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Digital marketing for real estate

A guide to digital marketing in the real estate industry

Analytics, Ecommerce, Marketing, Real estate, Technology | No Comments

As competition in the real estate industry increases, figuring out the formula to engaging with customers in a way that’s both time and cost efficient has become a kind of holy grail to marketers. A firm’s survival depends on staying ahead of competitors on every front and, unfortunately, offering the best value is no longer a guarantee of success. In the age of to-the-minute marketing, it’s also about promoting your brand through the most accessible platforms. These days, even with a website and some social media tools under their belt, firms can flounder if they don’t know how to market themselves effectively. When it comes to real estate, the fate of a business can rest on the decisions of just a few key players, so it’s even more vital the content and delivery of the material leave the right impression.

Email marketing isn’t dead

The road to intelligent email marketing has been a rocky one, to say the least. From the days of blanket spamming to the more personalised mail content of today, marketers have struggled to tap into the true potential of the medium. Despite that personalised emails have been proven to deliver transaction rates up to six times higher than traditional marketing methods, 70% of brands still fail to use them. A study by Experian found that the biggest obstacles with personalisation lie in gaining insight quickly enough (40%), having enough data (39%), and inaccurate data (38%). Now, with the advent of AI and intelligent content creation processes, emails can be personalised to suit the exact needs of the individual.
In real estate, this means sending only the properties that fit the specific requirements of the customer, and it benefits everybody. The customer only gets a selection of the best properties for their needs, while the marketer increases the chance of a sale. When promoting high-value products and services, the scattergun approach to marketing becomes ever more ponderous and even less effective. Clemmie allows marketers to combine the immediacy of an email with the impact of a personalised website to connect with customers on an individual level, identifying their key interests through analytics gathered from their interaction with specially selected content.
Digital marketing for real estate

Provide instant access to the best offers

One of the biggest advantages of the digital age is the increased level of interactivity and, more crucially, the opportunity to give customers the most up-to-date information possible. For businesses today, the ability to provide instant updates can make or break a company. Digital marketing is founded on utilising the medium to increase your brand’s visibility and ensure it’s core values are communicated effectively. This can only happen if marketers ensure they have a system in place that allows content to be updated regularly with relevant information, through the best channels. Google announced recently it will begin downgrading sites that aren’t optimised for mobile. With the number of emails opened on mobile devices increasing by 30% from 2010 to 2015, marketers can’t afford to delay the optimisation process any longer.
For real estate, digital marketing requires a significant investment of time studying the browsing patterns of customers. Taking note of peak times, studying bounce rates and subsequently tailoring content are essential to the marketers routine if they want to deliver the most optimised browsing experience possible. AI has made huge steps in alleviating the time constraints of round-the-clock content updates, but it’s primary use right now is in scheduling content to go live at non-working hours. With a Clemmie InSite, you can provide timely content at any time. Not only this, but thanks to the comprehensive analytics, you can begin to build up a pattern of when your clients are most active, and tailor your communication schedule accordingly.
Digital marketing for real estate

Target the right audience

According to a study by Digital Trends, 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant. To do this, marketers must first understand who they are marketing to, and why. Drawing up a characteristics tally allows you to objectively compare different clients using similar services (you can find these in the Followers of your counterpart company’s Twitter and Facebook pages). Using these, you can begin to collate details and create an accurate picture of the typical client, and begin to understand the kind of marketing content that would most appeal to them.
Targeting the right audience may seem like one of the simpler aspects of marketing, but it can present a myriad of problems. While a business’ core ethos should remain relatively fixed, marketers have to grasp the static nature of their audience, and the means by which to reach them. This is particularly true for real estate, which requires a keen understanding of the best channels through which to market their brand. For instance, posting multi-million dollar property ads to social media sites usually frequented by 18-25-year-olds is unlikely to yield as much ROI as an ad on a luxury car website. Using web analytics tools gives marketers deeper insights into where their audiences are based, how they come to find the website and what they do when they’re there. It’s then up to the marketer to decide how content should be tailored according to these variables.
Digital marketing for real estate

