Marketing Smarter with Web Tools
Continued from Page 17
When it comes to establishing your online presence, you must be able to start a conversation and build an audience. The Internet is a social place. Unlike the passive nature of radio, tele- vision, newspapers and other traditional media, the Web offers the op- portunity to engage consumers directly. As you look to start online conversations, understand that effective communication relies on having people with whom to converse. Audiences comprise the building blocks of online marketing. Attract- ing customers and closing mortgages isn’t necessarily about flashy Web sites and big marketing dollars. It’s about building an audience and giving people a reason to contact you. Homeowners and homebuyers seek the best information available. When you begin to educate consumers about their mortgage troubles and purchase and refinance opportunities, business soon will follow. A profit-building audience — one that leads to closed loans and in- creased business — grows from valuable information published in creative and interesting ways. The following can help: • Blogs • Social networking • Microblogs • E-mail Here’s a closer look at each.
Blogs are rapidly becoming the standard type
of Web site for individuals and many businesses.
They offer a simple, quick way to start a Web site,
publish valuable content, build credibility and attract
Blogs allow brokers to give potential and existing customers an online destination. They also represent an effective way to capture new leads.
These Web-publishing platforms allow brokers
to write information much as they would in a word-
processing program and to publish that information
online with the click of a mouse. It’s even possible to
cut-and-paste from a desktop program into a blog.
Little to no technical knowledge is required, and
most blog-providers offer their services for free.
The best blogs provide current and relevant con-
tent. It can be wise to develop a regular audience and
to prove your reliability.
Display your phone number, e-mail address or
a contact form prominently. Lead generation
hinges on allowing your audience to contact you with ease.
Social networks offer a great way to find connections and sales opportunities within your existing sphere of influence. These groups of friends, family
and business associates can become powerful online referral networks.
Many social-networking Web sites started as ways to organize and
manage contacts online but evolved quickly into powerful sales and networking systems.
Through social networks, you can share photos, videos and audio clips,
all of which can allow you as a broker to establish your professional and
personal passions. After all, consumers buy things from people they like
and with whom they share interests. Social networking allows you to attract and connect to an audience with similar interests. For example, if
you have a passion for the Boston Red Sox, Bob Dylan and modern architecture, then consumers with similar interests are more likely to come
to you when it’s time for a new mortgage. They can’t do that, however, if
they don’t know anything about you.
When using social networks, actively update your network status, inform your network about the mortgage market, and participate in online
question-and-answer forums. Make sure to share your contact information
and refer people back to your blog for more details.
18 Scotsman Guide | Residential |
scotsmanguide.com | August 2009
Microblogs are blogs with short posts, typically 140 characters or less. Often, these blogs
are updated multiple times a day. As is the case
with social networking, microblogs offer the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.
The primary site for microblogging is Twitter. When
using this service, the main goal is to attract as many followers as possible. Followers represent your audience. When
people follow you, they see your updates on their own Twitter home page or feed. This gives you immediate access to
Microblogs represent a great way to grow, maintain and nurture client
relationships. One way brokers can do this is to post updates with reliable
and current market information, including mortgage rates and opportunities to purchase or refinance.
In addition, you can use microblogs to broadcast updates and links
from your blog or other important Web sites that your audience might
Trigger your followers to contact you for more information. In addition,
put thought into your username. It will say a lot about the purpose of your
Twitter presence and affect your ranking in search results.
This is an oldie-but-goodie that too many brokers neglect. Almost all of
today’s consumers have at least one e-mail account, meaning that a solid
e-mail database is perhaps the best lead-generating machine.
One of the best ways to use e-mail is to create and manage an active
electronic newsletter about the mortgage industry. Send it to your database
and offer people an easy way to opt in or out of future newsletters.
Ask the people who receive your newsletter to forward it to others who
might find the information helpful or interesting.
Make it easy for visitors to your blog, microblog and social-networking
sites to sign up for your newsletter. In addition, make sure to include your
contact information on every e-mail you send.
• • •
There has never been a better time to grow or rebuild a mortgage business.
Mortgage marketing is easier and cheaper than ever before — and consumers are hungry for information. Brokers can learn to leverage online
communication and social media quickly and to a great advantage. Doing
so can yield more leads for less money than traditional and often wasteful
forms of marketing.
By starting a conversation and providing valuable information to a
growing audience, brokers can increase their business opportunities
and develop a self-supporting marketing system that delivers for years
Bill Rice is the founder and CEO of Kaleidico.com, an expert in Internet lead generation and lead management. Rice has more than
a decade of experience as an executive in Internet mortgage originations and lead-generation businesses, including with Deep Green
Bank, Quicken Loans and MortgageLoan.com. He is a passionate
mortgage-industry expert and regularly speaks and writes on topics of mortgage marketing, lead generation and lead management.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 775-4487.