Effective marketing has one goal: putting you face-to-face with a buyer or seller who is ready to transact. Here are the top tips for creating online relationships without breaking your marketing budget straight from the experts at Inman Connect Las Vegas.

With more than 1,000 Inman posts, Bernice Ross is a long-time contributor whose weekly column on real estate trends, luxury, marketing and other best practices publishes every Monday.

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, one woman said she was spending $15,000 per month for online leads, and “it’s worth it!” Really? Tell that to the speakers at the Connect Marketing Track who are getting stellar results for as little as a $1 per day.

Effective marketing has one goal: putting you face-to-face with a buyer or seller who is ready to transact. Consequently, the best place to begin is with how to build online relationships that will achieve this goal.

1. Avoid ‘post and ghost’ tactics

Sue “Pinky” Benson believes that Facebook stories are the easiest way to connect and generate leads. The issue is how to take advantage of this powerful platform.

Benson’s approach is to comment on other people’s posts, and where appropriate, respond to the comments others have made.

Takeaway: Don’t post and ghost. When most people respond to a post, they disappear. What they fail to realize is that the comments provide the opportunity to build relationships. When you engage someone in a conversation, that’s when you should send them a request to connect.

2. See the real opportunity in video

If you’re not using video to market your business, you’re missing one of the most cost effective ways to connect, build relationships and to generate leads.

In 2018, YouTube was set to surpass Facebook as the second largest website in the world. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said that the social media platform will be primarily video in the next five years.

Given the importance of video, use these quick takeaways to maximize your results:

  1. Although some experts suggest shooting vertical videos, the new trend is to shoot square videos. Why? They do not need to be expanded or scrunched to fit on a mobile phone. They’re easier to use across platforms.
  2. Engage your readers with a compelling image right at the beginning.
  3. The ideal length for your video is 60-90 seconds.
  4. Your description must align with your content.
  5. Make sure your name, city, state and ZIP code are included in your video.
  6. Get over how you look and sound. As pointed out in many tracks at ICLV, you’re going to look and sound like you do in real life, so don’t be overly concerned about it! Instead smile, be welcoming, and have fun.
  7. Consistency will make or break your success.

3. Choose the right content

Building connection is about generating interesting content separate from your real estate business. Sue “Pinky” Benson suggests the following:

Share what’s great about your local area

Sue Benson

Benson has branded her community page as Pinky Knows Naples. She’s constantly sharing fun things to do or unusual facts and tidbits about the area.

For example, her video about the Rosemary Cemetery in Naples garnered 2,200 views.

Interview the public

Another great way to create video content is to interview the school principal, local business owners or civic leaders.

Benson shared that her interview with the owner of a local Naples seafood restaurant generated 4,600 page views while an interview with an animal rescue showing puppies up for adoption generated 6,100 views.

Interacting with the public helps you create content that speaks to the local aspect of your business and position you as the expert in your area. People want to know more about their hometown, and you can easily give them what they want while creating a library of local content.

4. Let awareness drives decision

Jason Frazier

According to Jason Frazier and Josh Pitts of Shred Media, whoever reaches the consumer first wins. The challenge is that consumers see 10,000 ads every day. Your goal as an agent is to create such a high degree of awareness that the people in your market area say, “I see you everywhere.”

Frazier and Pitts have devised a simple system to break through the noise and build awareness for as little as $1-$2 per day.

Awareness drives decision and leads to better conversions later.

Here’s what to do:

Record 4 videos (1-3 minutes in length) from your phone

Rather than focusing on real estate, create interesting content that captures your viewers’ attention in a split second. Benson’s puppy video is a great example.

Post the first video to your Facebook business page (or community page?)

Josh Pitts

While Frazier and Pitts suggest posting on your business page, Kyle Whissel, team leader of Whissel Realty Group, tripled his response rate when he shifted from posting on his business page to posting on a community page with a lifestyle focus. One of his favorite posts was “funky ice cream.”

Wait 24 hours, and then run an ad or boost for ‘video views’

A number of speakers shared how “boosting” has been a successful tactic in terms of generating both views and leads. If you’re not familiar with boosting, here’s how it works according to Nonprofit Hub:

“Boosting your social media posts is a marketing tactic that can exponentially increase the amount of people that see your content. The concept is simple: pay to have your posts show up as sponsored content on non-followers’ timelines in order to gain more exposure. The more you pay, the more people who see it.”

Frazier and Pitts suggest that you first run your video ad for 24 hours. Next, use Facebook “ads” or “boost” for “video views” to reach the largest possible audience.

4. Target a 25- to 35-mile radius from the center of where you do business

Facebook ads allow you to target market by location, income range, number of children, age, etc. When you’re building awareness, however, your target market should be a local area with a radius of 25-35 miles.

5. Run your video for a total of 7 days

Continue to run and boost your video on Days 2-7. Experiment with different dollar amounts for boosting to determine whether spending $1, $2 or $3 per day yields the best results.

6. Repeat

For your second, third and fourth videos, repeat the same process.

Does it work?

Frazier and Pitts report that their system yields an average of 1,200 page views, has an average reach of 2,300, with an average ad spend of $7. Keep in mind, their only goal is to build awareness.

On the other hand, Benson reports that she has used the same tactic, and it generated leads for her business. She paid $2 per day to boost her videos on Facebook for 10 days and generated 10 solid leads.

If you’re not getting the return on your marketing dollar from purchasing online leads, sending out farming postcards, paying for SEO or for Facebook ads, it’s time to jump on the video bandwagon. Consumers want video, and if you don’t provide it, another savvy agent will.

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUp and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

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