Sunday, 13 April 2014

7 Ways To Boost Real Estate Sales With Digital Marketing

Real estate in India has found new contrivance for marketing and pushing sales and revenues, called real estate digital marketing. Today, high to middle-low end customers’ journey in India starts with online research.


Real Estate India






Indian customers are excessively using Internet to search and research before buying high value item especially real estate.


In India, when you have more than 200 million users online, which is the creamy layer of India’s marketplace consisting of high-net-worth individuals to middle class and lower-middle class, and then no real estate company in India can afford to ignore Internet’s role as a marketplace and marketing funnel.

Now, real estate companies in India are exploiting digital marketing to reduce their marketing spends on traditional media, and enhance their outreach, effectiveness, and conversion rate.

In a survey by Assocham, real estate firms in India spend about Rs. 2,500 crore per annum on advertisements and marketing, out of which 25 per cent are directly spent on digital marketing.

With such a major chunk of digital marketing proves that real estate has approved its efficacy and relevance.

Just recently, Tata Housing announced that online sales could easily reach 30 per cent of the total revenue in coming years.

There you are, if you belong to the real estate industry in India, digital marketing is currently playing crucial role in your sales.

Moreover, on Internet you have level playing field, where you can challenge big players with your innovative and creative marketing campaigns and without spending moolah for it.

Now question is – “how do you boost your online sales?” to answer that I have listed seven ways you can boost online sales with real estate online marketing.

#1. Help Your Customers Through Your Blog– ‘Answer them’

In any high-valued product selling, providing in-depth details helps better and informed purchase decision. Therefore, in real estate digital marketing, blog is at the core to create interest, engage, convince and eventually convert the incoming traffic.

Real Estate India Blog Marketing


As we’re dealing with real estate, therefore, try to develop blogs on the frequently asked questions, or on the topics that interest most to them.

Research it through to find the online customer purchase journey.

I’m sure for real estate, customer journey is longer, so try to find the questions or brainstorm or maybe survey within your present customer base to understand that what kind of words/keywords they use, and what topics they generally start with.

Thereafter, move to deeper questions and try to develop blogs on each answer.

Moreover, search for the trending topic related to real estate market, for example – in January SBI and HDFC reduced their home loans interest rate – now why not use this news to push sales online?

With blog, you get dual benefits first with relevant and high-quality content you get higher ranks in search engines, and again with content you are able to engage your audience and convert them.

#2. Develop Your Strategy and Campaign from Conversion Perspective

It is a commonplace in digital marketing, creative digital marketers tend to forget or avoid the importance of conversion strategy.

Real Estate India Conversion Rate


Therefore, you will easily find many campaigns that are there for the entertainment sake, not conversion. Just tell me, you have created the hype and interest but now what?

If you do not tell your audience, what to do after watching branded video, viewers will not make any effort to continue further. So, it’s important to tell them to ‘subscribe’, to ‘opt-in’, to ‘visit’, to ‘call’ etc.

It is quite simple to do it, just focus on your goal and conversion strategy, and then develop your marketing strategy and campaigns. There are few important components in your conversion strategy – call to actions, designing, pitching, and customer profile.

However, still I would not tell you to compromise on your creativity, because creativity enables engagement, and without which customer will not easily believe in you. Make creativity your differential advantage, and try to marriage it with your conversion strategy, in digital media it is quite easy.

#3. Engage Your Customers Wherever Possible – Email, Blog, Social Media, Forums etc.

As I told you earlier, your target audience is searching and researching extensively on digital channels. So, it’s important to engage them, start a conversation, make a dialogue, and enable interaction.

On Internet, engagement can be through emails, on social media, blogs, forums, groups, communities etc. There are endless opportunities available around you. All you need is to join these, where you will find people searching for your product online.

Engagement cannot happen just like that you need strategy on - how you will create interest in the customer (through blog, infographics, video, contests etc.), what will be the platform and technology (blog, flash media, social media etc.), what kind of conversation you want to start, and lastly, what will you get out of it (identity, brand following/loyalty, customers, sales etc.).

For any brand online, engagement is the quick and effective tool that builds sense of dependability, amiability and loyalty among audience.

In real estate market, where purchase decision can take longer time, these engagement tactics, will enable you to be on top-of-the-mind, and simultaneously, it goes long way in word-of-mouth.

#4. Market on Vertical Search Engines Properly and Extensively

Today, in real estate digital marketing strategy in India vertical search engines such as (99acres, Makkan, IndiaProperty etc.) has become inevitable. You just can’t ignore them.

Almost all of them are in top searches of Google. Even for generic keywords such as ‘real estate India’, ‘real estate industry in India’, etc. Moreover, they’ve huge flux of loyal audience directly on their websites.

All offers free listing, but there are paid listing and advertisements available. But before you choose, I would recommend to check with the website, how much your local audience is available on the vertical search engines.

