The January Rundown

 

February is here, meaning we’re firmly in 2019.

We had a massive start to the year already including an interstate trip to talk strategy with some of Australia’s top agencies.

Strategy increasingly became a buzzword last year, but as the word grew in popularity it began to lose it’s core value and meaning.

A defined strategy is more than simply stating what you’re going to do, it’s about stripping back the layers and defining the how and the why. So, how and why is this important? (hah, see what we did there?)

‘Why’ is important as it provides the basis for your actions. Every action within a strategy should be backed by the answers to the following:

• Why are you doing that?
• What objectives are you aiming to achieve with this action?
• Is this the most fitting action (dependant on resources i.e. financial)?

The ‘how’ is equally important as it delivers a guide on how you’re going to achieve the objectives within your strategy. Each objective/action should be defined by the following:

• Who is responsible for this action?
• What assets and resources are required for this action to succeed?
• How are we measuring success?

At Identity Marketing, we specialise in developing real strategies that work. If you’re looking to transform your office into a powerhouse agency, get in contact with us.

Is 2019 your year?

  

January is synonymous with personal resolutions – some are planned in 2018 and some are more spontaneous while feeling a little worse for wear on January 1st. Whether you’re a strong believer in New Year’s resolutions or you think the idea is overrated, one this is for sure; January marks the start of 2019 and the start of implementing your plans for dominating business and career goals in the coming year.

Real estate agents who are serious about their trajectory have already planned for 2019, and we’ve helped a number of inspiring agents plan their year to ensure that their marketing pieces are created to meet their goals. That’s what planning is all about, it’s not simply making list and checking it twice, it’s about stripping back the layers of what you plan to implement and asking yourself ‘does this work towards my goal?’.

By extension, the result of your planning endeavor needs to be cohesive. This means that your marketing looks cohesive (marketing assets match and compliment each other) and that the deliverables within your plan are aligned with your business objectives. As an example, say that one of your objectives is to recruit new agents into your team, you should be planning evaluating and planning marketing deliverables such as having an improved careers section on your website and a culture video that drives agents to join your team.

Whenever I am asked about planning, my first piece of advice is to not only plan in advance, but to plan in advance quarterly. By doing this, you’re giving yourself 4 checkpoints over the course of a year which allows your plans to evolve and makes for an easier evaluation process. It’s also easier to plan 3 months of strategy that works towards a larger goal rather than getting lost in the details of a 12 month strategy.

If you’re looking for advice on what marketing tactics are going to serve your needs this year, get in contact with us; we specialise in formulating marketing plans around real estate goals.

Rebranding with Identity Marketing

  
When you first think about your visual branding, the logo, fonts, colours and the overall style. What is it that you first think about? The first thing you think about should not be the visuals at all. Well, we get that it is actually the graphics rather than explanations you see, but you should first see the message and meaning of your brand. What do you want customers to know about you?
 
Michael from Eclipse understood the importance of this and knew it was time he got his brand on par with how he wanted customers to perceive his brand.
Watch the video to find out more.

Happy Holidays from the IDM Team

 Today marks the end of 2018 for us here at Identity Marketing. We will be back in action, Monday the 7th of Jan, 2019. 

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all our clients and thanks for being so great to work with this year. 

If you have a spare minute, check out our office blooper reel from the year that was 2018. 

Our Favourite updates for 2018

There’s nothing like the start of a new year to bring on the predictions and make you reflect on the year gone by. Many, many things happened in the social media sphere in 2018, and we’ve picked our favourites and outlined them below.

When asked ‘what were your favourite updates last year?’ our team fairly unanimously mentioned the various Instagram story updates. GIFS, Spotify integration and polls were some of the favourites. Instagram went from strength to strength in 2018, maintaining their position of highest engagement platform. There are roughly one billion active Instagram users, so if you’re not using it in your marketing mix properly, it’s time to make it one of your new year marketing resolutions.

The team’s favourite update to Twitter was the addition of more characters. You now can craft a longer, more meaningful tweet with 280 characters instead of the traditional, limiting 140 characters.

Facebook canvas got a Facelift and a good one at that. Renamed, re-jigged and re-purposed, the addition of Facebook Pixel functionality was a welcome marketing tool – we are 100% on board with Instant Experience Ads.

