Focus on Opportunities
“Ski the gaps, not the Trees”
Please read this piece as a reminder to the thought “You win when you focus on opportunities & work towards them.”
We have examples of businesses who adapted & adopted the new ways of working and made fortunes even in these unprecedented times. Similarly, for the real estate sector, the market size is huge and one needs to be innovative enough to find ways & means to achieve the goals. So, find New Users for the existing products & New Usage for the existing customer and ‘reposition’ the offerings in the mind of the prospective customer.
For effective sales, this is the best time to Innovate your product offerings, Channel Strategy and Go-to-Consumer Models to become a truly Customer-Centric-Company.
For effective marketing, this is the best time to revisit the Communication Strategy, in terms of Messaging, Carrier of the Message, Media Vehicles and Interventions through the purchase funnel. Focus on a narrative that builds Empathy and Solves some of the Issues that the Consumers would be facing, without sounding opportunistic or desperate.
The new trend is to shift from Plain Advertising to Content-driven-Communication. Content has gained more prominence over Advertising as Consumers are looking for Solutions & Value Addition to their life; with Tangible and Authentic Differentiation within the category. And to out-do the competition, Differentiated Offerings will have to justify the Brand Promise, Value for Money, and Create more avenues for the brand to establish Credibility.
Digital Marketing for Real Estate in Current Times
Digital is the medium which has kept us Connected, Informed and Serviced during these unprecedented times. Over the last few years, Media professionals & Media researchers have written much about the relative edge of Digital Media over other traditional media channels. In the current times, mass applications of innovative digital solutions at the grass-root level have brought a paradigm shift in the perception around Power of Digital Media to tap audiences & fuel growth of businesses.
Beyond the existing imagery of Digital Media to deliver Cost-efficient, Measurable, Scalable, Multi-Channel campaigns with User-specific Creatives, it is the time to go full throttle on various New-age options on the platter like VR /MR enabled graphics to deliver Remote Immersive experience to target customers, taping new customers on Video formats like OTT & Gaming, leveraging Virtual Fan Clubs & Influencer Marketing to build extended reach and, AI-enabled Chatbots as lead acquisition & sales enabling tools, etc. Many of these were even unthinkable in the past, but have become the new normal today. ‘Digital’ has shifted from a Lean-Back to a Lean-In media and what started with COVID-19 will now become a ‘way of life’.
Currently, most of the marketers in the real estate sector are only scratching the surface when it comes to taking full advantage of digital media & the innovative solutions it offers. With more & more Potential Home Owners & Real Estate Buyers using the Internet to research their future purchase, a strong and powerful Digital Marketing Strategy is what will help to stay ahead of the curve & beat the competition. It is recommended to hire Professionally Managed Digital Marketing Agencies which have updated knowledge, latest tools & media partnerships with national & international companies. It helps the clients to derive benefit from their expertise & economies of scale to reach out to the target customers in the most efficient, effective & cost frugal way.
Some bites for quick reference which helps to understand & leverage Digital Media in the current times are given below
The scale of Audience – What makes it meaningful
More than 50 crore Indians on the internet today. It’s a sizeable number. They are Device Agnostic - Mobile, Desktop & Tablet. Spread Across Geographies - Metros, Large cities & Towns. Decision-makers or Influencers - Men, women or kids, all are equally present.
“Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media platform, with 24 crore Indian users who are mostly accessing the platform through their phones.”
Tip: Tap this vast audience with filters applied to narrow down & reach your exact TG.
Talk to Women. Real users for Homes, Strong Decision Influencers & Emerging buyers
19 crores, which is almost 40 per cent of all Internet users in India are women. Create content that women netizens find appealing & relevant.
“60 per cent of those who shopped for sporting goods and viewed related videos on YouTube were not men, but women. Additionally, 60% of those who searched for car-related information online were also women.”
Tip: Create a Women centric Digital Marketing Strategy. Leverage influencers’ & virtual fan clubs
Regional Content. Talk to them in their own language. The message will go straight to heart
Thanks to Reliance Jio for accelerating the smartphones penetration & exponential growth of data usage in tier II and III cities, along with villages. Thus, the numbers of regional language users are growing at a breakneck pace. In fact, Google estimates that about 30% of users in India are from rural areas. So, as a real estate marketer, build brand salience & generate leads of potential real estate buyers, with strong regional language content.
