How Real Estate Agent Dominate local community by YouTube

Low cost but powerful method to boost you real estate business

1. Introduction

To rock in real estate industry, you need to build up your credibility and influence. Getting people to know you is the first step to succeed.

YouTube Statistics

The more people see you, the more they trust you.

Sustainably exposing yourself to the public or among your community is a great way to build up your credibility. A traditional way is door knocking. Meeting people one by one is a good way to build relationship. Yet the method is slow and not scalable, we use social media network.

YouTube has 2 billion users worldwide (Statista, 2019). Statista gives us information about the most popular social networks worldwide as of April 2019 and the number of active users they have on a monthly basis. The only social network that has more monthly active users than YouTube is Facebook. 

Unlike Facebook, the only media YouTube accept is video. Video is way more engaging media than text or still images, yet it is more expensive to produce.

Today, we will introduce some low cost but effective method for real estate agents to build their influence across the network. 

2. Lead generation on YouTube by organic reach

Storyline

When you build a channel that people want to subscribe, your videos need to be:

a. informational

b. interesting

c. instructional

Below is a list of topics you could start with your brainstorming.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Gear to use

It’s always a good idea to start in a lean way. You don’t need fancy and high end shooting equipment. You can begin to shoot your videos by using your smart phone or iPad.

Gears for YouTube

Karin at YouTubeforAgents.com suggested a list of gears, but she said “I started with the $20 microphone, my iPad and a 20 year old tripod, and a set of cheap lights. I upped my game over time – and as I closed deals!”

Video Editing

Once you have the video footage, you need to trim and add special effect or transition animation. If you are not good at video editing, you could consider to hire a professional on Fiverr.com.

Before posting your video onto your own YouTube channel, make sure you follow the tips below:

  • Make videos about topics people are searching for
  • Rank your videos on Google
  • Boost your click-through rate with a compelling title
  • Create an eye-catching thumbnail
  • Write an enticing description
  • Get more suggested views by leveraging series playlists
  • Embed your videos on forums that get traffic
  • Embed your videos in relevant blog posts
  • Use endscreens and cards
  • Grab “key moments” in Google by adding timestamps
  • Publish videos at the best time for your audience
  • Add relevant YouTube tags

3. Faster ways to gain traction from your targeted audience – placing YouTube ads

YouTube Ads

Apart from organic way to reach people, we can use YouTube ads to target specific audience. In YouTube, you could target by:

  • Affinity audience
  • Similar audience
  • In-market audience
  • Custom intent
  • Topics
  • Keywords
  • Video & channel placements
  • Website & video remarketing

You could use Facebook to advertise to people’s interests while you can advertise on YouTube by people’s intent.

People visit YouTube because they want:

  • To Know
  • To Do
  • To Buy

So, when you are planning a video on YouTube ads, you need a shorter video with a clear objective to match audience’s intent.

As YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, the YouTube search bar is a very useful tool for brainstorming keywords and video topics idea.

First, you need to brainstorm the following keywords:

  • Want to know keywords
  • Want to do keywords
  • Want to buy keywords

Type in the brainstorm result in the search bar, auto suggest function of the search bar would produce relevant search result by other searchers. Write down the most relevant topics idea.

a. Ads formats

In YouTube, there are 3 main types of ads: TrueView, Preroll, and Bumpers.

“True View” video ad

Advertisers only pay when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. YouTube requires that skippable TrueView ads be between 12 seconds and 6 minutes in length, and that non-skippable TrueView ads be 15-20 seconds in length.

There are two types of TrueView ads: Discovery ads and in-stream ads.

Discovery ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

These ads appeared after performing a YouTube search:

Two TrueView Video Discovery Ads in a YouTube search result

This display ad appears as a related video on the right-hand video sidebar:

TrueView In-Display ad in YouTube's related videos sidebar

Once a user clicks on the ad, the destination video page features a spot on the right-hand column where a companion banner display ad will appear.

TrueView video ad companion banner

In-stream ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before someone watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for five seconds.

TrueView In-Stream video ad by Grammarly

Preroll ads

Some in-stream ads are non-skippable and can play before, mid-roll, or after the main video. These are called Preroll ads, and they can be 15 to 20 seconds in duration.

Here’s an example of a non-skippable video ad before the main content on YouTube:

Preroll ad on YouTube with "non-skippable" features highlighted in the video

Bumpers

Bumpers are the third and shortest type of YouTube video ad available to you. At just six seconds per bumper, these ad spots play before a viewer’s chosen video. 

b. Ads Video Creation

Tom breeze from viewability suggest a model for YouTube ads video creation.

Tom Breeze from viewability.co.uk

7 step script formula – ADUCATE

  • Aim – connect to viewers aim
  • Difficulty – describing difficulty for people
  • Understand – build a bond with you because you understand customer
  • Credibility – build up credibility to position yourself as a credible source
  • Action plan – A within 3 step manageable plan
  • Teach – value and demonstrating really good value
  • Exit – Call to action

c. Building ads campaign

Once you finish your video ads editing, you could then setup your ads in Google Ads platform.