LinkedIn made a few updates that enhance the user experience – they integrated the LinkedIn Groups app into the main app, added more functions to messaging such as adding the capacity to send documents and they also changed their algorithm to stop favouring the 1% of top users,  letting you see more content from your peers.

Pinterest changed up their advertising options in 2018 and now, sponsored videos take up more space within the home feed. Previously, Pinterest only gave the option to show sponsored videos as a ‘pin’, which is roughly less than a third of the size of the new larger sized video ads.

Snapchat… oh, Snapchat. They’re struggling to regain their footing in the fast-paced ever-changing social world. Many of the updates they pioneered were repurposed by Instagram this year and subsequently, Snap stock has lost more than half its value since March 2017.  They introduced Snapchat calling and games, and they also introduced filters that work on pets! Maybe 2019 will be their year or perhaps they will keep releasing obscure updates; either way we’ll be watching closely.

As for what’s coming in 2019, only time will tell. What we do know is that we will keep you ‘in the know’ with our monthly Social Media Updates video and blog!

How are you different from your competitors?

 

In real estate, competition is fierce and even the most dedicated and skilled agents are finding that it’s taking more than just their services to become well known in their market. This is where the USP comes into the mix to give real estate professionals a head start to being where they want to be. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘USP’ it’s short for Unique Selling Proposition which is essentially the one thing that enables you to stand out and attract your market which puts you on the path for success.

Unique Selling Propositions are certainly not new to the real estate industry, however they are often based upon propositions that are not unique and focus heavily on the process of selling. For example, we have seen many agents heavily market that they have low days on market which at first glance looks like a great thing to promote – however as a real estate agent you’re expected to sell homes and to sell them in a reasonable amount of time making ‘low days on market’ something that consumers readily disregard; and to make our point even clearer – how many agents and agencies do you know that promote that exact same thing? It’s not unique.

If you’re up to the challenge of developing or ‘renovating’ your USP here are a few things to consider:

  1. Your USP should have a focus on the benefits of your service rather than focusing on the features or process of what you do.
  2. Developing a USP takes time. Even if you have a certain idea on what your USP should be, take time to analyse it, talk to family and friends who aren’t in real estate and gauge their response as you may find that you end up with a totally different USP – and even if you don’t, at least you know your USP has been well thought out.
  3. Your USP needs to be authentic. If you’ve decided to use something along the lines of ‘coming from a long line of real estate agents’ as your USP but you’re the first in your family to be a real estate agent, your USP won’t get you very far.

Once you have taken time to finalise an authentic USP it’s time to establish how you’re going to deliver it to your marketplace. For this you will need to devise ways in which to communicate your USP and your marketing is one of the best places to start.

When in this stage we recommend the following:

  1. Establish what you have in your marketing repertoire and marketing that you don’t currently do but should be doing.
  2. Establish where messaging can be added in your marketing – for example, your monthly nurture email could include a footer that refers to your USP. The more places you can include your USP, the more effective it will be. This is down to patterns and how customers depend on patterns to recall information.
  3. Work out how you will communicate your USP – the type of language and copy you use to communicate and promote your USP is incredibly important, especially in regard to whether it’s as effective as it can be.

All in all, if you have a well fitting, authentic USP and you’re communicating it effectively, homeowners are substantially more likely to remember and prefer you over your competition.

Here at Identity Marketing we specialise in helping real estate agents uncover their brand to market it in effective ways. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to your Unique Selling Proposition, get in contact with us.

Have you reflected on your email marketing yet?


  

If we asked you how many different marketing emails you’ve sent this year, would you know the answer? (We’ve sent 50 different emails in 2018, in case you were wondering). If you do know, kudos to you! You’re in a very small percentage of people who know how many EDMs they’ve sent annually, and an even smaller percentage of real estate professionals who know. However, it’s not just the number of emails you’ve sent in the past year that you should know – you also need to have a good understanding of your overall email marketing strategy to ensure you’re maximising results and minimising effort.

So, what does it mean and what’s involved in getting a ‘good’ understanding of your email marketing? We recognise it seems like a big, daunting task – especially if you don’t know how many marketing emails you’ve sent this year – so we’ve created some questions for you to ask yourself to get you started. Are you ready?

