Social media marketing and email marketing may seem a little redundant in the brave new world of AI and emerging technologies. However, they are still a powerful part of any marketing arsenal. Think of social media and email marketing as the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world. They just play really well together!
Here are some key ways to seamlessly integrate your social media and email marketing efforts, then watch as new customers come within your reach.
Lesson 1. Email marketing Is not the daggy jumper you should throw away
Email marketing has somehow earned the reputation in online marketing circles as being akin to a hand-knitted jumper with a dog motif. But ask yourself, how many times have you checked email today or this week? According to email marketing research by UK based think tank Econsultancy, in 2017, 74% of client-side marketers rated email marketing as being either excellent or good for return on investment.
That’s a pretty good reason to continue with email marketing. Although the landscape has shifted quickly in recent years, with AI and personalisation becoming the driving force behind email marketing campaigns.
Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait
If you create a compelling and informative email newsletter, that tells people something that they didn’t already know – they may be compelled to share it.
Any integrated social media and email marketing campaign should be united by genuine attempts at connecting with your audience. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a monetary incentive or discount offer. The invitation to connect could be far more personal and authentic than that. It could include:
Interesting, relevant content
Interesting and constantly refreshed content that is made to be compelling, informative and enjoyable to your audience and touches on what matters to them.
Training, support and the opportunity to build genuine connections
While monetary and discount rewards are relevant for generating quick sales. This doesn’t engender long-term customer loyalty. Instead, loyalty is built by having genuine and personalised conversations with your audience. This could be through offering support, training or knowledge-based rewards to your audience that build trust. Email and social media are perfect distribution channels for this.
Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing
Any primate with an opposable thumb can slap an opt-in button onto an email. However, a true email marketing artisan will test as well. It’s always a good idea to run some A/B testing on your eDM and your website for various opt-ins. Test various colour combinations and combinations of text and positioning on the page to find the most effective formula. Optimise and test your eDM itself to see what resonates best with your audience. Where it’s possible, you should personalise your email marketing through CRM personalisation tools (like those available in HubSpot and MailChimp).
No matter what kind of business you’re in, your website needs to effectively sell your offerings.
Organisations that deliberately and consciously invest in conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see a boost in sales.
However the reason many businesses don’t, is that they are far too focused on BAU – the business as usual syndrome.
When more pressing tasks need to be addressed right now, then
optimising the home page of your website takes a backseat. Although what
could be more important than ensuring your website visitors convert
In this article we will explore research into conversion optimisation
and UX and how your business can implement some fixes to increase
1. Use product videos on your landing page
Recent research by HubSpot found that using a self-explanatory product video on your landing page can increase conversion of 144%.
2. Create multiple landing pages for your products and services
Landing pages can be tailored and customised to your Pay Per Click advertising. Put yourself in the website visitor’s shoes.
If a website visitor clicks on a Google Ad and gets forwarded to your
home page, not to a page that directly relates to the ad – will this
visit convert? Most likely no.
That’s because when someone clicks on an ad, they are after a
specific product or service on your website. They don’t want to read all
about your other offerings or your staff or blog posts – that’s
irrelevant to them. Instead they want to be taken to a page that will
give them pricing and everything they need to purchase, with the minimal
effort, if they don’t get this information easily – they leave.
Tailoring your landing pages to have the same content as your PPC ads is really important.
3. Keep the headline simple and related to your USP
You only get 0-8 seconds to tell a compelling story with website visitors. If your headline isn’t good enough, people will abandon their session.
A great way of ensuring you have the best headline is to split test
your landing page’s headline for different visitors, to see which one
Headlines should be short, make an impression quickly and tap into
the pain points of the customer and how the product or service
alleviates these pain points.
Here are some examples
4. Keep your call to action above the fold
Whether you decide to use an opt-in form or a button to gain conversion, keep this prominently placed.
‘Above the fold’ means that the content is visible to website visitors before they have to scroll down the page. This technique is obvious for the brand landing pages mentioned in the previous section.
5. Make sure that your images and graphics mean something
Using stock photos on your home page without any
context and direct relationship to your products or services isn’t good
So how do you correlate stock images to your own brand? You could
superimpose a customer testimonial or short quote from a customer over
the top of your stock image to make it relevant.
6. Use the landing page to overcome common obstacles to purchase
Firstly, do a bit of market research into the kinds of reasons why prospective customers may be turned off from purchasing from your business.
These reasons may be manifold, but if you can resolve some of these
doubts on the home page, then you should use this opportunity to do so.
If your product is largely unknown and also highly priced, in your headline, you should allay website visitor’s concerns by clearly mentioning the 30 day money back guarantee in your headline.
If your product is in a controversial vertical, such as clothing made
in Bangladesh, you could have a video on your home page showcasing the
production process. You could use the homepage as an opportunity to
allay customers’ concerns about the ethical standards of this workplace
and the workers’ rights.