“Tamil is the leading regional language used among Internet users in India at a whopping 42 per cent, followed by Hindi-speaking at 39 per cent.”
Tip: Don’t use Translate to create regional content. Create fresh for your TG.
Voice Search. Evolve with your User’s digital evolution
Google estimates that 28 per cent of all searches are voice searches. Even more promising is the fact that there has been a 400 per cent growth in Hindi voice search. For real estate marketers, this means that they have to find new ways to become discoverable through voice search results to stay visible on digital platforms.
Tip: Optimize SEO because traditional keywords aren't used when speaking naturally.
Call to Action with Adwords ‘Missed Call’ Extension
The cost of making a call or habit of making a missed call might stop the middle-class users from directly contacting your business. This is a sizeable number & potential TG for Affordable Housing segment across smaller cities and towns, & even in Metros.
This is how it works. When a user selects the Missed Call option on a Google Adwords Ad, a call is placed and then immediately cut. After this, the user receives an automated call telling them to stay on the line while their call is connected to the business. During the same time, the business also receives a call from Google. Once both the user and the business are on the call, they are connected to each other.
This feature can help real estate marketers engage with potential homeowners in a better way and record conversations to review & track conversions.
Tip: This helps to increase CTR. A review of recorded conversations with potential buyers also helps to refine pricing & payment plans.
Create Project-specific Landing Pages
A carefully created Landing Page with defined sales funnels to capture authentic leads help to reduce bounce rates & improve ROI from a campaign. Interactive Landing pages with AI-enabled chatbots to capture leads & funnel to the right project, followed by an immersive walkthrough of the project using VR enabled videos have proven to yield 4X more enquiries than regular monotonous pages with enquiry forms.
Using Chatbots with websites & landing pages creates more impact when reaching out to potential customers. There are elementary & advanced chatbots integrated in many messaging aps. With rapid advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, creation & deployment of chatbots is now affordable & easy to deploy. Some good chatbots can even interact like humans seamlessly and keep users engaged in a conversation. As a result, real estate marketers can obtain useful information and find innovative ways to persuade potential buyers to make a purchase. Over humans, they are far more accurate, efficient & cost effective.
Tip: Use basic Chatbots to answer customer queries, fill up KYC forms. An AI enabled version can be used to personalize user experience to increase sales & gain customers insights
VR enabled 360 Videos & photos
Give your potential home buyers an immersive experience of the luxury apartment through a Virtual walkthrough without them leaving their homes. The latest trend of 360 videos deployed on VR / MR platforms breaks the monotony of 2D flat pictures and is an excellent way to intuitively connect with the target audience.
The technology enables choice of wall colours, furniture options & interiors to exactly showcase how it will look if they buy the apartment or villa. Off course, it saves, time, effort & cost involved in physical movement from flat to flat.
Influencers’ Marketing is the Internet’s word-of-mouth marketing method and is one of the very effective methods to generate Sales leads for Real Estate projects. Just like word-of-mouth, influencers’ marketing uses popular bloggers and other professionals in the real estate industry to promote a particular property. Influencer marketing channels include both blogs and social media channels. The skill lies in carefully choosing the most appropriate influencer & the audience it offers to market the projects.
Tip: Influencer.in provides a one-stop platform to search and connect with the best influencers in the country.
AMP implemented landing pages
The netizens today are very fast & impatient. If the page loading time is not optimized, the users quickly move to other pages. AMP is a project designed by Google and Twitter to make mobile pages load quickly and is an effective way to gain the attention of potential home owners who have clicked on the landing page of one of your properties. Optimising a landing page with this plug-in will give you the benefit of speed, which will take potential home buyers one step closer to conversion.
To Sum up
There are unlimited tips, tricks & digital strategies to gain Mind Share, Build Brand Salience and generate leads by Tapping into a large pool of real estate buyers available on the internet. The method & strategy varies with the requirements, budgets, location & type of project and the target audience. You can always reach out to me for all guidance & digital solutions. I am happy to answer your specific questions to Help Grow your Business.
These are DIFFERENT times, NOT difficult times. Focus on your Customer. Think of Solutions. Be Innovative. Ride DIGITAL & Outdo your nearest Competition. The KEY to your success lies in your hands. ~ Avneesh Bansal