As real estate agents, we have all of these tactics we use for our real estate business…blog sites, Facebook ads, emails, pay per click…
Often we are left trying to piece them together – spending inordinate amounts of time creating content for our blog, creating and running ads to capture leads and setting up “drip” campaigns for the leads we do capture.
Where is the time left to actually work with the leads we “capture” and turn into clients?
Is it any wonder we don’t do every one of these exceptionally well? Is it any wonder that we struggle to try to provide content for each of these tactics? Is it any wonder that although we keep hearing how great all of these methods are, we are always on the hunt for a better method?
In reality, these three elements, Blog + Facebook + Email, are the ultimate method. They are THE way to truly capture, convert & close online real estate leads. When intertwined, they are a powerhouse.
There are 5 essential steps to using your Blog + Facebook + Email to bring in leads and I’m going to show you exactly how to use each one.
Step 1: Create a blog post.
Make it insanely educational and valuable. Give what you know is “your all.” Give without the expectation of getting. Don’t worry about giving away too much here. That’s simply not possible.
This isn’t the place to outsource. There are several different benefits you are going to reap from this blog post and one of those benefits is showing who you are, through your writing. Having someone “ghost write” this for you will not work. Using a pre-written blog post is not going to work.
Some of the ideal types of posts to write are those focused on a checklist, or a step-by-step method to doing something (much like this blog post). Don’t forget to go into as much detail as possible. If you find the post is too long, turn it into a series.
Step 2: Create a PDF of your blog post.
Write the post offline and format it in whatever word processing program you are using. Include images and links. Fully format it. Then, create a PDF of the post.
Sometimes it’s better to create a simplified step-by-step checklist rather than the entire post, but that is entirely up to you. Give insane amounts of value. Whichever method gives more value, choose that method.
You are going to embed an opt-in box in your blog post giving away this PDF to any traffic that is interested.
What’s crazy is that 40-80% of your traffic will take you up on this offer, especially if you have a particularly detailed (and desired) post.
The easiest way to create an opt-in box is to use a LeadPages feature called LeadBoxes. You create the opt-in right inside LeadPages and then simply copy and paste the code into your blog post.
You are going to need a email delivery method (preferably something like MailChimp) setup so that it automatically delivers the freebie after it has verified they gave you authentic contact info.
This is important. You do not want to simply allow them to download the freebie. The whole point of this is to give something so valuable, they are willing to exchange their legitimate contact info for the item of value.
If you want to see an example of these first two steps, check out this post on my blog. In it I’ve created a valuable content piece, along with an opt-in piece, just as I’ve described above. In fact, I wrote the blog post around the content piece I wanted people to opt-in for.
Step 3: Create Facebook audiences for all URLS.
Next, you are going to create custom audiences in Facebook for all of the pages you’ll be driving traffic to…including the blog post itself, the opt-in landing page and the opt-in thank you page. Create an audience for each one.
Creating a custom audience in Facebook sounds daunting, but in reality, it’s fairly easy.
First and foremost, in order to create a custom audience you must personally own your own website. You can not create a custom audience on your Broker’s site or on a mass owned template site that doesn’t allow you to install your own plug-ins or coding scripts.
Next, you need to install a single pixel code from Facebook. This is literally a matter of copy and paste. You’ll find the coding in Facebook’s Power Editor, Audience tab…once you start the process of creating a pixel code, Facebook will give you the coding and tell you what to do with it.
After these two steps are done, you never have to create a pixel this way again…at least not for what I’m about to teach you. If you want to go deeper and more advanced, you can create and use conversion pixels, but in reality, the following will work just fine for you.
Now, go into Facebook’s Power Editor and head to Audiences. Then, create a custom audience, by website URL.
Simply copy and paste the URL you want to pixel all traffic from right into the form Facebook has, tell it you want to see all traffic from the past 180 days (you can’t go higher and you definitely shouldn’t go lower) that lands on that URL. Name it and BOOM you’re done.
Keep in mind, Facebook doesn’t go backwards and look at your previous traffic. Your audience starts accumulating from the moment you create the custom audience and, in order for it to show “active and ready” Facebook must accumulate at least 20 people in that audience – so this process takes time, depending upon how much traffic visits that specific webpage.
Also keep in mind, not everyone who visits that page on your site will be included in the audience… there are a number of reasons why. Not everyone has a Facebook account, not everyone allows their web travels to be pixeled and not everyone has the same privacy settings.
Step 4: Use Facebook ads to drive cold traffic to your blog post.
That’s right… you aren’t going to “sell” anything in your Facebook ad, but you are going to give away the farm so to speak.
You are going to drive cold, skittish traffic, to your insanely valuable and highly desirable blog post and 40-80% of that traffic will opt-in to your free download you are giving away.
Make sure that your ads are clear, concise and directly reflect the blog post you are driving traffic to. The entire point of this is to drive targeted traffic that is interested in what you are giving them. You don’t want to drive a bunch of traffic by being secretive in your ad, you’ll just end up with a high bounce rate and a pixel audience that is worthless to you.
Here’s the actual ad I use for the blog post I wrote above:
Step 5: Use Facebook ads to promote your lead capture opportunities.
This is where you are going to “sell your services” so to speak. You are going to focus these ads towards people who have already visited your website. The pixeled traffic.
They are considered “warm” traffic and are much more likely to opt-in to your “sales focused” ads than they were prior to their visit to your website.
This is where your home search and home value ads are going to see a higher return than they would to typical cold traffic. You’ve already warmed your traffic up, so to speak.
In this ad, I’m promoting the actual opt-in from the blog post, but I’m promoting it directly to the pixeled audience:
Bonus Step 6: Want to up your game even more?
Become even more strategic:
- Split test your initial cold traffic ads (driving traffic to your blog posts) using different verbiage and different images. Run them for at least 10 days and then choosing the best producing ads to continue to run indefinitely.
- Split test your cold traffic target audiences. Split your audiences down so minutely that you know without a doubt which audiences produce, and which ones don’t.
- Create a 3-piece email series to send to opt-ins, a series that gives more value and drives responsive traffic to the “next step” opportunity.
- Create Facebook ads targeted towards the traffic who visited your blog post but did not opt-in to your giveaway, driving them to the giveaway directly.
- Create a long-running followup email series for all opt-ins. A series that continues to capture the attention and encourage interaction from the subscriber.
There are so many ways you can use a single piece of content to work in a multitude of ways for you. Don’t keep creating brand new content… Create something highly valuable and then make it work smarter & harder for you!
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert, and close Facebook leads.