Personalise the experience

With all the different channels of communication available today, marketers have more tools to personalise their content than ever before. Email marketing, connecting through social media, and personalised minisites have enabled marketers to connect with their clients on a real, personal level, but also provide their fair share of headaches. While one-to-one marketing comes with its own unique set of challenges, it can also unlock insights into the mind of your target audience. One way to do this is to ensure you are having a conversation with the consumer, not just sharing information with them. It may sound obvious, but by asking consumers directly what they want, you can begin to build a better understanding of who they are and where they fit with your brand. There are so many channels to engage with your audience now, marketers really have no excuse. Despite this, 66% of marketers claim that one of the big obstacles to personalization is securing internal resources to execute personalised marketing programs.
In real estate, there are a number of resources for personalising communications, but they can vary between tools a marketer can’t do without to tools only the creator could love. As a marketer, it’s your duty to stay up-to-date with the latest and best tools at your disposal. Read reviews, talk to other marketers, and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to try out new tools on your own material, albeit in a controlled environment. Clemmie is aiming to usher in a new era of one-to-one marketing personalisation, one in which clients truly feel valued by the brands that interact with them thanks to content completely customised to meet their needs, and a reciprocal element behind the communications that ensures each interaction is a two-way street.
Digital marketing for real estate

Digital portfolio microsite for photograpgers

Why companies need to embrace the future of email marketing now

AI, Ecommerce, Innovation, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

Much like the human race, marketing is in a perpetual state of evolution and adaptation. Unlike the human race, marketing is also in a constant game of catch-up to the tech world’s own evolutionary process. Electronic mail has come a long way since the first ever mass email (sent by Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, back in 1978, in case you were wondering). During the 90s, email marketing first began to take shape, but the lack of widely available internet meant mass digital marketing didn’t take off until the next decade. Unfortunately, when it did, companies soon realised they could send ‘digital junk mail’ to both potential customers and total strangers with less expenditure than traditional marketing channels.

The dawn of the ‘spampaign’

New legislation was introduced to stem the tide of unsolicited emails but to little avail. The Data Protection Act, introduced in 1998, added a clause that meant every company had to offer an opt-out from their mailing list. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations act was  introduced to Europe in 2003 to draw up a clearer list of email marketing decorum, but even this failed to make a dent in the mass of daily junk mail. It wasn’t until 2004 and the introduction of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) that users began to gain some control over what landed in their inbox. The SPF was designed to identify the IP address of a sender, making it easier to qualify if the mail was spam. Since then, new technologies have been incorporated allowing users to identify and block spam with just a few clicks, but even this hasn’t deterred everybody.
In 2009, Return Path reported nearly 30% of commercial emails sent to users didn’t even reach an inbox. The internet was changing, but marketers were reluctant to give up on already entrenched email marketing habits. So companies continued to send out mass emails in the hope the scatter-gun approach would yield at least a few new customers based on odds alone. The days of blanket advertising should be over, but marketers still persist in the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Not only does this make opening your inbox in the morning a chore, it makes it harder to trust brands that have been guilty of an indiscriminate marketing campaign in the past.
AI for email marketing

Say goodbye to spamming

Not all the arguments against blanket marketing are based on how it will affect your brand image. Most email services now have comprehensive spam blockers in place to prevent this kind of aimless advertising making it through. Applications like Gmail are continually updating their spam blocker to keep inboxes free from unwanted mail. When this technology was first introduced, marketers had to figure out a way around these spam filters. So far, the results have been mixed. Many companies have struggled to retain an appropriate brand image while still making it past the filters. That’s in large part down to the sheer amount of time required in personalising each email, and that’s where modern technology can help. With Clemmie, users only receive the content relevant to them, and each new interaction with an InSite brings an even greater level of detail specific to the client.

