A lot of people get intimidated by the idea of paying money for Web traffic.
I understand the dilemma. Obviously, every real estate professional wants their business website to have a greater influence and attract more attention online, but it’s not always easy to spend your hard-earned cash on something that isn’t “guaranteed” to generate more revenue for your business.
At the same time, I think it’s important to recognize that in the end, paid advertising really isn’t much riskier than any other method of promoting your website (e.g., SEO, guest blogging, social media, etc.). The fact is, ANY legitimate promotional strategy is going to require some kind of investment on your part (whether it’s time, money or mental energy) without any guarantee on what your return will be. Depending on which resources you currently have the least of (time, money, mental energy), paying money for advertising could very well be the most cost-effective option you have right now.
The trick to getting noticed
Something that pains me to no end is when I see an advertisement on Google, Facebook or some other third-party website that is practically designed to be ignored. What do I mean by this? Take a look at these ads side by side and tell me which ones stand out to you?
Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, the ones that stick out to me are usually either obnoxious, funny, weird or just different (or some combination of these things).
Believe it or not, the fastest way for you to get ignored as an online advertiser is to design your ads the same way everyone else does. When you put out a bland, vanilla, run-of-the-mill advertisement, people have already trained themselves to see right past you. If you can’t be creative enough to think outside the boundaries of what everyone else considers “normal,” you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time and money on an advertising push that nobody cares about. In the world of advertising, “normal” might as well be synonymous with “ineffective.”
It’s important to remember that an an advertiser, you have only a split second to catch the attention of your ideal customer (and that’s actually being quite generous). If you want people to notice your ad, check out your website and do business with you, you’d better figure out how to make an unforgettable first impression. You need to be loud, unconventional and provocative (all while working within the confines of honest and ethical business practices). When was the last time you saw something that stirred up emotions within you, caught you off-guard or caused you to do a double-take? How can you use these same techniques to reach your target audience and get them to notice you?
It comes as no surprise that the best results I’ve ever had from my online promotions have come from the most ridiculous-looking banner ads, with the most obnoxious titles and hilarious pictures. The more “unconventional” my ads have gotten, the better my results have been (to the point of improving my click-through rates by over 1,000 percent). If you can master the art of looking different, believe me: It will have a major effect on the visibility of your business, and this really is a big deal when it comes to building your brand.
If you want people to care about what you’re bringing to the table, forget about creating the same, boring ads that everyone else pushes out to the market. You might even be surprised at how fun advertising can be!
Seth Williams (@retipsterseth, G+) is an experienced land investor, commercial real estate banker and residential income property owner. Seth is also the founder of the REtipster Blog, a real estate information hub offering real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.