Today’s savvy homebuyer is also an avid consumer of leading brands like Amazon, Netflix, and Instacart. These companies are changing the game for other customer-centric industries, like homebuilding.
Here are 4 marketing strategies to help you meet rising customer expectations:
- Prioritize the Mobile Experience
When a homebuyer is doing an online search for new homes, you want to be sure you’re showing up so you’re included in their consideration set. To reduce advertising costs long term, it’s important to augment your paid digital media plan with a sound SEO strategy. According to MRI Doublebase, 83% of homebuyers used Google in the last 30 days.Google is constantly updating its algorithm to better meet the needs of its users, so it’s no surprise that Google is starting to prioritize the mobile experience over the desktop experience when deciding whether to rank your site on page 1 of search results. According to Google, “mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will start using the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking, to better help (primarily mobile) users find what they’re looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version.”Look at your site critically and focus on updates that will enhance the mobile experience, such as compressing images to ensure faster page speed load times, simplifying the navigation to optimize clickstream paths and removing pages with “unuseful” content to reduce bounce rates.
- Create Lead Magnets
Not everyone who’s on the market for a new home is ready to buy immediately. The average home buyer spends an average of 10 weeks looking for a home before buying. In addition, they will typically view 10 homes. So, it’s important to stay top of mind by providing helpful content and resources, or a lead magnet. You can gate it and ask for contact information in exchange for giving homebuyers something of value.It is a more effective call to action than simply asking people to “join an interest list” or promoting an enter-to-win promotion that may attract unqualified buyers.Types of lead magnets:
1. Guide / Report
2. Toolkit / Resource List
3. Cheat Sheet
5. Quiz / See Your Results
Must-haves for lead magnets:
1. Specificity: solving a specific problem with a specific solution for a specific segment. It’s better to promise “One Big Thing” than a bunch of little things.
2. High perceived value and high actual value
3. Easily consumed
Before you start developing lead magnets, consider the audience segments you are targeting. It’s important to segment your prospective buyers and identify common pain points and goals so the message has a greater likelihood of being more engaging.
- Get Personal
Thanks to Amazon, consumers are used to seeing products and offers based on prior purchase and browsing behavior. In the era of “if you like this, you may like that,” consumers and companies benefit from added convenience and incremental revenue, respectively.According to Accenture, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them.A recent study shows:
• Personalization drives impulse purchases: 49% of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from the brand they were doing business with. For homebuilders, think upgrades in the design center.
• Personalization leads to increased revenue: 40% of U.S. consumers say they have purchased something more expensive than they planned to because of personalized service. For homebuilders, think bigger floorplan or bonus room option.
• Personalization leads to fewer returns: Only 5% of impulse purchases (mentioned above) were returned, and 85 percent of impulse buyers were happy with what they bought. For homebuilders, this means fewer cancellations or revisions to sales contracts.
• Personalization leads to loyalty: 44% percent of consumers say they will likely repeat after a personalized shopping experience. For homebuilders, a happy homebuyer can be your biggest advocate and invite friends and family to purchase from you.
- Know What’s Working and What’s Not
These days, it’s not enough to attract drive-by traffic to the sales office. Especially if the majority of those traffic units are lookie-loos and waste your sales person’s valuable time. Marketers are being held accountable to cost per acquisition metrics to justify marketing budgets.To further increase the return on your marketing investment, more sophisticated marketers implement technology that track and report analytics so they can measure conversion rates and cost-per’s by channel. In fact, CMOs estimate that in the next three years, analytics’ share of the marketing budget will triple to 17.3%. Technology that enables data gathering, consolidation and reporting is no longer a nice-to-have.Once you get a handle on what’s working and meeting your success benchmarks, deploy a test-and-learn plan to continually improve your metrics. Test new communication avenues, messaging, promotions, layouts, etc. Then, measure response and document outcomes. Applying new learnings to future initiatives will result in even better marketing performance.
Homebuilder marketers have an uphill climb. But by focusing on mobile, creating compelling assets, personalizing communications and implementing the right tools, you will have some of the foundational elements of a sound marketing plan.
If you want to learn more about how to improve your marketing to homebuyers, please contact us