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Description: How To Improve Your Digital Marketing by Mary Jay Lou with TAB Texas Builder Magazine.

OF FI C I A L PUB LICATI ON OF TH E TE X AS AS S O C IATION OF BUI LDE R S JAN FEB 2017 TAB Welcomes 2017 President 07 Rick McGuire McGuire Builders Inc. Lubbock Texas 22 27 Texas Housing Hall of Honor Induction Ray Tonjes & David Weekley inducted into the 2017 Texas Housing Hall of Honor Speaking Out Interview with Texas Governor Greg Abbott DIGITAL HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR By Mary Lou Jay DIGITAL MARKETING B uyers used to rely 100 percent on realtors today they know as much as realtors in many cases just by doing their homework on the Internet said Robert Cowes president of SmartTouch Interactive a real estate marketing of search page results. Since sites like Zillow and Trulia also appear high up in searches builders ads should appear on these sites as well. company. That makes it essential for home builders to make a real commitment to digital marketing and to use marketing professionals either internal employees or external agencies who are experienced in this area. These professionals can establish key performance indicators so that they can measure the ROI of every marketing dollar spent. Cowes offers these suggestions for effective digital marketing Rather than having to buy 1 million impressions of digital advertising across all Trulia s and Zillow s targets I can just buy highly highly targeted ads and reduce my impressions needs to only 50 000 to 100 000 said Cowes. Targeted advertising produces much higher click-through rate because it appears only to people who match a builder s preferred home Builders gain credibility when their communities or listings appear on multiple websites. You get more opportunities to engage with buyers and start building a relationship with them even before they visit your model homes. If you have a ranch community employing SEO can help ensure it appears in the top four to five natural search results. You can also buy the keyword ranch so you appear at the top 32 Texas Association of Builders January February 2017 buyer profile based on aggregated data. they are a key sales tool in presales and appeal to the Millennial generation that has grown up playing video games. Unhappy buyers post negative reviews so builders should work with customers to address any dissatisfaction ASAP. You can offer incentives OFFLINE E MARKETING VIC R FULLSE NCY AGE EA D-N GC URTU RIN to home buyers who post reviews right after they sign their contracts when they re usually the happiest. Nurture contacts with community and lifestyle information. Briefly explain why they should live in your community. Keep them informed of grand opening and other You can track and follow up not only with people who are ready to buy within the next 10 weeks but also with people who are likely to buy over the next year or so. A CRM system also ensures that the builder and not a sales person who may change jobs owns the potential customer data. At minimum you should be using CRM to track buyers who have registered on your website. Successful digital campaigns SmartTouch Interactive used strategies like these in developing STAR-award winning campaigns for two TAB members. community events. Drip emails for home buyers provide relevant information to guide them through the home selection and buying process. RM L TexasBuilders.org 33 Featured Project Steve Klein Custom Builders award-winning email campaign helped build brand awareness as the company expanded beyond its usual home building market in Georgetown. Nobody outside of Georgetown knew who we were said Chris Dodd sales and marketing manager. The company directed its email marketing campaign towards realtors and home buying prospects in the Liberty Hills neighborhood. It was all about branding who we are what our houses looked like where we were so they d get to know that we were expanding outside of Georgetown said Dodd. The email campaign was the only way to get to the real estate community without shaking hands with everyone individually he added. Every month for four months Steve Klein sent out an email with attractive pictures of the company s model homes. The message also contained a link to an interactive tour of the homes. These email contacts did help the company sell homes Dodd said. people are searching which consequently presents us with the highest return on our investment in terms of views click-throughs to our landing page and website and ultimately prospect lead forms said Ryan Ziehe vice president land development and marketing. We formed the campaign to strategically take advantage of every opportunity that Google provides including a variety of differently sized ads that appear in all the places that ads can go when potential buyers search for certain content--side banners top headlines horizontal ads longer skinnier ads bigger bulk ads that fill up space. No matter where they appeared the ads all used the same picture (of a home in another maintained garden community that the company built) and the same succinct message that stressed the higher quality of the homes and the low-maintenance lifestyle the community offered. The company also used retargeting so that after someone visited the Spicewood Development website the company s ads showed up on other websites that they visited as well. The campaign was a success. The sales performance of the Gardens Dodd is a believer in digital marketing but is currently focusing the company s efforts on Facebook advertising rather than email. Facebook ads are inexpensive and the most targeted thing that I can do he said. Costs are much lower as well the company can place 150 ads for the cost of doing one email campaign. Spicewood Development s online advertising for the Gardens at Verde Vista won a TAB Star Award for its effectiveness. at Vista Verda has outpaced other similar communities in the area. Ziehe said that Spicewood Development uses some form of online marketing in every community but since the Gardens at Vista Verde community is the largest they ve ever built this advertising campaign is the largest as well. The company will stick primarily to online advertising. Even if you can t sell a home this way you at least put your very We re focusing on Google over Bing and Yahoo because Google is the giant in the online marketplace and it s where the majority of important first foot forward and pull someone in your direction Ziehe said. 34 Texas Association of Builders January February 2017