After years of marketing for home builders I’ve been able to gather some very insightful data. Most importantly, I’ve gathered data showing the sources that convert the most leads, and which don’t.
I’ve also seen some internet marketing channels that are under-utilized, but have a lot of potential if done right. Usually, they are under-utilized due to budget constraints. The nice thing is, many of these channels are becoming less and less expensive to use.
Here are some of the insights I’ve gathered from from doing digital marketing for home builders.
1. Organic Traffic is the King of Lead Generation
Between Google, Bing, and Yahoo, organic traffic has generated over 60% of the online marketing leads I’ve seen over the past 3 years. That means thousands of leads generated were “free” leads. I say “free” because companies actually pay for optimization… So it’s not free in the purest sense of the word.
As you might expect, Google alone has accounted for over 50% of all the online marketing leads.
What you might not expect though, is that Bing has accounted for about 10% of all leads. And, Yahoo claimed its share at about 3%…all organic.
2. CPC Campaigns are the Lead Generator Runner Up
CPC campaigns can generate a lot of leads! But, not all platforms have shown equal performance.
Google AdWords campaigns have traditionally been the creme de la creme of paid advertising. And, while other platforms have been gaining steam, the data I’ve seen suggests that Google is still on top.
Google AdWords allows you to bid on terms of people who are looking to buy now! And, Google still has the most users using its search engine to find things, making it the ideal platform for lead gen.
Also, Google Adwords Remarketing has shown itself to be quite effective at generating leads, and typically yields leads for only a fraction of the cost of search ads.
Bing is a great platform for advertising, and I’ve seen many campaigns with just as high of a conversion rate as Google Ads. What you don’t get is as much volume do to a much more limited amount of impressions.
Facebook Paid Ads
Surprisingly, most of the Facebook Campaigns I’ve seen do not perform very well for builders as a lead gen tool. This probably has to do with more users being in the “awareness” or “interested” part of the sales funnel, then in the “shopping” part.
However, Facebook pages in general work very effectively for relationship building, answering questions, and highlighting your successes as a company, which turns into leads later on.
I wouldn’t abandon Facebook’s paid advertising as a platform for lead generation. But I would be mindful that due to the types of targeting available in Facebook, the majority of people you will be marketing to will most likely be further up the sales funnel than you may like.
3. Referral Sources Generate Leads Too
Sites such as newhomesource.com and toptenbuilders.com bring highly targeted traffic to home builder websites and generate leads as well.
Also, community websites can be great referral sources, bringing in dozens of leads every year.
What Else Can Builder Do?
Search advertising is great because you can target the search terms of people who are most likely interested in buying a home now…or at least soon.
Believe it or not, there are more search advertising platforms than Google AdWords, and Bing Ads.
Gemini by Yahoo!
Gemini is a search marketing platform by Yahoo! And, just like its much larger counterparts, you can bid on high converting keywords. And, because it’s a smaller platform, your cost-per-lead is typically lower.
Get Traditional Media Involved
Another high converting tactic is to use traditional forms of media (i.e. print ads) to point users to a highly targeted custom landing page on your website. The print ad may offer a discount when you sign up online – then would give a short url (which you can get via bitly.com or other url shorting service) that’s easy for people to remember.
You can also purchase a url and have it redirected to the custom page on your website. Something like: HomeBuilderDiscount.com. Either way, you just want to make sure it’s easy for people to transition from your traditional ad to your digital marketing platform.
Digital marketing for new home buyer leads isn’t rocket science…it’s data science.
There are many other digital marketing methods like: email marketing, video ads, etc. I’ve just touched on what I’ve seen to be very effective – especially for home builders who don’t have massive marketing budgets.
Have questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.