Also, try to research about your competitors on these vertical search engines, and I’m sure you will find local property dealers and brokers online selling and renting real estate.

The prime thing I do not like about these engines is that they are focused on moneymaking and their algorithms and their system is flawed. However, with market turning competitive they are changing this.

Let me give you an insider view – suppose, 50 leads are generated on these websites, then what they do is that they offer all these leads to the premium customers first, and thereafter provide these leads from top down to customers with cheapest packages.

This very thing often confuses the customer leading to further delay in their purchase decision. Most importantly, eroding the quality of leads generated.

However, you still cannot ignore them for the reasons I just explained you above. Nevertheless, just research it thoroughly; ask for the local analytics because often they give you national data, which is misleading.

And when generating ad copies for vertical search engines do not forget to use keywords, call-to-actions and try to provide clean and HD photographs, so target group could get sense of your brand and properties.

#5. Improve Your Advertising and SEM – Targeting, Budgeting and ROI

If you are not able to push your SEO and reach top searches, if you are not able to generate traffic that you wanted, if you want highly targeted audience for your product, then advertising and SEM can be your best option available.

Real Estate India Search Engine Marketing


Today, almost all real estate marketing strategies have online advertising and SEM to reach their audience where they are not able to reach with their organic methods.

However, marketers often make mistakes while targeting, budgeting and developing ad copies, and seldom have they had separate SEM and advertising strategy.

This very thing bloats the budgets out of proportion and leads to abysmally low conversions and ROI.

I suggest you three things to improve your advertising and search engine marketing

Keyword and Targeting

– keywords are for targeting your audience and enabling you to reach them. To effectively target keywords, you can use Ubersuggest and Google Adwords. Google’s Analytics and Webmasters can be your treasure trove if you are using it for long term. You can find keywords that are performing for you, and avoid that not performing or enabling you to reach your targets.

Developing and Writing Ad Copies

– again highly targeted copies will help you to convert easily. Try to develop ad copies keeping in mind specific need of your prospect, and write copies using CTAs.

Testing and Monitoring

– lastly, A/B test by taking two ad copies and changing their colors combination, CTAs, content etc. Awesome Tip – try to use one or two colors only, and talk about prospects’ needs in lesser words and innovate a little.

In the end, I would recommend you to use advertisement Remarketing/Retargeting, it’s quite important in real estate digital marketing to reach again and again to your customer, and follow up.

#6. Second Screen Marketing For Real Estate

According to IAMAI mobile Internet users’ population to reach 185 million by June 2014, this is 26 per cent of the total population.

Real Estate Responsive Design


Why this matters to real estate marketing?

It matters a lot. Because this population consist of users, who can afford to buy smartphones and tablets, which do not have laptops, who are easily accessible on the go, and who are from rural India. These attributes makes mobile internet marketing highly enticing for any marketer.

Therefore, I recommend you, to develop separate second screen marketing strategy, and try to invest in responsive website and mobile content.

Try to include instant messaging (Whatsapp, WeChat, Snapchat etc.) in your strategy, and use new social media platforms such as (Instagram, Vines etc.).

Google Maps for real estate is highly important, and you can target local audience on both Desktop and Mobile.

You can do lot’s of experiments here, nevertheless ROI is still an issue but overtime as market matures in India, second screen will deliver better results.

#7. Real Estate Video Marketing

People researching online for real estate properties often looks for tangibility in shape of content – web content, blog, image, infographics, VIDEO etc.

As Kissmetrics found that by watching the product video more than 80 per cent viewers are more likely to buy.

In real estate marketing in India, when there’s a trust deficit even in well-know developers, it becomes important to brand identity and loyalty by offering tangibility to prospects in shape of videos of the properties.

Video production for online marketing and video marketing is excessively cheaper in comparison to other Television commercial, moreover with video marketing you reach your target audience easily and with higher conversion rate.

There are type of video production you do for your brand that can be for website, blog, social media and other platforms for varied purposes - branding, awareness, sales etc.

For example 

Informational Video 

A Video Can Also Be Attention Grabbing & Entertaining




My tip for video marketing would be to keep it short and sweet giving view of the properties. There’s lot of room for creativity, and apart from creating video of the properties, also use video to get virality by covering related topics such as home improvements, interior decoration tips and tricks etc.

#8. Humanize…

Gone are the days, when it was B2C, B2B, C2C etc. but now with digital age, it is H2H (human to human).

Humanize Digital Marketing for Real Estate India


In real estate industry, in offline channels human to human interaction is strong, but on online it is abysmally low. I recommend you to humanize your marketing for real estate in India to make it high performing.

Instead of depending excessively upon your designing and graphics, and technical work try to engage directly with audience on blogs, social media etc. wherever possible. If you listen, and talk back, it builds reliability and brand identity, so, don’t forget to use on digital channels.

That’s it.

I’m sure there maybe more ways to improve digital marketing for real estate, then I would love to hear from you. Please use the comment box below to share your views. :)


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