Build a video campaign by:

  • Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
    • Select Video as format
    • Select Custom video campaign / ad sequence
    • In Networks setting, turn off YouTube search results and video partners on the Display Network
    • For Bidding strategy, use Maximum CPV
    • For Frequency capping, set cap impression frequency to 3 per week or 1 per day

– Add ad groups

Granularity is good for us to measure the performance of individual keywords. We could separate the ad groups as follows:

  • Naming different Ads by the brainstormed keyword – 1 keyword per ad group
  • Set Bidding cap to about $0.05 CPV (cost per view)
  • Set preferred Demographic of your targeted audience
  • In Keywords section, add your related keywords

– Add video ad

Here is the place we upload our creative. We prefer:

  • In-stream ad
  • Adding proper Call to action
  • Upload image as thumbnails 300 x 60 (design the thumbnails on Canva)
  • Name the ads for better measurement later, e.g. intro, video ad 1, video ad 2

4. Conclusion

Most of the real estate advertisement is still in the form of text and still images. Though photos are taken by professional photographer, the impact is limited.

The best way Real estate agents connecting customers is to use video. By exposing yourself in front of the customers, your image is being built from time to time.

Starting from 0 budget, you could gain experience on video advertising. When you feel confident, you could film better ads and invest on YouTube Ads.

Course of Tom Breeze on CXL

https://cxl.com/institute/online-course/youtube-ads/

5. Reference for real estate agents to build useful video contents:

11 Real Estate Videos Smart Agents Are Using + Examples

https://theclose.com/real-estate-videos/

Real estate video marketing for realtors & estate agents

https://biteable.com/blog/real-estate-video-marketing-for-realtors-estate-agents/

The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Video Marketing

https://placester.com/real-estate-marketing-academy/real-estate-videos-worth-creating-marketing/

Why real estate video marketing is essential in 2020

https://www.brafton.com/blog/video-marketing/real-estate-video/

14 Proven Ways to Get More Views on YouTube

https://ahrefs.com/blog/how-to-get-more-views-on-youtube/

How Real estate agents win on LinkedIn?

Generate high quality lead on professional network

Table of contents

  1. Introduction – the why
  2. Organic traffic
    • Company page
    • Joining groups
    • Showcase page
    • Hashtag your post
    • Content marketing on LinkedIn
    • Content posting schedule
  3. Paid traffic
    • Pros and cons of LinkedIn ads
    • Ad units
    • Ads targeting
    • Advanced targeting tactics
  4. Conclusion
  1. Introduction – the why

    Real estate agents are familiar with advertising on social media nowadays. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are most popular platforms for real estate marketing.

The competition among different advertisers are getting more and more fierce. The ad cost is surging while the quality of leads is not guaranteed.

LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals. People update their profiles on LinkedIn frequently even if they are not in a job hunting stage. It’s a great place for advertisers to find target customers by using the job title and seniorities.

Real estate agents in commercial sectors could easily build connection with the decision makers of a company by targeting C-suite in job seniorities.

As for residential real estate agents, building a strong online presence with high end listing could help to improve the image of their property agency. Lead generated will be in higher quality.

  1. Organic traffic

If you are a real estate agent and begin to build profile on LinkedIn, make sure you have set your linkedin profile properly. When you have your personal profile set, you can then use the following method to gain organic reach:

  • Company Page

    You could build a linkedin presence by building a company page. You can post text, images and jobs on behalf of your company.

  • Joining Groups

    Groups are a hub of people who have same interest. People in group can share information about the theme of the group. By joining the groups related to your industry, you can share information about you and your company to position as a thought leader.

  • Showcase page

    If you need a dedicated landing pages for your listing, you will need to create a showcase page. You could use your showcase page to place your listing, or post you blog posts and promotional offers.

  • Hashtag your post

    Every time when you post, add 1-2 hashtag by using related keywords can help people to discover you post by searching or following the topics of the keywords.

  • Content marketing

    Remember interesting and informative content is always the key to be successful in gaining organic traffic. Beside the service and listing of your company, you can share some information about your local communities or news on your real estate market.

  • Posting schedule

    Sustainable daily posting could help you to brand yourself, build visibility and trust in front of fellow linkedin users. You could post lighter contents like new listing or marketer updates everyday. For more comprehensive content, you could post on weekly or monthly basis.
  1. Paid traffic

Google and facebook are most popular channel for paid advertising. Google ads is keyword based while facebook is interest based. CEOs would have the same search intent or interest as janitors. LinkedIn could make sure you spend every dollars on the right people due to their seniorities.

  • Pros and cons of LinkedIn ads

    Pros

– robust targeting – the profile of LinkedIn users are up-to-date, you can target audience by their job function and seniorities

– business mentality – unlike facebook, LinkedIn is a social media where people tend to focus on business

– no gatekeeper – usually you could bypass secretary and directly reach the C-suite

Cons

– Ad cost is much higher than other paid media channel

– No day-parting – you can not choose what time the ads show up

– No device-level bidding – you cannot raise the bid for mobile users

– No expose relevancy score – it’s hard to measure if your ads is relevant

If you want to be successful in your social campaign, you need:

– right audience

– persuasive message

– attractive offer

  • Ad units

    There are many type of ads units:

– text ads

– right rail

– news feed

– sponsored InMail

– lead generation form ads

– video ads

Most preferred ad formats are news feed and sponsored InMail. For spondsored inmail, the average open rates is about 50%. It would send straightly to a personal profile.

