Friday
October 31, 2014

Make a Marketing Triple Play

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Make a Marketing Triple Play

Take your online marketing to another level by understanding how media work together in a highly connected and digital world.

You are empowered today with marketing opportunities that are truly unprecedented. Billions of people are on Facebook and YouTube every month. Smartphones and tablets now allow you to market from anywhere to anyone, anywhere. Savvy online marketers in real estate have mastered things like PPC and SEO (pay-per-click advertising and search-engine optimization).

Integrating these efforts will make them all more successful. That starts with understanding the three kinds of media—paid, owned, and earned—and working them.

Paid media is advertising. You can run a paid ad in the newspaper, but you don’t own the newspaper and you didn’t earn the write up. Other paid advertising in real estate includes buying enhanced placement on realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia—or buying PPC in Google. When you stop paying, it stops working.

Owned media is where you have the most control. You own your Web site. You also “own” your YouTube channel, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts in the sense that you determine the messaging. Unlike paid and earned media, owned media gives you 100 percent flexibility and control.

Earned media matters the most to increasing your conversions. Being featured in your local newspaper or on a local TV station was once the extent to which most real estate professionals “earned” media. Today, there are more options. When you write an original blog post (owned) and someone reads it and hits “Like” or “Tweet,” you have created earned media. Online reviews also are considered earned media because you can’t publish them yourself (owned) and you can’t buy them (paid).

Are you beginning to see how you might combine the three efforts? One boutique brokerage that’s pioneering integration is The Good Life Team in Austin, Texas. The team has a laser focus on one thing: the five-star consumer experience. The results have been tremendous financial growth and raving online reviews from clients on Google+, Yelp, and virtually anywhere else a review is possible. The reviews are genuine, compelling, and plentiful—and they convert.

As The Good Life Team CTO Jack Miller told me, “Our reviews are our best converting content on the Web—period. When people come through an online review, more often than not, they are pre-sold and ready to get started.”     

Most companies would stop there, but Jack and CEO Krisstina Wise wanted more. If reviews work the best, how do we make them more visible? One answer was running Google PPC ads specifically for their online reviews. They’ve even sponsored an ad that appeared above their own Web site in search results.

Why pay for an ad when your Web site organically ranks first? When you pay for an ad that’s specifically for a Google+ Business Page, it surfaces your stars and reviews first. Bingo! If people click the ad rather than the organic result, they are more likely to get to the bottom of the online funnel—calling or e-mailing for an appointment.

So The Good Life Team uses earned media (a Google review) on its owned media (Google+ business page), and then employed paid media (PPC ad) to bring additional awareness.

Brilliant.

I’ve also seen examples of banner ads on realtor.com advertising five-star Yelp reviews.

If you have great online reviews, why not pay to advertise them on sites like Facebook, Google, and Yelp—and anywhere else you are already spending money—even traditional advertising like billboards, direct mail, business cards, and park benches.

The convergence of social, mobile, search, and—most important—people always being connected to people has created a new opportunity for marketers who find the right mix of paid, owned and earned media.

For more on the topic, read the Altimeter Group’s "The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media."

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