In this age of new media marketing, digital marketing has proved to be a game-changer. While any proponent of an effective marketing mix model would suggest a healthy mix of conventional as well as unconventional modes, digital media certainly leads by a margin when you bring the ROI perspective into play for real estate industry. The advent of digital media has paved way for a marketing approach that now wants to track penny-to-penny spend on each marketing effort and the returns derived from it.
Digital marketing is predominantly being used by every firm out there and is proving to be an extremely successful means of spreading awareness and creating a brand value. The same is true for the real estate businesses.
The challenge is stiff competition in the real estate industry
The biggest challenge for the real estate companies is that in this highly competitive space,the brands are looking forward to boosting their digital presence and generating leads. In order to enable the real estate companies to establish a digital identity and leverage upon it, they need foolproof innovative digital marketing strategies with lead generation at the center-stage.
Website should be user-friendly & mobile responsive
There are a couple of things to be kept in mind while designing a website and implementing digital marketing strategies for real estate companies. First and foremost, it is the website that needs attention. The purpose of the website could vary from capturing leads to brand-building. A website must be user-friendly and must ensure “call-to-action”. Great content always helps in increasing visibility on the digital media.
Creative usage of social media to build brand & generate leads
On social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google plus, what matters is how creative your contents or posts are. The frequency is not an issue as long as your posts are able to garner enough audience engagement. Real estate companies need to project their unique strengths in the most creative manner possible on the digital space. A lot of online tools and applications are available nowadays that help in automated updates on the social media sites.
SEO to rank higher in search results
Social media follows SEO (Search engine optimization). Earlier, the pre-conceived notion was that just having a website is enough. But actually just having a website takes us nowhere. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing plays a key role in the integrated approach towards getting traffic on the website and generating leads. SEO results give an imperative method of ranking on the digital space and the higher the company is ranked, the better chances of gaining leads from their websites.
Print media v/s Digital media: Digital gives a better ROI
Traditionally, the real estate companies invest highly in print ads, but the returns they get on their investments, is comparatively lower when compared to the Google ads. Our research in the space throws up a couple of interesting facts. The research results clearly show that on investing the same amount of money in digital marketing and the print media, the real estate companies are able to realize results which are at approximately 2.5 times better.The detailed statistics are as shown below in the table:
*ROI comparison for Print v/s Digital media
A 1/4thpage advertisement in a newspaper costs about Rs. 7 lakhs, which is bound to target one million or more audience. However, the conversion rate is surprisingly low. One print ad worth Rs. 7 lakhs results in about 400 website visits, out of which about 130 leads are generated. In the end, the company gets only 3 to 4 buyers for the properties at an average. In comparison, Google ads, with the similar investment of Rs. 7 lakhs results in about 400 leads which convert into more than 10 buyers.
The way forward for real estate companies: It’s never too late
Most of the real estate companies currently, do not have a commendable social media presence but it’s never too late. There is immense potential in the digital media to leverage for the real estate companies. The efficiency & optimization control should be at the forefront of any decision by an organization. And when that decision has the potential to catapult the number of leads by 250%, then there is no reason why the real estate companies should not go digital.
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The recent Havell’s advertisement “Havaa Badlegi” aptly sums up many of the changes we are seeing in Indian Businesses today. Entire industries are beginning to get disrupted by technology and innovation. While businesses have been doing things the same way for decades, the drastic changes in the landscape, both globally and in India, have prompted many senior executives to relook at their digital strategy. While some industries have already seen massive changes in the last 5 years, for some industries, the next 5 years are going to be even more impactful.
Sectors where we have seen significant impact already
Offline Retailers: Offline Book retailers have been one of the first casualties of the ecommerce space. With a standardised product and ease of shipping, ecommece players have undercut book prices to take away a large chunk of the book market. Similarly, mobiles and small gadget sales are growing significantly online. Apart from sales, pre-purchase research online now plays a decisive role, where one recent survey showed over 80% of urban consumers now look up for research online prior to buying a mobile. Window shopping at stores and then going online to buy has prompted many large players in the US to shut shop. We haven’t seen a similar impact in India as yet, but this shift from offline to online is irreversible.
Travel Booking: Travel booking for nearly all segments – flights, trains, buses, taxis and now even Autos in some cities, have seen significant market share being taken by online players. While holiday booking has some strong online players (e.g. SOTC, Thomas Cook and regional players like Raj Travels), online travel companies are now going aggressively after the holiday market. Expect more people to book their holiday packages online in the near future. As per a report by the IAMAI, over 80% of online commerce is travel related, reaching Rs.15000 Crores in 2012 and growing at a staggering 40% annually.
Recruitment / Hiring: Technology has changed the way someone searches for a job. From mass market sites like Naukri to Linkedin and Referring friends for jobs on Facebook, technology disrupted the way the 1990’s head hunter worked. The HR agencies adopted to add value on top of these platforms instead of taking them head on, ensuring profitable growth. Due to the smart repositioning by off-line players, Online portals account for only 3% of the $250M market, while still playing a critical role in the ecosystem.
Upcoming sectors where technology will drive change
Education: Elearning has been a buzz word for a while, but there have been no large education companies which have nailed learning in India. Schools have changes, with smart blackboards, digital media lessons and online report cards, but the fundamental way of teaching and learning has not really shifted. On the other hand, globally, there are companies really breaking out. Successful examples include Coursera which allows anyone to take a virtual class from the best universities in the world on a wide range of topics to Codecademy, where one can learn computer programming. These global companies are seeing traction, even from Indian consumers. Some Indian players like Sikkim Manipal University have started initiatives like the EMBA course. It won’t be too long before innovations in elearning change the way we learn.
Healthcare: Hospitals and Doctors in India are being swamped by the number of patients. While the leading hospitals and chains have invested a lot in technology, seamless connect with the patients pre-treatment and post-care is missing. New initiatives like booking a doctor appointment online to storage of reports on the cloud are seeing traction amongst the more adaptable medical organisations. Read our Healthcare Digital Marketing Case Study.
In our upcoming blogs, we shall discuss more about the options you have in your industry to adapt and lead the digital revolution.