In this ever-changing digital marketing landscape, marketing professionals recognize that online marketing will continue to be one of the most important channels for your overall marketing strategy moving into 2020.
With all of the advancements in video, live streaming, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, messenger bots, etc., online marketing continues to be one of the most prominent tools when it comes to marketing your business.
However, several things have changed in the past year. Social media algorithms continue to dominate the conversation with users seeing a massive decline in overall engagement, reach and followers on their brand and business pages. Instagram rolled out beta testing on “hiding likes” in the U.S. – which means users who are part of the test will no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos in the feed and on profile pages. However, they will still be able to see how many likes their own posts received.
Facebook rolled out their “Special Ad Category” which requires all U.S.-based housing, employment and credit advertisers to select the “Special Ad Category” option in Ads Manager when creating ads. This feature now restricts several ad targeting options — removing the ability to target ads by age, gender, zip code, multicultural affinity or any detailed options describing or appearing to relate to protected characteristics — to prevent advertisers from running discriminatory ad campaigns.
In addition, we’ve seen a shift in consumer behavior. Over the last five to seven years, the average consumer needed 16 touch points before pulling the trigger and making a purchase. Today, it is estimated that the number of touch points for that same consumer has increased to 33.
So, with the constant changes, increased competition, and consumers needing ever-increasing points of contact before saying yes, it is more important than ever to remain ahead of the game in terms of your digital marketing strategy.
What does all of this mean for Realtors? We’ve put together a list of the top five real estate marketing trends we see as being key for real estate agents in 2020.
- Streaming Video Ad Engagement
Video was a digital marketing must in 2019 and that trend will continue to increase in 2020. Marketers report that more than 74% of U.S. consumers 13 years of age and older watch streaming or online video weekly with 41% watching daily. What’s even more staggering is that of that 74%, close to 80% will watch online ads in exchange for free content. From listing videos to video testimonials and live streaming open houses via Facebook/Instagram Stories and IGTV, video marketing is not going away and should remain at the top of your to-do list in 2020.
- Chat Marketing: Messenger Bots
Chat Marketing is dramatically changing the way businesses acquire, retain, and service their customers. We saw massive growth in chat marketing in 2019 with real estate agents using messenger bots as one of their initial touch points to prospective clients, as well as immediate follow up to those searching for more information about a particular listing. With the rise in popularity of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s Direct Message platform, we recommend real estate agents look for a CRM solution that can utilize, store, and segment various interactions through these messaging apps.
- Social Media Stories Are Here to Stay
If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website or landing pages, reach new audiences or initiate higher engagement with your followers, then Facebook and Instagram stories is a must for your overall marketing strategy in 2020.
It is estimated that there are more than 300 million accounts using stories on a daily basis so it’s important to develop a solid strategy that focuses on current, relevant content and immediate feedback from clients. Posting live during an open house or showing unique behind-the-scenes footage can encourage more people to attend. Use polls or the countdown feature to build anticipation for an upcoming listing or development project. When using stories to promote an open house or new listing, we recommend you show your face so that audiences have the opportunity to get to know you.
Lastly, be sure to incorporate the location stickers and three relevant hashtags to help your content get discovered locally.
- Your Email Marketing
With an increased focus on privacy, you may have noticed a significant decline in your campaign’s open and click through rates this year. You are not alone. Despite these current stats, email is still an incredibly effective tool in real estate to remain top-of-mind amongst your clients, nurture prospective leads through the sales cycle, drive traffic to your website, and deliver timely, relevant market data or blog content.
Our recommendation for 2020 is to ensure your audience lists are up to date and that your campaigns are mobile friendly. Also, make sure you are personalizing your email content based on data from website visits, click-through history, and email preferences. Finally, remember that the quality of your email marketing campaigns always trump quantity. Do not spam your audience as this is not an effective strategy to convert or maintain existing clients.
I hope you found this information helpful. By turning these trends into action, I am sure your real estate business with thrive in 2020. If you have further questions, or need assistance with developing your marketing strategy, please email us at email@example.com. Good luck in the new year!
Original post written by Carole Gurule, Onyx Communications