Lead gen ads have high conversion rate and video ads has larger influence to audience, but LinkedIn does not provide retargeting option for both type of ads.

  • Ads targeting

    We can target audience by their:
    • Professional
      • Job title
      • Job function
      • Seniority
      • Skills
      • Group
    • Company
      • Category or industry
      • Company size
      • Company name
    • Education
      • School name
      • Degree type
      • Field of study
    • Demographic
      • Gender
      • Age
      • Geography

If you are targeting individual, you could target by their:

– Job titles

– Group (+ Seniority)

– Job Function + Seniority

– Skills + Seniority

  • Advanced targeting tactics

    When targeting skills or groups, remember to exclude sales, business development and marketing job functions in order to keep out people who are trying to sell.

    When targeting small business, try to exclude larger company sizes rather than including the smaller. It would results in 3 to 4 times more reach because people without a page will also be included.

    Using seniority instead of age or years of experience. Age and years of experience are both guesses. Seniority is based on title or industry.

    Avoid audience expansion which is enabled by default. LinkedIn is not doing audience expansion and retargeting very well.
  1. Conclusion

Both commercial and residential property agents should make good use of different social media channel to market themselves.

Lead generation in LinkedIn would definitely be more profitable if you are selling high end real estate.

By building online presence on LinkedIn would build a professional image among people in real estate industry and help the recruitment for your company.

If you are interested in advancing your skill on buying LinkedIn Ads, I would recommend you go to CXL to attend the course by AJ Wilcox.

https://cxl.com/institute/online-course/linkedin-advertising/

AJ Wilcox – LinkedIn Ads Ninja

Facebook marketing strategy in real estate

A full marketing funnel is all we need – We could have been doing it all wrong

Table of content

  1. Best practices of social media marketing of real estate business
  2. Advanced marketing funnel on Facebook – The B.E.L.T method
  3. Videos matter the most
Facebook marketing for real estate

Introduction

Lead generation is the core part of real estate business. Facebook is one of the most popular lead generation channels nowadays.

Facebook is a media-rich social media channel, which real estate agents can post contents or listings in different forms. You can also use sponsored ads to boost the content or post you made.

Today we will discuss how real estate agents could leverage the most with Facebook ads.

Facebook ad formats
  1. Best practices of social media marketing of real estate business

There are different types of ad format we could compose:

  • Images – using images of house listings
  • Video – adding eye catching video for house viewing
  • Slideshow – by using Facebook’s built-in ads manager function, we could combine multiple images or videos, text and sound
  • Carousel – allowing you to showcase up to 10 images or video within a single ad, each with its own link to your specific listing site
  • Instant experience – a full screen experience for mobile device, which loads like a webpage and instantly fast

Real estate agents would post their listings onto Facebook in the same way they use listing site. They add hashtags and share the post to different groups for maximum organic reach.

However, the effectiveness of this kind of posting is fading because there are lots of different contents are posted across Facebook. As algorithm of Facebook is changing as time goes, organic reach is rewarded to the post which is the most relevant to the mass.

How could we still stand out from the crowd? Create an Ad would help. The cost of image ads and video ads are still very low in terms of building brand awareness and influence. You can tell Facebook exactly who to target when you set proper demographics and interests of the desired audience.

This is what we called core audiences – the tailored general audiences.

Core audiences are cold audience, as they may not interact with us before. This kind of traffic is relatively expensive. In order to lower the ad cost and make the ad effective, we need to use the B.E.L.T. method to build our marketing funnel.

  1. Advanced marketing funnel on Facebook – The B.E.L.T method

The B.E.L.T method is introduced by Curt Maly – the co-founder of Black Box Media Co.

Curt Maly

The method is a new way for audience management, which enable us to:

  • Adopt a full funnel strategy using different campaign objectives and formats to reach differentiated profiles within an audience
  • Benefit from our platforms targeting potential by leveraging all our three targeting options: core audiences, custom audiences, lookalike audiences
  • Drive reached audience down the funnel by retargeting video viewers and website visitors

B.E.L.T. stands for the 4 stage of the funnel – Belief, Engage, Lead and Transact.

BELT method

Top of funnel is Awareness. The objective is:

  • Building trust by helping the prospect with the potential question or issue they may encounter and provide them with solution

Middle of funnel is Consideration. The objective is:

  • The prospect is aware of the solution to their problem, but need to be nurtured further before making a buying decision
  • Content in this stage should be educational and entertaining, and also introduce more information about your brand’s solutions

Bottom of funnel is Conversion. The objective is:

  • Contents in this stage is for people who have considered their options and are ready to make a buying decision. At this point people may be choosing between you and another solution
  • Encourage clicks to your appointment scheduling page

For best results, we need to build the funnel from the bottom first.

