What’s your Real Estate Development’s Story?

What’s your Real Estate Development’s Story?

What’s your Real Estate Development’s Story?

When it comes to real estate development, marketing isn’t always an easy task. Rather than selling just one home, you’re selling a whole bunch of homes at once, and that means speaking to a much larger number of people. That’s why it’s so important for real estate developers to tell a story. If you think about it, you’re selling people on a lifestyle, not a piece of land. No homeowner is going to purchase a home in a real estate development because the land is really nice. Instead, they’re looking for a place they can call home, where they’ll hang out with their neighbors and raise their kids. That’s why real estate developers need to find their community’s story, and tell it in a way that rings true with the right people.

So, if you’re working on beefing up your real estate development marketing strategy, here are a few tips to help you pinpoint the story of your development. To help illustrate our tips, we’ll be using real-life examples from one of our own housing development clients‘ website.

What Do Your Residents Do?

What does a day in the life of your ideal resident look like? Do they work full-time, and if so where? If they don’t work, is it because they’re home with the kids, or because they’re retired? When you have a better idea of what your residents’ lifestyle looks like, you’ll be able to market to them more directly. You can tailor your development’s story to fit their unique lifestyle, and when you know what they do for a living, you’ll also have a better idea of where to set the price point.

Our client, formally known as Sovereign Oaks, worked to pinpoint their ideal resident, and found that their perfect buyer was the type of person who wanted to live somewhere peaceful, where they could raise a family or take in the beautiful natural surroundings, but who also valued cultural experience. As you can see from their homepage, they made sure to incorporate those values into their development’s story by showing potential buyers that their development was located in the peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but just minutes away from downtown Asheville.

 

asheville-lifestyle-awaits

What Do Your Residents Like?

Once you know what your residents do in their daily lives, you’ll want to discover what it is they do in their free time. What do they like, what are their values, and what sort of community do they picture themselves in? If you’re building a retirement community, your residents will want to know about things to do that are very close to the community. They’ll also want to know what sort of support they’ll have access to at home, like a lawn care service, or help with around-the-house repairs. If your community is geared towards younger residents, know that they’ll care less about community services, and more about what they can do in the area, like music and shows going on in town, and possible activities to do with the kids.

Sovereign Oaks recognized that a number of people in their price point wanted to live in a community that valued sustainable living practices. They included things like a community garden and encouraged backyard farming and beekeeping. But since their residents are younger, they also made sure to show that they were up-to-date technologically.

 

sovereign-oaks-website

The above slider, with just a header and a single sentence, convey both of those ideas neatly and easily. Here, Sovereign Oaks is telling potential residents their development’s story. It’s a simple, easy place to live, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have all of your technological luxuries. With state-of-the-art technology they’re able to provide a fiber optic line to each house, ensuring each resident has a superior internet connection.

Choose Three Words to Describe Your Community:

The best way to go about telling your real estate development’s story is to start with a concise idea. One way to make sure your story is consistent, and your marketing content is always on message, is to pick three words that together, describe the culture of your community. For Sovereign Oaks, those three words are something like: tranquil, sustainable, and convenient. From there, and using those three words as core concepts when describing their community, it’s easy to explain to potential residents that when you live at Sovereign Oaks, you’re living in a community that’s peacefully quiet, that values sustainability, and that’s easy to get to-and-from.

Since the formally Sovereign Oaks, now Couch Mountain story is so clear, it’s easy to qualify or disqualify potential leads, and they’re not often approached by people who won’t be a good fit for their community. In addition to attracting potential buyers who are well suited to purchase their homes, they’re also attracting home buyers who will fit in well with the rest of the residents already living in the community.

Put Your Story on the Web

Once you’ve decided what your real estate development’s story is, it’s time to write it down and put it out on the web. Make sure your message is clear and accompanied by beautiful professional photos of your community. Remember that buyers are most compelled by a community that’s easy to envision themselves in. Show visitors to your site what life looks like at your development, because if they can picture themselves living there, they’re likely to pick up the phone and give you a call.

