As we close out our reporting for 2017, we like to look back on the entire year and evaluate what we did well and what needs improvement. It’s a healthy process that helps us refine our value and make larger adjustments, in addition to the smaller improvements we implement on a regular basis. When we reviewed our clients’ lead generation metrics for 2017, we were very proud of what we’d delivered to our clients and thought it was worth sharing.
Lead generation with marketing and sales alignment is a major point of value for our clients, and it’s what separates us from other agencies. New business opportunities can be hard to come by, particularly in the form of qualified sales leads. Our comprehensive campaigns and industry-specific approach gives us a unique advantage; we simply know our industries really well. Our industry focus and expertise allows us to understand what your ideal customers are searching for and deliver the results that you want.
To complement our industry knowledge, we also understand the marketing and sales process. Our efforts align with your sales team’s goals, and we work with you to bring strangers through the buyer journey and turn them into customers.
In 2017 we generated a total of 7,079 sales leads for our clients. That includes every phone call, contact form submission, quote request, and content download request. Our comprehensive campaigns are set up across a wide range if channels including organic website traffic, paid website traffic, content offers, social media and local search engine optimization (SEO). Here is the breakdown by industry:
If you’re after strategic growth in 2018, you need to start with marketing that drive sales. And that starts with creating new business opportunities in the form of leads. We have cracked the code on lead generation in the above industries. Let us help you with intuitive web design, industry best practices in SEO and inbound marketing, effective PPC and social media advertising, and compelling content. Let us apply our expertise to generating leads for you. Contact us to start that conversation.
Everyone is using email, so it’s a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers. But if you’re doing it wrong—and a lot of companies are—your email marketing efforts can be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid email marketing pitfalls and ensure your email campaigns aren’t in vain:
Don’t Overwhelm your Customers
Everyone with an email address has gotten annoyed with a company that sends them too much email. If you’re bombarding your clients and leads with email everyday, chances are they’ll notice you, and not in a good way. Send too many, and your recipients will be looking for the unsubscribe button.
Also, don’t spam people. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t. You don’t like it, and your leads won’t like it either.
Send the Right Content at the Right Time
Your content must not only be relevant, it should also be timely. If there is seasonality in your industry, ensure that the content you’re sending right now aligns with those trends. Additionally, your content must be timely in terms of the lead’s point in the buyer’s journey. Leads who are further along in the journey and are nearly ready to purchase won’t respond as well to content explaining what your product does—they already know—as would a lead who is just discovering their need for a solution your product provides.
Intuitively Segment your Leads
Another way to turn off potential clients is to send them an irrelevant email. To make sure you’re sending the right content to the right leads, double-check that you’re segmenting your leads properly. Separate your marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—leads with demonstrated interest in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to make a purchase—from your sales qualified leads (SQLs)—leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and are closer to purchasing.
You’ll probably also want to segment your leads based upon their company size, job title/responsibilities/authority, and pain points; if you’ve created buyer personas, you can use those to segment your leads. Luckily, in email marketing programs like MailChimp and others, it’s easy to segment your leads—so there’s really no excuse not to!
Dumping all of your contacts into your mailing list is not going to be effective. If they aren’t leads or customers, you don’t need to send them email—it’s not going to generate sales, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s just going to annoy people. Plus, it’s going to throw off your numbers: it will be harder to get an accurate picture of your open and click-through rates and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
If you’re interested in implementing techniques for effective email marketing or adding email marketing to your marketing strategy, let’s start that conversation.
For more information on how Evenbound has helped B2B manufacturers draw in qualified leads and massively increase sales, check out the case study below:
Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market (and How to Find it)
As a contractor, 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 absolute 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?
Knowing your target market is the first step to marketing your company in a way that’s smart, cost-effective, and that will provide massive ROI in the long run. 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.
This way, you can develop what we call a buyer persona, to help better understand who these people are and what their pain points are when it comes to their professional lives. The idea 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 blog about buyer personas for a lengthier description on how to develop your own. Then, you can address their pain points and create content and emails that solve those issues for them. Once you’ve collected a great deal of information for those contacts in your current market, and you’ve got a few solid buyer personas going, start to do the same for primary points of contact in your goal target market.
