Guest post courtesy of Bob Samii, CEO of SharpLaunch
It’s one of the great challenges of marketing. How do you get more people on the phone, on your website, and into meetings?
Whether you’ve tried a handful of tactics before without strong results or are starting to invest in commercial property marketing for the first time, there’s a method to the madness of generating new leads from your marketing efforts.
We’re going to look at five key areas where you can make an impact with smart marketing decisions.
Click here to download the full Commercial Real Estate Marketing Playbook.
1. Developing a Marketing Strategy
Before investing a hard earned-cent, you need a plan.
A good marketing strategy lays the groundwork for everything you build and promote, while providing key metrics against which to measure success.
Start planning your marketing strategy by defining your goal, your target and context. You need to know your unique selling point to structure your messaging around it.
Then start implementing your strategy through a balanced mix of Earned, Paid, and Owned media:
- Earned Media – This includes free channels on which you earn exposure such as search engines (Google), and social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter).
- Paid Media – This includes performance-based channels or paid channels like cost-per-click in Google, banner ads on CRE targeted websites, remarketing through Facebook or Google and paid promotions in newsletters or digital magazines.
- Owned Media – Finally, there are the channels you own – your blog, your property websites, social media profiles and your email marketing list.
A good marketing strategy should balance investment in earned and paid media alongside development of a strong owned media portfolio.
Your brand – it’s the single most important component of any marketing efforts.
You need a strong, recognizable brand, consistently presented across all channels, so your leads will have a positive image of your company and remember you on every step in their buyer journey.
What goes into a strong brand? There are three places you should focus first and foremost:
- Recognizable name and logo for the property – Whenever possible, make sure the name of your building or its address are included in the website title and domain name. A custom logo that captures your CRE company’s brand while highlighting the individual property is also highly recommended.
- Professional Photography – High quality photography is vital for CRE professionals. These photos can be used on your website, in brochures ad flyers, on offering memorandums, in ads, and on listing portals. This is the first impression you make with potential investors or tenants and it needs to be strong. It’s the one thing that can give an edge in an increasingly competitive market.
- Quality Copywriting – Exceptional photography will only get you so far. At the end of the day, copy on your site needs to be equally strong. Well-written property descriptions, finely polished for grammar and spelling mistakes, and evocative of the property’s best features will make all the difference.
The one-two punch of quality photography and copywriting can wow your visitors, capture attention, and make your listings stand out against the competition wherever they are published.
3. Building a Web Presence
With a strategy in hand and strong branding in place, it’s time to build a web presence that makes your property marketing campaigns possible. In the Property-Websites-Survey-Report In today’s online world, having a corporate site is a given. By implementing a building-level website, you will stand apart from 51% of your competition!
There are three core components to building a web presence that gets the job done:
- Property Website Quality – 80% of investors and tenants start their search online, so owned media is a must. Well organized property websites should provide high quality descriptions, specifications and amenity lists; easy access to company information and property management information; and an easy to use contact forms that enable visitors to contact you.
- Optimize for SEO – Your website’s structure, layout, and content will directly impact how it ranks in Google for the terms you know your target prospects are searching for. Google evaluates hundreds of factors to rank websites, but some of the most important include the quality, length and detail of content on the site, time spent on the site, and overall user experience. Fast load times, well written descriptions, and detailed content with original photography are all vital to this.
- Domain Name Selection – Choose a domain name that is memorable, matches your property, and fits what Google’s algorithm is looking for. Use the property name whenever possible, keeping it short and hyphen free. Always check for trademarks and use a .COM if at all possible.
A well-built website with the right combination of content and preparation can make all the difference in your future marketing efforts.
4. Driving Traffic
Now it’s time to get people on your website. There are several ways to drive traffic immediately, including:
- Google AdWords – More than 31% of the global digital advertising market runs through Google AdWords. It’s a behemoth, allowing you to target keywords in search, display ads on demographically matched websites, remarketing to past visitors, and videos.
- Email Marketing – Email still offers some of the best ROI in marketing, and for good reason. People read email and respond to it wherever they are. Write concise, compelling emails and you can cut through and make an impact. That means short, direct subject lines, well-timed email sends, list segmentation, and followups as needed.
- CRE Listing Sites – In addition to the biggest directories like Xceligent and CoStar, create profiles on as many applicable sites as possible. There are dozens of sites based on your location, property types, and budget.
- Internal Assets – Still looking for traffic? Look internally. You have a list of tenants, project team brokers, property managers, and other contacts you can email, a blog you can update regularly, a company newsletter you can send, and much more you can do promote your efforts.
5. Metrics and Reporting
Finally, there are the metrics. How will you measure success? Let’s look at some of the key metrics you should be tracking to ensure everything you invest in works as expected:
- Total Visits – How many people reach your site?
- Lead Conversion Rate – Of those visits, what percentage contacts you?
- Total Leads – How many total leads are you generating?
- Sales Conversion Rate – Are you converting a high percentage of leads to sales?
- Sales – Are you generating enough total sales? What are their values?
Ask these questions frequently and evaluate your efforts to ensure your investment is driving real returns for your business.
Bob Samii, CEO of SharpLaunch
SharpLaunch is a fully-integrated commercial real estate marketing software.