No small home builder can afford to ignore online marketing. Over 94% of consumers research products online before setting foot through their front doors, and that includes people interested in home building or who need building services. The good news is, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Online marketing is available to all businesses, and given a professional attitude and approach, the little guy can punch well above his weight.
The relatively low cost of online advertising makes it accessible to small home builders as well as the bigger companies with bigger budgets. Ways to advertise online include:
Display ads - sometimes they’re called banner ads, but the concept is the same. Home builders can use these to advertise services or showcase new homes.
Contextual ads - appear on websites with content related to your offering. Because the visitor is already interested in the subject, your ad will have more appeal.
Search advertising - CPC (cost per click) ads are the ones that appear at the top of search results pages. Because they’re at the top, they naturally attract clicks when keywords are carefully chosen. You pay whenever someone clicks your ad, so make sure your landing page that the ad links to is very engaging and has a clear call to action.
Your own home builder website is your most valuable online marketing asset.
- Fill it full of relevant, helpful content by starting a blog.
- Keep your branding consistent across all the pages.
- Make your landing pages targeted, with a clear call to action.
- Simplify navigation and keep your user in mind.
Update the site regularly, and pay close attention to your analytics so you can see where visitors come from, what they do when they land on your page, and how long they stay. With that information, you can make intentional adjustments that actually make a difference.
Get Known Locally
Local home builders need a good local advertising strategy, but that doesn’t mean putting business cards in shop windows - although you can if you want to. Online marketing ideas for a local customer base include online directories, locally slanted social media fan pages, and search advertising that includes your geographic location.
Press releases may sound old school and offline, but they’re as good for getting a business noticed today as they ever were. Only the delivery and distribution methods have changed, and that’s good news too since services such as PRWeb take the pain out of mass distribution.
A good press release is newsworthy. No one cares much if you’re just building another house for an individual client - unless that client also happens to be well known. More people care if your new housing development will improve services for the wider community. And still more, if you’re supporting a worthy cause or helping an individual in need through the build. Make your news localized so your target customer gets to hear.
Keep Tabs on Analytics
Your website analytics tell you what’s working, what’s not, where visitors come from, how long they stay and how they move around your site. You can figure out what’s attracting visitors, bringing in solid leads or encouraging newsletter signups. One you have that information, do more of what's working.
You don’t need a massive budget, but it will require time and effort. Figure out a plan of what you’ll do, where you’ll advertise or post and promote, and when you’ll work on it. Then get going and keep going!
Some results will be fast, others will be a slow burn, but very few marketing efforts are totally wasted. The important thing is to get started!