If you’re interested to know more about how Evenbound drives results for developers, check out the case study below. Or if you’re looking for information on marketing your own housing development, get in touch.

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Inbound Marketing Forecast 2018

Inbound Marketing Forecast 2018

The inbound and digital marketing sphere has changed quite a bit in the past year. Where last year, we were just hearing about personal assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, this year, they’ve been fully installed in thousands of homes. Fewer consumers are searching with desktops, and the great majority of all web searches are conducted via mobile device. In addition to all the technology improvements and changes, there’s been a noticeable shift in consumer habits to the hyperlocal. More and more people are searching businesses, restaurants, and services within their own area, which provides a lot of opportunities for digital marketers but does require a bit of a change in tactics.

As inbound marketers ourselves, we’ve been reviewing our progress this past year and looking forward to new trends likely to arise in 2018. If you’re working on optimizing your inbound and digital marketing strategies in the new year, here’s our inbound marketing forecast for 2018: a few of the biggest changes we expect to see that will directly affect how we do our jobs and help our clients.

Greater Focus on Mobile

Mobile devices continue to function as the number one way consumers search the web, meaning mobile search is going to change the game in 2018. No matter whether they’re looking for a nearby restaurant or searching for a video on how to change their own oil, most people Google their questions first via a mobile device. The idea that searches are primarily done on mobile devices first isn’t a huge surprise; Google has been optimizing their indexing system to prioritize mobile users for a few years now. Just because it’s old news, though, doesn’t mean digital marketers shouldn’t pay attention. All SEO initiatives should be implemented with mobile users first in mind, and anyone without a mobile responsive website should really consider an update within the year.

It’s good to remember that Google launched their Mobile-First Indexing system in 2017, and we’re just beginning to see the full effects. That system prioritizes mobile versions of sites first and foremost, and indexes websites based on the content hosted on the mobile version, rather than the desktop version. So, if you’re still running an “m.” mobile site with abbreviated content, you’ll want to make some changes to ensure your site continues to rank well for competitive keywords.

New SEO Trends to Watch For

When it comes to SEO, digital marketers are always aiming at a moving target. 2018 is no different, and new technology like personal assistants, as well as the rise of video marketing, shift our target yet again. Google also holds a heavy influence on SEO best practices, so we’ll start there:

Nix Mobile Pop-Ups

As part of Google’s revamped mobile-first indexing, they’re frowning upon mobile pop-ups that interfere with user experience. Where in the past, pop-ups were a great way to get the user’s attention and convince them to give you an email address, Google has determined that they frustrate mobile users. Now, mobile sites using pop-ups that cover a certain percentage of the screen could receive slight penalties that will affect search rankings. Check Hubspot’s article on pop-up mobile marketing for the nitty-gritty.

SEO for Voice Search and Personal Assistants

Probably one of the biggest trends we see coming down the pipeline this year are voice searches and searches via personal assistants like Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. They’ll be a big game changer for SEO experts, but if you get ahead of the game, you’re likely to rank highly for relevant long-tail keywords with low competition.

When it comes to voice search, the name of the game is intent, and it’s actually a great boon to digital marketers. Basically, instead of typing in keywords like “blueberry pancakes” or “snow shovel”, a consumer is going to ask Alexa, “Where can I find the best blueberry pancakes near me?” or “Where can I purchase a snow shovel?”. The difference is that in the voice search, you know exactly where a consumer is in the buyer’s journey, and you can bid on long-tail keywords that you know point to qualified leads who are ready to buy.

It’s all well and good to bid on paid ads you know will get you leads, but you’ll have to do a little bit more work than that if you’d like to rank for some of those key voice searches. Digital marketers and inbound marketers alike will be focused on creating more natural content that’s centered around questions and phrases a human would actually use, rather than Google’s search bots.