Lead and transact – at the bottom of funnel, our aim is to generate a lead or appointment, we could build:

  • Lead form for Schedule a home visit
  • Landing page on schedule a call with consultant
  • Testimonial from buyer and seller
  • Videos of customer stories

Keep the campaign remarketing for customers recently visited in 28 days or 45 days.

Engage – in the middle of funnel, our goal is to help prospect to evaluate why your offer is best solution they need, we could create:

  • Videos of different listings
  • VR of house listing
  • Photo slideshows of listing or modern home design
  • Information videos on your city or community

Exclude audience entered lead and transact to avoid waste of marketing cost.

Belief – on the top of funnel, our goal is to raise awareness to a problem that the audience is facing and help them to believe that there is a solution, we could create:

  • House showing videos of 15 secs in an ad campaign
  • An image ad or video ad of listing to pull cold traffic that audience is interested in real estate
  • A video of your real estate company to build brand awareness
  1. Videos matter the most

We need to adopt using more and more videos on our ad campaign. The reason is:

  • Video provides great engagement at a very low cost
  • We can re-target video views after a certain percentage of watch time
  • Assist in moving people through the funnel and conversion process
  • Videos can be basic with an iPhone or professionally shot and edited

We recommend short videos like 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes for cold market. Longer video like 5 minutes or above can be used in warm market to build rapport or move our audience to the next step in the conversion process.

Following are some ideas on creating a video:

  • Repurposing relevant and successful past blog posts
  • New listing for the week
  • Quick tips or insight on house buying
  • Quick video talking about the next “open day”

Each video doesn’t require a link. Just content or a simple message can be perfect. Our aim is to build influence, not necessary a click.

Conclusion

Consider building a full marketing funnel for your real estate business now, or you leave so much money on the table.

A full funnel could make sure you spend every ad dollar on the right people. It can help you to leverage your marketing budget to get maximum result and outrank your competitors.

How real estate agents be successful in content marketing

A low cost but sustainable way to generate leads

The rise of internet creates new opportunities for small business owners to get huge exposure in front of the public.

Real estate listing sites are good channels for realtors to generate leads, yet the cost of advertising is very expensive in terms of return on investment. Facing fierce competition among other real estate agents, marketing method in lower cost should be more sustainable for a small business.

If you are a real estate agent and you have a website for your company, you could consider starting a blog for attracting leads.

Search engine could bring organic traffic to your website if a potential customer is searching on google for house listing or asking a question about house purchasing.

  1. What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a type of marketing that creating, publishing, and promoting content. Content marketing is typically used to increase brand awareness and engagement, attract visitors or users, generate sales leads.

The types of content marketing include:

  • blog posts
  • emails
  • videos
  • podcasts
  1. Why do real estate agents need content marketing?

Small business always needs high return on investment (ROI).

When done right, content marketing has a great ROI.

Unlike other forms of digital marketing (like pay-per-click advertising or public release), content marketing can deliver for your business over the long-term continuously.

The organic traffic from search engine could build brand awareness and leads for years without putting extra efforts.

  1. How can real estate agents be successful in content marketing?

If you are a real estate agent, you need a new role for your content marketing plan.

There are 2 major types of customers in real estate business.

  • House owners are potential customers who would like to sell their house now or in a near future.
  • Buyers would be interested to move into your city.

As you would know your community best, you could turn yourselves into the virtual mayor of your city.

If you have no clue where to start, I suggest you find topics from the following source:

  • Keyword research
  • Q&A forums like Quora or Reddit
  • Listening to your audience

For keyword research, you can use keywordtool.io or answerthepublic.com. By putting some real estate related keywords into it, it gives you some topic ideas on what people are searching on the net.

You could also surf on the forums like Quora or Reddit. Browse through the categories related to real estate or your city. You could see what people are discussing on the forum. You can use them as a start of your blog post.

Your sales team or customer service team know customers the best. Try asking them about what customers thought would inspire you.

As an example, the following are topics you could blog on to target buyers:

  • The pros of living in your city
  • Neighbourhood tour in photos or video
  • Jobs opportunities from the local major employers
  • Cost of living in your city
  • An introduction of school district
  • Local real estate market analysis
  • How to buy your first house
  • How to get approved for loans

As for sellers, you could use the topics like:

  • How much does it cost to sell a home in your city – explaining how commission works, what fees are typical for a seller to pay
  • How to come up with your asking price when selling
  • Tips to make your house looks more attractive during the sale

After deciding your topic, you could choose a format.

You could use text, image, video as the format of your blog. Feel free to include your customers into the collaboration of your blog. There are some ways to collaborate with them in your post:

  • Quote and mention them in the article
  • Ask fellow agents for a contribution quote
  • Include your colleagues or other agents in real estate experts’ roundups
  • Interview with previous sellers and buyers
  1. How to make great contents without burning out?

Content creation is time consuming. Real estate agents in a small company would not have a dedicated marketing team for content marketing. It is quite challenging for agents to write and post constantly themselves.

A lot of people are passionate to start at the beginning. How could we make sure we could do it consistently without burning out?

  • You may need a content creation schedule

Schedule an hour or half for you to document what you did or thought in your real estate business every day. By turning this into a routine daily task, you could turn it into a habit.