7. Make opt-in forms easy and breezy to complete
As a web user yourself, you will understand the frustration of completing an opt-in form that seems to have a thousand fields.
So make it easier for your website visitors by only asking them for the very bare minimum of information. Their name, email and telephone will do.
8. Use a ‘chat now’ pop-up plug-in
According to the VWO blog
adding a chat now plugin is estimated to increase customer signups by
31%! A simple pop-up can be answered by a chat-bot initially and then
forwarded for human interaction to the website content manager.
9. Add testimonials to your home page
Testimonials and customer recommendations are worth their weight in gold for gaining more customers. Ensure that you use these prominently on your landing page in an interactive or automatic slider.
10. Make your CTA button the most prominent and obvious element on the page
Split test the copy for your call to action button and also the colour of the button itself. One study showed that simply changing the button colour to red increased conversion.
There are many factors that impact the conversion rate for a website. You can get a comprehensive assessment of your brand messaging, marketing and communications needs for your landing page by getting in touch with me on +61 3 9028 7745 or email@example.com
The most effective way to grow your audience is through the power of testimonials. Testimonials are the old-fashioned way to build reputation and legitimacy for your brand. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods of marketing are the best ways!
Although without the right tools at your disposal, getting testimonials can be like pulling teeth. The most effective ways to get testimonials is to leverage the power of the internet.
1. YouTube Unboxing Vlogs
Probably the most powerful customer review or testimonial at the moment is an unboxing video review on YouTube. This kind of review entails a vlogger literally receiving a package from a brand and then unboxing, assembling, using and assessing the product for the first time, while filming for YouTube.
This form of review is ideal for consumer tech, FMCG or retail brands. Building a vlogger outreach component into your marketing strategy will pay dividends, with increased sales. This is because having a prominent and popular vlogger endorse your products in the video is a bit like the holy grail for marketing right now. It is possible to sponsor an unboxing segment on vlogs, but that makes it less genuine.
B2B brands can still get in on the action with vloggers and
user-generated storytelling too, it just requires a little more
creativity in the approach.
You could ask permission from the Vlogger to use their vlogs on their own social channels and to quote the most praiseworthy parts as text-based testimonials on their website. This could lead to relationship-building with the prominent blogger, and them being aware of your brand. This is how genuine collaborations and vlog reviews happen. Become a fan of theirs first and share their content. Then, after a few months of doing this, you have some leverage to ask for a review.
2. LinkedIn Recommendations
Linked In recommendations are great. However you can’t leave a recommendation for a company page, only for individual people. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic opportunity if you happen to be an owner/operator or sole trader.
For larger organisations, it’s still possible to leverage Linked In for company reviews. Encourage individual employees to ask for testimonials from clients regarding specific projects they worked on. Then obtain permission from these individuals to use these testimonials on the testimonials page of the organisation’s website.
3. Facebook Reviews
If you have a Facebook page and you’re setup using the business template, then your page automatically comes with a tab for testimonials.
You can rearrange the order of these tabs and how they appear on your Facebook page by going to settings and then selecting templates and tabs. From there you can move around your tabs so that reviews/testimonials appear at the top. Then you can ask your followers to leave you a review.
4. Incentivise customer reviews online and offline
When a customer purchases from you online or in-person, use that opportunity to encourage them to provide feedback. This could be printed on the back of a receipt. Or the prompt could be in the form of an automated email that triggers after a customer completes the website’s check-out or receives their goods in the post. Incentivise this process by offering the chance to win a prize.
5. Scrape the internet for reviews
Lots of reviews and feedback will remain hidden from your business without digging on the internet to find them. These reviews could be on message boards such as Reddit, industry forums, blog posts, comments under news articles or in social media.
The best way of getting to these reviews and testimonials is by using Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can set up email notifications for specific keywords related to your organisation, such as product or service names, the names of senior leaders in the organisation or any other term you like.
6. Online directory websites
Common search directories such as Yahoo Local, Yelp and Google My Business allow customers to easily provide feedback and testimonials. In the case of Google, the more reviews people give your business, the more your organic search ranking is boosted. So this is one reason to encourage Google reviews.
It is possible to triage and respond to negative feedback or reviews from this platform and get notifications when a new review comes in. It’s always a good idea to have an updated listing on these websites, as it’s just another way for the customer to reach you online. In your print and email marketing you can guide customers to leave a review on Google to gain more reviews over time.
A word of warning about negative online reviews
Despite all of the praise-worthy and heartening feedback left by clients, opening up multiple platforms for online reviews comes with its own risks. You can mitigate against these risks by subscribing to email notifications from these platforms. This will inform you when a new review comes through. When a negative review comes in, ensure that you provide prompt, helpful and positive response to the individual.
