MARKETING

A Content Marketing Strategy for the Independent Builder


Digital Marketing 101: Content is King

Highlights --

Consumer interaction with home builder brands has changed over time;

  • 90% of home buyers search online during their home buying journey;
  • home buyers use the internet as a way to engage with, and ultimately decide on, purchasing from a new home builder;
  • higher cost items (like a new-home purchase) require more content to support a sale.

Series will be a road map for home builders creating content marketing strategies;

  • Understand the current home buyer journey.
  • Recognize which strategies should be used and when.
  • Determine which content goes where.

Important considerations

  • Real estate related searches on Google.com up 253% over the past 4 years;
  • Buyers use specific online tools during different phases of the home search process.

Purchase Motivators (top five)

  • Home of my own 30%
  • Larger home 11%
  • Job-related relocation or move 9%
  • Change in family situation 8%
  • Affordability of homes 7%

Two keys to success:

  • "Accumulated instances", or the number of touch points the prospective buyer has with your messages, and
  • The timing of those messages with where the Buyer is in the Buyer's Journey.

Builder should be creating sales strategies that respond to each of these motivators. Creating website content is the way to accomplish this strategy.

Buyer's Journey


Source article

BUILDER

DIGITAL MARKETING 101: CONTENT IS KING

The first installment of a five-part white paper from ASTRALCOM on how home builders should use digital media as a sales channel.

By Richard Bergér, VP of E-Business at ASTRALCOM

This article is the first in a series of five that outlines how home builders can use content to connect with and engage home buyers throughout the digital journey to a new home purchase.

Presented as a general overview, the white paper and the articles are a culmination of working with dozens of BUILDER 100 home builders over a 20-year span, gaining valuable insight and knowledge, testing our theories in real market circumstances and learning from other industry professionals and thought-leaders. It’s a direct result of delivering outstanding results in content strategy, conversion marketing and customer acquisition for our home builder clients.

Introduction

While the overall psychological process of consumers buying a new home and home builders selling a new home hasn’t changed, how consumers interact with home builder brands has. Moreover, the ways and means – the customer touch points – that consumers use to engage with brands is a fluid and constantly changing environment. Yet, amid all that fluidity, marketers search for some method to the madness. Inherently, we all know there is at least one. There must be a “typical” buying process that home buyers today use in deciding on the new home that they ultimately purchase.

With 90% of home buyers searching online during their home buying journey, it makes sense for marketers to understand that process and how typical home buyers use the internet as a way to engage with, and ultimately decide on, purchasing from a new home builder.

From a digital marketer’s perspective, this whole course of action – this journey – really boils down to the Four C’s;
1. Content
2. Click-Thru-Ratio (CTR)
3. Customer Experience Context
4. Conversion

It is important to note that the Four C’s have been listed in order. Content drives CTR into a Customer Experience context, which ultimately drives Conversions. This tenet will become evident further along in this document.

We also know from research and experience that higher cost items (like a new-home purchase) require more content to support a sale than does a lower cost item (e.g., mp3 player). If you’ve read our Social Commerce Tactical Guide for 2015, then you’ll understand the age-old internet axiom: Content is king.

But what kind of content? How should it be used? When?

This document serves as a road map for home builders to aid in accomplishing the following fundamental objectives when creating content marketing strategies;
· Understanding the home buyer journey.
· Recognizing channel syntax: What channels and when?
· Defining appropriate content: Which content goes where?

The Digital Home Buying Journey Overview

By understanding the home buyer journey and effectively leveraging customer touchpoints along the way, your brand can develop a quicker affinity and deeper engagement with home buyers.

According to NAR and Realtor.org, in any given year, typically there is a 1.75 million unit inventory of used homes; a four-month supply in a standard 3-4 month sales cycle.

It is this very same 3-4 month sales cycle that has become the home buyer journey to a new home purchase. Along this journey, home buyers will consume various types of content, across multiple channels and in different types of context.

These “accumulated instances” will play a key role as they come to a decision on which home builder they will buy from.

Some important facts from Realtor.org help to underscore the need to meet home buyers at the different points along their journey;
· Real estate related searches on Google.com have grown 253% over the past 4 years
· Buyers use specific online tools during different phases of the home search process
· How important “local” search terms and websites are for buyers
· How mobile technology connects online to offline home buying—including the reading of online reviews
· 31% of home shoppers who take action on a real estate site are aged 25-34, surpassing all other ages

As for first-time vs. repeat home buyers:
· First-time home buyers: 32%
· Median age of first-time home buyers: 31
· Median age of repeat home buyers: 53
· Median household income of first-time home buyers: $69,400
· Median household income of repeat home buyers: $98,700

When it comes to the Top 5 home buying reasons:
1. Desire to own a home of my own 30%
2. Desire for larger home 11%
3. Job-related relocation or move 9%
4. Change in family situation 8%
5. Affordability of homes 7%

Each of these facts and others should inspire home builders to create contextual content around their offerings that is designed to be consumed – and acted upon – by home buyers at different points along their journey.

With the Four C’s (Content, CTR, Context, Conversion) serving as guideposts, we want to discuss the home buyer online journey as a linear process that begins with creating awareness. As you move along the linear pathway – from awareness, to consideration, to intent and onto decision – you will notice various channel tactics at play. These contextual instances are where content plays a vital role in the customer experience and, ultimately, in conversions.

Next up, Part 2, where we’re going to outline the 1st component of the home buyer journey: Awareness. Armed with this information and knowledge, we set the stage for the first part of the digital journey that home buyers undertake in the pursuit of their new home purchase: Awareness. Our next article discusses how to create awareness and why it’s so important at the beginning of the home buyer journey. In the meantime, consider this: When a home buyer couple decides that it’s time to explore buying a home, they often say, “We’re buying a new home!” But do they really mean a “new” home, or just a home that’s new to them?