Digital marketing expenditures have significantly increased over the years. Despite reduced marketing budgets due to the spread of COVID-19, digital marketing channels will still dominate. Here is why...
Most brick-and-mortar events like fairs, flea markets, conferences, workshops and trade shows scheduled in the second quarter of 2020 have been canceled or will be virtual. Furthermore, future similar event plans this year are very much in limbo.
With that, mortgage companies must seek other venues to spend their marketing dollars. They need to continue to build their brands and generate the required leads and sales.
Why You Need A Strategy
You must consider digital marketing as a plausible scalable engine of growth for your brokerage. This engine of growth is made of many cylinders, each representing a digital channel. Ideally, you want every channel to be fine-tuned with the others to deliver the most robust and efficient result for your business.
The purpose of your digital marketing strategy is to channel traffic to your website or social media pages, engage your target audience and convert them to leads and sales.
With metrics– and they are very abundant in the digital world– you can track all your steps, optimize them, streamline your processes and affect your key performance indicators (KPIs.)
Digital Marketing Uniqueness
Digital marketing adds two important elements to traditional marketing. It is immune to social distancing consequences, but more importantly customers leave a forensic trail of evidence in the form of digital data that enables storing, tracking and monetizing every marketing campaign. With an enormous amount of data at your disposal, you can make better informed campaign decisions.
What Are The Digital Channels?
If you have not ventured into digital marketing yet, here is a summary of the channels available as categorized by Google. Their primary function is to drive traffic to your website:
1. Organic Search
This is when someone enters a set of words or voice prompts into a search engine and consequently gets directed to online content. When one visits that content, it is considered organic traffic. The site owner does not have to pay a fee to the search engine company for this traffic.
For organic traffic to materialize, much valuable and relevant content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) work needs to take place. This often takes months if not years to materialize. So organic traffic may not be the short-term solution you seek.
These are users directly visiting your site. For instance, when I want to buy a computer, I go to dell.com or Microsoft.com. When I want to buy a smartphone, I go directly to apple.com. I don’t do a search, I simply type the web address in my browser, or click on a bookmark that I have saved there. This is considered direct traffic.
Direct traffic is a function of brand building for your company, products or services. Brand building of your website takes time to accomplish. It is however never too late to start, particularly if you already built a recognized brand.
Social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn,YouTube and Twitter. When people are checking their social media pages, they may see a posting about your company, product, or service with a Learn More link. When they click on it, it will take them to your website. This traffic is tagged as social traffic.
Social traffic is not hard to build, but it requires the creation of frequent relevant and engaging content. If your business has a good client base, you can stay in touch with them on social media by reminding them of your value as a loan originator and engaging them with attractive content or offers.
This is the traffic generated by your outbound email campaigns and interactions. Someone for instance sees a link embedded in the email, clicks on it, and it takes them to your website. That is considered email traffic. Email traffic is the least costly and can be very effective when done correctly. Leverage your email list as much as you can.
This is referred traffic from one website to another. It is akin to word-of-mouth, but between websites. When back links and citations are present on others’ sites back to your site, they will generate traffic flow to your site. Link building is the most ignored digital channel, yet one of the most important ones. Back links are critically important due not only to the traffic they generate, but the authority they create for your site.
6. Paid Search
This includes banner ads, pay per click, social media posts boosts,GeoMarketing, GeoFencing, etc. Unlike organic traffic, they require you to pay for each ad, each display, each visit or each conversion. You should consider investing the bulk of your marketing dollars in paid advertising. It is the fastest and easiest, yet costly, way to direct traffic to your website and products.
The Most Important Channels
All digital channels are important, and they each have their own purpose and benefit. Different digital channels also feed off each other, creating important synergies that lead to even more traffic and conversions.For instance, direct and referral traffic will raise your domain authority and therefore increase organic traffic.
Organic traffic is perhaps the most coveted channel due to the perception that it is free. But it is not so easy to corner, particularly in the short term.
Look into Google’s Pay Per Click options and consider advertising on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. The cost of ads when done correctly can be justified. Also, with more people stuck at home during this crisis, it is more likely that your ads will land in front of the eyeballs that you target and seek.
Focus On Your Strengths
As you continue to build your digital marketing strategy, consider the following. If you are a connector or an extrovert, then social media should be the primary channel for you. If, however, you are a good writer or an introvert, a content strategy that leads to organic traffic ought to be on your priority list. Also, keep building your email list and leverage it with your social media ads by creating lookalike audiences. While people tend to overlook email, it can still be one of the most effective channels with the best ROI.
As you build your digital marketing strategy, keep adding more channels. Digital marketing tools and techniques give you the ability to monitor with great accuracy the results of every channel to better understand where each is effective and where each can improve. Your aim is to maximize your return on investment.
Also, keep in mind that what impacts the success of your digital marketing strategy is knowing your unique selling proposition and target market. Don’t lose focus of either.
Score Mentors Can Help
If you are not comfortable forging through a digital transformation of your marketing or creating new digital strategies on your own, contact your local SCORE chapter and ask for a mentor experienced with digital marketing techniques. They will help you create a strategy that can turn digital channels into a scalable engine of growth. One that can hopefully propel your company out of this horrific coronavirus economic crisis and into new horizons!