  • Repurposing your content in different form or media

You could turn your blog into videos or webinars. Repurposing your content and posting them onto different channels enable you make the best use of every efforts.

No matter what and how your write, always remember to give value to your audience. Our mission is to solve their problems and bring real values to them. This is the same as our mission of our business.

  1. Could we outsource the process?

Yes, of course you can. There are several ways to outsource your content.

Apart from being a solo blogger, you could hire:

  • An editor – write the title, opening and outline, then send the first draft to your editor, ask him to edit your post, add images and do final polish;
  • A ghost writer – write title, opening and the outline, ask the ghost writer to finish all the writing for you;
  • A ghost drafter – write your title, opening and outline first, then ask the ghost drafter to draft you the post, finally you do the editing, adding images and final polishing yourself.

Conclusion

When should you start your content marketing?

Before you, there are red pill and blue pill.

If you choose the blue pill, nothing happens. You could live your normal life, keep struggling with low ROI methods to generate leads. You need to outrank other real estate agents in the fierce competition, thanks to the same source of leads from real estate listing websites.

Or you could choose the red pill, then you need to work hard on creating content every day. You could build a fan base of engaging customers, who are potential home buyer and seller. They would be more loyal to your brand and this method does not require your consistent input of advertising budget.

Red pill or blue pill? Your choice.

Finally, if you are interested in further information of content marketing strategy, I would recommend you attend an online course about content strategy on CXL by Andy Crestodina.

https://cxl.com/institute/online-course/content-strategy/

Audience is the new keyword

How real estate agencies upgrades their marketing campaign to next level

The common marketing strategy of real estate agencies nowadays

I started up a small real estate agency in Hong Kong 8 years ago. I built online presence for my company. I uploaded property listing onto Facebook page and company website.

By posting photos and videos of property listings, I gained awareness and interest from potential customers. They would interact with the post by like, comment or share. Besides organic reach, I also boosted the post by sponsored ads.

Back to the days without chatbot, I needed to reply for every single comment manually. In order to bring in more organic reach, I made good use of Facebook’s algorithm, encouraging visitors to ask for the listing price of the property if they are interested. This tactic worked perfectly well as there was no other real estate agency in Hong Kong has a good social media presence. Most of our competitors were not very good at Information Technology, hence reacting slowing to posting ads online.

The tactics enabled my previous company a huge opportunity to build a large online audience who were interested in villa or village houses in remote area in Hong Kong. Our niche (or even in real estate sector) had very few people knowing how to leverage internet to acquire customers for their real estate business. We enjoyed a 5-year window in a low competition environment. We built a 50k fan base on Facebook, which bringing us about 80% revenue for our real estate agency every year.

The problem of the current marketing method of real estate marketing

Then the competition had been surging. Many of our competitors started copying our very basic method of social media marketing to gain leads.

Many of them used fake listings to attract eyeballs of customers. Though I thought they were ruining their brand and trust in long run, they had successfully gained some traction on their Facebook page.

Small real estate agencies would have their simple website for listing, but they barely do SEO and paid ads for gaining traffic to their website. They just put their phone number on the front page as a call to action. No re-targeting campaigns are done on their websites.

We could call this kind of marketing “list and pray”.

The weakness of this marketing method is unreliability.

  1. Every visitor looks alike to you.
  2. Every visitor sees a random advertisement that could be irrelevant to them.
  3. Customer journey cannot be traced. Hence hot and cold leads are treated in the same way.
  4. It is very hard to write a creative and call to action due to ambiguous stage of the customers.
  5. The ads are not effective enough, thus large portion of budget is wasted.
  6. Conversion is hard to be tracked.

The above weakness makes us hard to control our result. We need a more scientific and cleverer method to design our marketing campaign.

Funnel marketing is next generation of real estate marketing

Say goodbye to list and pray.

I would recommend the boutique real estate agencies have their marketing funnel built by some marketing professional. Many of their website should have designed in a different way.

There are 4 stage for a customer before purchasing:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Decision
• 
• 
XL Basic Ecommerce Purchase Process 
institute 
Each stage of the ecommerce 
buyer funnel can be a distinct 
retargeting list. 
Users abandon for all different 
reasons. 
You learn more about the users 
as they move down the funnel. 
Each stage opens itself to 
different message crafting. 
Homepage 
Category Page 
Product Page 
Add to Cart 
Cart Visit 
Check Out
An illustration of a marketing funnel

Awareness

Using SEO, SEM or SMM, they could direct traffic into the top of the funnel. Customers would then know they could find listing on your website.

Blog post on real estate would be good material for SEO to pull traffic into the site.

Interest

Of course, they could keep listing on their front page. Softer call to action is suggested in this stage.

Rather than asking them to call directly to agents, I would recommend they build a whitepaper on certain topics customer most concerned before buying a house. For example, “Ultimate guide on house purchasing” would be a great topic on composing a whitepaper.

By asking customer to subscribe in order to download the whitepaper, we could build a customer list for retargeting.

Don’t forget to put retargeting tag on to different page of the site. We could later retarget them according to their current stage.