While it’s important to develop personas for the people you most often contact, you’ll also need to understand the decision-makers. 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 established buyer personas for 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.
Once you’ve made up your buyer personas, it’s time to take a good, hard look at the information you’ve collected. What are the pain points that all personas 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, and the personas you’ve created to figure out how best to use this information to your benefit.
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. When you’re first working on defining your target market, start with just three of the most relevant buyer personas. Develop content that is rich and useful to those three personas, and watch to see how that content affects your business. This gives you a solid platform to build from, and once you’ve perfected the content for those three personas, you can branch out into some of the other target personas you’ve identified in your research.
Define Target Market, Boost ROI
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 Evenbound. 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. Feel free to set up a no-obligation consultation with our President, John Heritage, to see how we can help.
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.
Evenbound helps Avalon Pointe gain $9.5mm in sales revenue in just 24 months using our proven digital marketing strategy.
A community housing development of ranch-style duplex and three-unit condominiums, Avalon Pointe is located in Caledonia, MI, just a short drive from downtown Grand Rapids. Avalon Pointe is focused on providing their residents a stress-free lifestyle, offering amenities like a private swimming pool and clubhouse, regular social events and activities, and free maintenance services like snow removal and lawn care. Avalon Pointe recognized that they needed to market to a specific niche of residents who would fit well within their condominium community, and came to Evenbound. They had a goal of driving qualified traffic to an attractive digital platform and converting that traffic into qualified leads for their sales team.
Challenge to Drive Qualified Traffic and Deliver Sales Leads
Like most developers, Avalon Pointe needed qualified leads to generate real estate sales. With our history of creating comprehensive, effective marketing strategies for housing developers and home builders, Evenbound was up to the task, and drew on previous experience to build an attractive new website and put together a strategy to generate the sales leads Avalon Pointe needed.
The Evenbound Solution:
We began our digital marketing strategy for Avalon Pointe by first identifying our audience and generating qualified traffic that fit key factors like income, geography, net worth, age, etc. We tapped into several channels to make sure we were targeting those key buyers on every level, from social media to email to paid ads to organic search results. When that qualified traffic started making it to the Avalon Pointe website, they were met with our planned, researched conversion tactics and turned into legitimate sales leads. Our marketing strategy was again proven overwhelmingly effective, as Avalon Pointe quickly began to sell units, and is now almost completely sold out.
Our Results Speak For Themselves:
TOTAL UNITS SOLD: 38 TOTAL VOLUME: $9,500,000 TIME TO SELL OUT: 2 years
But total unit sell out is just the beginning of the Evenbound results. In the time we’ve worked with Avalon Pointe, our strategy has generated the following sales metrics:
More than 1,207 online leads
Average 50 leads per month over 24 months
Average of $12.53 per lead
$4.31 per Facebook lead
$20.74 per Adwords lead
Average of 830 website visitors per month
Over the last 6 years, we’ve worked to crack the code for real estate development marketing, and this is just one example of our irrefutable success. We generate the demand and interest you need to keep your sales pipeline full.
Are your sales lagging? Do you generate enough leads to hit your sales goals? Are you struggling to fill units? Evenbound can help.
Our strategy is especially effective for home builders and developers because we understand the goals and challenges of the industry, and we tailor our efforts to each client’s specific needs, ensuring you get the results you want. If you’d like to learn more about our tactics and see how our strategy boasts an attractive ROI for developers of every kind, check out the case studies below:
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
With shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, Love it or List it, and pretty much anything on HGTV, it’s obvious that today’s consumer is very interested in homebuilding. Even when it’s not their own home, people love to look to at before and after photos, and imagine their own home looking that spectacular. The innate human interest in home building gives real estate developers like you a real leg up when you’re working on marketing your development. Even luckier is our society’s current fascination with social media, which makes marketing your development a breeze, if you just know how to engage that key buyer who loves home building projects, and is interested in buying in your area.