Social Media Shift

As you’d imagine, the social media world has continued to shift into 2018. Facebook has long been the primary platform for marketers, but other social media sites are beefing up their advertising platforms to remain competitive. What’s more, because consumer needs and desires have changed, the way we’re using social media is set to shift this year. Here’s a look at a few of the bigger changes we expect to see in 2018:

Instagram for B2Cs

Since no one’s really figured out how to monetize Twitter, and possibly never will, many B2C companies have turned to Instagram, and the numbers are looking pretty good. Though Facebook will continue to be the social media ad-king through 2018, thanks to its exceptional targeting tools, many B2Cs have been seeing increasing success with Instagram. In less than a year, its new Instagram Stories have become more popular than Snapchat, and companies are seeing a great deal of engagement from brand influencers on the platform. What’s more, you’ll see Instagram continue to bulk up its advertising controls to ensure that digital marketer’s messages get through to the target consumers.

LinkedIn for B2Bs

No surprise here: LinkedIn continues to be a key social media platform for B2Bs. What’s new, though, is LinkedIn’s improvements to the platform. They refreshed their interface, for starters, but they’ve also made significant, positive changes to their advertising platform, which is looking pretty slick. Marketers can choose the shape, size, and style of their ads, target the ads to certain industries and even specific companies, and LinkedIn also offers an expansion feature, where they choose audiences similar to the ones you’re targeting, so you can expand your ad’s reach in an educated way. This improves LinkedIn’s worth to B2B advertisers and makes it easier to speak to those target buyers where they live.

Increased Engagement Across Social Media Platforms

Social media marketing has long been an integral part of any marketer’s toolbox, but in 2018, it’s looking like increased engagement is what sells. Today’s consumer wants their experience with any company to feel genuine, rather than pushed on them. That’s why companies like Starbucks are seeing tons of positive engagement from campaigns like the “White Cup Contest” where consumers were invited to draw on Starbucks cups and submit their designs to social media platforms via the #whitecupcontest hashtag. The winning design was then printed on a reusable Starbucks cup and sold across the country.

Today’s consumer wants to feel like they’re a part of the process, and have a say in what their favorite companies do and produce. Customer reviews have long held a great deal of sway in Google rankings, but in 2018, we’ll start to see consumer engagement surpass just reviews. If you’re looking to get the word out about your company, we suggest you invite increased engagement across social media platforms in whatever way you can, whether that’s asking for consumer opinions, or starting a contest like Starbucks’ White Cup Contest, that gets consumers invested in your brand.

New Marketing Platforms to Explore

New technology invites new marketing opportunities. In 2018, we expect to see a great deal of changes as to where, and how we market digitally thanks to video media’s rise in popularity, and the ease of use that home assistants provide. Again, technology isn’t the only thing that’s causing a shift in how marketers get their jobs done. Changing consumer habits will affect how we market as well this year. Here are three big changes we expect to see in 2018:

Voice Marketing

We’ve already talked about voice marketing a bit, but it really is a burgeoning aspect of digital marketing that we can’t ignore. If you’re looking for new ways to expand your digital marketing efforts, keep voice search and personal assistants in mind. Consumers are searching with those long-tail keywords, which means content that’s targeted to more natural, native phrases will start to see better rankings and more engagement.

Video Marketing

In addition to the fact that mobile internet use will increase, mobile video consumption is predicted to grow by more than 25% in 2018. Live video was one of the biggest new trends to hit social media this past year, and as attention spans grow shorter, many marketers are finding that video marketing is a key way to grab and hold onto new leads. Video marketing also speaks to the transparency that younger consumers appreciate and search for.

When you show consumers how your product works, what your employees look like, and exactly what you do every day at your company, you’re providing a genuine experience for new potential leads, and that’s what younger consumers appreciate, and are latching onto more often. Break into video marketing easily with a simple tour of your company’s store, factory, or facility. People love to see “how things are made” and an up-close look at what you do makes it easier for consumers to associate you as more than just a brand—a marketing strategy that’s proven to sell.

Local Marketing

With the rise of voice search and local-first movements encouraging consumers to support their community by purchasing from local, small businesses, local marketing has begun to see a significant increase in the past few years. Expect to see considerably more local marketing in 2018, as Google has now rolled out Google Posts for small businesses, Facebook’s introduced Facebook Local, and Google has rebranded their home services advertising platform to Google Local Services.