Consideration

If the site visitors are looking to buying a house, they will search online for more information. We could build a display or search campaign to retargeting the customers who downloaded out whitepapers.

In our ads, we could redirect them to a page which have more comprehensive information, such as a community report or a mortgage calculator would be great tools to pull them into next stage.

Action

When the customers walk through all the stage, they are very qualified for house viewing. We could use a harder call to action – make a reservation.

Some of the customers would not make a reservation, we could build a retargeting campaign to ask them to arrange a phone call or conference call with an agent for answering their problems.

Knowing your audience make your ads more effective and precise

When we have a proper funnel, we could make sure our marketing budget is spent in an effective way. Our customers would be getting more relevant information on the ads, and hence a higher conversion rate could be achieved.

If we do retarget according to different stage of the funnel, we could slowly encourage customer to advance to another stage without losing them. Customers usually stuck in the funnel and are not willing to be converted. We need a proper retargeting campaign to move them forward. All cost used on customer acquisition would not be wasted.

Making good use of offline customer list and CRM

Sometimes we would have referrals or phone leads. We need to build an offline customer list for them. We could build it on CRM (Customer relationship management) software, namely HubSpot.

Don’t forget to upload the offline customer list regularly onto Facebook or Google ads. We could do a retargeting campaign according to their current stage.

Conclusion

Small business or real estate agency could use today’s online marketing strategy to build brand awareness and generate leads. However, most of them do not own a marketing funnel before spending their marketing expense.

By designing a proper marketing funnel, I believe small agencies could spend their marketing expense in a smarter way, making their business more adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.

For more information on maximising audience and the way how we build a marketing funnel, I would recommend you to take the course on CXL.

https://cxl.com/institute/course/maximizing-audiences-ppc/

Eddie Lee

Marketing Specialist
Synergy Marketing Technology Limited

How small business could succeed with Google ads [with course recommended]

Customer acquisition is always the core of any kind of business, while paid advertising is the quickest and most accurate way to obtain customers.

When entering the paid advertising world, people would first think of google ads and Facebook ads. Google ads is pay-per-click while Facebook ads is pay-per-impression.

For new marketers, learning how to create profitable ads campaign is not an easy thing. Google and Facebook made it very easy for everyone to open an account, but not everyone has been trained for making successful ads campaigns.

Google and Facebook would thank you for spending a lot of money on their ads platforms, but unfortunately not many marketers making the best use of their budgets.

This time we will focus on discussing how do we use Google ads to create a profitable campaign for a small business.

1. What is PPC and how does it work?

PPC means pay-per-click. An ad is shown and will be charged if the ad is clicked. When the ad is click, it would bring the visitor to the website the advertiser preferred.

Search engine advertising is the most popular form of PPC. The PPC ads are shown in the search engine result page in order to gain impression or hopefully a click to sponsored website.

2. How do you create an ad account in google?

Go to https://ads.google.com/ . Create an ad account for your company.

3. What is the goal of your ad?

The goal of your ad is not only about buying clicks and traffic to your site. The ultimate goal of your ad should be bringing in more leads and revenue to your business. Setting a proper goal for your ad campaign is the most important thing in the ad planning stage.

4. How to trace a successful conversion?

You should turn your marketing goal into a form that google could understand. What kind of marketing objective are you targeting for?

A purchase?

A filled lead form?

A phone call?

You need to ask your web developer to add the conversion code into the specific website in order to let google know the page customers arrived is a conversion.

When you choose the bidding strategy, you can consider letting google bid for a successful conversion automatically.

5. Telling Google your target

By inputting a keyword into an ad campaign, google can show ads to those people who search for information by using that keyword.

There are 4 types of keyword matching in google ads: (using marketing course as an example)

  • Broad match – marketing course
  • Broad match modified – +marketing +course
  • Phrase match – “marketing course”
  • Exact match – [marketing course]

Exact match gives you the most control while broad match covers most search queries.

If you have a persona of your target customer, you can use “In-market audience” in the audience tab to show ads to consumers who are searching or comparing products and services across Google Display Network and YouTube.

When you have enough data, demographic tab is an interesting place to explore. You can see the performance in different age group, gender, parental status and household income.

Under the campaign setting, you can select the location to target. I would suggest your check under the “Location options”, select “people in or regularly in your targeted locations” instead of the google recommended setting. That would save you a lot of money if you are not in hospitality sector.

6. Ad creation – copywriting

Writing the headline is most important part of an ad. Good copywriting would increase the click-through-rate (CTR) of the ad, hence bringing more traffic to your site. Also, higher CTR would result in higher quality score and cheaper CPC bid.

As you follow the guidelines of google, you would need 3 headlines and 2 descriptions in a text ad. You can put your keyword into the headline and display path, it would bring you higher CTR.

7. Which metrics you need to keep an eye on?

After giving a couple of days for google to run the ads, you would have some data for analysis.

When you enter the tabs like ads or keywords, several metrics are displayed in columns. You can modify the column by clicking the column button.

Please keep an eye on clicks, impressions, CTR and average CPC. Those are metrics of micro conversion that represent whether it could effectively bring traffic to your website.

