Like many successful musicians, Jay Z has mastered the art of branding himself. With the release of his latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, in early July he demonstrated his marketing expertise with a fittingly innovative strategy. While you might not think there are parallels between an album release and real estate; we’ve found three things that will transform your marketing strategy.
1. Be yourself and connect with your audience in your natural habitat
A crucial component of Jay Z’s strategy was to showcase the time he spends in the recording studio, a place that is his sanctuary and a place where he generates ideas to drive his business forward. Using behind-the-scenes footage, he generated ads that felt more like content than promotional material. Real estate agents can take advantage of the same technique.
Video is the ideal medium for you to communicate to your prospects. Simply show your prospects and clients what drives you and how you prepare to meet their needs. Rather than using a recording studio as your location, your video could be shot while you are driving to a listing appointment, leaving a training seminar, working in your office, preparing for an open house, or turning the keys over to a new buyer. Video allows people to get to know you, so remember to be charismatic while demonstrating knowledge of your craft.
Once you’ve got your video ready and uploaded to YouTube, Vine, Instagram, or elsewhere — it’s time to make sure your target audience sees it. You can’t just sit back and hope they’ll find it; break through the clutter with smart social promotion on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other social networks that fit your target audience.
2. Be the one-stop information source to satisfy your “fans”
Jay Z engages his fans by balancing posts about his upcoming releases with other relevant hip-hop related posts. He posts about everything related to hip hop, such as changes in the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), explanations of his lyrics, and updates on other current artists.
Similarly, you should start thinking of your audience as your “fans” and provide information on things that your clients may find relevant — from tips on home decorating to suggestions on the best time to qualify for a mortgage. You should strive to be a one-stop shop for real estate information and insight.
Your audience is much more likely to explore your links if they always find them stimulating and/or helpful. Further, you’ll show that you’re well connected in the business and up on the latest news. Posting outside content also shows you are a valuable resource of information. Marketing posts are important, but links to other trusted resources will keep you from being too self-promotional. Social media strategist, Rebekah Radice, says that real estate pros can boost their social media engagement by posting content other than their own, by being engaged, and by being human.
3. Be everywhere and promote yourself early
Jay Z is well acquainted with this fact from Nielsen: nearly 25% of album sales come in the first week and there is over a 70% drop-off in digital sales from week one to week two. This requires significant focus on early promotion to make the most out of week one. Jay Z pulled out all of the stops in his marketing plan before his album launched.
Here are a few examples of his tactics:
- Partnerships: Exclusively launched his album in partnership with Samsung
- Visual Branding: Connected his album art for the Magna Carta with a copy of the actual Magna Carta
- Audience Targeting: Launched his commercials during the NBA finals where most of his audience and fans would be tuning in
Technology is creating the same “Week One” phenomenon in the real estate market that is occurring in the record industry. The number of houses that sell in the first week is up 54% vs. last year. This is largely due to buyers being able find new houses almost
instantly through online promotions and mobile technology. For you, that means in order to get the best opportunities for your seller to find the right buyers, you have to be everywhere and you have to be there before week one. Here are some tactics you can use to build your brand and create buzz like Jay Z:
Build relationships with local service providers like mortgage brokers to create a high-quality referral network. LinkedIn is in ideal place to do to this. Invest your time here to generate referrals before week one.
Branding: Invest in high-quality imagery and visuals so that when you promote yourself and you client’s listing, you have the highest potential impact. And don’t be afraid to include some of your personality; how you present yourself is how you begin to differentiate yourself. As John Furgurson advises on his Brand Insight Blog:
“Remember, image matters. Execution matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you use sloppy, poorly-lit photos on your website or your LinkedIn page, that’s going to reflect poorly on you.”
Targeting: As a real estate agent you’ve got a real advantage over an internationally famous musician — your market is based on geography. That means you can zero in on a region, a city, a neighborhood or just a street and really get to know your audience. And it means that you can target them with promotional materials — post cards, signage, even billboards.
The latest technology even allows you to target your local market while they’re online. That means that just like Jay Z was able to find a market for his new release through a TV campaign that debuted during the NBA Finals…you can reach prospects while they surf the web, shop or visit their favorite news sites. AdWerx just launched their new Promote Your Brand online campaign builder Try it here.
So have I convinced you? Are you starting to see that there’s not only a lot to learn from Jay Z … there’s a lot to learn about successful marketing all around us, every day. So don’t limit your research or your inspiration to the tried and true. In fact, let us know where you find ideas in the comments below.