An Internet marketer trying to enter Heaven hears a booming voice ask "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR LIFE?" The marketer answers "Didn't you read my Tweets?"
So, don't take everything you read or see in survey results and radically adjust your marketing, but there's some information here that might bring about some changes for your real estate website.
Nielsen did a survey recently titled The Global Trust In Advertising. The questions asked don't tend to fit our real estate online marketing precisely, as they're brand and product focused, but there's some good information about what types of advertising people value and what they don't. They were given 19 advertising methods and had to respond in one of two ways:
- Trust Completely/Somewhat
- Don't Trust Much/At All
So, we see right away that there's very little middle ground, though the "somewhat" response would show they at least don't completely mistrust a certain method of advertising. Here's a graph of the results from 26,000 respondents in 56 countries in the third quarter of 2011.
Where we focus our online marketing efforts, and more importantly where we spend our money for all marketing may be changing in some ways with responses like these. First, let's think about online paid advertising of various types. Note that the bottom five in the "trusted" category are all paid types of online advertising. This includes ads on social networks. You just might want to make some changes if you're paying to display ads on Facebook, even though they can be tightly targeted. It doesn't matter if you hit five people in a month who are very interested in real estate in your area if three of them don't trust your ads. Though you might just want to adjust your budget because there are still two of them who might.
Also, when that ad sales person calls on you with the latest and greatest way to have your real estate ads show up on a gazillion mobile phones, less that a third of a gazillion of those phone users will trust them, and only a tiny portion of those may click on your ad. I'm really not sure about the seventh-up result, "Ads served in search engine results." Assuming this is primarily the paid ads, which most people recognize, I'm still OK with around 40% who trust them. I do PPC ads on Google and have for years. I can attribute a major portion of my real estate income to those ads. The good news is that if they don't trust them, they'll not click on the ads, so I won't pay anyway. The four out of six who do click appear to work for me.
If you're spending money on print advertising, radio or TV, you may want to pay attention to results in the middle of the spectrum. However, let's move right to the top. 92% trust recommendations from people they know. That's a huge percentage. However, that doesn't really fit into you running nice quotes on your website from happy clients. First, you don't know how many people will see that testimonial and actually know the person who gave it to you. Keep using them, but we need to look at another approach.
What we want is people on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter talking about your awesome service and how they found and purchased the perfect home with your help. Or, it could be the seller side, and how happy they are that you were able to help them sell their home. This isn't as easy as asking for a testimonial, or maybe it could be. The next time you ask a client for a testimonial, ask them if they would place it on their Facebook wall instead of you placing it on your website, or do both. Or, ask them to put it on their LinkedIn page, and Tweet about it.
You should also be engaging your clients on these social media sites, as they can be engaged in an online conversation and they'll be likely to say good things about you if they had a great experience. On LinkedIn in particular, you can actually ask for an endorsement and they can specifically recommend you. With this top survey result in mind, you should probably be trying to get your happy clients to talk about it themselves in the social media, as it seems to be far more effective than just posting quoted comments on your website.
You may be able to garner unsolicited comments just by engaging with people on the sites. If you're not already talking to them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, start doing so after they become a prospect or client. Just by starting a conversation, there is an excellent chance that they'll say someting nice about you and that will be seen by their friends, many of them in your real estate market area. So, getting your knowledge out there in the social media is important.
makes it easy to engage prospects and clients in the social media, and to display your market expertise by answering questions and offering helpful real estate market advice. You can do this every effectively with the Social Media Gadget on your site.
You can customize your gadget to allow your site visitors to engage with you via your social media sites and pages. People love to talk about things and businesses they like, and there will be some who go to your Facebook Page, Twitter account or Linked-In page and begin to enter into discussions or recommend you to their friends. This is all free, so why not put the gadget you your site and reap the rewards.
Now that you know what people trust and don't trust on the Web, make some changes to your advertising and gain some new business. Put that gadget on your RealtySoft website too!