To determine if our ad campaign is successful, we need to focus on the metrics cost, conversion, cost/conversion and conversion rate. We could use the cost per conversion data to calculate if our ad is profitable.

Keeping a high conversion rate and low cost per conversion is the key. Always optimize for conversion or return on ads spent (ROAS).

8. Granularity – Make thing as small as you can handle

When I first used google ads, I stuffed all the keywords into single ad group. It was easy to setup, but then when I wanted to look into space for optimization, it was very hard for me to distinguish between the performing and not-very-successful keywords.

Here comes granularity. Only putting one keyword (with different match type) once at a time in an ad group, would make things much easier to handle. Each keyword performs in different ad group, so you could control the max CPC separately due to the performance of the keyword.

9. PPC temperature – the right time to call to action

Different types of PPC channels or different types of PPC traffic have different types of intent to convert. Each channel has a different temperature.

PPC temperature of different channel (By Johnathan Dane of KlientBoost in CXL course)

Johnathan Dane from KlientBoost suggested that certain call-to-action only works in high temperature. You can check out The PPC Temperature Scale in Youtube.

Which kinds of call-to-action belong to cold and hot temperature? The following chart gives you some examples.

10. Your greatest ally – Negative keywords

Not everyone is your targeted customers, especially those who only seek for free stuffs on the net and are not willing to pay for valuable contents and profit. By adding negative keywords in your ad campaign, you can eliminate the searcher who is not a good fit to your business.

Negative keywords are words and phrases that tell Google Ads not to show your ads if a search contains those words. You can add negative keywords on ad group level or campaign level.

For some negative keywords ideas, please visit 75 Effective Negative Keywords to Include in Your Google Ads Campaigns.

Great course recommended for online marketers on paid advertising

I have bought tons of online courses. Many of them taught Google ads. I found 2 courses which are most inspiring.

Ultimate Google Ads Training 2020: Profit with Pay Per Click – Isaac Rudansky

https://www.udemy.com/course/the-ultimate-google-adwords-training-course/

Google Ads – Johnathan Dane

https://cxl.com/institute/online-course/google-ads/

I would recommend beginners start from Isaac’s course first as it’s elementary yet very detailed and thorough for newbie marketers.

Once you have basic understanding with google ads, and you have experience on managing ads account, you can take a leap to Johnathan’s course. His course provides you a conceptual understanding on how professional marketers building a google ad which is ready for testing.

Eddie Lee

Marketing Specialist
Synergy Marketing Technology Limited

Online marketing course review

Metamorphosis – how a real estate agent turns himself into a full time online marketer

Business is all about customer acquisition. Real estate is all about lead generation.

I started my real estated agency 6 years ago. It was my first time setting up a business as an entrepreneur and what I needed urgently at that time was clients. I studied Internet Engineering in University so the first thing that came to mind was to use online marketing to do customer acquisition.

I started to build a company website and launched a facebook page. Being the first company in Hong Kong to advertise and sell properties on a social media platform, the facebook page became a huge success gaining 50k fan throughout the 5 years and the page helped generated 80% of my company’s revenue. Most of the things I did including facebook advertising were learned from online resources. They were sufficient to generate income and sales, however I was not doing it in a lean and right way, where much money was wasted in trying to get desirable results.

As for the website, I learned to build a wordpress site myself. I tried to do simple SEO and link buildings. Once the company grows, I started to do google ads when the marketing budget was not too tight.

I learnt almost everything online. The downside to that is all of the knowledge are so fragmented on the web. Originally I was going to take a master degree in Hong Kong, but the curriculum is not very up to date and well design to fit the need of online marketing nowadays.

I am at the moment working for a local real estate agency as their online marketing manager, as I sold my business a year ago. I am now utilising the skill and knowledge gained in my previous company, to help them build online customer acquisition channels and do lead generation.

I invested in a bunch of online courses in SEO, SEM, copywriting and social media marketing. Courses on Udemy are good for beginners as the courses are quite affordable, but most of the instructors are not well known in the marketing field. You need to rely on the rating and recommendation before you attend the course. Sometimes you would feel disappointed when you bought some courses that didn’t meet your expectation. The main problem is the courses are not in-depth enough.

Then I came across the institute for online marketers – ConversionXL, or CXL in short.

1. What is CXL?

CXL is a leading online course platform for online marketers to enhance their skillsets. CXL institute has the world’s top 1% marketers as instructors. The courses are focus on 5 perspectives – growth, marketing, optimization, analytics, and persuasion.

Many big names train their teams at CXL institute, including Google, Cisco, HP and Ikea.

CXL was founded in 2011 by Peep Laja, which is a conversion champion. He is voted as number 1 most influential CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) expert in the world.

Peep Laja

CXL has its own marketing agency. Its expertise is Conversion Optimization. They also provide marketing services, for examples, Customer Research, Analytics Implementation, Digital Intelligence, etc. P&G, AXA, ebay are clients of CXL agency.

2. How do I meet CXL?

I am a full-time online marketer. I am a marketing manager in a real estate company. My daily job is to build brand and online presence for my company. Customer acquisition is a core part of my work. SEO, SEM and SMM are three most used method to improve my work. So, I follow the social profile of most famous online marketers in the world.

