Why has Influencer marketing become such a big deal for real estate brands?
Big brands, be they automotive or energy drinks, have for years paid for celebrity endorsements. Social media now allows ‘middle-of-the-road’, small league brands to do the same.
Influencers with 50,000 to 500,000 followers can ask upwards of $400 for posting a single tweet, around $1,000 for an Instagram or Snapchat post, and (for video creators) $2,500 to produce a YouTube video. It’s a big market and it plays on how we think as humans. The more time we spend viewing someone’s content, the more likely we are to be influenced by their recommendations.
According to Seth Godin, “we are tribal animals”. That is, humans are wired to draw to people they connect with. The connection might be just an idea or in the case of celebrities, a lifestyle.
To succeed as a real estate brand, you need to seek out potential customers, engage with them and get them to trust you. A great place to find and engage with customers is social media. 77% of Americans have social media profiles. While all this sounds simple, it takes time and considerable effort to build a large following on social media; create consistent engaging posts and build trust. But Influencers have done this. They have built a large or fairly large fanbase of people who follow and probably trust their recommendations. Influencer marketing is a way to create brand awareness by leveraging an influencer’s existing fanbase or reputation.
74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. This means a single recommendation from a trusted brand or influencer can have a far greater impact on sales than a traditional ad campaign.
Ideas for Crafting an Influencer Marketing Campaign for real estate
Interview your staff
Influencers don’t always have to be outsiders or people with large followers. You can interview selected people within your workforce. These people know much about your company, what’s going on and what you want to achieve. Hence, your influencer marketing will integrate seamlessly with other aspects of your real estate marketing strategy. For example, Bedrock’s About Us video educates people about the brand. But it goes further to show how passionate their workers are about what they do at Bedrock.
Partner with or invite influencers to open houses or events
Here is a way to use the classic influencer post that gives an influencer a taste of your product and encourages them to write about their experiences. Micro influencers (influencers with 5k-25k followers) might have better local reputation than macro influencers. Some people attending your open houses might fall into the micro influencer category. Why not leverage this by encouraging or incentivizing them to post a video or photo describing their experience?
If you’re hosting a small event, you could also hire many micro influencers to attend. When these real estate micro influencers post a photo, video or a story about your event, you can potentially create a buzz for your brand. However, make sure you’re truly delivering a great experience.
Branded hashtags are a cute way to grow your following. It’s easy to create a buzz on social media and get people talking about you with a branded hashtag. Instead of going it solo, you want to hire many real estate micro influencers to create tweets or Instagram posts with your hashtag. This could potentially create a chain reaction where a lot of people see your branded hashtag and start posting with it.
Interview local or niche influencers
You want to identify some local influencers in your community. They may be top ranking real estate professionals, professional home stagers, executives, artists, etc. You should reach out to people engaging with your target market already. Connect with these people and schedule an interview. You would be able to get a lot of shares and the great thing is that you’ll be reaching your target market directly. Real estate coach Tom Ferry uses this strategy a lot. His video with BombBomb CMO Steve Pacinelli is a great example of this.
Create video commercials featuring Influencers
Here you should probably give your influencer free rein over how best to present or promote you. They know how best to present your brand to their audience without appearing awkward. For example, this Douglas Eliman video works. It aligns with the influencer’s brand and it pushes a unique story.
Influencer Marketing Tips for Real Estate
1. Not every influencer is right for your business: You probably should have a list of influencers you would like to work with. A great place to find micro influencers and connect with them is Dealspotr. They have a database of thousands of influencers you could chat up right away.
However, you should keep in mind that an influencer who posts on healthy eating might not be the right fit for your real estate brand. You want to work with influencers who are reaching your target audience.
2. Micro influencer recommendations carry more weight: Micro influencers are influencers with a small but targeted following. As such their posts generate higher engagement. Micro influencer campaigns have a 60% higher campaign engagement rate than influencers with larger followings. So, spending a chunk of money hiring influencers with larger followings doesn’t necessarily lead to better results. You might actually spend the same amount of money hiring a number of micro influencers with a targeted following and get much better results. According to Leadfuze, influencers with 10 million followers have an average engagement rate of 1.6% per post while micro influencers have an engagement rate of 8% per post.
3. Choose the right platform to reach your target audience: Influencer marketing isn’t just another real estate marketing fad. It’s a way to reach the right people with your ad campaigns. This means that to get better results, you have to approach the right influencer and engage with your audience on the right platform.
You can determine the right platforms to use by figuring out how people engage with you on your existing social media platforms. The best social media platform for your influencer marketing campaign will be one where you get the most engagement on your posts.
4. Set campaign goals and ensure your influencer understands them: As with any campaign, you need to set measurable goals. Are you hoping to increase your following? Get more leads? Or create brand awareness? Your goals would help you and your influecer determine the right approach. They can offer their creative input to make sure targeted goals are or will be reached.
5. Consider turning influencers into brand ambassadors: Once you find a good influencer, seek to build a relationship instead of just hiring them per need. In fact, when you reach out, your goal should be to make a personal connection. This will give your influencer space to creatively and continually represent your brand.
6. Check your influencer’s engagement rates: Nowadays when shares and followers can be easily bought, it’s not surprising that influencer fraud is on the rise. Point Norths Group revealed in a recent study that “up to 20% of mid-level influencers’ followers are likely fraudulent.” That is, have fake or bought followers.
So instead of checking follower count, you need to have your eyes on engagement rates. Check your influencer’s feed to see how well their followers interact with their posts. If they don’t get enough engagement on their posts, it’s unlikely that they can deliver the results you need.
7. Calculate your ROI: If you’ve set your goal(s), then you should be able to calculate how well these goal(s) are being reached. While it’s important to check the number of shares or likes on your posts, the most important thing to determine is ROI. You need to compare your results with how much you’ve spent on the campaign. With sales, this is easy. You simply subtract how much you spent from what you earned overall.
But with impressions and leads, measuring the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign can be tricky. Depending on your goals, you should include a lead capture form which can help you build a list for email marketing. The more folks sign up, the better.
When creating brand awareness, the number of shares on your post can be a key performance indicator. Here is an article by Influencer marketing consultant, Kristen Matthews that explains how to measure ROI on your influencer marketing campaign.