Although it takes time and effort, search engine marketing is proving to be extremely effective for property marketing. In today’s digital world, Google AdWords is a great way to reach your audience.
Property marketing has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Off-the-plan property marketers are leading the way online, increasingly turning to online advertising methods, using traditional knowledge with new mediums.
Despite the benefits these technological advances have brought, some real estate agents are still reluctant to advertise online, perhaps unsure of what steps to take first.
With off-the-plan marketing you have the difficulty of trying to sell something that doesn't actually exist. Because of this, these properties tend to stay on the market longer than other homes, and marketers have looked for new ways to get exposure and create a sense of urgency.
Project marketers need to keep their clients properties as visible as possible and AdWords puts them in the pockets and on the screens of home buyers across the country. Residential and commercial property marketers haven't delved into search engine marketing (SEM) in the same way, but it's something they could find equally as beneficial.
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The old way of advertising off-the-plan properties
Property marketers have been enjoying success with traditional advertising methods – newspapers, billboards and letterbox drops – and for many it's been a case of why fix what isn't broken. Traditional media has long been the go-to option for project marketing, with the foray into internet often limited to display ads – the most similar online method available.
Any downturns in interest have been blamed on the market or the economy slowing, rather than a change in consumer behaviour. However, the industry is shifting and those in sales have to do more homework and work harder to create a demand.
Real estate marketers need to diversify their marketing spend to get the best results, and AdWords is one of the best options for this.
Nadia Desnoux, marketing manager at McGrath Projects, said, "Project marketing has traditionally been a one-way conversation, but it's not always been relevant to customers. AdWords allows us to tailor our sales pitch and put us in front of home buyers and property investors showing real intent."
What is AdWords?
Even if you haven't used it as a marketer, it's almost certain that you've seen AdWords as a consumer.
AdWords is Google's advertising platform, which shows relevant ads to people when they make searches. AdWords, or pay-per-click advertising, isn't a new practise by any means, but it's one that off-the-plan marketers haven't been making full use of, until recently.
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There are two main reasons for this. The first is that it takes time to do properly, and many project marketing companies and real estate agencies simply don't have the resources to manage a campaign properly.
The other is that it's not necessarily a simple task. While pay-per-click (PPC) can be incredibly effective when done well, it's not something that everyone can get their heads round.
Despite these two factors, many agents have dabbled with AdWords and because they didn't get a handle on all the intricacies, they didn't get great results; in turn, writing off the method and thinking it would turn into a bottomless pit for their advertising spend.
Nadia Desnoux added, "Your success with search engine marketing is determined by how you run your campaign, not necessarily how much money you throw at it. Many of us are time poor and doing it right takes resources we don't have. That's why we teamed up with Metropolis. They take charge of our new development campaigns and they really know what they're doing."
Metropolis is a Sydney based marketing company that utilises the CAMPAIGNxpress software to help real estate agencies reach their full potential online.
David Carmody, account director at Metropolis, added, "We believe search is one of the most important channels in marketing off-the-plan apartments, as it captures all audiences at the point of initial information enquiry, outside the publisher networks."
"It allows us to constantly track and measure audience trends in real time, to delivery optimum campaign enquiry to for new property developments."
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One of the main things people get wrong with AdWords is trying to be too broad with who sees the ads. Targeting the right audience is a vital component of getting AdWords campaigns to be successful – it's much better to advertise to a small group of people interested in buying a property than to a large group who are not in a position to buy.
Nowadays, Google has more information than ever to help you get it right. The search engine allows you to advertise to groups of people based on a number of different factors, such as location, income and the sites they visit. The more you learn about your audience, the more leads you can generate.
Using this information through different stages of your ads can prove useful, not just on a campaign level, but also on a business level.
Nadia Desnoux commented, "The campaign provides insight into the current audience, not historical data that we've relied on in the past, which helps improves the next campaign."
Modernising marketing methods
As more and more of the population goes online for purchases, and to research their purchases, it's important to be where the crowd is. Tools like AdWords give marketers the information to make smarter choices with their advertising spend, and because of its specific way of targeting audiences, AdWords is one of the most effective ways to get a return on investment with your marketing budget.