There’s a huge push to stand out in the local area, and these advertising options are making it much easier for local businesses to be seen, and discovered by local searchers. Continue to optimize your local marketing strategy by pushing keywords focused on location, ensuring NAP is consistent across platforms, and regularly updating your business’ Google Business Page, as well as your Facebook Page and website.

Inbound Marketing Strategies to Implement in 2018

At HA Digital Marketing, we’re firm believers in the power and success of inbound marketing, which is why we apply the inbound philosophy to everything we do for our clients. Inbound is proven to draw in qualified leads, and turn them into long-term customers, which is why we’ll be implementing the following inbound marketing strategies as we move into 2018:

Better Understanding of Buyer’s Journey

Today’s consumer values transparency, trust, and information. They don’t want to be marketed to, but they do appreciate information that’s relevant to their specific pain points. That’s why in 2018, digital marketers should strive to use data to identify pain points for each and every step of their company’s buyer’s journey. Learn what sort of content they appreciate, and when, and use that data to better inform your overall marketing strategy. Potential clients will thank you for the attention, and your optimized marketing strategy will shorten the sales cycle.

Personalized Content

In the same vein, 2018 is the year to forget mass email blasts and generalized ads. Consumers can spot them from a mile away, and they don’t get anyone’s attention anymore. Instead, focus on hyper-segmenting your content and emails, and ensuring you’re generating a personalized experience for each potential client. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. There are a number of tools out there that can help you automatically incorporate each lead’s name to different landing pages, emails, and advertisements. From there, it’s a matter of segmenting your content by industry and job title so that each lead is receiving content that speaks specifically to their job, and their unique pain points.

Topic Cluster Content Strategy

Another inbound marketing strategy that’s on the rise in 2018 is called topic clusters, or content clusters. A topic cluster content strategy offers an organized way to create content that hits every major long-tail keyword related to each major focus area of your company and boosts your search engine rankings by linking those different pages of related content together. It sounds confusing and difficult to implement, but it’s probably not all that different from what you’ve been doing, if you’ve got a comprehensive content strategy already. Here’s a visual of what a topic cluster for content strategy looks like:

Not so scary after all, right?

Start with a pillar page. This is a page that offers a general overview of one topic in the broadest terms. Think of it like a topic 101 page: the basics that everyone should know about your topic. Let’s say you’re the owner of a coffee roasting company looking to generate some online traffic. Your first pillar page might be “Roasting Coffee 101: The Basics.” You’ll give your readers the most general information about roasting coffee. Then, your subsequent topic pages will be related to that pillar page, but will offer more depth on one specific subject, allowing you to target a long-tail keyword like “The Best Way to Roast Arabica Beans.” Each cluster content page like that one will link to the pillar page, offering your readers more information on the subject they’re already interested in.

But helping your readers dive further into your site, and understand your product more fully aren’t the only benefits of topic clusters. Topic clusters also function to link content for one target audience or buyer persona together, and they link all of those similar-themed keywords together as well. This helps you boost your search engine rankings, as if one page does really well, the others linked to it will also see a positive boost in rankings, thanks to your strategic hyperlinks. So, if your company’s New Years resolution was to boost your Google rankings, know that topic clusters are an ideal place to start.

Conclusion

We’re going to see a ton of changes to the digital marketing sphere this year, some we can predict, and others that we can’t. What we know is that mobile traffic will only continue to rise, as will local marketing and targeted advertising via social media platforms. Savvy digital marketers will recognize these trends early in the year, and work to optimize their marketing strategies to accommodate them, as well as newer technology like personal assistants and live video. As we mentioned before, digital marketing is always a bit like trying to hit a moving target, and 2018 will be no different.

If you’ve got any questions on the trends and strategies mentioned in this article, or if you’d like more information about digital marketing in the new year, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be optimizing our digital marketing strategy to fit with new 2018 trends, and would love to help you out too! If you’re interested in making use of our years of experience and digital marketing savvy, it all starts with a conversation.

