The 6 P’s of Home Builder Online Marketing
Is your online marketing about making checklists or making connections? Daily or weekly posts, tweets and status updates may seem to check the boxes of home builder online marketing, but this approach alone can be like trying to frame a house without first laying a foundation. The result is that we can spend a lot of time “doing” social media without actually reaching any real buyers. So how can builders create content that connects clicks to closings?
The most successful home builder online campaigns begin with the 6 P’s: purpose, persona, problem, product, platform, and promotion. Let’s walk through how home builders can use each of these to develop a powerful online brand that attracts, engages, and influences potential home buyers online.
Purpose is the goals and objectives that your content must achieve for your business. Goals are typically very simple: “Close x homes this quarter at x cost-per-sale with a 95% or better customer satisfaction rating.”
Business objectives are typically tied to a specific section of the sales funnel. Examples of business objectives for home builder online marketing include:
- Increase website conversion from 3% to 5% within 60 days
- Reduce registration-to-appointment timeframe from 4 weeks to 3 weeks
- Grow interest list by 15% in 30 days
- Convert 12% of interest list to sales office appointment within the next 90 days
- Lower cost-per-lead 13% within 90 days
Focus on 3-5 key objectives for each 90-day content calendar. These are typically the mission critical areas of your sales funnel. Identify specific calls-to-action and how you will measure success.
Next, define the persona(s) of the buyers that you are writing content for. The more personalized your persona, the better the chance that your content is going to resonate with your audience. Use data (from your buyer profiles, lead list, analytics, email reporting, homeowner surveys, salesperson feedback and market research) to develop a relatable persona. Personas should feel like people you know, not a data sheet of impersonal demographic information. Persona examples might be:
Persona 1: Bill and Sarah, the parents of twin 5 year old girls and a new born boy. They have outgrown their first home, which is currently in escrow, and they need to buy a new larger home immediately. Bill works as an executive and Sarah is a stay-at-home mom.
Persona 2: Jennifer, a single professional who works long hours at a technology startup. She is a foodie and loves to host casual dinner parties at home. She is very active and likes to spend what little free time she has hiking, biking, or at the gym.
Persona 3: John and Karen, a middle aged company with two teenage boys in high school. John’s aging mother, Agnes, lives with them full time and has limited mobility.
To further create a connection with your buyer persona, use photos. Go to a website like iStock and select a stock photo that represents each one of your buyer personas. Share these personas with your entire team (internal and external).
The more personalized your persona, the better you will be able to anticipate the problems that your buyers have. Why are they moving? What do they need? Problems might include:
Persona 1 Problem: Bill and Sarah need more space, good schools, parks, and a community of families with young children would be ideal.
Persona 2 Problem: Jennifer needs a low-maintenance yard, a short commute, an open kitchen for entertaining, and a location near outdoor activities would be ideal.
Persona 3 Problem: John and Karen need a ranch style plan, ideally with a second master or secondary bedroom with en suite bath for Agnes.
Next, how does your product solve their problems? Often we focus our online marketing messages on how great our product is and we save our “pain point” messages for our sales office presentations. But if online home shoppers do not make the connection of how your homes solve their problems during their online research phase, they will likely never make it to your sales office. Successful online content identifies buyer pain points and positions your product as the solution.
Persona 1 Post: Need more space for your growing family? Our Tuscany plan features more than 2,500 square feet in an open ranch style plan that makes it easy to keep an eye on curious little ones.
Persona 2 Post: Cramped kitchen cramping your style? Our Tuscany plan features an open concept kitchen and Great Room that’s party perfect.
Persona 3 Post: Need some privacy? Our Tuscany plan features an optional dual master suite and more than 2,500 square feet on a single level. An optional finished basement makes a great second family room for teens.
Once you’ve identified the purpose for your content, the audience that you’re speaking to, and the problems that they need to solve, the next step is to identify the platform(s) that you will use to get your message out.
Platforms are different than tools in that platforms are media that you own and control.
- Will you create a video series that you will host on your website?
- Will you write a blog?
- Will you add interactive tools and features to your website?
- Will you create a separate landing page?
- Will you use a combination of platforms?
Where will you drive traffic from your social media, press releases, SEO, paid search and email campaigns?
Once you’ve established your platform, it’s time to consider how you will promote your content to attract home buyers to your website. These are the tools that you will use, and typically your plan will include a mix of the following:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+)
- Online press releases
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- Paid ads (Adwords, Facebook advertising)
Your promotion tools will depend on your audience and your goals. If one of your business objectives is to increase the percentage of buyers on your existing email list that convert to a sales office appointment, then using social media, SEO and paid ads (although valuable) are not likely to produce the results for that specific goal.
Understand exactly how each tool will be used to drive results for your key objectives, and then it becomes easier to determine the content topic, frequency, and type of media to achieve your goals.
What are the 6 P’s for your business, your audience, and your product? Understanding the 6 P’s before you plan a content calendar that includes blogs, social media, email marketing and press releases enables you to focus your time to reach your sales goals faster and more consistently.