Adopting AI & marketing automation

More and more marketers are turning to AI to engage with potential customers on a more personal level. We’re not yet at the point where it’s impossible to tell if it were sent by man or machine, but AI has made real inroads in enabling companies to contact large groups with personalised marketing content. With email marketing technology now used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies, it’s imperative that companies embrace advances in technology, such as the AI automation of sending times. A 2013 Marketing Effectiveness Study by the Lenskold Group found that companies who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle. So just how far will AI go? In fact, the days where marketing can be tailored to meet the needs of an individual are already here; AI technology is slowly taking on the role of content creator, courier and feedback connoisseur.
AI in email marketing

Dynamic content

Email automation has enabled a much more precise approach to marketing, but it still requires a human touch to add ensure the content isn’t too clinical, and that’s where dynamic content comes in. Dynamic content aims to create a more reciprocal experience for the consumer through constantly editing HTML content based on the user’s previous interactions with marketing material. So, if you search for a product on a B2C website like Amazon, subsequent emails received from Amazon will feature similar products. Thankfully, more marketers are beginning to realise the static, ever-changing nature of consumer’s requirements and are tailoring email correspondence to suit these needs.

Making the most of the metrics

It’s not just a person’s browsing history that can influence the content they see. By using analytics tools like Google’s, marketers can see a recipient’s location and tailor the email to include local events, or alert them to the nearest collection points. Tech-enthusiasts and marketers alike are predicting that one day every interaction we have with organisations, no matter how innocuous, will be completely tailored to an individual’s metrics. Analytics are fast becoming the most valuable asset to company revenue, so it’s vital firms understand how to utilise the data effectively. In the meantime, marketers are waking up to the need for content that is relevant to each specific user, and quality is finally taking centre stage over quantity.

Transactional emails=brand loyalty

Transactional emails are one of the best ways to engage with consumers because they are triggered to be sent out when an individual performs a pre-selected action on your site. Most marketers are only just beginning to appreciate the value of these emails to customer loyalty and the high conversion rates they inspire. After all, the open rates for transactional emails are 8 times higher than other emails. They’re easy to implement, highly personalised, drive revenue and they’re sent not as spam but in response to a request on behalf of the recipient. What’s not to like?
AI in email marketing

Moving into mobile

According to a study by Campaign Monitor, about 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. The number of emails opened on mobile devices increased by 30% from 2010 to 2015, and around 60% of online adults in the US and the UK use at least two devices each day. With email also bringing in the biggest ROI for marketers, it’s clear the future lies in engaging with a mobile population through their email with personalised content. It’s vital that marketers hit the right note instantly, particularly when you consider that 87% of clicks come about when a recipient opens the email for the first time. With 75% of Gmail users accessing their accounts via mobile devices, marketers can’t afford to not optimise their content for the mobile generation.

The Clemmie revolution

As technologies evolve, so too do the needs of the marketer. The hot ticket for anyone working in tech today is assimilation. Just as the mobile phone has slowly integrated other technologies, software capable of merging multiple functions is now becoming a must for marketers. Clemmie works as a marketing tool, allowing you to create personalised mini websites that can be sent instantly to a prospective client, shareholder or colleague. Clemmie’s real value, however, lies in the metrics it provides after your chosen recipient accesses their unique mini-site. This enables the marketer to gather all the necessary information needed to improve client communication, such as how long clients spent on site, how many times they shared it and what content stood out. We’ve talked before about the value of small data when it comes to platforming new content, but it can apply to almost any public aspect of a brand. With personalised email messages improving click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%, marketers need to seize every possible opportunity to personalise their content.
New Clemmie Header image

The simple truth of email marketing is there is no one way to implement it effectively, but there are a thousand ways to do it wrong. The current pace of technological change means the only way marketers can hope to stay on top is to constantly adapt their campaign methods according to what works best at the time. The methods may change, but the goal will always stay the same; to understand what clients want and how to give it to them in the simplest way, engage with them and ensure you’re meeting their needs that will encourage them to come back again and again. Advances in technology are allowing us to do this in ways we previously never thought possible, but it’s down to the marketer to use this technology to give their brand the platform it deserves.

Big Data in business

Why are some marketing professionals still ignoring big data?

Analytics, Ecommerce, Feature, Industry, Technology | No Comments

We’ve entered a new era in business. Digital marketing and ecommerce are rapidly becoming the new norm, with Digital commerce transactions predicted to climb to US$8 trillion by 2020. As the internet becomes the central platform for marketing, buying and selling products and services, the very concept of consumer insight is changing. With the growth of online sales comes a wealth of opportunities for businesses looking to understand their audience better. And that’s where big data comes in.

