Ghouls and goblins haunt the fright nights of October, but for real estate professionals, something far more sinister makes up the stuff of nightmares: terrible marketing. Now that we’re in the Halloween season, is your online presence the trick or the treat? Let’s look at five marketing horrors that should keep any practitioner up at night.
It’s tempting to use tools and services that promise to save you time by customizing your content and automating your posts, but this is one of the worst tactics you can take on social. The more dynamic the online experience becomes, the more automation makes you look, well, dead. Instead of publishing generic auto-created content, try using a consistent content plan. Devote each day of the week to a theme: Motivation Monday, Home owner Tip Tuesday, Community Friday, etc. Keeping a consistent plan allows you to curate more meaningful content in advance and makes it easier for you to be authentic and personal.
It’s amazing how difficult we make it for people to reach us. Studies have shown that if prospects don’t find our contact info within two clicks, they give up and move on. And yet, we still bury our details behind complicated landing pages — or worse, omit them altogether. You’re allowing yourself to get lost deeper and deeper into the abyss we call the internet. How do you expect anyone to ever find you? It’s time for an online audit to bring you out of the shadows. Take a look at your social profiles, your websites, and your ads. Can you easily find at least two ways to contact yourself for more information? If not, rethink your online presentation.
Our online presence is a public billboard that constantly advertises who we are. These days, there is so much content being created — millions of posts every minute — and it’s easy to be fooled by misleading information. We’re too quick to hit the “share” button without taking the time to verify the validity of the content. It's not like you to share unreliable content. Have you become someone … or something else? Keep in mind that everything you post reflects on you, and no matter your settings, most of what you share can be re-shared or commented on. Take the time to verify the info you are posting, using Snopes.com or a reliable media source. When in doubt, don’t share.
We spend a lot of time trying to get eyeballs on our marketing. We create content and videos, curate visual posts, and work hard to generate a following. And then we forget the most important part: the call to action. Rarely can you watch a TV commercial without being bombarded by messaging on what to do next: Buy me! Call me! Find me in the cereal aisle! However, our own marketing usually lacks that critical next step. We leave people stranded with nowhere to go, publishing listing information without a price, an address, or even a link to contact us. Stop assuming your audience knows what to do after your marketing grabs them.
Many of us think the more people we connect with online, the better. But when you try to reach everyone instead of targeting a specific audience, you can become invisible. Don’t fall into the trap of posting stuff that creates lots of noise but very little meaningful conversation. In internet terms, this is referred to as “click bait” — sensational or controversial content with no purpose other than getting people to comment. It’s a nightmare for your reputation, and it can drive people to ignore you — as though you vanished into thin air. Focus instead on bringing real value to your audience with content that solves a problem, meets a need, or educates.
These days, online marketing can be one of the least expensive and most effective strategies you employ in your business. The rules are the same online as they are offline: talk to people like they are real people. No tricks, just consistent value with a clear call to action. (And maybe throw in a little candy.)