When running your own real estate business, it can be easy to approach marketing as one big task. That approach can make it feel like there is less on your plate. In reality, marketing is a much more sophisticated and nuanced discipline. Two important aspects of this discipline are awareness marketing and lead generation. This article will discuss these two complimentary forms of advertising, exploring their effects on each other, and in turn, your business.
Awareness Marketing vs. Lead Generation
Awareness marketing, or branding is “the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular [service].” Traditionally most real estate marketing falls under this category. For example, real estate stand bys such as post cards, newspaper ads, and yard signs are used to build brand awareness. They get your name out there in a way that guarantees that potential customers will make a connection between your name and quality service.
For more information on brand awareness, check out this post.
Lead generation, on the other hand, is “the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.” Some lead generation marketing that today’s agents are most familiar with include paid advertisements on real estate destinations such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, where agents are hoping to generate a direct response by placing their ads on sites where they know buyers and sellers are actively searching.
Why Awareness Marketing?
So, why brand awareness? If you’ve read our blog, you’ve probably seen the NAR statistics that we often bring up.
With these in mind, it’s easy to see the importance of being known. If 66% of home buyers hire the first agent they interview, it’s vital that people know who you are. If the majority of these home buyers and sellers are using the Internet for their research and only search for two weeks, you need to be incorporating online brand awareness campaigns that will reach these people. As one article states, “The public is more equipped with mobile and social media tools…This means that establishing a strong reputation for good products or services are even more critical to long-term success.”
One industry that really understands the importance of creating buzz is the film industry. Say you’re going to see a movie with your family. Odds are, you’re going to see one that’s been the most top of mind for you. Think about how these movies establish that top of mind position. The actors do interviews, appear on talk shows, and do tons of premieres, where they talk to tons of journalists and photographers. The film studios also do tons of promotion, creating posters, trailers, TV spots, and online ads. It’s a full on awareness marketing blitz.
Read this post to learn more about the stages of the marketing process!
These marketing efforts from don’t end in immediate conversion (ticket purchase), but they play a huge role in keeping that movie at the top of your mind. Agents principally rely on this type of marketing as well, only rather than chasing ticket sales, their endgame is generating phone calls from buyers and sellers who need their services. To do that, just as in the film industry, they need to be top of mind.
Awareness advertising has a few added benefits, other than letting people know who you are. This type of marketing gives you better, more loyal clients. It shows people that you are confident in what you do, and in the end, makes them more confident in hiring you.
The products of this added confidence, happy clients, positive reviews, and referrals, in turn boost your lead generation efforts.
In the end, brand awareness and lead generation work hand in hand. Without knowing who you are or what you offer, prospects are never going to turn into leads. Get your face out there, talk to people, advertise online, engage, and deliver. You’ll be happy that you did!