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Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market (and How to Find it)

Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market (and How to Find it)

Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market (and How to Find it)

As a contractor or a construction company, you don’t have a ton of time. Between juggling different subcontractors, lining up your next projects, and putting out fires that come up unexpectedly, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

Your schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time for marketing, which can mean you’re often forced to take on jobs that aren’t exactly what you’re looking to do, just to keep your schedule full. If you’re looking for a way to start breaking into another market, whether that’s commercial residences like apartment complexes or a higher class of electrical contracting, the first thing you need to do is define your target market. 

If you’ve been bouncing around from job to job, and none of them really seem all that similar, you’re working too hard to get jobs you don’t actually want. It’s time to sit down and define your target market, so you can work smarter, not harder, to get higher paying jobs that you legitimately would like to work on. 

Why Know Your Target Market?

If you’d like to have the power to pick and choose jobs that are best for you, rather than just best for your schedule, you need to define your target market. 

It’ll take a little bit of research on your part, but it’s actually a pretty easy thing to do, and one that will set you apart from other contractors to get you the jobs you legitimately want. 

Defining Your Target Market:

The first thing you need to figure out is who you’re catering to now. What jobs do you take on the most often, and what commonalities do those jobs have? Then, figure out what market you’d like to work in. Sometimes, they’re similar.

For example, if you typically take on smaller projects like commercial apartment renovations, but you want to start building apartment complexes from scratch, that’s not a huge leap to make. It’s just a matter of defining where it is in the market you’d like to work.

Research Primary Points of Contact

Once you’ve figured out where you want to take your business, it’s time to research your primary points of contact. Start with the market you’re already working in.

Who do you most often talk with?

This isn’t always a decision-maker, but the person put in charge of finding a contractor for a project.

Whether this is a project manager or one of the decision-makers’ assistants, these are the people who first reach out to you for a job. It’s important that you figure out as much as you possibly can about these people, from how old they are to the salary they make to how many kids they have.

Your Research Will Fuel Your Buyer Personas, So Take Good Notes

After you’re done gathering all of this information, you’ll be able to use it to develop a buyer persona. We’ll get into these a little more later, but buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal client that help you better understand who these people are and what their pain points are when it comes to their professional lives. 

The goal is to develop three or four buyer personas that give you a window into the lives of the people you most often deal with. Check out this step-by-step guide to defining and developing your buyer personas for a lengthier description on how to write your own. With defined buyer personas, you can address key pain points and create content and emails that solve those issues for them.

While you’re researching your primary points of contact, work hard to take and keep notes that will help you build out these buyer personas. 

Research Decision-Makers

It’s important to develop personas for the people you most often contact, but you’ll also need to understand the decision makers in your target market. Though you won’t deal with these people directly as often, they’re the ones giving your primary points of contact the go ahead to sign with you, and they’re the ones you ultimately need to convince. 

After you’ve finished your research on your primary points of contact, do the same sort of research on those decision makers. Understand what they’re looking for in a contractor, and what problems they most often run into, so you can develop your company to solve those issues. The better you understand the decision makers in your industry, the better you’ll be able to cater your services to them and their unique needs, goals, and pain points. 

Synthesize Information

Once you’ve learned all you can learn about the primary points of contact and the key decision makers in your target market, it’s time to take a good, hard look at the information you’ve collected. 

Are there pain points each of those people share? 

What are some ways that your contracting company speaks to those pain points? 

You provide a unique service that functions to make their lives easier, but how can you translate those services into a language that’s easy for those contacts and decision makers to understand? 

Take a minute to look over the research you’ve done, to get a better sense of how many personas you’ll need, and to determine how you can use your research to develop those buyer personas. 

Turn Key Players in your Target Market into Buyer Personas

Okay, so you’ve done a ton of research. You’ve identified not only the people you typically talk to for jobs in your target market, but also the key decision makers for those ideal projects. You’ve looked into the goals, pain points, and common questions each of those people tend to ask, and you have a pretty clear idea of what they’re looking for. 

Now, it’s time to put all of your notes and research together into buyer personas. 

It’s best to try and keep your buyer personas down to just three or four. I get that can be tough if you’re serving a few different projects in your target market, but it’s likely that some of your points of contact and decision makers have overlapping goals and pain points. 