Big data is exactly what it sounds like (millions of bytes of information regarding human behaviour when online), but the name doesn’t come close to conveying its real value to the modern business. By studying large sets of data relating to how specific audiences interact with their content, businesses can pinpoint exactly what works, and what doesn’t for their brand. By quantifying audience engagement and providing insights into consumer behaviour previously only available through (often unreliable) consumer surveys, big data has revolutionised the marketing process. The business insights garnered through big data are huge, so why have companies been so slow to take advantage of these new opportunities?

Instinct over analysis is always a gamble

Despite the growth in big data, marketing professionals still rely too heavily on intuition and blanket distribution to get their message out there.  Whilst it’s vital a business doesn’t forget it’s USP, it’s also important to consider the metrics behind each figure before proceeding. Analytics tools track customer activity like bounce rate, the number of clicks and time spent on site, and generate reports based on the findings, removing a huge element of the guesswork from marketing. With Google Analytics, businesses can break down which aspects of their content works, as well as provide an insight into how to improve future output with ecommerce and conversion reporting. Businesses can find the right formula for their specific audience through studying a visitors demographics, interests, language, and location, as well as what devices and operating systems they use.

“Businesses can find the right formula for their specific audience”

Data distrust is natural, but rarely justified

Many companies distrust the information provided by big data, preferring instead to rely on intuition and business knowledge. These are the veteran marketers, dedicated to the kind of time-consuming audience research no longer applicable to the pervasive digital mass-market. They argue that big data might be able to tell you what people are doing, but it’s through intensive research that you find out why. Whereas the data can reveal a site’s click-through conversion rate is 6%, marketers need to use business acumen, API know-how, and common sense to understand why it isn’t higher. Whilst these skills are essential to anyone looking to grow their brand online, they just can’t take into account the changing attitudes of consumers to the same degree afforded by the addition of cold hard data. 

Improvisation is not the enemy

Campaigns have to be tailored to a specific audience. Taking an unbending approach to marketing never yields the best results, so it’s vital companies employ some business acumen when seeking to study their data. The issue for many marketing professionals today is the perceived rigidity of web analytics tools. But with web tools like Google Analytics, businesses can tailor their metrics to only show the data relevant to them. Analytics is a fantastic marketing tool, but it’s down to the marketers themselves to decide to what extent the data should influence the overall business strategy. Every business needs its own unique style. Basing every decision on data alone is a surefire way to leave a site cold, clinical and unloved, but to ignore it completely is to doom it to a life of internet obscurity.

“It’s down to the marketers themselves to decide to what extent the data should influence the overall business strategy”

Always check your process

Although big data has proven itself as an indispensable marketing tool, new opportunities will always throw up new potential pitfalls, and it’s important to understand a tool’s shortcomings in order to avoid them. The problems with big data arise when businesses fail to interpret the numbers properly or begin to view their clients in terms of numbers, rather than as people. Writing in Data-Informed magazine, CEO of software company YouEye Malcolm Stewart argues “The downside of this data obsession is that companies end up optimizing for where people click, instead of their actual experience.”

Stay on top of your data

It’s also natural to get overwhelmed with so much quantitative data available, but in order to effectively implement strategies based on site analytics, a business must first understand what they are seeing. This involves combining the human, qualitative approach to modern business and a firm grasp of digital design with clearly considered and accurately interpreted data. It’s a tricky task, but for those willing to put in the time to find the right formula, the rewards can be colossal.

Placing all your faith in the numbers will rarely let you down, but businesses would do well to remember it’s not the silver bullet to all their marketing woes; they still need to interpret the data correctly and implement strategies effectively. Business is about understanding your client, and the big data being pulled in across the web every day can be your ticket to real insights, but don’t let the figures hold you back from making original marketing decisions. There are some things even analytics can’t teach, and it’s in those moments that good old fashioned business instinct is your greatest weapon. Likewise, charging in with gut feeling alone will only see a business so far. The growth of ecommerce and digital transactions has changed business forever, but it’s only through integrating the fundamentals of yesterday with the tools of today that we can hope to ensure a fertile business environment tomorrow.

