December 30, 2022
5 Marketing Tips for 2023: Refocus on the Basics
Home builders and developers have had a great ride the last two years with the flood of buyers in the market, but change happens, and as we look forward to 2023, we see a bit of contraction in the market. What does this mean for marketing new homes and communities? As marketers gear up for another year, Milesbrand encourages a strong focus on going back to the basics.
Now is the time to market smarter and harder, not cut back. Your home building company may need to spend more on traffic-driving strategies in 2023, but we will discuss those in our upcoming guide. Look for our Home Builder Guide to Marketing in a Downturn in early 2023.
It’s time to refocus on your core marketing program, your foundation. Focus on what you own and what you can control as a home builder or developer. With the flurry of sales over the past two years, it’s possible that these areas need some extra TLC.
Here are our recommendations for where to focus on empowering success throughout the entire year ahead.
Don’t neglect your brand. If it’s been a while since it was created or reviewed, it is probably time to take a closer look. Conduct a mini-brand audit to see if the logo matches from site to site. Does the brand look as good on the social channels as it does on the website? If not, why not? If the logo doesn’t fit into a small circle, consider using the brand mark alone on social or some other easily recognizable part of your brand.
Your brand identity is much like your personal identity. It is different for everyone and should be unique. Much like home trends come and go, so can brand trends. If your branding feels stale, it might need a facelift. After all, your brand represents your business’ who, what, why and how. Your brand’s personality delivers a promise to your customers as to what they can expect from your company. Remember that brand identity is much more than just the company logo. It is conveyed to your target market in multiple ways, including how the sales team dresses and answers the phone. Ultimately branding is all about how the buyer feels when they see your logo, hear your company’s name or interact with an employee. Make sure your brand puts its best face forward for the new year.
Websites are designed to provide key information on your homes and community, as well as collect data on website visitors and prospective clients. They should be built with the target audience in mind and provide a positive user experience, along with a compelling design that utilizes strong lifestyle imagery and visuals to help home buyers envision living in your homes and communities. Beyond that, websites must offer all the information home buyers seek on a new home or a community. And then, the website needs multiple calls to action (CTA) to collect the potential homebuyer’s name, email and phone number. It’s a given that the site is responsive – yours is, isn’t it?
Websites need frequent content updates. They are an investment in time and expense but well worth it as the website provides the first impression of your home building or development company. Focus heavily on photography, video, 3D tours and other interactivity to ensure buyers can tour homes and thoroughly explore homes online before seeing them in person. Well-designed homebuilder websites serve to generate leads and sales. Take a deeper dive into websites with our blog, 6 Modern Home Builder Web Design Best Practices.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how potential buyers find your business if they don’t know who you are. This is important in developing new leads and, ultimately, new sales. If you don’t have an SEO specialist or team, chances are your website needs an SEO review and update. SEO takes place on your website, referred to as on-site and off of your website, referred to as off-site. It is part art and part science and requires a lot of research and content. Google’s new Helpful Content update places importance on writing content for humans. Find a team or individual who can ensure your website doesn’t have content that conflicts with the helpful content update. Then review the SEO strategy on the site as it relates to content, keywords, URL structure, alt text and images and all the other critical on-site tactics. For a deeper dive into SEO, read Why Should Home Builders Care About On-Page SEO?
Do you have a blog? When was the last time you added new content to it? Adding fresh content to your website on an ongoing basis keeps website visitors informed on new communities, new floorplans, awards and other facets of your home building or development company. Blogs provide transparency and an approachable, less corporate voice as they are often written in the first person. Blogging is an excellent way to increase the website’s SEO because blogs give the search engines new content and a reason to come back and crawl the site.
Blogs can also be shared on social media and Google Business Profiles; thus, they are an excellent way to propagate or syndicate news to other platforms and send traffic back to the website. By creating a calendar of blogs or a plan for blogging, a company can cut back on the amount of siloed content it produces and realize a more comprehensive approach to content. Blogs are often used as the basis for newsletters. Read on if you are still wondering Why Home Builders and Developers Need Blogging and SEO Strategies.
Having the proper lifestyle photography is mission critical. Photos define the brand and help the target audience to relate to the community. Even if it is subconsciously, potential buyers wonder, “Do the people in the pictures look like me?” Can they picture themselves living in that particular master-planned development or new home community?
Budget to shoot lifestyle photography with real people in the homes and communities you build. This authenticity resonates with home buyers much more than stock photography. Plan to get the best images that showcase the neighborhood and location and then focus on the lighting and editing. Home shoppers want to see people who look like them enjoying life in pictures. This creates an emotional connection. The goal of lifestyle photography is to document real-life events and the art of everyday living. Find out more about How Home Builder Photography and Videography Can Help Boost Sales in our recent blog.
As we turn the corner and meet 2023 head-on, don’t stress. Instead, take time to refocus and go back to marketing basics. We hope our tips empower you to start the year off positively. Focus your marketing and boost your sales with help from Milesbrand. Contact us today to learn how we can bring your brand and imagery to life.
Don’t forget to look for our Home Builder Guide to Marketing in a Downturn in early 2023.