Instead of avoiding the issue, address it honestly and humbly and always turn the negative feedback into a positive for the business. The only way that a brand can succeed is by understanding when a part of the process, product or service is broken and then taking the necessary steps to fix this internally. View it as a positive if it ultimately makes your organisation better.
So are online reviews and testimonials worth the effort? Absolutely! Not only are they great for building brand reputation, negative reviews can be used as a powerful learning curve for the business, with the potential for positive outcomes.
Do you want help to find customer feedback and use it to the fullest in your business? I offer a free content audit, which can show you how you can leverage all of your existing content. What’s great and what should be improved.
Here’s an industry guide on how to structure your social media and content strategy for the real estate industry. In my experience, employing these tactics will help you to get the best outcomes, such as qualified sales leads and call-back requests.
1. Plenty of visual and video content
This principle is really a no-brainer. It applies equally to all industries. Visual and (even better) video content are the clear winners for engaging with prospective buyers.
Research shows that 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%). And Tech giant Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.
The importance of great quality renders of the interiors and exteriors of the homes/buildings can’t be emphasised enough. This is the bedrock of any real estate social strategy. From these renders you can build stories about the new development that are future-focused and aspirational.
In terms of generating this high quality visual and video content – many real estate developers enlist the help of a creative design agency. Although your social media manager should able to generate this content themselves using affordable or free tools like Canva and HitFilm Express.
2. Updates on construction through timelapse footage
Social media updates on construction will help to allay the concerns of prospective buyers. This is particularly important for buyers who have already made a deposit. These people need reassurance that the build is all going to plan and that they can move into their amazing new home on schedule.
Social media is a way to showcase construction progress through the use of timelapse footage of buildings going up. Not only does it have a practical purpose of addressing buyers concerns, but it’s also a remarkably engaging piece of visual storytelling which can be used in a multitude of ways. A timelapse could be pitched as a part of a media kit to real estate media, used in the property or development ad, or used on social media.
Timelapses demonstrate the competency and care taken by the developers and all those involved in the construction process too. Failing the ability to obtain timelapse footage, the next best thing is still images.
3. Don’t forget the middle of the sales funnel
Although a lot of time and effort goes into attracting prospective buyers, not as much effort goes into maintaining the communication once the customer is over the line and has put down a deposit.
This is a mistake, because there is a huge opportunity that is missed. The interim period between putting down a deposit and the settlement date is a great time to nurture and grow the relationship between the developer and the buyer.
This is “middle of the funnel” time. It’s an opportunity to inform and entertain people about their new neighbourhood. You could provide future-focused content about the community in five or ten years time. This allows prospective buyers to get the complete picture of the economic, social and cultural landscape they will be experiencing once they move in.
You could use a private Facebook group or a segmented eDM for specific buyer profiles such as owner-occupiers or investors, or local versus foreign buyers. Then you can provide content relevant to this audience in a language they will respond to. This builds thought leadership for the brand, and generates a sense of anticipation from buyers about what’s to come. Also this tactic makes the audience feel valued and listened to. As they should, after all they’ve just committed to making possibly the biggest purchase of their life from your brand!
4. Quizzes and Surveys
Traditionally, quizzes and surveys on social media are treated with disdain across the board. They are considered to be fluffy, silly and pointless.
But the truth is that quizzes and surveys can yield some of the most valuable insights into the audience. This is the “top of the funnel”, awareness and consideration phase.
It’s important to note though that you mustn’t make the quiz overtly promotional. This is an exercise in giving people a fun exercise to do, while also providing them with information about your product along with other general information. It’s infotainment, but if it’s too promotional you won’t get any quiz completions – don’t treat people like they’re stupid! Assume they know as much as you do about marketing.
An example of a good quiz:
For a new development showcasing luxurious apartments with over 50 apartment plans on offer, a social quiz could be about ‘What kind of apartment décor suits your personality?’.
The quiz can match
personality traits and behaviours to different kinds of interior design
trends along with beautiful images. You could also talk about the
different design options in your brand’s new development.
There’s no scientific veracity to this kind of quiz; it’s purely for fun. But, as a result of the quiz answers you can find out the most popular design preferences for your audience, their motivations and desires, and their age, gender and other demographic information.
At the end of the
quiz you can include a lead form which when completed allows them to
get a call back from your sales team about the properties (subtly)
mentioned in the quiz.
5. Embrace marketing automation
It’s possible through the almighty power of marketing automation to sync and organise all of your sales leads, email subscribers and social media followers into one CRM. This means that you can see a clear pathway through the sales funnel for each customer.
This has the advantage of offering the ultimate in transparency across teams. Or, if you would like to keep it simple, you could set up automated zaps using Zapier. This will ping or trigger a certain action, once a certain marketing action is taken. This is relatively easy to set up and requires no coding experience. It can automate an enormous range of actions from Google’s products, many CRMs and payroll programs, social media, scheduling apps, you name it.