Content marketing

5 content marketing tips to boost your ecommerce strategy

Business, Ecommerce, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

Like it or not, ecommerce is here to stay. There’s no denying that buying online is increasingly becoming the go-to for goods and services, and that’s why it’s important companies large or small embrace the opportunities it provides now. As digital retail transforms the market, one aspect too often neglected in the hunt for new consumers is the physical content behind the products. If you can’t pull in your audience with some original content, your chances of converting clicks to sales are next to nill. That’s why we at Clemmie have drawn together the top five tips to nail your content marketing and invigorate your ecommerce strategy.

Tailor your content to local audiences

It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up business with a staff of five or a 500-strong team with offices around the world, your content has to take into account the different vernaculars of your prospective customers. This is particularly true when you’re providing a service to specific regions. Cutting and pasting direct content or rough translations just won’t cut it when it comes to marketing your brand effectively.

Take a look at the different dialects in each of your target regions and tailor your content to ensure it hits the right keywords. By studying local vernacular and utilising Google Analytics, you can gain a real insight into what people are searching for in different areas and begin to build up an accurate keyword profile for each region. By introducing regionally-specialised content, studies have found you can dramatically drive up your CTR (click-through-rate) and boost your on-site conversion rate.

Content marketing must keep up with the times

When creating your marketing content, it’s important to see it as a static process. Your content won’t stay relevant forever, and businesses that don’t regularly update could end up languishing in the back pages of search results forever. Keep your content marketing content fresh and adapt to changes in the market to maintain a regular flow of new visitors. It’s also important to keep an eye on major events, both on a large and small scale.

Major holidays can either be a major boost to your ecommerce campaign or a dry spell that costs you dearly depending on your marketing content. For an extra boost, use Google Analytics’ Event Tracking app to track your site’s key performance times and build your content around this data. Content built around major local, national and international events can pull in extra visitors when tastefully constructed.

Engage customers around elements important to them

When creating your ecommerce strategy, it’s vital consumers don’t just see you as a distributor; they have to see how your service or product fits with their lifestyle. Engaging with your customers on a real, human level is one of the biggest challenges any company can face, but there are several steps you can take to bring your business down to earth. Google Adwords gives you insights into what a client is searching for, and what they do after they’ve clicked on your ad.

Create customer profiles to understand exactly the kind of visitor you’re looking to pull to your site, then tailor your content around their most likely search words and phrases. In order to engage potential customers, you have to know more than just their browsing habits. What do they like to do offline? Where do they shop, eat and socialise? Only by crafting content to fit your customer’s personal lifestyle can you engage with them on a personal level and show how your business can meet their needs.

Keep it consistent and suitable

What may seem like one of the most obvious tips to your content marketing strategy is also often one of the most overlooked. Maintaining a consistent (and appropriate) tone in your writing style can be more challenging than you think, especially when you have a range of products or services on offer. If your brand image is that of a fun, free-thinking company, keep the text light, avoid jargon and make sure you hit this tone throughout your content.

Visitors to your site will switch off and click elsewhere if your content comes across as too disparate in tone. This doesn’t mean drawing up a template for each section and rigidly adhering to it at all times, but consistency is key to any marketing campaign. That means going through your content with a fine-toothed comb on both your site and across your social media channels.

Encourage participation and interaction

Content marketing isn’t just a one-way street. Making your customers feel valued is one of the best ways to show the human side to your brand. Competitions, surveys and votes to choose new content for the site can make a customer feel more than just a number in the queue and pull in new visitors in the process. When it comes to encouraging interaction with the site, it’s important you maintain a regular and consistent campaign right up until and after the results have been announced.

Offering a prize to one or more lucky contestants can further boost interaction levels whilst increasing customer loyalty to your brand. If you can maintain your competition across numerous social platforms, you can bring new visitors to the site and generate buzz around selected products or services. Choosing the right time-frame and incentive is vital to the success of your campaign. Too short a timeframe and you won’t have time to build a real buzz around your event, but too long and your audience will lose interest. Powerful calls to action really can inspire consumers, so make sure your content is emotive and succinct.