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Online marketing for the built environment - How housebuilders can create an online community

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Savvy online marketing has historically been associated with large multinational corporations. But, in reality, everyone is searching the web for information on products and services and looking for advice on absolutely everything.

Gone are the days when mammoth marketing budgets determined the success of a housing scheme and with 90% of home buyers are using the internet to conduct their research, online marketing has now become a necessity for housebuilders.

In this post, we’ll explore how house builders can effectively employ online marketing tactics to create and most importantly connect with a targeted online community.

In simple terms

An established presence on the web can help housebuilders build a targeted online community around their housing schemes, it will get the conversation going and make sure the focus is well and truly where it should be.

A content community

Establishing and maintaining an online presence is all down to the content you create! Creating, curating and disseminating quality content, in a timely and targeted fashion, can ensure your housing scheme is in the right place at the right time when your potential buyers stick in a relevant search term into a search engine.

All types of consumers are out there searching for content daily. But what type of people come looking for yours? We always recommend thinking about your ideal client, develop their ‘persona’ and look to target your content toward them.

Who’s reading your blog and what they are looking for? Who’s checking out your Facebook posts? Who’s following you on Twitter? Every piece of content you produce can be used as online marketing collateral. Recognising who your customer is, what they represent and what you can help them with from the outset will be essential to create targeted, specified, relevant content that they will come looking for.

Make the most of the social scene

Today’s consumer is more digital savvy than ever before, even the older generations are recognising social with the fastest growing segment of social media users made up of those aged between 45-54. Use this to your advantage.

The trick is to use social as a community awareness tool rather than trying to utilise it like a marketing platform of yesteryear. Establishing and engaging with an active community across social doesn’t work if the customer feels as though they are being bombarded and constantly sold to. Make sure your content is wide ranging, offer some opinion, share relevant third party content and keep your ear to the ground. Monitoring your social activity allows you to stay abreast of what your customers and potential customers are looking for and talking about, and enables you to respond accordingly.

As we all know fancy marketing budgets were well and truly slashed when the economy took a nose dive some years ago. This signalled a wave goodbye to the lavish events typically used to launch housing schemes. But, what if your scheme could make an even bigger splash, reach a larger audience and continue to be visible before, during and after a launch event and at a relatively lower cost.

 

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Ride that social wave

Every piece of content you produce can be used as marketing collateral that will work for you round the clock and synergise extremely well with other activities. Whether it be a launch event or an offline marketing initiative you are looking to maximise- publishing topical content directly across social media can be an extremely cost-effective way to strategically reach and engage with a targeted guest list.

With 71% of tweeters actively using them, creating a Twitter hashtag is key. A unique, concise, relevant and most importantly memorable term will help to focus and direct conversation.

Be sure to promote the hashtag on all associated marketing materials and highlight its use in conjunction with any marketing initiatives. Use it to live tweet during any events and be sure to encourage attendees to employ it when carrying on the conversation (and of course tag it onto all published content).

A retweet can be of great value on Twitter in terms of impressions across the social platform so make sure you are creating engaging content and encouraging your followers to share and share space alike.

Don’t stop the party

The conversation doesn’t have to stop when the music does. Drip-feeding follow-up content across your social channels encourages further comments, further interactions and helps to maintain interest in your scheme. Update your pages with blogs, images, video clips, encourage sharing and ask for that all important feedback.

If done strategically, you will not only create a community of followers but also a bank of advocates who will go on to help to discuss and promote your scheme to friends, family and if you’re fortunate- a wider audience.

So what do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Will you be jumping on the content bandwagon? Do you already have an established presence online? How are you engaging with your community? Why not leave us a comment below.

And if you would like to learn more on how you can employ a content marketing strategy that gets you all the right hits why not get in touch!

Also be sure check out our eBook for some unmissable tips and insights into online marketing for housebuilders:

Content marketing for housebuilders

 

 

Image courtesy of Mike Licht, Flickr

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