If you’ve been doing any digital marketing at all, you know that Facebook is a remarkably successful outlet for marketing your real estate development. The question is though, how do you build on the existing following you have? Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think. You’re selling something that a lot of Facebook users already want. Here are a few ways you can tailor your content for super engaging Facebook posts that are sure to boost your following:
There’s nothing people love more than looking at before and after photos. From infomercials on the newest ab machine to finished houses, it’s one of the easiest ways to get people engaged in any product. If you’ve finished a development, or are completing the interior design of your model homes, have a professional photographer come over, and post those new home photos in an album. By labeling the album, your followers will be able to figure out which development the home is in, and where it’s located, which gives them a better chance of picturing themselves in the home itself. What’s more, good before and after progress photos typically generate a lot of engagement. If you have a really outstanding album, it’s likely to be shared by some of your followers, which ensures it gets more new eyes, expanding your Facebook following.
Share community news
As a real estate developer, you’re selling more than just houses. You’re selling a community. So whether you’re marketing a sustainable living community, or a housing development that’s set up for retirees, be sure to share community news that will get your target buyers excited about the community. Whether you’ve got a block party going on for Labor Day weekend, or you’re opening the community greenhouse, the more you can share with people about the goings on of your housing development, the better they’ll be able to see themselves fitting in that fun, happening community.
If you thought photos got a lot of engagement from your followers, wait until you post a quality video tour. People are inherently curious, and everyone wants to know what the house down the street looks like on the inside. Video tours are a cool, updated way to show off your handiwork, and they get people interested in both the projects you’ve completed, and the floorplan you’re showcasing. In addition to drawing in quality leads, video tours are highly shareable, and when yours start circulating Facebook, they’re sure to start drawing in more followers.
The best way to boost your following is to get people involved with your company’s Facebook page. If you’re putting out quality content that they like to look at, that’s awesome, but your page will do even better if your followers are engaged. Ask your followers questions! You’d be surprised at how controversial home design can be. Consider throwing out a photo with a uniquely designed aspect of one of your recent projects, and ask your followers what they think. You might just spark a lively online discussion. Open vs. closed floorplan? Master bedroom on the first or second level? These sorts of questions are sure to get people involved, and the more people who get involved, the bigger your following will get.
Facebook contests are very low risk, and they do a lot to boost your Facebook following. For example, say you want to do a giveaway for the holidays. Post a photo of the prize you’re offering to the winner, whether it’s a Kitchen-Aid, a mini-fridge, or just a set of pots and pans. Then, tell people what they have to do to enter in your contest: like your page, share the giveaway post, tag one or two friends, or even post their favorite holiday cookie recipe! Then, you can choose a winner at random.
When the contest is over, someone goes home happy with the prize, and you end up with all of those additional followers and shares. Over the course of the contest, you’ll have gotten a ton more likes, more followers to show your amazing content to, and a lot of shares that connect your housing development to a new crop of potential buyers. Not only have you boosted your Facebook following, you’ve increased your chances for more qualified leads.
Share company birthdays and important events
These days, consumers want to work with businesses they trust and feel invested in. If you regularly post employee birthdays, anniversaries of your company’s founding day, or breaking ground days for new projects, you’re reminding your followers that your company is made up of a bunch of people just like them. When your business is personal, people feel like they know you better and can trust you, which makes them more likely to work with you. The more people who want to work with you, the bigger your Facebook following.
The more active you are on Facebook, the more followers you’re going to get. Be sure to comment and reply back to followers who ask questions or comment on your posts. What’s more, try to actively repost and share interesting content from other accounts that are relevant to your current followers. By sharing content you didn’t write, you expand your Facebook base to the followers of whoever you reposted. The more active your account, the more legitimate you look to ranking bots, which means your Facebook page will pop up higher in search engine results pages. So like and share when you can, and you’ll be sure to see that Facebook following expand.
Facebook is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools out there for real estate developers. If you’re active on your page, and combine those organic marketing efforts with a solid Facebook Ad Campaign, you’ll grow your following and see the high number of qualified leads you want. But if you’re still not sure how to optimize your real estate development’s digital marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to give Evenbound a shout. We’ve cracked the code to real estate development marketing, and can deliver the qualified leads and high conversion rates you need to fill your developments in no time at all.
To see just how the Evenbound strategy delivers real results and fills housing developments, check out the case study below: