Are you taking advantage of every marketing strategy available to grow your business? Of course not, as your time (and money) are only finite, and your To Do list is long enough every day.
But there are some simple yet incredibly effective tactics that you don't want to miss out on.
In fact, according to a survey of my clients and network:
As a Realtor, loan officer, financial planner, CPA, or any business owner, missing out on these tactics and platforms could stunt your business' growth, even without you realizing it!
So, today, I'll give you three quick tips for marketing tactics that you should be fully on board with so you don't miss out.
1. Film a LOT of short videos
Here’s why: https://youtu.be/-V1bpCzYYJk
I LOVE written content, and it’s still necessary. BUT..you need a whole lot of video, too.
Don’t worry, these don’t need to be all formal with a professional camera crew and you looking like you’re in a hostage video!
Even better, turn on your smartphone and turn the camera the other way, filming a ton of short snippets of your life/job/things you see every day as a Realtor or lender.
Here’s a list of video ideas: http://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/shoot-these-50-videos-and-youll-be-a-real-estate-or-mortgage-celebrity
Eventually, as you get more comfortable, you’ll want to ask top questions on-camera, explain the buying and selling process, profile vendors and referral partners, and have a bunch of short discussions.
Can you commit to film 10 videos over the next month? How about 30 videos over the next 30 days?
I'm happy to help you with it, and let’s see together how it grows your business!
Tip: Share them on YouTube (not just Facebook and Instagram)
Here’s why: https://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/the-youtube-search-engine-revolution
YouTube is actually the 2nd largest search engine in the world (behind Google) but Realtors and lenders are grossly underutilizing it.
So, when you post a YouTube video, not only will you reach a much larger, targeted audience than on Instagram, for instance, but your title, description, and links are present – all paths that will lead buyers and sellers to you.
2. Consider running Linkedin ads (instead of Facebook ads!)
Here’s why: https://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/10-reasons-why-linkedin-is-the-place-you-should-be-running-ads-over-facebook
While I’m not discouraging you from running ad campaigns on Facebook, the world’s biggest social media network and its sister platform, Instagram, the efficacy of those ads have taken a hit recently with the change in targeting rules for those operating in housing, credit, or employment industries (that’s you).
But remember that it’s usually best to stay ahead of the curve – not jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it – and that’s why I urge you to seriously consider LinkedIn ads.
One of the profound benefits of LinkedIn ads is their targeting options. Considering the Facebook ad rules changes in the housing/credit sphere, you’ll find LinkedIn ad targeting to be much more precise.
Let’s get to the bottom line – your advertising ROI, expressed as Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. In fact, the cost for 1,000 impressions is only $6.05 on LinkedIn, while it’s $9.06 on Facebook and $6.70 on Instagram.
3. Register and use your Google My Business page
Here’s why: http://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/realtors-and-loan-officers-have-you-set-up-your-google-my-business-listing-yet
Google gives you a FREE platform to list and market your services, post your content, media, and events, and show up when people search for your services in your area.
And as a Realtor or lender, getting listed and reaching people locally is super important. Remember that if you’re a real estate agent in San Diego, for instance, an agent in New York, Kansas, or even San Francisco isn’t your competition.
So, it’s ALL about promoting yourself locally. And Google My Business does just that.
Did I mention that it’s free? And on Google?
And we’re still not taking advantage of it!
Hit me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more info or help with any of these! Let’s make it happen!
Email marketing is a must-have for any serious Realtor, loan officer, or business owner these days. In fact, emailing offers, updates, reports, and newsletters is a critical way to reach your audience.
Research shows that it has one of the highest ROIs, is mobile-friendly, easy to personalize, and fosters high levels of interaction and engagement.
However, if you’re currently running email marketing campaigns then you also realize just getting your messages through to your audience’s inbox is a significant challenge.
In fact, studies show that only 79% of commercial emails actually hit the receiver’s inbox, and that number is continuing to shrink year by year.
Faced with an unprecedented barrage of email messages (many of them illegitimate), email servers are filtering and flagging messages as spam like never before.
Here are the 10 most common reasons why email marketing from Realtors and loan officers goes to spam:
1. You didn’t get permission
The single biggest reason why email marketing gets sent to spam is that the sender doesn't have permission! In fact, unless your email recipients have subscribed or opted-in (even if you met them in real life and got their email address from the business card they handed you!), you could be in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. That comes with stiff fines as well as virtually ensuring that you'll end up in their Spam folder.
2. Your IP Address is flagged for Spam use
Have you ever heard of “guilt by association?” Well, if your email was sent through a server that has previously been flagged for sending spam, your legitimate email may automatically fall under that label, too. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use reputable email platforms like MailChimp, Infusionsoft, CoverKit, and others.
3. Your Open Rates are subpar
Webmail providers track the rate of email opens, as well as how many are deleted, in their spam filtering formulas. In fact, 26% of email campaigns that are mistakenly flagged as spam can be attributed to low open rates.
4. You’re not familiar to your subscribers
Even if someone did opt-in or subscribe to your email newsletter, they may not remember you – leading them to not open your email or even report it as spam. Spam complaints affect about 21% of all emails that never make it to a recipient’s inbox, whether that’s legitimate or not.
5. Low Mailbox Usage rates are holding your emails back
About 19% of emails that don't hit your audience's inbox are being held back because of low mailbox usage. Mailbox providers have carefully tuned spam filter algorithms, and one of the major factors is the ratio of the active versus inactive email accounts you’re sending to. So, if you’re sending to a large number of email addresses that aren’t being used or have been dormant for a long period, it raises a red flag with the spam filters.
6. A subject line that misrepresents the email
Your subject lines should accurately characterize the content in your email, as well as who it is coming from. But, too often, companies and marketers try to get too crafty with their email subjects just to attract attention. Furthermore, there are a whole lot of scams out there who blatantly lie in their subject lines. According to a Litmus and Fluent survey, 50% of email users have felt “cheated, tricked, or deceived” by at least one email subject line that’s hit their inbox. Furthermore, according to the CAN-SPAM act, a subject line that’s intended to mislead the audience is actually illegal.
7. Misleading sender information
We just covered subject lines that misrepresent the ensuing email and trigger spam filters, but the sender information can do the same thing. Shifty scammers or overzealous advertisers may pretend to be someone they’re not in the “from,” “reply-to,” or “to” fields. So, if you list your name or set up your address to look like you’re the president of a company that doesn’t exist, affiliated with a public agency, or display other authority you don’t have, you’re in violation of the CAN-SPAM act AND ensuring that your emails are marked as spam.
8. There’s no “Unsubscribe” link
There’s nothing that screams “SPAM!” louder than an email without a clear (and usable) unsubscribe button. According to internet protocol and CAN-SPAM law, you must have a link to unsubscribe or opt-out of any email list, which usually is presented clearly at the bottom of the email. Once they click, the process of unsubscribing also has to be simple and easy, so you can’t make them fill out extraneous information, pay any money, or visit more than a single page on your website. When someone does unsubscribe, you also must process that request and remove them from any subsequent mailings within ten days.
9. Your email is missing a physical address
One of the other requirements for a legal, legit email is a valid mailing or physical address. To ensure transparency for any company or sender, the email must contain a current street address, although a valid P.O. Box will work.
10. Your email contains words that trigger Spam filters
To stem the tide of spam, many email providers filter for certain trigger words that reek of unsolicited messages. Common words that trigger spam filters include:
• cancel at any time
• check or money order
• click here
• dear friend
• e-mail marketing
• for only (dollar amount)
• great offer
• increase sales
• order now
• promise you
• special promotion
• this is not spam
• to be removed
Want more help with effective email marketing that won't end up in spam folders?
Raise your hand if you’re a Realtor or mortgage lender who’s running Facebook ads (or, at least thinking about it).
Ok, you can all put them down again.
While I’m not discouraging you from running ad campaigns on the world’s biggest social media network and its sister platform, Instagram, the efficacy of those ads have taken a hit recently with the change in targeting rules for those operating in housing, credit, or employment industries (that’s you).
But remember that it’s usually best to stay ahead of the curve – not jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it – and that’s why I urge you to seriously consider LinkedIn ads.
Yup, Linked, that often-forgotten social media that you only used to check when you desperately needed a job.
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn now has 660 million users – 154 million of them in the United States – and some robust benefits for anyone who takes the time (and coin) to focus their ads there.
Of course, contact me if you have any questions or would like some help with your LinkedIn ads or any marketing campaigns!
10 Reasons why LinkedIn is the place you should be running your ad campaigns:
1. Of the 660 million users, just shy of 50% are active on the platform every month. And LinkedIn is still growing fast, more than tripling its membership since its IPO in 2011 and seeing 172,800 new users sign up every day. That’s about two new users per second!
2. Not only does LinkedIn have some serious professionals ready to network, entertain opportunities, and do business, but more than 30 million companies (not individuals) have a profile on LinkedIn. Needless to say, LinkedIn is still the crème de la crème for B2B networking as well as a boon to your B2C campaigns.
3. If you want to reach decision makers, executives, and the top of any organizational hierarchy, LinkedIn is bar far your best platform (those kinds of folks aren’t spending a lot of time browsing Facebook every day. In fact, every Fortune 500 company is represented on LinkedIn by at least one upper-level manager or CEO.
4. Here’s a seminal stat when considering LinkedIn for advertising: 52 percent of consumers who recently bought a product or service listed LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process. The next most influential online platform was blogs, and Facebook ads were much further down the list.
5. And when it comes to purchasing power of its users, LinkedIn has no rival, with the average LinkedIn user enjoying 2X more buying power than the average Facebook user.
6. LinkedIn also boasts a better-educated and more upwardly mobile demographic, with 50% of Americans with a college degree using LinkedIn (that’s incredible!) and the average user between 25-49 (prime home buying, selling, and refinancing years) and earning about $75,000 per household.
7. Ok, so how about those actual LinkedIn ads I was trumpeting?
Let’s get to the bottom line – your advertising ROI, expressed as Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. In fact, the cost for 1,000 impressions is only $6.05 on LinkedIn, while it’s $9.06 on Facebook and $6.70 on Instagram.
Even more important, the value of a LinkedIn lead or prospect is much higher than those on Facebook, as they are more serious, qualified, and financially stable consumers.
8. With LinkedIn ads, you can set up your campaign based on your business goals, like brand awareness, lead generation, or awareness. (To be fair, you can do the same n Facebook.) You can also set your budget for a certain cost per day or total cost and hit pause on the ad (and spending) at any time, adjusting the ad’s image, text, or other elements mid-campaign to ensure you maximize your ROI.
9. But LinkedIn does offer a great lineup of options for your ads, like:
• Sponsored Content
• Direct Sponsored Content
• Sponsored InMail
• Text Ads, and
• Dynamic Ads
They each have different appearances and features, which I’ll cover in-depth in part two.
10. One of the profound benefits of LinkedIn ads is their targeting options. Considering the Facebook ad rules changes in the housing/credit sphere, you’ll find LinkedIn ad targeting to be much more precise.
You can still target your LinkedIn ad based on:
• Education level
• Job experience
• Job title
• Groups they belong to,
• and more.
And you can still upload your email list, database, or point LinkedIn to your website and come up with a copy-cat audience with their Matched Audience feature.
Hit me up if you need help and stay tuned for part two of this series on LinkedIn Ads!
Are you looking to make 2020 your best year yet in business? Realtors, mortgage lenders, and just about any entrepreneur or business owner should understand and adopt these 20 social media marketing trends for 2020 – and beyond.
1. It’s all about video. No, really!
For three years now, I’ve been saying that you should start shooting and releasing a bunch of video content. And in 2020, I’m telling you to shoot and release a bunch of video content. According to one prominent study, 82% of all online content consumed will be video by 2022!
2. Social listening
If you sat down and actually tracked how much of your marketing consisted of one-way communication (you talking to them), you might be shocked that it’s near 100%. Instead, make an effort to listen to your audience online with questions, polls, surveys, focus groups, and more. They’ll love you for it!
3. Social communities are invaluable
Yes, Facebook groups are back. Think of this paradigm shift: instead of building a Facebook page that highlights YOU, as a Realtor, lender, or business owner, what if you started a Facebook group that focuses on a certain neighborhood, or a first-time buyer forum, a teachers/school group, etc. You’ll see that it’s far easier and faster to build a thriving community when the group is about something – not just about you.
4. Get personal
People will do business because they like and trust YOU. So, remember that when you’re creating marketing messages and content that’s bland, uninspired, vanilla, and not 100% authentic.
5.Segmentation is key
The internet is too big and too crowded for you to try to direct your marketing towards everybody and expect to see results. Instead, smart corporations and brands are going “micro” in 2020, breaking their overall audience into sub-groups based on demographics, needs, challenges, values, etc. and appealing to each of those individually.
6. Location, location, geo-targeting location
Location targeting is essential in 2020 with geo-targeting and check-in tools on social media, especially if you’re in real estate (local) or mortgage (regional or statewide).
7. Influencers go nano
Influencers will still be as sought-after and important for social media marketing in 2020, but brands will focus on smaller influencers who dominate a micro-niche. Think of it as depth over breadth of influence.
8. Here comes the social backlash
Until recently, social media was basically a free-for-all, with only causal reference to legality, disclosures, regulations, etc. However, there’s a huge backlash underway, as data collection, fake political ads, divisive and hate speech, and more threaten to poison our internet use. You’ll want to pay a lot closer attention to your disclosures, privacy policies, etc. as you market online this year.
9. Instagram no-like
Instagram is deemphasizing their “like” feature, and at some point in 2020, you’ll be able to see how many likes your post has, but others won’t be able to.
Not only is this a concerted effort for Instagram to clip the wings of fake followers and likes, promote their own ad platform, and take back power from influencers, but it believes that this superficial evaluation is actually hurting peoples’ mental health around the globe.
10. Drop the “vanity metrics”
Getting rid of like counters is part of a broader movement to reduce “vanity metrics” across social media platforms. In fact, in a recent TED Talk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that “follower counts are now meaningless, and, if he could go back, he wouldn’t emphasize the “like” button so much.”
But marketers and brands will have other powerful metrics to go by, like the quality and frequency of user engagement.
11. Ephemeral (like Stories) is in
Social media posts and content that shows up for a limited duration and then disappear will be more popular than ever in 2020, especially Instagram Stories, which is used by 64% of digital marketers.
12. Customer service via social media
In 2020, consumers want information, answers and help NOW. A surefire way to lose a lot of clients is by answering their messages and emails in a day or even waiting until the next morning, Therefore, automation like chatbots and autoresponders will play a big part in the customer experience via social media.
13. Virtual Reality is real (sort of)
Virtual Reality has been on the horizon for years now, yet still not part of our everyday lives. That may take a shift in 2020, as Facebook rolls out their Horizon, a social virtual reality world.
14. Augmented Reality is already here
You may not know that you’re living in a world filled with Augmented Reality, but all of those filters, image manipulators, emoticon creators, and other interactive apps are part of the AR takeover.
15. User-generated and employee-generated content
One of the biggest marketing shifts of 2020 is the use of user-generated and employee-generated content. Testimonials, insights, stories, and other content from your clients, partners, and even employees are seen as far more authentic and demonstrates social proof.
16. Re-discovering privacy
The internet can be a scary place these days, as everyone has access to you and your “stuff” once you use social media or other platforms. However, “The future is private,” as Mark Zuckerberg revealed 2019, and part of that is the prevalence of social media for private messaging or content that is private or excludes. For that reason, Zuckerberg united Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and private messaging apps now have 5 billion monthly active users – far more than all social media platforms combined!
17. Trust is timeless
Nothing’s changed in regard to establishing trust with your marketing and work communication – it’s still the #1 most valuable commodity there is. Just like in romantic relationships, there will be no business relationship or sale if you clients don’t trust you. Trust will be even more important in 2020!
18. Go with video for your ads
Many of you are utilizing paid ad campaigns for Facebook and other platforms, with mixed results. (Read more info on Facebook’s big ad rule changes for realtors and others in 2019).
But if you really want to maximize the effectiveness of your ads in 2020, go with video – not just a post with an image or graphic. Speaking of which, give YouTube ads a try!
19. Consumers want meaningful content
There’s enough clutter and fluff on the Internet – your audience doesn’t need more of it. Instead, they need meaningful content that will impact their lives in some form, so always look to solve problems, provide solid information, help without overtly selling, and focus on providing value.
20. You don’t need fancy – just effective
I can’t tell you how many Realtors, loan officers, and professionals I talk to who have million-dollar CRMS but they still don’t send out email campaigns regularly, want to get into Facebook ads but they don’t even bother posting on their current Facebook page, or think they need an advanced social media strategy when they don’t even create any of their own content yet.
Instead of looking for the next big shortcut or get-rich-quick tool, utilize the 6 fundamental pillars of online marketing, first.
Integrate these into your overall marketing system, give it time to grown, and I promise you that you’ll see terrific results!
If I told you five years ago that in 2020, we’d see 30-year fixed interest rates at 3.7%, huge buyer demand amid an inventory shortage, and +2.5% to +5% home value appreciation, you probably would have gladly signed up for those market conditions!
Well, that’s the scenario we’re looking at heading into 2020, as industry analysts and economists forecast a slowing - but still positive - real estate market, bolstered by this prolonged low-rate environment and a surge of buyer demand from Millennials.
Of course, the economy is facing an inevitable slowdown as the roller coaster can’t go up forever, and we have some serious debt and housing affordability concerns.
But there’s mostly good news in the housing sector, and Realtors and mortgage lenders still play a vital part in education, leading, and serving consumers to smart home buying and selling decisions.
So, as we’re kicking off 2020, here are 10 talking points for you to share with your clients, followers, and friends.
1. Home price appreciation will be steady instead of spectacular, but still positive.
In 2019, we saw home prices appreciate 3.5% across the U.S. (according to CoreLogic). Despite affordability concerns and years of price gains, CoreLogic expects appreciation to climb to 5.6% by the end of 2020! Others are not so optimistic, but still predict modest (+2.8%) price gains in 2020. In California, the California Association of Realtors anticipates modest but stable +2.5% home appreciation gains.
2. Mortgage rates will stay low…and even drop again!
Among economists and experts, there's an "emerging consensus" that mortgage interest rates will stay low in 2020. Although we never know where rates may go, some respected organizations like Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict that rates may even drop a tick next year to 3.7% for a 30-year fixed. Incredible!
3. Millennials are really ready to buy.
In 2019, Millennials accounted for 46% of all new mortgage originations and 45% of all home buyers, which led all generations by leaps and bounds. That trend will continue and grow in 2020.
4. But the Baby Boomers are staying put.
Instead of selling their homes to downsize, move and buy again, or change their lifestyle, Baby Boomers are opting to age and retire in their current homes. In fact, only 17% of home buyers last year were Baby Boomers, and it's estimated that they're "sitting on" 1.6 million homes across the country that normally would be up for sale if past trends continued.
5. Low inventory and an entry-level housing shortage.
In most markets across the U.S., inventory remains low, meaning that buyers are facing fewer choices, more competition, and upward price pressure. That inventory problem will get some aid from new homes, but not much. In fact, building pace still falls shy of historical average production, and many developers have built higher-end homes – not affordable starter homes where inventory is sorely needed.
6. Nesting instead of moving up.
Another part of the inventory problem is that homeowners are staying longer before they sell and move. The average homeowner now stays in their residence for 13 years before putting it back on the market, up from an average of 8 years in 2010.
7. Home prices not likely to fall.
The economy may take a downward turn in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the housing market will take a hit like we saw during the last recession. According to data from ARCH MI, a leading real estate statistics analyst firm, the chance of home price declines throughout 2020 AND 2021 is just 11%. So, home price growth may slow, but it’s very unlikely we see them fall!
8. A shortage of affordable homes for first-time buyers.
Entry-level and affordable homes will see the most effects of short inventory and tight competition, creating a real crunch among first-time buyers and Millennial buyers.
9. But the luxury market will hum along.
The high-end real estate market should remain stable throughout 2020, with greater inventory levels (by percentage, not volume) than other price points. That abundance of inventory should nudge some sellers to cash out, while plenty of buyers look to take advantage. Prices may be flat or even drop a notch on the high end, but the market will remain dynamic and stable.
10. It’s all about the tech!
The process of searching for, buying, and selling a home continue to be more tech-oriented, with smart apps, mobile home searches, smart homes, and social media marketing for listings. That's especially true for Millennials, as 98% of buyers in this age bracket search for homes online, and 80% of them found the home online that they eventually bought last year.
I hope those ten talking points help you kick off 2020 with good news about the real estate and mortgage market!
And if you need any help with your marketing, lead generation, and client outreach in 2020, you know where to find me!
It’s hard to believe 2020 is already here, but New Year’s Eve officially lead us into a brand new decade.
Before the whole world officially gets back to work (and the New Year's hangovers fade), I encourage you to use this time to clarify your business goals for 2020. Take stock of what worked well in 2019, what aspects you need to improve upon, and also, the most inefficient and time-wasting elements that you can cut out (or outsource) in 2020.
I’m going to give you the gift of three pieces of advice as you recount, recalibrate, and reload your business plan for 2020. I hope you’ll keep these in mind, as I promise they will lead to an epically-successful 2020:
1. Follow your passion.
The real estate and mortgage business is too-often all about numbers and dollars, especially in our growingly-impersonal world of technology.
However, there is still room for passion. In fact, that’s exactly where you’ll find the most success, feel the most fulfilled, and find meaning in your work and your life.
Always think in terms of adding more value because that’s what drives you, but have a little fun and don’t be afraid to get personal - I promise you that your clients will love you for it!
2. Think long-term and big picture.
I get it. Your mortgage is due. The car just broke down. And the your kids need braces. The financial pressure to close the next deal is HUGE for anyone in sales or self-employed, but especially for Realtors and lenders. But instead of being reactionary and chasing every deal like a dog chasing its tail, try to think big-picture.
You have 365 days in 2020. Make them count by prioritizing the most fruitful activities to the best of your ability with sustained energy.
Take the time to put systems in place, get organized, build your brand, train staff, and schedule everything. Think in terms of the average of all of these efforts and measures paying off throughout those 365 days, not just the next closing check.
3. Work on yourself.
This may be the most important piece of advice I can ever give you, but it’s certainly nothing new or original.
My favorite quote is that go legendary motivational guru (before they were a dime a dozen) Jim Rohn, who said,
"Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become."
In fact, you should work on yourself MORE than you work on your business, although that could also mean working on education, communications skills, new ways to add value, giving back in the community, reinforcing relationships, and more.
Break down those old barriers, emotional constraints, bad narratives, and limiting mindsets that keep sabotaging your business.
Read books, exercise, practice your faith or spirituality, help others, and always strive to be a better person today than you were yesterday.
Once you commit to that, your success will come, I promise you - and not just incrementally but with massive shifts that will be around long after 2020 comes to pass, too.
Happy New Year and I’m rooting for you in 2020!
Do you love GIFs? Do you share them on social media? Or, get a good chuckle when someone posts a hilarious GIF?
Of course, people who are into them are really into them (we all know that guy or gal who posts so many GIFs, it seems like the only way they communicate!)
Either way, GIFs are a fantastic and highly-effective way to promote your business.
For those of you who are scratching your head wondering what a GIF is, the best way to think of them are animated images, sort of like watching one of those old school flip books we used to make as kids.
Except now, they’ve become the go-to format for sharing short, funny, and topical animated bits across social media.
Marketing your business with your own GIFs
If you’re a Realtor, mortgage lender, or any small business owner, I’m encouraging you to make your own custom GIFs. (And I’ll help you do just that.)
You’ll find that producing your own GIFs is fun, easy, inexpensive, and a great way to instantly gain your audience’s attention online (the ultimate goal of any marketing).
Remember that if you’re competing against all other Realtors, loan officers, or small businesses in your niche online, everything that differentiates you and catches the eye is invaluable!
Think about it like this: a lot of your competitors are producing and posting images, some of the are making videos, a few of them are writing blogs and articles, but a scarce few are producing custom GIFS.
What you need to know about GIFs
GIF, an acronym which means "Graphics Interchange Format," is a file format for visual content for the web, similar to JPEG or PNG.