For example, let’s say you’re working to break into the commercial building market, and you specifically want to build shopping centers and supermarkets. 

Even though those are two vastly different projects, it’s likely that the points-of-contact have similar goals and pain points — they have a budget, a timeline, and specific building requirements they have to meet, and they have to report to the decision maker about all of it. 

It might be worth it to combine those two points of contact into one buyer persona if the content you would offer both of them is largely similar. 

The goal of buyer personas is to give you a roadmap that focuses your marketing and sales efforts to just the tactics that are most effective, and relevant to your target market. 

If you have 15 buyer personas, it’s going to be a lot harder to organize your thoughts and create meaningful content that still has a significant impact on your bottom line. 

Do your best to stick to just three or four buyer personas for now. 

(If you’re really working hard to reel in a specific company, ABM, or account-based marketing is the better way to create a hyper-specific marketing campaign. Use those tactics, rather than creating more buyer personas, to sell to specific companies you know are excellent fits for your contracting company.)

Develop Content for each Target Buyer Persona

Finally, after you’ve done the research, analyzed the information, and know where to go, it’s time to develop content that speaks to each of those target buyer personas you’ve developed. 

From your research, you likely know that each persona has different needs and goals when they’re looking for a contractor, and you can write and share content that speaks to each one of them individually. 

Take care to start small, and write content that you know will be high-impact. For example, if there are questions you’re asked all of the time, or if you’ve identified a few keywords with great search volume and low competition, write content that speaks to those first. 

And make sure you’re tracking the performance of that content, too. This gives you a solid platform to build from, and will show you how each of your efforts are contributing to lead generation, conversions, and sales. 

What’s the Ultimate Benefit of Defining your Target Market?

When it comes to marketing your contracting services, it’s a lot easier to market to a specific group of people than it is to market to the vast population on the internet.

By defining your target market, and the buyer personas within that target market, you’ll be able to generate qualified leads much more efficiently, and at a lower cost to you.

Once you’ve implemented the basic buyer personas, and have started to develop content around each of them, you’ll find it’s much easier, and less time consuming to market in a way that truly generates the leads you want. 

That said, we know defining a target market and building out buyer personas isn’t always easy. If you’re looking for a bit of help on your digital marketing strategy, or aren’t sure where to start when it comes to defining your target market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Evenbound team. We’re experts at developing buyer personas, and we have a knack for unearthing valuable target markets that can place your contracting company exactly where you’d like to be. 

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Why Video Testimonials are Insanely Useful for Home Builders

Why Video Testimonials are Insanely Useful for Home Builders

Why Video Testimonials are Insanely Useful for Home Builders

Today’s home buyer is skeptical. They know there are a number of builders out there looking to make a quick dime, and they won’t even consider talking to anyone before they’ve done a great deal of research. They’re looking for a home builder who understands the type of home they want to build, and one they can trust to get the job done in an honest way. If you’re a home builder in today’s market, you’ll have noticed that it takes a bit longer to get clients on board, and you’re probably looking for ways you can close sales more quickly. One of the absolute best ways to ensure your home building company stands out from the competition is to include video testimonials.

Why Video Testimonials?

Video testimonials offer the highest level of social proof to skeptical home buyers. Not only do they serve as a great way to get positive content up about your building abilities, but they also prove that the quality service you talk about on your website is a genuine benefit of working with you. It’s a way of providing word of mouth referrals in a digital age.

Video testimonials give your company authority and credibility. Any home builder can say that they offer superior communication, and strive to build the dream homes that each of their clients are looking for. By providing video testimonials, you’re proving that your company really is that great by offering a credible third-party review to your potential clients. Video testimonials function just like the online reviews you see on Amazon, but better. If you were purchasing a new blender on Amazon, it’s likely that you’d select a few promising options, and then compare the reviews for each model.

That’s exactly how video testimonials work, but the interesting thing about video testimonials is that they’re irrefutable. Some consumers are still wary of written testimonials because, in reality, anyone could have written them. Video testimonials are much harder to fake, which makes them all that more credible. They’re especially useful for home builders because choosing to build a new home is a major investment. New homeowners are going to want all the proof they can get that your company is legitimate and honest before they even consider calling up your sales department.

