diligently for buyer leads.
“ … mortgage professionals should be advertising in other outlets on the web. More specifically, local outlets.”
Still, mortgage professionals should be advertising in other outlets on the web, too. More specifically, local outlets.
The beauty of digital advertising is that it levels the playing field for the smaller, independent players.
Affordability is, of course, a major benefit, but it shouldn’t be about cost—it should be about reach and cost per impression. In other words, value.
That value goes up quickly when digital advertising becomes localized, a fact that not enough real estate agents understand. While mortgage professionals have historically worked closely with the real estate industry to source customers, a well-rounded digital strategy can allow them to originate their own lead sources.
What do we mean by this?
We mean: buy space where local consumers are investing their mindshare. Leverage the same online sources of information that people who will soon need a mortgage tend to spend time.
And doing this is getting easier than ever thanks to retargeting technology.
“ … mortgage professionals shouldn’t necessarily be mimicking the marketing habits of their real estate agent contacts, they should be mimicking the browsing habits of consumers.”
Retargeting is a marketing tactic that was spawned from the information gathering habits of website hosting companies. To better track Internet users, the “cookie” was created. This is probably not new information.
How do you think Amazon knows to offer you products related to your previous purchases? Or how movie theaters companies are able to advertise showtimes at locations nearest you?
In brief, retargeting uses these data tags to display the same ad to the same person on a range of different websites. The true power emerges when a person in Des Moines is shown an ad for their local mortgage pro when reading the website of The New York Times, for example.
When local business, of any variety, advertises in this fashion, its reach appears more vast, its brand more viable, not to mention business savvy.
There’s psychology at play here, too.
Like running into a neighbor while visiting an exotic destination, the juxtaposition of your next-door neighbor in a far off place creates a memorable “out-of-context” reaction. The same happens with display advertising plans that use retargeting.
The attention given to the out-of-place subject carries a great deal of resonance with the person experiencing the reaction. Thus, an advertiser’s message carries more weight.
“Internet display advertising for mortgage professionals can deliver long-running, measurable ROI.”
In combination with other traditional methods of outreach, such as email marketing, direct mail, or event sponsorship, Internet display advertising for mortgage professionals can deliver long-running, measurable ROI.
Additionally, digital marketing providers offer retargeting tools that will replicate ads on Facebook, helping build a comprehensive Internet presence.
Remember that digital advertising is exceptionally traceable, meaning it’s very easy to determine from where a lead originated and thus, prove the worth of your ad buy.
Those figures have far-reaching benefits, helping determine which websites your prospects read and at what time of day they’re active online, for starters. This is a terrific method for marketing-savvy mortgage professionals to assemble customer profiles. From there, your advertising only gets more targeted.
The Internet isn’t going to stop having an influence on the mortgage business. Professionals need to recognize that advertising on it can be a compelling supplement to what they’re already doing.
With a well-orchestrated online advertising plan that leverages retargeting, mortgage professionals can easily reach more local customers than ever, even when they’re reading far-off websites.