It was first used by CompuServe in the 1987, and there have been only marginal improvements over the decades. In fact, GIFs are relatively low quality compared to other image formats, since they only use 256 colors, making them appear somewhat grainy and washed out. They also don’t have any sound. (Did you just realize that for the first time now?!)
But they have one huge advantage: GIFS support animation, unlike JPEGS and PNGs.
They also are a very small file size compared to videos and they’re easy to share or post via the web, social media, PowerPoint, email, or even text.
Using GIFs for marketing your business
Not only will a personal GIF separate you from the competition, there are so many ideas for content you can produce, like:
So, basically you can make a GIF about anything.
But I also encourage you not to over-use them, as a little GIF goes a long way!
GIFs with your branding
Of course, these GIFS can also contain your image, logo, brand, website or email, or any other contact info you’d like.
Hell, even the California Association of Realtors got on board with GIFs recently, creating 24 unique and fun real estate lifestyle GIFs for Android or IOS that any Realtor or lender can relate to!
“GIFs allow REALTORS® to express themselves with their clients in a way that a regular emoji can’t,” said Jared Martin, CAR President. “Like the excitement of closing day.”
Where you can share your new GIFs
Not only can you use your new custom GIFs on your social media platforms, on your website, in email newsletters or text messaging campaigns, but I particularly love them as email signatures that offer some movement, color, and instantly become conversation pieces.
You can even upload your GIF to Giphy.com or another free GIF site and allow others to use them. Hey, that’s free promotion for you!
But how do you even pronounce “GIF”?!
OK, now to answer the centuries-old question: how do you pronounce “GIF?”
Some people say it with a hard ‘G’ like in “Gift,” while others say “Jiff.”
Going right to the source and original creator of GIFs, Steve Wilhite, we find out that the correct way to say it is actually “Jiff” – like Jiffy peanut butter. Then again, so many people say “Gif” with a hard G that both are acceptable.
Are you interested in having some of your own custom GIFs made? Jut hit me up!
A good percentage of Realtors, mortgage lenders, and small business owners are using Facebook ads these days, with varying results.
But there’s another ad platform that has some huge inherent advantages to Facebook, is far superior for driving engagement, and costs a whole lot less: YouTube preroll ads.
I’ve been ringing the YouTube bell for a while now (and warning you about the declining effectiveness of Facebook ads), and YouTube’s ad options are another good reason to pay attention.
Before I jump into the nuts and bolts about YouTube preroll ads, a quick summary would you should consider marketing your business there.
Basically, think of YouTube like modern-day television, where viewers can click or type to find the channel and program they want.
And YOU can advertise on those channels or even specific videos – with negligible risk, low cost, and a huge upside to connect with your ideal audience.
Why should you consider a YouTube preroll ad?
I’ll get right to the good stuff:
With YouTube preroll ads, you only pay for a view if the user passes the 30-second mark (or watches the entire video) or clicks on your ad!
So, if the viewer sees your video ad but clicks out after 29 seconds (instead of 30) or any time earlier than the end of the video, it isn’t considered a View per YouTube’s metrics…and you aren’t charged.
Let me say that again: You aren’t charged if the user doesn’t watch the whole thing or actively clicks. You aren’t charged a penny even if they watched 96.6% of the video (29 out of 30 seconds).
Standard preroll ads are videos that run for 30 seconds,
Another form of preroll ads are TrueView ads, which can be longer than 30 seconds BUT the viewer has the option to skip them after just 5 seconds.
But let’s assume we’re talking about standard preroll ads.
How YouTube defines (and charges you for) an ad View
When you set up the ad, you agree to pay per View.
However, how YouTube defines a View leads us to the awesomeness of pre-roll ads.
In fact, it’s only considered a View when the YouTube user clicks on your ad or watches to completion (the 30-second mark).
Since YouTube is a Google platform, the tracking and analytics tools you have at your fingertips are superb. You can see how many people saw your ad, both partial and complete views.
But we don’t want to run ads just to have things almost work of course, even if we aren’t charged for the exposure.
The data on YouTube preroll ads
The good news is the average video completion rate for YouTube preroll ads is 65%, or viewers reach the 30-second (completion) mark of the video almost two out of every three times.
In fact, only 16% click away from 30-second pre-roll ads according to industry data.
And the average Cost per Completion (when someone clicks or watches the whole video to the end) is only $0.10 to $0.30
Yup, only a dime to three dimes!
Of course, YouTube preroll ads aren’t perfect;
These YouTube ads are also best as the top of a lead funnel that offers something for free, sends them to a landing page on your website, solicits subscribers, etc. – not standing alone.
Targeting YouTube ads
YouTube’s preroll advertising also has huge advantages when it comes to targeting your ideal audience.
You can target people based on their search history (such as if they’ve watch first -time home buyer videos, mortgage education videos, videos from high-end brands or in certain geographic locations, etc.)
Or target people who have viewed your YouTube videos before, a form of remarketing who may bring the cost per click down to $0.10 in some cases.
And you can also tighten down the targeting based on:
Facebook ads vs. YouTube preroll ads
Facebook ads are cool. They’re alright. Don’t stop doing them…
But you definitely want to jump into YouTube with both feet, both as a place to host and share your videos (and you ARE making plenty of videos, right?!) and for YouTube’s preroll ads.
Compared to the shotgun approach of Facebook ad targeting (referred to as “spray or pray” in the marketing community), you’ll spend WAY less and probably get WAY more out of preroll ads.
That’s especially true since Facebook has amended their rules for ads in Housing (including real estate and mortgage), Employment, and Credit, Facebook ads are more expensive, less effective, and harder to accurately target than ever before.
People who are on YouTube are ACTIVELY looking for information, advice, or help with some topic revolving around home buying, getting a home loan, fixing their credit, or about a certain neighborhood or city.
People who are watching YouTube videos tend to be ready NOW.
You can target them efficiently.
And you can reach them with your video preroll ad for less money and less risk (since you’ll only pay for a View if they watch the whole ad or click).
Let me know if you need any help!
Business owners and entrepreneurs are fully on-board with using social media to promote their brand these days, and that certainly includes Realtors and mortgage lenders.
In fact, more and more real estate pros are turning to social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, lead funnels, and their websites as tools to generate leads.
So, I thought it was valuable when I came across a recent national study that breaks down how people are using social media to market their business and generate new clients and closed deals.
Today, I want to share six stats that I cherry-picked as particularly useful to you.
By no means is this a list of best practices, nor is this study geared only towards the real estate and mortgage industry. But we can learn a whole lot about what’s working, what’s not, and the most effective and popular strategies for drumming up business via social media.
It’s also a key look into what your competition is doing to capture new leads online!
Do you have a specific plan in place for generating leads from social media?
Not sure 10%
What social media platforms are best for lead generation in your experience?
What type of content/tools on your website have generated the most leads for your business?
Blog posts 40%
Original studies/research 25%
Direct messages 11%
What types of posts are best for social media lead generation?
41% Still image
Would you consider automating (certain elements) of your lead generation process?
Not sure 8%
Do you do your own marketing or hire a professional/company/team?
Hire someone 63%
Do it myself 31%
It depends/Don’t know 6%
If you have any questions or need some help, just contact me – and feel free to share these graphics.
I’m betting on two things:
Oops. That’s no bueno.
Many of us have landing pages, email sign-up forms, contact forms, giveaways or free downloads, chat widgets, Facebook lead gathering, website analytics, and other tools that gather user data, even if it’s just as simple as a name, email, and phone number.
Here’s the deal with Privacy Policies:
While there’s no one federal law that requires you to do so, there are several overlapping federal and state laws and individual user regulations. Those include:
1. California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
2. Privacy Shield
3. EU General Data Protection Regulation (effective May 2018)
4. Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule
And if you think this is a paper tiger regulation, think again, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is slapping serious fines and shutting down businesses that aren’t complying.
This is especially true in the wake of unprecedented data breaches, hacks, and identity theft. Just because you’re a small real estate agency/mortgage broker/individual agent, don’t think for a second that you’re immune from these same laws and rules.
So, without one, you’re probably hindering the effectiveness of your ads (and wasting money) and also holding your page back from reaching its promotional potential.
Basically, you can’t just start collecting people’s personal information – even if it’s as seemingly innocuous as an email address – without adhering to your legal obligation to protect that information.