How to Get Video Testimonials

It’s actually surprisingly easy to get video testimonials for home builders. If you think about it, you’ve worked closely with a homeowner for months while their home was under construction. You know the homeowners well, and you’ve provided them with the space they’ll call home for decades. Most previous clients will be comfortable talking to you, since they know you well, and as long as they’re satisfied with their home, most of them will be happy to provide a video testimonial.

To get video testimonials from previous clients, all you really need to do is ask. Think of the projects you’re most proud of, and the homes you know your clients love. Then ask if they’d be willing to help your company out by offering a short video testimonial.

It’s a good idea to encourage those giving testimonials to talk about the entire process. You want to leave the testimonial up to the client as much as possible because it should be authentic, but if they ask for a little direction, make it clear that they can talk about the process as a whole. How was it like to work with you through the building process, and of course, how did they feel about the end product? Consumers love a story, and the more information they can get on how your home building company functions throughout the process, the better.

 

Add Progress Photos

Your video testimonials can be relatively informal if you like, but it’s also helpful to consider putting together images of the end product and adding them into the video. This way, potential clients watching your testimonial videos can see and hear from the client but also see visual proof of the work you did for that client. It’s a great way to add another layer of authenticity and showcase the beautiful craftsmanship your company is known for.

 

Feature a Number of Testimonials

Be sure to feature testimonials that are relevant to each target persona. Whether you often work with doctors, wealthy stay-at-home moms, or new couples looking for that first home together, be sure to collect video testimonial from clients who fit into each of your target personas. The more testimonials you have, the better. If you start getting more testimonials than you know what to do with, make a separate page on your website that’s dedicated to testimonials. You can still feature individual videos on other pages, but it’s helpful to have a spot that’s easy to find for those potential clients looking to hear from past clients.

Where Do I Put My Video Testimonials?

Once you have a few video testimonials put together, don’t be afraid to share them anywhere and everywhere. Definitely put them on your website, consider featuring them on your blog, and share them on your social media accounts. Don’t flood every channel of your digital platform with video testimonials all at once, but consider sprinkling those testimonials in anywhere it seems relevant, in a way that’s not aggressive.

For example, you don’t want every single Facebook post you make this month to be a video testimonial, but you might consider posting one new video each week. You won’t want to have 15 testimonials on your homepage, but you could feature one or two in convenient locations, and link to the rest if potential clients want to learn more. It’s also worth considering embedding a video in your regular email newsletter. The testimonial shouldn’t be front and center, and it shouldn’t overshadow whatever helpful content you’re providing in the newsletter, but it’s a good idea to include a testimonial at the end of the email, where people are sure to see it after they’ve gotten through your helpful content.

Use Video Testimonials to Shorten Sales Cycle

If you’re a home builder looking to boost leads and shorten the sales cycle, video testimonials are one great way to do it. They offer credibility and authenticity to your home building company, and they help assuage the worries of skeptical consumers. While video testimonials alone can’t get you more sales, they’re an integral part of a comprehensive, effective digital marketing strategy for any quality home builder. If you’ve got more questions about growing your company’s online presence, or you’d like to professionally implement video testimonials to your website, get in touch.

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SEO vs. Social Media Marketing

SEO vs. Social Media Marketing

SEO vs. Social Media Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from to drive sales. There’s paid advertising on engines like Google, there’s paid advertising on social media sites, there are ways to drive organic traffic through your website, and there are equally as many ways to drive engagement through social media. 

With all the options, it’s tough to figure out which methods might be right for your company, and how much time and money to invest in each.

For this blog post, we’re going to focus primarily on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMM (Social Media Marketing), the two free ways to drive traffic and boost sales. We get the most questions about these two digital marketing methods, likely because they’re the cheapest ways to get eyes on your site, and they’re the two methods that are the most proven.

What’s Best: SEO or SEM?