A blog on PPC advertising introduced Johnathan Dane of KlientBoost, which is world class marketer on PPC and CRO. I then search on the net and discovered that Johnathan Dane has taught a course on CXL. Here I met CXL and started the journey of being a better marketer.

3. Why CXL?

If you want to excel in a niche, you need to learn from the best teachers.

Why would I choose to invest on CXL courses? It’s because CXL courses was taught by the top 1% marketing gurus in the world.

All the course materials are very well researched, and it provides you highly actionable blueprint on specific topics. No fluff can be found in the course materials.

The course is obviously designed for smart marketers which has a basic IT understanding. They would not focus on some too basic things and make sure your time would not be wasted. The materials are advanced enough to train you into a great marketer.

4. What is inside CXL institute?

CXL consist of 50+ courses, 5 minidegrees. All the courses are focused on marketing. You can start at the beginner level. When your skill grows, you can then jump onto intermediate and advanced level.

The courses cover 10 topics, namely, analytics, optimization, advertising, Content marketing, management, Psychology, SEO, A/B testing, etc.

Each course is taught by 1 instructor, with subtopics broken down. The length of each course ranged from 1 hour to about 9 hours. It is easy to follow and learn in your desire pace thanks to the division of subtopics.

As for the minidegree, it is a combination of courses in a larger topic. The 5 minidegrees are Conversion optimization, Customer acquisition, Digital Psychology & persuasion, Digital analytics and Growth Marketing. Each minidegree covers very thorough and detailed information you need to know on the topic. It just likes a remote degree on marketing in University, but much more practical and actionable.

CXL course selection panel

5. Why I love CXL? CXL is exactly what online marketers looking for.

The reason most of the online marketers and I love CXL is that it covers all the topic and information we want to know. If you want to be more specialised in a topic, minidegree is certainly the best choice. It ends up with a certification once you finish the course and exam. You can post your certificate onto LinkedIn, and I’m sure the certificate is recognized by most international enterprise and marketing agencies. This would absolutely enable you to step up in your marketing career and gain trust from your boss and your clients.

6. What’s inside minidegree?

By using the CRO minidegree as an example, it contains of 5 cumulative tracks and about 75 hours video training of in-depth knowledge on conversion rate optimization. It teaches you methodology and processes, which is battle tested by elite professional marketers.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or extracting useful information from thousands of blogs. You could just learn and use the proven process to save money from your marketing campaign.

7. Why I select the minidegree to start with?

If you need to be all-rounded in a niche of marketing world, you need a collection of skill sets. Here comes the minidegree. It is designed to fulfil the goal, which perfect a marketer in every aspect in a niche. I long for studying an extra degree in marketing in university, but I couldn’t afford the high tuition fee and the time to travel at night.

Minidegree is relatively less expensive and fulfilled my needs on perfecting my marketing skillsets. You could take the course and get certified online. This could save you a lot of time and money to upgrade your marketing career.

8. Why I choose customer acquisition as my 1st minidegree?

I am in real estate business. Real estate is all about lead generation, and lead generation is all about customer acquisition. I build the website of my company using wordpress. The website is for listing properties. My mission is to pump as much traffic as possible to my website and convert the traffic into leads. I need to excel in SEO and SEM for site traffic. I build brand of my company by using Facebook page too. So I need some knowledge on Facebook ads.

Here comes the CXL minidegree of customer acquisition. Instructors are customer acquisition specialists. They teach me on how to use different paid or organic channels to drive growth. The 38 hours videos covered 10 perspectives, for examples, Google ads, content strategy, technical SEO, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. I’m sure I could improve the result of my current marketing campaigns and develop more strategies on growing my company in a smart way.

9. The layout of the learning panel is one of the reasons why I love it.

Not every online course is well designed. The UX of CXL institute is crafted with simplicity and beauty. The videos are in high resolution and filmed professionally. The audio quality is recorded very clearly. English subtitles are included. Students which are not native in English could use the course more easily. The transcripts are somehow auto generated, and I discovered some small mistakes. I think CXL would fix it soon. As for the playback, you could choose speed selection with highest 2x speed. The transcript is auto synchronized with the speaker.

The instructor first introduces the concept and theory on a topic, then screen share would follow if there is a practical part.

At the end, there will be a revision on Topics covered and Lesson objectives, so you could check your understanding. Assignment are given to let students consolidate for what they’ve learnt.

10. Conclusion

After the first taste on course in customer acquisition minidegree, I’m pretty impressed by the professional level of the instructor, Johnathan Dane. The course is not the 101 course on online marketing. It skipped the very basic knowledge. It is designed for smartest marketers who want to excel their skillsets and step up their careers.

I would definitely recommend this course to people working or going to work in digital agency. CXL courses or minidegree are also best material for marketing major students to equip themselves and get ready to the real world of marketing. It is also recommended to amateurs who has been learning themselves from blogs and free materials online, as CXL courses are more structured and provide a more in depth and battle tested strategy by 1st class marketers.

Eddie Lee
Marketing Specialist
Synergy Marketing Technology Limited