Question one: What do you want to achieve with your email marketing?
To maximise your results you need to recognise the result you’re really after. Ask yourself, are you looking to nurture your leads or are you looking to be seen as the authority in investment data? Your answer will shape how your emails look and the information they include. Want another expert tip: If you have multiple (different) audiences, create separate recipient lists and email them with messaging that speaks to their needs instead of marketing to the masses.

Question two: ’How often are you sending emails?
Are you sending too many emails, or not enough? To help you answer this question, you should look at your analytics, especially open rates, click rates and the unsubscribe count.
If you don’t have a definitive answer, don’t stress. There is no one size fits all number of emails someone should be sending as it’s all about finding the right balance and trialling this with your marketplace to see what’s right for you.

Question three: Are you tracking the right metrics?
Perhaps we’ve skipped a step here – let’s ask this first – are you tracking metrics at all? If not, you should be. Your email metrics and analytics allow you to study how your emails are performing, and if you know how to interpret these analytics, email metrics are the yellow brick road to your next steps in maximising your email marketing. The metrics you should be looking into at the very minimum are open rates, click through rates and your unsubscribe count as these will give you a good indication of how your audience is responding to your email marketing.

Question four: Are your emails optimised for mobile?
This is a hugely important question as over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, meaning if your emails aren’t optimised for mobile you’re only planning to talk to half of your database. If that fact doesn’t have you on your way to see if your emails are mobile optimised – maybe this will – un-optimised emails affect loading times, unsubscribe rates and often receive much lower engagement.

To get the most out of 2019, email isn’t the only part of your business and marketing that requires analysis before next year.

Check out our 19 things you should be doing before 2019 to dominate your marketplace in 2019, and don’t forget to get in contact with us if you need expert hands on your email or 2019 planning.

December Social Media Updates


Facebook Messenger Stories Layout (Testing)

Facebook is currently testing a new layout for Facebook stories in Messenger. Currently, Stories are shown in a single line above messages however should tests prove fruitful we could soon be seeing stories taking up more screen space.

This feature is very much in line with Facebook’s broader moves to promote Stories use and to maximise engagement, as brands see up to 10x higher engagement rates on Instagram than Facebook. It’s clear that Facebook is attempting to bring across some of the features of the higher engagement platform, as recently they also introduced Music on Facebook Stories and expansions on Lipsync Live. More than 70% of Instagram and Snapchat users use the story function on both platforms every day, and 80% of all daily active Instagram users watch Stories just as often as they scroll the feed, so Facebook is clearly homing in on this on their highest user platform.

Instagram Update (Testing)

Keep an eye on your Instagram profile in the coming weeks – as Instagram has some changes in store.

Instagram is live A/B testing multiple updates worldwide including de-emphasising followers and following statistics and implementing new tab options for business profiles. Business profiles are being tested with a variety of tabs – there’s a new ‘shop’ button which is linked with the various shopping options that have been introduced this year, such as the shoppable stories, the in post shopping links.

A new ‘mutual follows’  tab is being tested which could be beneficial for marketers – brand collaborations could have be more informed before going ahead  and and targeting could be honed in on what your demographic is interested in. it is also a valuable addition as it will provide more context as to how users are attached to others in your own network, and allow people to create content accordingly.

Lens Creative Partner Program to boost branded Snapchat lenses

Snapchat is making it easier for businesses of all sizes to include branded lenses in their marketing.

Snapchat is introducing a ‘Creative Partner Program’ that enables businesses to link with certified creators to build engaging AR Lenses for Snapchat. The concept behind this being that it will encourage further spending on AR campaigns. Snap Lenses have proven to be quite popular, however it appears they are beyond the technical ability of most advertisers, even with Snap opening up the Lens Studio tool to all advertisers last year.

One in three of Snaps 186 million daily active users use Lenses for an average of three minutes each, according to data from Snap. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience – that’s a LOT of engagement. If you’re using Snapchat in your marketing and struggling to connect with your audience via regular Snaps, it could be a viable option to invest in an effective Lens campaign.

Instagram Cracks down on Fake Followers

Instagram is on a mission to eliminate inauthentic followers and likes that are gained by use of third party apps.

