Back in the day, when it came to marketing for home builders, it was all about word-of-mouth. And even ten years ago, if you were told that homebuyers would be searching for new homes on their phones, you probably wouldn’t have believed it.
But now, that has all changed. Potential homebuyers are virtually touring homes online before ever stepping foot into a show home.
And they like it that way. The way people buy homes has changed, and with it, so has marketing. So depending on that referral business isn't going to cut it anymore. Many home builders have turned their gaze to the internet for their marketing efforts.
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But there are still many myths about marketing for home builders… and we’re here to bust them!
#1: Content Isn’t Important
No, we aren't kidding. We still hear this on a regular basis.
If you want to attract qualified traffic to your website on an ongoing basis, you need to understand the importance of creating content that is both relevant and visible to your target audience.
People want information, and they want current information. The content on your website from even one year ago might not be relevant anymore.
#2: Okay, I'll Just Put Out As Much Content As I Can
Please don't do this. Pumping out tons of information is not a strategy. In fact, it's not even a good idea. Plus, bad content will just do damage and if you're focused more on volume than quality, you're going to end up with bad content.
A good digital marketing process involves the creation of high-quality content that is relevant (see, there's that word again) to your targeted audiences’ needs. This type of content attracts more of the kind of traffic you want to your website.
To top it off, good content - stuff that visitors click on - is loved by search engines, which gives your site better rankings over time.
#3: Having a Website is Good Enough
No. Simply having a website is NOT enough. An outdated website won't attract the right kind of visitors – or worse, you won't get any traffic at all.
You need to make sure your site is being updated on a regular basis - most specifically with content, but also for user experience and design. This doesn't mean you need to overhaul your site every quarter, but keep it fresh.
Do some research and split testing!
#4: One Round of Testing is Good
Realistically, testing is never done. You run your first test, analyze the results, and look for the next aspect you can test the winner against.
You should have a reason for your split testing - don't do it just to do it! There should be some information to back up why you want to test say... one page layout versus another.
#5: I Have Lots of Traffic, So My Site is Good
I'm sorry to tell you this, but just because your traffic numbers are high doesn't mean you have the perfect website.
It's not the traffic numbers, it's the conversion numbers. That isn't to say that traffic isn't important, but if you have really high bounce rates and aren't converting on any of those visitors, that traffic is doing nothing for you.
Take a read through this post where we dive more into conversions.
#6: Lots of Leads Means Lots of Sales
Just because you have a ton of leads doesn't mean your revenue is going to shoot through the roof.
For example last month, your site generated 250 leads! Wow! But upon closer inspection, over 70% of them aren't even looking for a new home. So out of that 250, 175 of those leads are no good to you.
Now let's say your site generated 150 leads last month. But if you're done your homework, and have been targeting your ideal home buyer personas, and out of that 150, 70% ARE looking for a home. That is 105 warm-to-hot leads for your team to work with.Which one are you going to choose?
#7: I've Already Done SEO, I Don't Need to Keep Going
SEO is not a "set it and forget it" type of thing. It is not a one-time project.
It is ongoing. SEO is like another marketing channel; one that needs to be monitored and adjusted on a regular basis. The way search engines read your site is changing consistently, your SEO strategy needs to do the same.
If you want those qualified leads we talked about coming to your site, don't put SEO on the back burner.
#8: SEO is Dead
If it's not one, it's the other - we've heard it all! SEO is not dead!
As we mentioned above, the algorithms search engines use are continually being tweaked and adjusted. This brings new developments to the SEO industry. But as long as search engines exist, there will be people who are using them. And that means ranking is still important.
Let's switch gears here and take a look at some of the crazy (and contradicting!) myths surrounding social media.
#9: There are Too Many Social Platforms to Keep Up With
While there are a ton of social platforms out there, who said you had to be on ALL of them?!
Go back to your personas and look at what platforms they like to use. Those are the platforms you should focus on. Yes, there is crossover, but each network does offer something different to their preferred users.
Remember, it's not enough to just have a Facebook page or an Instagram account. You need to be active on them and engage with your followers. So prioritize which ones make the most sense for your goals and work on those. That will help prevent the feeling of being spread too thin!
#10: Social Only Works for Some Industries
Social can be an excellent platform for just about any industry - yes, even home builders! But, as mentioned, not all social channels are the same.
The key to making social work for you is to make sure you're active (see above!) and that your messaging matches the platform, i.e: long-form text doesn't translate well to Instagram...
#11: Social Media is for Top-of-the-Funnel Marketing
This particular myth has some basis in truth, or at least, it did.
For a long time, this was considered fact. You used social purely for your top-of-funnel marketing efforts, and it wasn't taken as seriously as other channels.
However, a lot has changed since then. Social is about people, and if done right, it allows you to deliver your message to the right people at the right time.
Social actually gives you the opportunity for serious lead nurturing. When you get a negative comment or complaint, taking the time to address it and give a thoughtful response will show your followers that you're listening and you care about what they have to say.
And that's important no matter where they are in your funnel.
#12: Retargeting Doesn’t Work
The only way retargeting doesn't work is if it's not being done properly.
There, we said it.
Look, if you're following best practices and not being a creep about it, it works! It really is as simple as that.
And, If done correctly, retargeting re-engages people who are already familiar with your brand. Besides, past site visitors are much more likely to convert than someone who's never heard of you!
Last, but certainly not least...
#13: Email is Dead
There were over 3.9 billion email users in 2019. This figure is predicted to reach 4.3 billion by 2023.
Go ahead, read that again.
The same thing we said about retargeting applies to email. If you constantly spam your contact list with email blasts, rather than actual email marketing, then no. Your email results are going to be in the toilet.
But email still outranks social media and can be a major influence on today's home buyer, if done correctly.
Plus, email has the ability to be and feel a little more personal. It's one of the few marketing channels that can do that.
Are you guilty of believing any of these myths? It's okay! Now you know what to do instead ;)
When your marketing strategy is working properly, the results are amazing. And with these myths busted you can get down to business working to improve each element for better results, month after month!
Originally published Nov 26, 2019.