Ask SF AppWorks – A Marketing blog series by the experts in digital marketing, SF AppWorks.
Andrew, founder of SF AppWorks, often receives emails from professionals seeking digital marketing advice. We decided to turn those emails and his responses into a blog series, so that our readers can benefit as well. Below you will find the original email as well as Andrew’s response.
Do you ever deal with marketing for real estate companies? We do build to suit construction of commercial buildings, of which there are a few new projects we would like to market. Any new insights or content you can share?
We are happy to share an overview of some basic digital marketing methodology which applies across industries:
1. Identify Your Target Customer
First you need to build up a few customer personas that represent the type of people you want to target with your marketing efforts. The best place to start is to look at your existing customers. What are their general demographics (age, nationality, income, location)? What type of work do they do? What level position are they in? What is the size of the budget they manage or are working with? Where do they go online to get information?
This is the starting point for all of your marketing efforts. You will want to spend a decent amount of time here because if you get this wrong, you’ll end up attracting the wrong kind of leads or no leads at all. Marketing can be hyper-targeted these days, so get as specific as possible.
2. Attract “Strangers”
Now that you have your target customer, you’ll want to start attracting them to your digital properties. You can do this in a few ways – through blog posts, SEO (that takes a long time), and through social publishing. You’re trying to create a purchasing funnel – you want to attract strangers, then turn those strangers into leads and convert those leads into customers. But don’t stop there, you will want to satisfy those new customers to the point that they turn into promoters for your brand. Whatever web platform you use, make sure you have good analytics set up so you can see the impact of your marketing efforts, and adjust as needed.
3. Get Leads
With inbound marketing, it’s all about positioning yourself as a helpful expert in your space and letting the customer decide, on their own, to engage with you. It’s not about selling your services, its about selling your knowledge and gaining authenticity. This is great for people like me who genuinely love to talk about their business. I give out free advice to anyone who wants it, whether or not that directly leads to business for me. HOWEVER – it’s ok to ask for contact information in exchange for that advice or really useful content.
To get leads, you need high quality content. Something better than a blog post…something unique that other people don’t have. This is why people write EBooks and white papers – because they go deeper into a topic and people will swap an email address for access to it. Once you create your first piece of premium content, you can start writing blog posts and social messages that drive people to the page where they can access the content. Then you have a wealth of information – do your blogs drive traffic to the landing page? Do people on the landing page give you their contact info? If one piece of this puzzle is broken, you can focus your energy there. The best part about this process is that if you’re constantly checking that your efforts are leading to your marketing goals – you’ll know if you’re making progress.
Premium content doesn’t have to be an EBook – for you it could be an infographic, a cool software tool that calculates how much it will cost to redevelop your property, a tour or consultation – get creative here.
4. Follow Up
Once you have leads, you can give them to your sales people or follow up yourselves, depending on how your business is structured. Eventually you can measure the rate at which your leads turn into customers, and at that point you can do the math to calculate exactly how much your marketing is worth (Return on Investment). If you know 1 out of 100 leads becomes a customer, and that you make $10,000 from each customer, then you know each lead is worth $100. If you spend $10 on ads or blog posts to get 1 lead, then it’s worth it. You can also go to your boss and ask for a marketing budget tied to specific goals. If you think you can get 10 customers that will result in $100,000 of profit, then it’s much easier to ask for $75k to do that.
The important thing is to make sure you measure your results so you can make adjustments along the way. There are TONS of platforms to help you manage your content tools. Some focus on individual pieces – ie social media, email management, website. Others tie all of your marketing tools together. We personally use Hubspot – a very powerful marketing platform. But there are a lot of good solutions out there.
I hope this information is helpful to you – let me know if you have any questions. Sounds like you are in an exciting place!