Instagram announced they have built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use third party apps. The users will be notified, urged to change their account password and inauthentic activity will be removed. This could be a game changer as there are a plethora of spammy accounts and platforms that promote growing your following.

As explained by Instagram:

“Every day, people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It’s our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity. Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.”

This will be interesting to observe as last time the platform cracked down on ghost and fake accounts – the spam purge of 2014 – follower counts dropped by millions for some accounts – Justin Bieber lost 3,538,228 followers, and rapper Akon apparently lost 56% of his followers. This time it is more of a warning it seems, however if you use apps to comment, like and follow other users, be aware of the potential risks.

Business Analytics Updates (Facebook Pages & Instagram)

Over the coming months, Instagram and Facebook Page analytics will be getting a makeover.

The current analytics functions will be expanding to cover all the ways people engage with businesses via their business profiles.

As explained by Facebook:

At Facebook Analytics, our core quest is to help marketers understand how their content and channel strategies actually drive real business results. As part of that charter, we’re excited to announce a major addition to Facebook Analytics: our Instagram Account and advanced Page analytics beta! Instagram Account analytics are a brand-new addition to our suite, and Facebook Page analytics are expanding to cover all the ways people engage with your business through your Page.”

In a nutshell: you’re going to be about to get more information about the people who interact with your social media accounts, and you’re going to get it all in the one place.

Why is the number 3 important in real estate?

  

Have you heard of the Three By Three rule in real estate? If not, you should have. In real estate marketing, some trends stay relevant for a millisecond and others have the capacity to stand the test of time. The Three By Three rule is decidedly the latter and something that all real estate agents and agencies should be incorporating into their marketing to maintain a competitive edge in a market that craves authenticity and differentiation.

The Three By Three rule, for those who are not familiar is real estate marketing rule about communicating your 3 key strengths and communicating them 3 times to help you win over homeowners. When talking about the 3 by 3 rule, we at Identity Marketing always think back to a quote from Kristin Schier: “The first time you say something, it’s an incident, the second time you say something, it’s a coincidence, but the third time you say something, it becomes a pattern”. You may be asking, why is this important? The answer is, patterns are powerful and patterns provide meaning in the mind of homeowners. This is because the human mind is a complex pattern completing machine that thrives on using knowledge that it has been exposed to multiple times and so by using the Three By Three rule you’re helping to guide people to the right conclusions, conclusions that you set.

Now that we’ve got the Three By Three rule covered, we bet you’re wondering how to put this in motion. If so, keep reading:

To get started you will need to narrow down your strengths and this task is easier than it sounds. Many agents and agencies focus on strengths such as a low number of days on market or selling an amount of houses in a year – but in today’s day and age, those ‘benefits’ are expected and don’t seperate you from your competition. The strengths to focus on will be ones that really connect with you marketplace, making it easier for them to link and complete the pattern in their mind about who you are and why you’re the right choice for them.

Once you have your three key strengths that align with you and your service, it’s time to put these into your marketing so that you’re communicating it three times. To begin with, start by adding your strengths into your pre-listing kit, listing kit and proposals so that you’re communicating your strengths before meeting, at listing presentations and after meeting.

This rule can also be expanded on so don’t limited yourself to communicating your strengths in print – you can apply this to your email marketing, social media and ‘elevator pitch’ when meeting people.

If you’re looking for advice on identifying your key strengths or how to place these in your marketing – get in contact with us.

Are you doing what it takes to stand out in a digital format?

  

There are a lot of variables to success when using digital marketing. Most recently success is increasingly coming in the form of video. However making a video here and there isn’t enough. To ensure every opportunity for success you need to remember and abide by three words: content, consistency and frequency.

Firstly, content refers to delivering engaging, valuable and quality information to your audience, whether that be through social media channels, email marketing or via your website. Don’t forget, video content should be of high quality.

Consistency refers to ensuring that the valuable information and video content that you’re delivering is provided in a consistent manner, using the same fonts, colours, music and transitions. This leads to the development of your own unique digital style that your marketplace can easily identify.

And finally, frequency. This refers to rolling out your valuable and consistent looking video content at frequent intervals, whether that be monthly, fortnightly or for the ambitious among you, weekly.

If you’re looking for more information on how you can take advantage of content, consistency and frequency – get in contact with us.