Digital Priorities for New Home Builder Marketers

Digital Priorities for New Home Builder Marketers

Mar 22, 2021 | By Jackie Lipinski

For the most part, most home builder marketers aren’t short on ideas. We’re constantly considering creative solutions and things to try—on top of the feedback we’re filtering in through leadership and other departments. More likely, we’re lacking the time or resources we need to execute everything we would love to do to make our marketing more effective. However, at times we need to step back and take a moment to prioritize whereour focus should really be.

So we asked the team at Do You Convert where home building marketing professionals should direct their energy at this time and they were excited to share what areas they believe make the biggest impact on our digital marketing goals. 

Jackie Lipinski:

Whether you are new to home builder marketing or you’re a seasoned vet, you know that this market is not typical. If your home building company is like many others who are either restricting sales and/or overflowing with leads, then here are my digital marketing priority recommendations on what you should be focusing on right now.

  1. Audit and adjust your website: Think of your website as your digital model home.If your physical model home has weeds growing out of it and is missing appliances, then it is not going to be appealing to most visitors. The same goes for your website. Identify what content pieces need to be updated (renderings, floor plans, new or refreshed house descriptions written, generic home photos taken for community pages) and find the resources to get it on the schedule to get it done. Also be aware that if your website isn’t easy to navigate or manage, now might be the best time to work on getting a new website.
  2. Audit and adjust your digital content: When it comes to creating digital content. Don’t create content for the sake of creating content. Prioritize the content that will make the home buying process easier for your customers to understand. Do you have a unique process?
  3. Review your website messaging.The information you are providing your leads in person should be on par with what your online message says. You need to identify all the messaging points on your website and make sure the communication is consistent. If your online sales team is providing updates that state sales will begin in X months or “We’ll notify you as soon as we have something available”, think about updating your website with the same content. One trick we’re recommending for builders in this hot market, that have too many community pages is to update, is to create one blog post with all the quick community updates on it and link to it from the community pages. This way you only have one blog post to update vs multiple community pages. You can also link to this blog from your homepage. 
  4.  Understand your data:Create data dashboards to better understand and breakdown your data and understand what is working and where to make marketing adjustments. The dashboard can be as simple as an Excel sheet or you can pull your website data into Google’s Data Studio. Doing this will also help you learn how to identify patterns in your website traffic data and understand where your traffic is coming from for each community.
  5. Adjust your ads: This is after “understanding your data” because you should know how to adjust your ad spend best after you have identified your company’s lead needs, sales goals, and know your current online traffic per community. Once you understand these details you will have a better understanding of how to adjust your online marketing spend for each community’s needs.

 

Julie Jarnagin:

If I had to strip everything down to the basics, my priorities for digital marketing for home builders would be: 

  1. A user-friendly website with up-to-date information and great content including photography, virtual tours, videos, and strong website copy. 
  2. Creating and understanding dashboards for measuring what’s working. Examples would be Google Analytics, Excel dashboards, and/or Data Studio. 
  3. Finally, a few strategically chosen marketing channels where you could reuse that great content from your website to reach more customers (social media, email marketing, paid search, etc.)

As they say, the answer is simple, but maybe not easy. 

 

Andrew Peek:

Not everything can be a priority. We have a finite amount of time to drive the highest quality leads, appointments which should ultimately lead to sales. Below is the list of priorities in order of what I believe the new home marketer should focus on. 

While this list could read that items at the bottom of the list are not important at all – I strongly believe that marketers need a “fun” or “pet” project that they are working on solely because they enjoy the process and it develops other skills. As an example, TikTok. Should new home marketers prioritize this social platform? Not really. However, if this is the platform that you are excited about to learn and it takes up a small percentage of your time – go after it, but not at the expense of more important items.

Disclaimer: I have a bias towards the “Marketing Technologist” role. 

My intent with the list below is: #6 can be done – but not at the expense of the time needed for #4. If you struggle to create reports and communicate this to leadership, I do not believe you should be out photographing homes and editing images.

  1. Website content, usability, and function
  2. Traffic that drives quality leads & appointments. Google Ads and then Facebook Ads
  3. Budget management and allocation between traffic sources
  4. Reporting & communicating marketing to leadership & other departments. Google Analytics & Data Studio
  5. Solid understanding of your CRM to be able to analyze leads alongside your Online Sales Team
  6. Photography & Video – created by your team
  7. Graphic design/banner creation – created by your team
  8. Social Platforms or content similar to TikTok & IG Reels

 

Bryce Baker:

Going back to basics often allows you to get a good refresh on the order of importance, if I had to break down my order of importance for today’s home building industry it would consist of the following: 

  1. Website – User-friendly website with content that is relatable and easy to navigate. Focusing on photography, videography, and eliminating rendering, etc. 
  2. Traffic – Traffic to on-site and the website that is of quality. Utilizing Google and Facebook with a few syndication sites like Zillow as well to help drive quality traffic. 
  3. Reporting – Having a clear idea of how you, your company, and your team is doing, through accurate but easy understanding of data. Using Analytics, Google Data Studio, and Google Sheets to paint a picture to keep your team and management abreast of what the market is doing at all times helps others see the bigger picture.

 

Sarah Simmerman:

This is a perfect time to discover ways to improve your website. Chances are, you do not need to spend as much of your budget driving traffic, creating the perfect opportunity to budget for improvements to your digital user experience.

First, identity areas for improvement; do a deep dive into analytics, use heatmaps, user tests, and even surveys to see your website from the user’s perspective. Once you identify the content that draws people in, where people get stuck navigating your site, and overall frustrations in finding the information you will be able to make a plan to prioritize and implement these improvements.

At a minimum, you want to be sure you have complete and detailed pages promoting the areas you build, communities, floorplans, and have appropriate call-to-actions. Think of these questions as you create your content: Where do I want to live? What do I want my community to feel like?  How will my life improve in this house? What’s my next step?

We are all busy right now but try to schedule 1 hour a week to focus exclusively on website improvements. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish!

 

Becca Thomas:

Managing expectations is the name of the game, whether you need to communicate your waitlist conditions or convey the homesite availability and time to build, setting clear upfront benchmarks that your sales & production team are able to meet is vital. Get creative with your transparency message on your site and support your sales and production teams. If you address it upfront they will thank you for saving them from having to say NO one more time.

 

 

The DYC marketing team also put together this quick list for you of some of their favorite tools that help create, design, schedule, analyze, track and report more efficiently.

 

 

The post Digital Priorities for New Home Builder Marketers  appeared first on Online Sales and Marketing for Home Builders - DYC.

Jackie Lipinski
Senior Marketing Strategist

Jackie Lipinski

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