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Budget Season: Will You Be Making These 3 Marketing Expenses?

July 27 2012

money super power manI recently spotted an article on Mashable that listed three marketing expenses as "must-haves" for the upcoming budget season. I'm going to discuss each and then ask you to weigh-in on whether or not they'll appear in your budget.

1) Social Media

  • What should you be doing? According to Mashable, you'll want to look at your current social media presence to determine if you are optimally represented. If you don't have a profile on any of the primary social networks, or if you've been inactive on any of these networks, it's time to step things up. Begin to post regularly. This may mean creating content on your blog or website and then feeding links to that content to social media profiles – that's content marketing, which we'll talk about next. You may also want to consider advertising on social media (i.e. "promoted posts" on Facebook).
  • Where's the expense? For many agents, there may not be any direct costs associated with social media marketing; instead, the expense lies in the resources you'll need to allocate. For instance, you'll need to spend some of your own time or that of an employee in order to build your social media presence. Direct costs might come from advertising on social media, if you decide that makes sense for you.

2) Content Marketing

  • What should you be doing? Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like – creating and sharing content (i.e. on a blog or website) to educate and inform, while at the same time marketing yourself, your services, or your individual listings (in the case of real estate professionals). This content may take the form of a written article, a video, a podcast, photos, an infographic, or . . . (you take it from here; let your imagination run wild).
  • Where's the expense? If you don't have the time or the inclination to create content on your own, you may need to hire someone else to do it. If that "someone" is already a member of your staff, the expense is represented in the use of their time. However, it's not uncommon to outsource content creation. RISMedia's RESource is a great example of a service that can help with this.

3) Mobile

  • What should you be doing?  Mobile is a small word to describe a broad spectrum of marketing activities. There are mobile applications, mobile websites, QR codes, text messages, and more. The key for real estate professionals is to ensure that you can be "found" on a mobile device (i.e. an iPhone, Android Smartphone, iPad, or tablet), which is where more and more consumers are doing research and making purchase decisions these days. That often means building a mobile app or mobile-friendly website, as well as implementing other tactics to lead traffic to your mobile presence (that's where QR codes and SMS come into play).
  • Where's the expense? This is probably the most expensive marketing investment that made Mashable's list. Why? Because it will certainly require the assistance of a skilled outside party to: build a mobile app, develop your mobile website, provide QR codes, launch a text messaging campaign, etc. The good news is that there are some excellent companies that specialize in doing just this, specifically for real estate professionals.

What's Missing?

There are many marketing investments that didn't make Mashable's list (and probably should have for REALTORS®).

Many of these are invaluable marketing tools and should not be excluded from your budget.

What Do Other Sources Say?

We recently published a super cool infographic from Active Rain/Market Leader. They studied how real estate professionals are spending their money, including their marketing investments. What did their research show?

  • About 45% of agents are leveraging SEO, blogging (content marketing) and social media – spending about $78 per month on these efforts combined.
  • 17% of real estate professionals hire a marketing assistant to help them with their marketing efforts. Oftentimes, this is the expense to keep in mind when budgeting these marketing activities.

Tell Us!

So, tell us – will these three marketing expenses be in YOUR budget?