In an era marked by economic uncertainties and a persistent increase in the cost of living, businesses, particularly in the real estate sector, find themselves grappling with the challenge of sustaining effective marketing strategies amidst rising expenses.
While the natural instinct may be to tighten the purse strings and cut costs across the board, I argue for a counterintuitive approach – a strategic doubling down on marketing efforts.
The paradoxical nature of this recommendation stems from the understanding that visibility and brand presence are crucial in times of economic turbulence.
At first glance, the notion of ramping up marketing efforts might seem counterproductive, especially when faced with the relentless surge in the cost of essential resources.
However, history has shown that maintaining, and even increasing, marketing efforts during economic downturns can lead to significant advantages.
During periods of financial strain, consumer behaviors shift, and those who strategically position themselves in the market often emerge stronger when the economic tide turns.
The question then becomes, how can real estate agents and agencies navigate this delicate balance of smart marketing without inflating their operational costs?
By examining practical and cost-effective strategies, we aim to provide insights into optimising marketing efforts, ensuring that even in times of financial strain, brands can maintain and enhance their visibility in the market.
The emphasis is not on slashing marketing budgets but on making informed and strategic choices that yield optimal results without breaking the bank.
Let's look at some ways to maintain or increase your presence without breaking the bank.
1. Evaluate and Optimise Your Content Creation Apps: Many businesses invest in various apps for content creation, often without assessing their real value. Consider consolidating your tools and focus on essential applications. CapCut for video editing and Canva for graphic design are cost-effective options, totaling approximately $30 per month. Streamlining your toolkit not only saves money but also enhances efficiency.
2. In-House Printing for Flyers: Print marketing remains a powerful tool, but the costs associated with it can be daunting.
Investing in a decent printer and paper allows you to print promotional materials in-house, significantly reducing costs. Alternatively, explore cost-effective printing services that offer bulk discounts.
While the paper quality might not be premium, the increased distribution volume can outweigh the aesthetic compromise.
3. Personalised Mail Merges: Move away from generic mass distribution strategies and embrace personalised communication. Rather than spending on generic Direct Mail (DL) drops, use mail merges to send personalised letters to your existing database.
A self-addressed letter stands a higher chance of being read, making your marketing efforts more targeted and effective.
4. Social Media Ads Over Google: Reconsider your advertising priorities. Social media platforms offer a cost-effective means to reach your audience compared to Google.
The ability to build relationships and engage with your audience makes social media a valuable marketing tool. Allocate your budget wisely, as social media ads can provide significant results at a fraction of the cost compared to Google ads.
5. Efficient Content Creation and Publishing: Invest time in creating a comprehensive content plan using tools like Buffer, which offers free services for up to three accounts.
Curate your social media content in advance, allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your business. Platforms like Bespoke Media Group provide templates for quick and easy content creation across social media, email, sms & print marketing.
6. Podcasts and YouTube Channels: Explore free tools to create podcasts or YouTube channels. Invite industry-related guests to enhance your expertise and broaden your audience.
These platforms offer a cost-effective way to showcase your knowledge and attract a diverse demographic. We are seeing a rise in Podcasts due to convenience of getting information while going about our daily duties.
For most of us, we are in our cars for the most part of the day, so consider starting a podcast over a YouTube channel.
7. Leverage Email Marketing: Email marketing remains a powerful and free tool. Acquire databases from reputable sources, and utilise ready-made email templates to engage your audience effectively.
Consistency and quality content are key to making email marketing a successful prospecting tool. Basically, if you are sending your alerts at a time when others aren't, you have more chance of being opened and read.
However, it all comes down to content. If you are constantly putting out your listings & sales, it's the quickest way to get people to unsubscribe to you.
8. Invest in Specialised Marketing Training: Not everyone needs an in-house marketing expert, but having a mentor or coach in your corner can be invaluable. Choose a specialist with experience and credibility in your niche. Tailored training can provide the support and tools needed to reach your marketing and branding goals.
Just because someone talks about marketing & branding doesn't mean they have actual experience or credibility in this field.
Find a mentor you click with & who will provide the support & tools to help you reach your marketing & branding goals. A coach who covers all aspects which might seem great, may not perhaps be putting in the time to the areas you need specifically.
9. Active Community Involvement: Being an active member of the community is key to success. Even if it's something so simple as walking down the street. In my earlier years I used to do laps of Macleay Street in Kings Cross while doing my callbacks from the weekend.
This allowed me to be seen by those in my community and at the very least, wave & smile. That's more engagement than sitting in the office doing calls.
Or, get involved in local school & community activities, sponsor clubs or trivia nights. Most importantly, don't just give cheques, be presence.