Restarting Your Digital Marketing Machine

Restarting Your Digital Marketing Machine

Jul 13, 2021 | By Becca Thomas

For the last year, most builders in the US have experienced an excess of website traffic and leads. This has yielded higher than projected sales and maxed out production capacity. Because of this, marketing teams may have significantly reduced the amount invested in advertising or turned off ads altogether.

Excluding Texas and Utah, website traffic has started its yearly decline a bit early this year, and some sales and production teams are beginning to catch their breath. As traffic and leads decline, it may be time to restart digital marketing. Knowing the right time to increase ad spend again can be tricky, but if you do so with a good plan in place, you’ll be able to restart your digital marketing without overwhelming your team.

Things to consider when restarting marketing:

  1. Talk to your online sales specialist. Builders pulled leads forward in the first half of the year, but not sales, so they have some list hygiene to complete. Once online sales specialists get a handle on scrubbing the database of those who can’t purchase at the new price and have time to restart their follow-up process for those who do, they will be ready.
  2. Do you have inventory homes, homesites, and/or new communities coming down the pipeline? Does your production team have the capacity to manage more? These answers are going to come from leadership, but they should factor into your strategy.

When you are comfortable with the answers to both questions, it’s time to restart your digital marketing machine.

If you’ve turned everything off, here is a quick list of where to start, ranked by highest priority:

  1. Submarket Search campaigns – I recommend adding pricing back in if you took it out.
  2. Submarket Relocation campaigns
  3. Submarket Broad search term campaigns – with a very reduced budget and bid amount
  4. Submarket Existing home search term campaigns (if you will have inventory available in the next 90 days)
  5. Any Remarketing Display campaign you may have had (updated with new pricing)

If you’ve had submarket ads running the whole time but at a reduced bid and budget, it’s time to start bumping those bids up. I recommend starting earlier rather than later, with a small incremental bid increase, say 20%. Once your campaigns kickstart again, give them another bump. As always, remember to check your account three days after you increase bids.

Timing is difficult to judge and if you’ve accidentally waited too long, bump your bids up significantly, say 40-50%, and increase the campaign budgets as well. Don’t forget to check three days later because these can ramp up quickly!

If Google isn’t providing enough website visits, it’s time to layer in your paid social ads.
Start by turning back on your general market ad. Next, I would recommend adding coming soon community ads and creating ads to help generate traffic for any communities not reaching their goals. When inventory becomes available, don’t hesitate to promote these as well.

Turning your digital marketing back on without overwhelming your sales and production teams can be a fine art. Follow the steps of turning up Google ads first, and if you still need more traffic, then, add in paid social. Don’t worry about getting it 100% right the first time; just keep checking and adjusting!

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Becca Thomas
Senior Marketing Strategist

Becca Thomas

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