Using bots to complete your marketing activities for you is highly effective. You can implement a bot as a chat pop-up on your landing page which will speak to visitors and segment them, without you having to lift a finger!
Bots nowadays can be made to sound human and natural and can be used on Facebook messenger and in your website chat for great results. It has gotten to the point now where it’s difficult for people to distinguish between a bot and a real person.
6. Sync your media and social strategies
Sales leads through Facebook will peak when positive news coverage appears in the national news media.
Make sure that your media strategy harnesses plenty of milestones and opportunities to get the message out there. The mainstream media still hold some clout in terms of building the reputation of your real estate brand. All positive news coverage should be shared on social media and reflected upon through the brand’s lens, in order to increase sales and engagement.
I hope you have found this guide to social media marketing helpful for your real estate business. If you would like a fresh perspective on your marketing, get a FREE CONTENT AUDIT today, give me a call on +61 3 9028 7745 or message me below
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The lead up to Christmas and the holidays is the biggest time of year for retailers. This is prime time to use social media marketing to gain new customers and brand advocates. Social content is a vital part of the overall marketing mix. To help you to make the most of the busy period, have a read of the following tips.
1. Build genuine trust with your audience
During the silly season, you could noisily tout your wares like a old lady brandishing fish in a village market. Or you could use your social media to listen to the chatter and conversations about your brand. Then respond and attempt to create a personalised, generous and positive interaction.
Unlike other forms of marketing, social media is a two-way dialogue with evenly distributed power dynamics. It’s all well and good to blatantly sell on social media, but if the storytelling around your offer is non-existent, then your posts won’t resonate with your target audience.
2. Plan, plan and then plan some more
In order to win market share, it’s a great idea to start planning early. The earlier you begin planning, even as early as July or August, the more your business stands to gain out of the holiday period.
When you start early, it’s easier to avoid getting bogged down with BAU operational needs. Instead you should focus with laser-sharp awareness on long-term strategic marketing goals. Also social advertising and search marketing gets expensive in December. So filling the top of the funnel in July makes more sense!
3. Don’t be afraid to get creative
The more creative and edgier your holiday season offerings are, the more likely your business will be to stand out, in a crowded room of competitors all tooting their own horns.
4. Don’t forget brand storytelling
In amongst all the excitement (and pressure) of having to make yearly sales targets for the year, it’s possible to lose sight of the long-game of growing and nurturing brand advocates and fans. The holiday season isn’t just for selling stuff. It’s about building loyal customers who continue to come back time and time again.
5. Remarketing is important
Remarketing strategies through social media and PPC are going to attract huge returns during this time. In other words, the more frequently a relevant target audience sees your message, the more likely they will be to buy from your business. So make sure you wow them in your ads, so that they remember your brand.
6. Combine social with search
Search marketing is where you can really see some sales conversions. So be sure to change up your keyword strategy so that it’s relevant for the holidays. Also you should adjust your social strategy so that it’s relevant.
7. Social ads are a must
Even if your social strategy only goes so far as organic posts, it’s always a good idea to initiate a paid campaign over the holidays. This is when the majority of shoppers will be primed and ready to purchase. Sweta Patel of Silicon Valley Start-Up Marketing found that social conversions can increase from 0.6% to almost 20% from social ads alone.
8. Up the ante with your ads
Your ads need to be memorable. To do that they must stand out and be compelling for prospective customers. Split test a broad variety of ad copy and artwork combinations, to find that magnificent combo that your audience resonates with.
9. Think broader than social media for your overall marketing
Social media platforms will be thoroughly saturated over the holiday period. So in your holiday marketing strategy, be sure to integrate unexpected guerilla marketing campaigns, and competitions to spice things up.
10. Consider Facebook groups for people with specific interests in your business.
After all, people prefer to purchase from an individual and not a
company. They would like to engage in a two-way dialogue with an
individual who can help them, not a nameless social account. Any sort of
selling in this group needs to be incredibly laid-back and a subtle for
it to be effective. The primary goal here is to resolve challenges that
people face by offering solutions.
11. Email marketing and social combined are a cash-cow
Gift card offerings, competitions and last minute offers to email subscribers and via social are going to be highly effective for revenue growth. Start testing and retargeting your ad groups as soon as possible, to get the most out of that opportunity.
12. Scarcity works
Create limited time offers and limited stock offers to generate FOMO with your target audience. Create a limited number of coupons or exclusive offers that are only available until a certain date.
13. Visit and engage with people in niche online communities
Are you selling rental furniture to a young Uni crowd? Then visit the forums of a subreddit and post valuable information there. Avoid any kind of sales approach and instead aim to be solutions-oriented. Take a personalised approach to resolving challenges.