Why Market Online?

When we talk about online marketing, we are essentially talking about promoting your business online using a variety of channels. And these channels include search, social, video, email, and display. You have to realize that today's customer lives across these channels, and online marketing is about finding ways to be present at the right moment to capture the prospect. The internet has transformed the way that people sell and buy real estate. Now, with the internet on mobile, that experience is everywhere. This puts the customer in charge of the buying process. They are armed with resources to conduct research, compare properties, share what they've found, and even ask their peers for recommendations, all digitally.

Often, this happens simultaneously. What was once the norm in marketing is now taking a backseat to its online counterpart. Print is dropping in readership, and we are distracted by social media while we walk the streets. People are too busy looking at their smartphones to see advertisements in windows or those real estate agent bus stop signs. Streaming music has replaced radio, and paying for services eliminates advertising from interrupting our experience. (Those advertisers are very often real estate agents who are not up with the times!)

That's where online marketing comes in. As a business, you need to stand out in these channels. With so many user interaction points and what seems like an endless amount of channels, online marketing can feel overwhelming. That is where you as a real estate agent can either hide in the corner, or you can press on through and come out like a star on the other side!

Let's be a star, and start by focusing it down. Let's talk about the three types of media you'll be using in online marketing: paid, owned, and earned.

Your paid media will make up everything that you pay for. See, not so complicated after all! This will include channels like Google Adwords, Facebook paid ads, and display marketing.

Your owned media will encompass channels like your real estate website, your list of prospects that you use to send out emails, and a real estate blog that has an active readership.

Earned media is the world of organic press—things that happen naturally due to your hard work. For example, your social media accounts mentioned on other blogs or articles written about you are channels within earned media. People are talking to you or about you because you "earned" it.

All of these channels overlap, just as a user will overlap as they interact with each. And together, these make up the foundation of online marketing. So, at the end of the day, online marketing is the process of putting your business front and center along the journey your customer takes when trying to sell or buy a property.