It's 2020. If you're not maximizing digital marketing to grow or maintain your custom home building business, you're falling behind your competition.
If you're focused on improving the operations and day-to-day of growing your business, it may be best to hire a Digital Marketing Agency to focus on what they do best: digital marketing. The online landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be a lot to keep up with if you're already wearing hats involved with sales, accounting, design, construction, and more.
While it's a powerful solution for home building businesses in those stages, digital marketing can seem daunting. There's so much that goes into developing and executing the right plan for YOUR business, and it's honestly not that different from building a custom home.
Building Your Digital Marketing Plan
So you've decided that hiring a Digital Marketing Agency is the next step in growing your custom home building business! This first step can be a scary one, no matter how many times you've heard the recommendations in your Builder 20 groups and through other peers in your network. You don't know what to expect, and it's a big investment.
Building a customized digital marketing strategy is just like building a custom home. You need a plan, the agility to change and grow the plan, and the trust from your client on one of the largest investments they'll ever make.
What to Expect When Building a Digital Marketing Plan
Digital marketing is a long term investment in the security of your home building company. The more you invest in marketing, the more you are building equity online, whether that be through social media presence, blog content, SEO on your website, or growing your email list.
But where do you start? And what can you expect in the coming months as years as you continue to invest in your digital marketing?
0 Months: Research Phase
The research phase is like finding the perfect home builder. Prospective homeowners are doing their diligence by researching builders in their desired location, making calls, and trying to decide who they trust with their massive purchase decision. Finding the perfect builder (you) means it's finally time to sign a contract and get started discussing the design phase for building their home!
Researching a trusted digital marketing partner can feel very similar. You're looking for someone who knows your business, your industry, and who you trust. Whether you're looking around online, reading reviews, asking around your Builder 20 groups, or attending shows, you finally land on a reliable marketing agency that you trust. After signing the contract, you're ready to start seeing results.
1-3 Months: Discussing Your Goals and Vision
At this point, your new client is transferred to the Project Manager who will be overseeing their new home build. Let's be honest, this can be one of the most challenging times for homeowners. They have boundless ideas and are itching to see the results. They're also beginning to pay for this large investment in their home, but they're still picking out finishes, colors, and the like. To be frank, it feels like a lot of talk and little work.
The first few months of a digital marketing plan can feel like this also. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes (website migration, SEO audit, content planning, social media platform audits, campaign strategy development, etc), but there isn't a lot of digital implementation yet.
3-6 Months: Building the Framework for a Successful Digital Marketing Plan
As the framing of a new home begins, your client can finally start to see the results of their design conversations and layout planning. The first sign of framing, piping, wiring, and drywall can be extremely exciting. Slowly and carefully, your craftsmen execute the plan perfectly under the guidance of your project manager.
Just like with custom home building, the first few months of digital marketing execution can be an exciting time as well. It may seem slow at first, but it's important to realize that you're building the framework for continued success (especially if you're starting from ground zero). With the dedicated strategy and implementation from your Account Manager, you will see your website continue to rise in the Google rankings, your social media presence expand, and your website traffic (and lead conversion) continue to grow.
6-12 Months: Working Through the Punch-List
From breaking ground to a completed home, there are guaranteed to be some small tweaks that will need to happen after the homeowner moves in. This doesn't reflect poorly on you as the home builder; it's just the nature of business! Your clients will likely compile a punch list of items they want updated after a few weeks or months of moving as they start to get comfortable. Based on your contract, you will either make these updates or find contractors to do so!
Just like a home isn't perfect the moment new homeowners walk in their front door, our digital marketing plans are meant to evolve as your needs evolve. The plans we develop are built on tried and tested methods that we have seen succeed, but they're not guaranteed as is. After about 6-12 months we are able to optimize our plans based on what we've seen work for you firsthand!
At this point, it's typical to see results starting to come in the door. You'll be seeing a return on the investment of building your content, social media presence, email list, and so much more! Digital marketing will feel less foreign and more like you've officially moved into your own home.
12+ Months: Warranty and Open Communication
After the first year of home ownership, everything will begin to feel more and more familiar. Your clients have learned what to expect, how to communicate what they need, and how their real estate investment is gaining them equity.
Your digital marketing strategy will officially be cranking out compounded results. In other words, you won't just be seeing increased website traffic and leads, but you'll be seeing these numbers continuing to increase (month over month, year over year). All the investment you've put into your digital marketing strategy will prove it's equity built up for you as your content continues to grow.
Building a Home (and a Digital Marketing Strategy) for Life
Of course, it's uncommon for homeowners to stay in one custom home their whole life. Depending on what life cycle stage your client is in, they could move, remodel, or build several more times before retiring into their home.
Our digital marketing strategies are built to accommodate the same changing needs throughout the stages of your business's growth, maintenance, and retiring. Just like a custom home, digital marketing plans are not "one size fits all", and they should continue to evolve with you as long as your home building business is evolving!
Curious where you stack up compared to your peers in the marketing realm? Be sure to download our State of Home Builder Marketing Report from 2019!