Building or Community Inbound Marketing Principles
So you’ve created your online business presence according to the rules of inbound marketing (for a refresher course on inbound marketing, go here) and you’re seeing the traffic start to head your way. This is exciting, and of course you want more of it! But how?
One of our favorite ways of increasing traffic and brand awareness in the real estate industry is through creating a presence online to promote a particular area or building that you happen to be selling in. By providing valuable information and insights into your specific community or building, potential customers will begin to see you as an authority in your field. Not only will your articles, blog posts, photos, and event notifications cause increased traffic, but they’ll also make your territory area seem that much more desirable. Are you ready to start? We are!
Strategically Create Your Web Presence
1.Make a Facebook fan page for the building or community you’re representing! First things first, you have to pick a name. Your best bet, if it’s free, is the name of the area that you’re selling in. But if that’s already taken (i.e. Los Feliz / Silverlake / Echo Park), try making your page title a zip code or a certain type of community within that area that you’re trying to target, like Los Feliz Music Community. It may be hard to find the right name, as Facebook currently has 1.4 billion users every month, so be patient!
From there, you have to populate your page—you don’t want it empty, after all! Put your company logo as your profile picture, make a banner out of a photo of your favorite property, and start posting articles and pictures of the neighborhood. And, of course, make sure to set your web address. You want it to be something easy to remember and spell, so be careful!
2.Next up, it’s time to create a Twitter account! While some people consider Twitter’s 140 character limit too constraining, finding creative ways to use that space is a great way to exercise your writing talents. Not only that, but Twitter is currently experiencing a monthly traffic of 236 million visitors. By opening a Twitter account for the community or building, filling out the profile section to best represent the community, and regularly posting relevant news links and photos of the area, people who are interested in what you have to say will flock to your account. Don’t believe you can do achieve a sizable audience base talking about a city or building? Look at StreetsblogLA’s Twitter account for ways to do it right!
3.Don’t neglect LinkedIn! With a surprising 347 million users every month, LinkedIn isn’t just about bragging about your professional accomplishments or job hunting, they also have an extremely active information flow. Users have the ability to do status updates, create blog posts, share Power Point presentations, invite people to events, link to their Twitter account, show reading lists, and so much more. With this many options, there is a ton of work that you can do to keep an active presence for your community or building online.
On top of that, Linkedin offers Linkedin Groups where people can congregate around common interests and professional interests. Joining a thriving LinkedIn group or participating actively on LinkedIn Answers and providing valuable information on your community to people seeking help can be a great source of incoming traffic to both your LinkedIn Business Page and your LinkedIn profile.
4.Though a relative newcomer and still being developed to its full potential, Google+ is a valuable social media tool. Much like Facebook and Twitter, once you sign up for a Google+ account, you’ll be able to create “circles”—basically the same as Facebook’s “friends” versus “acquaintances”—and, much like Facebook, you can customize these circles and create more, making sure that the people you want to see your posts see them, and the ones that don’t don’t. Having this sort of flexibility means you can manage multiple areas or communities from one platform, toggling between groups as needed. And with Google+ currently having over 300 million monthly users, you’ll definitely need that ability to toggle!
How do you get a Google+ account? First, you need to get a Gmail account. With your Gmail account, you’ll get the option to create a profile—the first step towards putting together your Google+ account! Once you have the proper photo set as your profile picture, it’s simply a matter of putting the same information you put into your Facebook and Twitter into your Google+ account. Make sure to make your page an official Google+ fan page.
5.With all of this social media activity going on, many people forget that making a website is an option as well. This does not need to be on your business page, but can be a purely standalone site the focuses on your community or building. By making regular blog posts and linking your new Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts to this site, you can create a thriving hub of information for internet searchers to browse, bookmark, and return to.
6.Using a PPC (pay-per-click) service like Google Adwords can be a great way to drive traffic to your area-centric site! How does it work? When people go to websites like Google and type in something like “Silverlake homes,” Google returns with a list of ten search results that it thinks the searcher will find most helpful. But you may notice that some of the search results look a little like this:
Those first two results are pay-per-click ads that only pop up when someone searches for a particular term that relates to those ads. They may not be the best site with the best information, but they are willing to pay to be at the top of Google’s search results. And the best part? They only have to pay if someone clicks. Hence “pay-per-click.”
This pay-per-click service can direct them to either your business website or your area-specific website, depending on the ad you design. It’s an incredible service, and one that Google has made very, very accessible to even the most non-technical person.
The Final Key to Making Your Marketing Successful
When you’re doing all of this, you need to target your audience appropriately. Remember, this is inbound marketing. You’re not flyering these people’s houses, you’re creating content on your social media that causes the right audience to come to you.
For your social media page, you’ll be looking at people who live in the area you’re focusing on. These people will be your base audience, turning to your page for information about the community they are a part of. Restaurant reviews, event announcements, art gallery openings—these are things that you can post about to draw the right audience. Once you get this base built, your credibility as an authority for that area or building will be established, which means that people outside your area will start being directed to you by Google, Yahoo, and Bing for information.
When this happens.. Congratulations, you’ve successfully kicked off your inbound marketing campaign for a community or building!
Please check out my recent blog post on real estate niches to get some more idea’s on how you can apply this information.