Why Property Marketers Should Get on with the Program
We recently had a light bulb moment. Perhaps it was more of a slow burn that crept up on us and everything clicked.
We think we had known it for a while but couldn’t quite put our fingers on how to go about changing it and probably had in the back of our mind that the industry wasn’t ready to steer away from traditional marketing methods. After all, millions of Australians live in what was once a new housing estate and were attracted to the site after seeing a sign, an ad, or even a TV commercial.
But it’s 2018 and we’re no longer attracted to old-school marketing that’s impersonal and interrupts. According to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, 84% of Australians access the internet daily and 59% of them use social networking sites at least once a day. It also found that 8 in 10 Australian internet users have a social media profile. That is 79% of the sample population, 10 percent higher than in 2016. Just like the figures in the past years, Facebook also remains universal among users as it continues to dominate the social media landscape, with 94% of Australians reportedly using the platform.
The 2017 Sensis Social Media Report also indicated 59% of social media users check social networks daily (up from 50% in the previous year). Stats also said 35% of them (up from 26% on 2016) check in more than five times per day.
This is echoed by Social Media News, a site that compiles a list of social media statistics relevant to Australia and updates them every month. In January 2018, there are 15 million Australian active users on Facebook, totalling 60% of the population. As industry marketers, we might think who on earth spends that amount of time on social networks? Surely the figures must be for those 20 and under?
Well, there is some truth in that but 96% of those surveyed aged 30-39 use social media at least once a day. Around 24% of people use social media to follow brands or businesses. They are said to do so because of discounts and giveaways. Sixty-four percent of consumers claimed they are more likely to trust a brand that positively interacts with them on social media.
On the other hand, Sensis noted that 52% of small businesses, 46% of medium-sized businesses and 21% of large businesses have yet to make a presence in social media. They found that there is a huge gap between consumers and businesses, with the latter failing to capitalise on a prominent digital presence. Of those with social media presence, only 42% of large businesses, 35% of medium businesses and 26% of small businesses make use of paid advertisement. You’d think that an industry that is focused on cost per sale and talks about housing affordability would be at the coalface of social media as a customer acquisition and nurture strategy. Think again.
Without naming names, the big five property developers had little or no Facebook engagement and their posting strategy is hit and miss. And we were flabbergasted to discover that one of Australia’s leading builders has no social media presence at all. There’s an art to engaging current and potential customers through social media. It’s not all about posting a picture of an excavator digging the first trench or people having fun at the family day.
It’s about creating content that is visually appealing, provides a solution and is delivered in a variety of methods. There has to be a trust factor when it comes to making a huge purchase decision. If developer A is communicating with you in the way that you consume media and is offering content that is answering questions and solving problems prior to purchase, and developer B is sending you an update on planning approval, which one will you be more likely to engage with? So, what is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. In new residential community terms, it’s about providing answers to questions that your prospects are juggling with and that, without a solution, could be lost as a purchaser. It requires a new addition to your marketing budget and a deeper understanding of what your audience is going through.
The upside is that content creation was ranked the single most effective SEO tactic according to 57% of respondents on a survey conducted in November 2016 by Ascend2. Through interesting, valuable, and educational content, you can then work hand-in-hand with different channels to engage your audience. The most common are Facebook, Instagram, blogs, email newsletters, and banner ads. Although creating content is ranked as the most difficult to execute among SEO tactics, there are still ways to maximise the time, money, and effort you spend on content marketing.
One of them is leveraging and repurposing existing content. That way, you won’t have to pour so much time creating videos, taking photos and writing blog articles.
They say that content is the present and future of marketing. It is only sensible for property marketers and developers to build their place in this revolutionary marketing strategy while it is still early.