Your How-to Guide to Digital Advertising


REAL ESTATE HAS THREE ESSENTIAL TRUTHS. We all know this one, so say it with me—location, location, location. Get ready for your “aha!” moment of the day: Advertising is no different. If we are going to earmark a chunk of our budgets for advertising, we obviously want to get the most out of our money.

We want our ads to be seen by the most—and the right kind of—eyeballs. And it would be great if we didn’t have to spend a small fortune, only to hope and pray that we’ll see results. It would be even better if we could have control over our own advertising.

If you feel this way, too, here’s some fabulous news: You can reap all these benefits and more. How do you make this magic happen, you ask?

Online. The internet. The World Wide Web. The interwebs. The net. The information superhighway.

Whatever you want to call it, the digital space has become the place you want to host your advertising. Not just because it’s popular, but because it’s effective. Let’s look at some stats:

■ By 2021, AppNexus predicts digital ad spending will reach almost $130 billion in the U.S., which represents more than 51 percent of all U.S. advertising dollars. This means more than half of our ad budgets will be going toward digital advertising—and that’s not just digital vs. print ads. That’s all advertising: newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, radio spots, TV commercials, etc. We’ll spending more on digital ads than on all other types of advertising combined.

■ A whitepaper titled, “The 2017 Digital Future Report” by the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg, found that 92 percent of Americans use the internet, and the average American spends 24 hours a week online. Therefore, an overwhelming majority of Americans spend an entire day per week in front of a screen. In layman’s terms, that’s a whole lot of screen time.

■ More than 74 percent of homebuyers from all generations used the internet to search for their home this year, according to the National Association of Realtors 2018 “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.” Ninety-two percent of homebuyers ages 37 years and younger used the internet during their home search process. As millennials—the first digital natives—have become homebuyers, internet usage during the homebuying process has increased drastically, which will only continue as younger generations become homebuyers as well.

“In 2020, half of the U.S. workforce will be millennials,” said Lisa Steele, executive vice president of Mother Lode Holding Co. based in Auburn, Calif. “Consumer studies have shown us that Millennials like to research and understand their purchases online. Are we prepared to meet them where they are? Some consumer studies have gone as far as to say that unless they can find you online, Millennials won’t trust you as a company. That’s a pretty staggering statement.”

What Is Digital Advertising, Anyway?

Now we know where everybody’s ad budget is going, that we spend too much time online and that homebuyers typically start scrolling when it’s time to look for a new house. We have a pretty good case to start looking into digital advertising. So, what, exactly, is digital advertising?

Digital advertising can take many forms. Which avenue you choose depends on your resources—your budget, time and, of course, skill level—as well as your customer demographics. Digital advertising encompasses direct email blasts, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media pay-per- click (PPC), search engine PPC, native advertising, retargeting/remarketing, display ads, video ads and much more. The range is rather wide and constantly evolving, but the diversity available allows you to choose which methods are the best for you, your business and your customers.

If you aren’t already familiar with your customers’ demographics and wants and needs, now is a good time to start your research. You’ll need to know who you’re trying to reach before you start to craft your message or select a digital advertising platform.

See full article at December 2018 issue.