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08 August 2017

How to choose a digital marketing agency

When asked the best referral source to drive traffic to your business, most businesses will say word of mouth. The second most effective driver of business is your company website. So the big question is, how are these potential customers finding your website and who is in the driver’s seat to direct them there?

Maybe you’ve been handling your digital marketing in-house and haven’t seen the results you hoped for or you don’t have the time to stay on top of it. You may have worked with digital agencies who have not reached your expectations and you’ve experienced lackluster results. You might be one of the lucky ones who has partnered with a digital homebuilder marketing agency and saw success in your campaigns but they have now grown stagnant because you have been doing the same old thing month after month, year after year. So now what do you do? In order to see successful growth in your business or community, you are now searching for a new digital agency partner to help you reach your goals and assist you in driving traffic to your website with the ultimate goal of these consumers becoming your newest customer. As the most awarded real estate marketing company in the country, we’re happy to share six tips to lead you to the perfect digital marketing partner.

1. Google Certified Partner

Google is the world’s most popular search engine so in order to be found, your business must have a strong presence there.  If you have ever tried to run your own AdWords campaign, then you understand how complex and time consuming this can be. This is where the importance of a Google Certified Partner comes in. The knowledge that is gained through the process of becoming a Google Certified Partner will help guide your business to success. A Google Certified Partner will be able to create a strategic AdWords campaign to ensure you appear in the correct searches, will attract the right customers for less cost, and will effectively monitor your campaign for continued success and growth.

2. High-Touch Approach

Have you ever reached out to a digital real estate marketing partner to discuss your campaign or make changes mid-run to no avail? Have you ever felt that once you signed on the dotted line, that you’ve been forgotten about? Unfortunately, with numerous marketing companies, this has become the norm—they take the consultative approach for the sale, but you are out of the loop on the actual creation and management of your campaign. The strategic real estate marketing partner you choose should be an extension of your business or community for the next several years and you should expect the same of them as you would any employee you would hire. It’s important to find a digital marketing agency that truly wants to assist you in reaching your goals and not just build your campaign with the set-it-and-forget-it approach. In order for your campaign to reach the highest level of success, you need to find a partner who has the capabilities to monitor your campaign and actually touch it numerous times per week to ensure that you are pacing accurately and that you are actively reaching the correct consumers that you are targeting. It is also important to build a trusted relationship with the Account Manager who is creating and optimizing your account so that everyone involved understands your business, your customers, and your goals.  The perfect strategic partner for your business will always be accessible to you and not leave you feeling like you are alone on an island.

3. Experience is Key

It’s not the age of a company that always ensures success, it’s the experience of the employees that is key. Does the agency have employees who have a working knowledge of the new home and master planned community industry? This is extremely important as your account team must have a solid understanding of the challenges that you face each day in order to provide valuable solutions. Working knowledge of a team with numerous backgrounds will allow you the opportunity to have a more strategic, targeted, individualized approach, not mirror that of all of your competition.

4. Credibility

Be sure to do your homework on the digital marketing agencies you are considering. Have you visited their website? Is it informative on what they offer to your business? Is the page easy to navigate? Do you know more about them after reading through their pages? If you answered no to any of those questions, then this could be a red flag. If a company can’t take advantage of the opportunity to make a great first impression with you, then why would you consider them to promote your business? Are they certified in a variety of disciplines? Are they willing to give you references? Have they won awards and/or accolades from industry organizations for their work? All of these things help to build credibility. An agency may not meet all of these standards, but if you notice too many red flags then you might want to reconsider.

5. Stay Ahead of the Curve

Most digital marketing agencies will have access to the same products (i.e. SEM, Targeted Display, Digital Direct Email, Geo Fencing, etc). The success of these products is not in the product itself, but in the execution. While those products are important to any business, especially in a competitive market like real estate, you also want to look for the agency who wants to be an innovative leader. The best way to stay in front of your competition is to be sure to stay in front of your potential customer wherever they are and on any device. The best digital marketing agency is the one who stays ahead of trends and has the ability to foresee the immediate future in technology. They will be the first agency to have new targeting capabilities to reach your audience or the newest product capabilities based on trending of where your potential customer is now going. The old saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  The same can be said for real estate marketing. Eventually there will come a time that the things you have been doing for months or even years will stop working and you will have to find the latest and greatest opportunity to reach your audience. If you are already partnered with a digital real estate marketing agency that is ahead of the curve, this will ensure that your marketing efforts never get stagnant and you will always be ahead of your competition.

6. Vibe

Don’t be afraid to ask the company you are considering to visit their office and meet their team. Take a look around, check out the atmosphere and talk to the team members. Have casual conversations to get to know the Account Management team that would be working with your account. Can they effectively communicate with you? Are they friendly and understand your business goals? Do they seem happy in their job and get along with other company employees? How many years of experience in new home and master planned community marketing does each person on your agency team have? Do you feel a good vibe when you are there? You want to ensure that the agency and the people that you choose will take a vested interest in your company and are willing to partner with you for success. What you experience in this short visit will give you a clear picture of what it will look like to work with them on a monthly basis.

While this is not a complete list of things to consider when searching for a new digital marketing agency, hopefully it is a good starting place to find the digital and real estate marketing agency partner that is the perfect fit for your business. After all, the future success of your business is in the hands of the digital marketing agency partner that you choose now.

Milesbrand and our sister company, Strategus, are more than well-versed in the complexities of creating successful digital content, from websites, to campaign optimization, to banner ads, to eblasts, to over the top management and much, much more. Contact us today to learn more about what digital solutions we can provide for your company.

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