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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2017

Develop Relationships Through Digital Marketing

Successful online strategies require multiple touch points

If you are good at what you do and your customers are satisfied, then you are bound to get plenty of referrals. Although word of mouth is a great way to get business, you need quality marketing to keep a steady number of clients coming in.

The problem is that marketing can be expensive and, even after you pour money into it, it won’t necessarily guarantee more clients will come your way as a mortgage originator. Good digital marketing requires more than just money. It requires experience, knowledge and a lot of patience.

Marketing online isn’t just about selling a product or a service. It is about utilizing software and technology to build relationships with potential customers. It is important that you invest in quality digital marketing because you can use it to not only get leads, but you also can effectively turn those leads into customers.

Quality digital marketing includes the proper utilization of social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and e-mail marketing to get the right leads and direct the right kind of people to your business. When it comes to marketing, quality is more important than quantity.

SEO strategy

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the techniques and strategies used to increase the volume of traffic to a website. When you use a search engine to look something up, you probably click on one of the top results.

You might go to page two or three of the search results, but only if you are really desperate. Most people click on results on the first page. This is why SEO is so important. Your goal is to get your website to the top of the results, and the way to do that is through the proper utilization of SEO tools.

Compared to other strategies, SEO is cost-effective, and it should be seen as the foundation of your online presence. Even if you don’t see it as a priority, remember that your competitors do. If there are two companies selling virtually the same thing, search-engine users are much more likely to go with the business that appears higher up in the results.

Remember, SEO is not a one-time thing. It is something you should constantly work on and invest in. Investing in long-term, organic SEO should be an important part of your marketing strategy.

Social media

Like it or not, potential customers are going to take your social media presence, or lack thereof, into consideration before doing business with you. When people see that you have hundreds or thousands of followers and plenty of likes, retweets, reactions, comments and shares, they will be more likely to do business with you.

This is called social proof, and it can make or break your business. Although platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can be very beneficial, the trickiest and most profitable of all of them is Facebook. It is tricky because the Facebook algorithm is frequently changing.

An algorithm, in this case, is a self-contained automated-reasoning process governed by a set of logical assumptions, calculations and data-processing rules. This means that there are actions programmed into the Facebook platform that can be manipulated into directing the right kind of traffic to your business. When you invest in Facebook advertising, you can decide on exactly how much money you want to spend on any given day. The amount of leads you get, however, depends entirely on your ability to use the algorithm to your advantage.

The internet offers new opportunities for businesses to sort through the traffic, find the right people to target and turn them into customers.

Because Facebook allows you to select for the age range, gender, interests and occupation of the groups you want to target, you need to make sure that you target the kind of people who may turn into leads and then into customers. With the right marketer assisting you with your Facebook account, you can spend between $1 to $3 per lead, instead of $7 to $10.

The Facebook algorithm changes constantly, however, and marketing techniques employed via the platform are sometimes rendered useless with each algorithm change. This is why you need to work with a Facebook marketer who knows the platform inside and out. It’s not something you can pick up in a few hours.

E-mail marketing

Using e-mail for marketing may seem a bit archaic, but let’s face it: Most people have an e-mail address and many check their inboxes frequently. This is why an effective e-mail marketing strategy is important. Before you start your e-mail marketing strategy, you will need to collect e-mail addresses.

You can do that by installing an e-mail capture widget onto your website, which can be found for free online. Before people hand over their e-mail address to you, however, you will need to give them an incentive. Start by writing some kind of content such as an e-book and convert it into a pdf. Invite your visitors to sign up with their e-mail address to receive the content. Once you have your e-mail addresses, you’re in business.

Next, you should sign up for some sort of customer-relationship management (CRM) software, such as Active Campaign, MailChimp or Rejoiner. You can then import the captured e-mail addresses into the software and develop an automated-marketing campaign that will send regular e-mails to your contacts.

Those e-mails can be specifically targeted to each lead based on their activity and interests. Again, this is not something you can learn overnight. E-mail marketing strategies are being updated and perfected on a daily basis, and the automations can be complicated and difficult to manage. Adding someone with experience in this area to your team will prove beneficial for your business.

Online relationships

There is much more to marketing today than commercials and billboards. The internet offers new opportunities for businesses to sort through the traffic, find the right people to target and turn them into customers.

With the help of social media, e-mail marketing and organic SEO, you can see exactly who you are targeting and which leads turn into customers and which ones do not. There also are many ways to retarget potential customers who have expressed interest, but have not made the final step to becoming a customer.

It is not enough for customers to know your name anymore. You need to create multiple touch points with borrowers to establish trust and reliability. Relationship building is an important aspect of online marketing, and it is a strategy that is much more effective virtually.

Think of it like making friends. Once you meet someone that you would like to be friends with, the friendship won’t blossom on its own. You need to put in the effort by sending text messages, talking on the phone, meeting for coffee, going out for dinner, etc. These are all touch points you need to make with the individual to establish a friendship and build a relationship.

The same goes for online marketing. It’s not just about selling. It’s about building a relationship with your customers, and the internet makes building relationships easier than ever.


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