Most often, people want to know which method is right for them: SEO or SMM. And it makes sense. You don’t want to spend time or money on a digital marketing method that won’t produce the best ROI for your company. But unfortunately, a solution isn’t as easy as picking one or the other. No matter what it is you’re selling, a quality digital marketing strategy makes use of both SEO and SMM strategies. Think of it like this:

SEO is the bones of your operation. First and foremost, you’re catering to the robots that run the Google algorithm, because without their favor, your site will never see the light of day.

SMM is the skin, hair, and makeup. It’s what gives your company a personality, and it’s ultimately what attracts actual people to your website when they trust you as an authority in your industry.

Unfortunately, one can’t exist without the other. If you think about it, when you offer deck repairs and someone types in “deck repair near me” into Google, it’s quality SEO that’s going to make sure your website pops up on the first page of search results. But if you’re looking to get the word out about your deck repair company, social media marketing is what is going to build your following, and let people know that you exist in the first place, before they even head to Google.

So, it’s important to remember that the question isn’t “which one should I use”, but “how should I combine my SEO and SMM efforts to produce the greatest results for me?”

And that question isn’t as easily answered.

Getting Started with SEO

If you’re just starting out, we always recommend you focus on basic SEO. Make sure your site is at least visible to Google, because if Google can’t see your site, no one can see your site. For more info on SEO basics, be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Inbound Marketing

Again, SEO is the bones of your operation, and you need to have quality SEO to have a foundation where you can drive your social media marketing finds. Make sure your website is functional and up-to-date. It should be responsive and user-friendly, so people who make it to your site don’t just bounce right off.

Then focus on creating content that will help you rank for a number of keywords important to you company. Again, you have to rank for people to see your site. Social media marketing is an awesome way to raise awareness about your company, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t contribute to positive rankings in any way, and it doesn’t typically get more eyes on your site. 

SEO typically draws fewer people in, but it’s more effective at converting the people who do make it to your site to customers. So developing SEO content means developing content that solves pain points, and targets keywords. With a base of quality content like this, you can begin to start SMM.

Adding in Quality SMM

Remember that SMM doesn’t mean just creating a Facebook page. Facebook is a graveyard of well-intentioned business pages that no one ever posted to. Just because you have a Facebook page doesn’t mean you’re going to get followers. 

SMM means creating a Facebook page, and creating community around that. Focus on generating content that makes people want to interact with you, rather than buy something from you. 

If you build or remodel homes, post pictures of your projects and invite people to comment. If you’re a lawyer, consider posting fun infographics that breakdown complex legal concepts into easy bite-sized pieces of info, and ask for people to tell you if it makes the concept easier for them to understand. Remember that the primary goal of SMM is to create a community, rather than sell things.

SMM is quick and fleeting. Someone sees your social media post on Facebook or Twitter, and they share it or like it. Most often, SMM doesn’t actually send many people to your site. It functions more to create a community around your company, increasing your reach and alerting this online community that you exist. The goal of SMM is to build a presence that can later be harnessed for sales. Search engine optimization has a much more transactional approach of getting eyes on your page. 

SEO is focused on converting people who do eventually wind up on your site, while SMM works to make sure people know your site and your business exist, even if they don’t go to it.

SEO + SMM = The Ultimate Win

SMM functions as a sort of long game. You’re developing a community around your company’s social media presence, and once that community comes to trust you as an authority in your field, and someone they genuinely enjoy interacting with, they’ll convert to clients when they eventually need your services.

SEO ensures that when there are people who need your services right now, your site is discoverable. A combination of SMM and SEO ensure you’re playing on both fields: the immediate, right now leads, and the long-game: that social media community who will eventually become lifetime clients.

Any quality digital marketing strategy combines both search engine optimization and social media marketing, to ensure you’re catering to both the robots who shape the digital platform your site lives on, and the actual people you need to buy your product and service.

We get that digital marketing strategies are complex, often confusing concepts. If you have more questions on properly harnessing the powers of both SEO and SMM, don’t hesitate to reach out. Evenbound has been in the game for years now, and we’d be happy to help you figure out how to best combine your search engine optimization with your social media marketing strategies.

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