If we were to make a list of industries that we’re well versed in, property development marketing would definitely be in there. We’ve worked for some of the best and most innovative property developments across the country via channels such as Google Ads, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Social Media, Content Marketing and much more over a number of years. We’ve got it down to a fine art if we do say so ourselves. With property more so than most other industries, consistency across all of these platforms is the key because it’s an industry where attribution seems a little higher than others, meaning customers usually don’t convert on the first visit. You need to be able to see the bigger picture from a data perspective to know for example if the customer might have seen your Facebook advertisement first, then been remarketed to via Google Ads and eventually converted after finding your site again through an organic search. This is a customer journey that is rarely straightforward so making sure you can be in front of them across multiple channels is super important.
As we said, this requires consistency across those channels, which leads us to our first point.
Consistency of Tone
The intended lifestyle benefits and community identity are usually one of the first things a property development looks at long before even breaking ground. This makes marketing quite easy across all of the traditional channels, but how does that translate into something like SEO, Social Media, or Google Ads? While a lot of developers have no trouble figuring out their messaging, there does seem to be a disconnect that we have often had to bridge between how that message is communicated online compared to offline. What seems natural and normal via traditional media such as radio, television and print for some reason isn’t always applied to online channels and this is where opportunity starts to slip through your hands with regards to the level of interest that can be generated there and how strongly online channels can back up your offline efforts.
So how would you apply this to those channels?
There are three main aspects to having a great social media presence that’s in line with your tone of voice when doing property development marketing.
Your Facebook page: This is where you can tell an ongoing story in real time with development updates, community events and local news. An easy way to stay on brand.
Your community engagement: This is something that many businesses of this nature tend to miss. Facebook is a great way to interact with your residents and potential residents in ways that are unachievable anywhere else. Some like to do this purely via their Facebook page while others like to start community Facebook groups to encourage residents to talk to each other and be more honest and open about their thoughts on the development itself. Priceless data for developers and a great way to address any potential issues directly in a way that ties into branding. Any good salesperson or company representative should be well versed in the tone to take to market when they’re talking to these people face to face and online is no different.
PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising: This is the area where the disconnect happens most. A common mistake many businesses make is thinking that the very different way in which this form of advertising works means that it doesn’t need to be informed by the overall marketing campaigns. Too often we’ve seen Facebook advertising campaigns that are not at all in line with the imagery and messaging being put out there via billboards and television for example. But that connective tissue serves to reinforce those things much more strongly than the offline efforts alone. It’s important that your Facebook advertising matches (aside from the obvious changes required for such a platform) the broader marketing plan. This is especially true where remarketing is concerned. Seeing a billboard once is fine, but then seeing that same imagery and messaging while online later maximises exposure. But that might not be the point at which they convert, which is where the next point comes in.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The fact that we often see the ability to download brochures that are otherwise available offline aside, this is another area where we commonly see a disconnect. It’s understandable that it’s not always immediately obvious, but your website is a marketing tool. For this reason it needs to connect to the broader strategy too (starting to see a theme here?). The imagery across the site should at least echo the advertising and the tone of voice should sound familiar to anyone who has seen it.
But visual and contextual consistency aren’t the only things at play when it comes to your website. You also want to maximise chances that you are showing up in organic search listings for multiple reasons. You obviously want to show up for the right keywords so that you can get in front of motivated buyers, however showing up for these and branded terms also assists when it comes to the high level of attribution we mentioned earlier. Few people who drive past your billboard are going to call you there and then, but they will very likely Google you later. The same goes for Social Media advertising sometimes as we’ve noticed an odd but statistically significant trend of consumers seeing a Facebook advertisement but then opening a new tab and Googling the business to visit the website. It also assists in remarketing because once they visit your website they can then be remarketed to on Facebook, Google Ads and display networks. It’s a big, beautiful circle of life!
Google Ads – formerly Google Adwords
One thing SEO can’t do is be quick and agile. Earning your spot on the front page takes time (as all matters of trust do) and utilising that channel to gather data on what is working best in terms of search engine behaviour would be a long and drawn out process that could take years. This is where Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) comes in. With this platform you can gather together your best educated guesses along with a bit of research and launch your brand into the search engine marketplace to start gathering data that will help you refine your efforts (and inform your SEO campaigns) over time. Even once the SEO starts to kick in you can retarget these campaigns towards other keywords that you don’t rank for organically, although if both paid and organic traffic for the same keyword are both bringing in converting leads then there isn’t necessarily a reason to pull away from your first campaigns rather than to build on them.
Remarketing is also a hugely beneficial part of this approach, with a huge network of websites participating in their display network community, meaning they will get timely reminders in unexpected places as well as on the search engine.
Tracking your progress
And of course none of the above would mean anything without the correct tracking in place. We’ve talked a lot about attribution and Google Tag Manager is by far the best way to track this. But aside from that, it’s also the best platform to track something that is trying to maintain consistency across multiple channels because it can track each and every one of them and offers you a level of customisation for the reporting on these things that you can’t get anywhere else.
In property development in particular, leads can take a very long time to close, so knowing exactly where all of your leads are coming from in as concise a manner as possible is of the utmost importance given that it’s hard to know in any short amount of time what is and isn’t converting on the other end. Once you do know this however and given the great amount of return on sales for this industry you can have the marketing paying for itself and turning huge profits with a high degree of certainty on which approaches are pushing those numbers.
There is so much more that we could cover here, but if you take only one thing away from this, make sure it’s the idea that you need to carry your consistency with branding, messaging and tone of voice just as diligently into your online efforts as your offline efforts. Both work in tandem and interact with each other in ways that we could write multiple blogs on (and just might). Property development marketing is such a rewarding exercise because of how well it lends itself to all of these channels. When done right it all makes a beautiful kind of sense and makes money hand over fist!
As always if you’d like us to elaborate or want to explore your marketing options, please feel free to get in touch!