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Recently, we did a well-received coaching call about harmonizing your online real estate marketing to assist in marketing your offline marketing efforts more effective. If you missed it, you can watch the entire call above.
Or, you can browse through the slides below…
Or, you can read the cliff-notes version below…
Whatever you choose, we hope it helps :-)
How to Get your Online Real Estate Marketing to Play Nice With your Offline Marketing Efforts
A whopping 75% of marketing budgets place their bets online – Facebook ads, PPC, content marketing, and SEO, leaving just 25% of budgets to invest in offline marketing – direct mail, bandit signs, business cards, and phone calls.
Which begs the question…
Is online marketing better than offline marketing?
As much as we’d like to say, “Correct” (we are a SaaS company, after all), we feel that would be dishonest. For many of our wonderful members, offline marketing strategies such as direct mail, driving for dollars, cold calling, and bandit signs make the difference between a dying business and a thriving business.
Max Maxwell is one such example where cold calling made a massive difference in his business and life.
Anyone who says that offline marketing is dead is probably too caught up in their own SaaS tools. Truth is, offline marketing is alive and well – and nowhere is that truer than in the real estate market, where local connections and offline relationships make for a booming business.
Okay – so that’s all good and well. But how do you connect your offline effort with your online efforts? How does one benefit the other? Do the two even connect? Or are they totally separate?
The Myth about Online and Offline Marketing
The great myth about online marketing and offline marketing is that they’re totally separate. You can send a direct mail campaign that doesn’t impact your Facebook ads and you can create business cards that don’t impact your website.
Or so the thinking goes…
(If only human beings were so simple)
The truth is, offline marketing and online real estate marketing are sides of the same coin, slices of the same bread, countries on the same continent. They are connected – completely, irreversibly influencing one another.
How, you ask, do they influence one another?
And, more importantly, what should you do about it?
Let’s have a quick thought experiment.
A Thought Experiment about the Interconnectedness of Online and Offline Marketing
Imagine you’re on the phone with someone. A prospect – a motivated seller who’s expressed interest in the service you have to offer. But they are, of course, a bit hesitant about trusting someone they just met.
They called you now because of a piece of direct mail they received from you.
You do your best to build trust on the phone and move the process forward. Fortunately, in this case, the entire deal goes through and you make a clean $10,000.
At this point, it’d be easy to say, “Wow! Direct mail is where the money is!”
And you’d be right… partly.
But you only saw a piece of the process.
And the part that you didn’t see is equally impactful. Like most prospects interested in a service but hesitant about taking the leap, that person did some investigating before they ever called you.
After receiving your piece of mail, before they called you, the prospect searched for your website – which made an immediate good or bad impression on them. If they called you, it’s safe to assume that your website didn’t scare them off.
But here’s the kicker – how many people didn’t call because they didn’t trust your website or because they couldn’t find your website?
The point is, online marketing massively impacts the effectiveness of your offline marketing efforts.
And the same is true going the other direction.
If someone finds your website through SEO, for instance, and then calls you but doesn’t like how pushy you are about the process, then your website isn’t going to do anything to save that prospect.
Online marketing and offline marketing affect each other in the same way that sugar and flour affect a cake: if one doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, nothing will save the cake.
Both online marketing and offline marketing have to support each other for any of your marketing to work.
So what should you do about it? 5 things in particular.
What Have We Learned?
1. Build Instant Credibility Online
When a prospect receives a piece of direct mail from you, or a business card or a phone call, one of the first things they’re going to do (if they’re interested in your service) is go online to look at your website.
And what they see will determine whether they decide to work with you or not – or, at least, what they see will help make that decision.
This means that you need to have a website which builds immediate trusts and encourages conversions.
Easier said than done… I know.
So check out the video below where we walk you through how you can build immediate trust with visitors to your website.
2. Follow Up Fast Offline
If you’re in the sales sector, you’ve seen these stats before…
It’s no secret that following up isn’t just critical to closing deals, but more important than even the first contact. Sure, you can’t follow up if you never make the first contact, but you’ll miss out (per the stats) on about 98% of conversions if you don’t follow up several times.
So follow up fast and follow up at least five times with each lead that comes through your website – a phone call is best but email and text are better than nothing.
3. Create Business Cards
To illustrate the power of business cards, let me ask you a silly question.
Why does Carrot – a tech-based Inc. 5000 SaaS company – make and distribute dolls?
Don’t we have better things to do, after all? Why do we make these crazy (and adorable) stuffed Carrots and then spontaneously distribute them to our members?
Okay – to be honest – part of it is just for fun. We love to engage with our members and we think this is a super fun way to do it.
But there’s an undeniable marketing undercurrent that’s easy to miss: namely, that that stuffed Carrot is starting conversations, online and off.
Our member’s friends see the Carrot and ask what it’s about, why they have it. That starts a conversation. Which spreads our brand name, message, and identity.
And the more people who know about our brand, the better that is for business.
Some people even post pictures of the stuffed doll and post it on social media – free advertising for Carrot.
Point is, physical marketing materials (like business cards and stuffed dolls) don’t go away. They create conversations in customer’s and prospect’s houses, they transfer hands, and they remind people that you’re still in business.
And so long as your website is ready to convert its visitors, that’s a good thing.
Because everyone who sees your business card and wants to learn more is going to try and find your website, which brings us to the next piece of advice.
4. Rank in Google
Like I’ve mentioned several times, the first thing that a prospect will do after receiving your offline advertisement (phone call, business card, direct mail) is looking at your website.
And what they see will help determine whether they take the next step or not.
But here’s the thing…
What if they can’t even find your website?
That’s the worst thing that could happen, isn’t it? Nothing screams “I’m a fake!” quite like receiving a piece of direct mail from someone you’ve never met, searching for their business name in Google, and finding absolutely nothing to reference.
Rank in Google for your brand name.
Check out our framework about conversation marketing over here to learn more about how to do this.
5. Always Ask “What will the Prospect’s Experience be During this Marketing Campaign?”
Whenever you’re setting up an offline or online marketing campaign, ask yourself the above question.
What will the Prospect’s Experience be During this Marketing Campaign?
More than likely, that question is going to help you recognize how an online or offline marketing campaign will affect its counterpart. What will people do when they see your advertisement or direct mail or business card? How can you prepare for what the prospect is likely going to do?
The more that you prepare before launching your marketing campaign, the better your online and offline marketing efforts will interact with one another.
Inexperienced marketers only think about one campaign at a time. They run Facebook ads but get upset because those Facebook ads aren’t making them money without realizing that it’s a failing of their landing page, not the Facebook ad. Or they send direct mail and don’t receive any phone calls, blaming it on the direct mail campaign when it’s actually because no one can find their website through Google with a quick business-name search.
Point is, all your marketing efforts constantly influence each other.
And that’s a good thing so long as you’ve laid a healthy marketing foundation for prospects and leads to stand on.
Want to learn more about getting your website ready to convert visitors? Check out our website conversion-optimization checklist.