STE­FAN WIL­LIAMS

CEO, CAM­PAIGN­TRACK

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS -

Where are you from orig­i­nally and where do you call home now? I was born in Can­berra, but soon Syd­ney be­came my home. I love trav­el­ling the world, but each time I re­turn I re­alise just how lucky we Aus­tralians truly are.

Who or what in­spires you at the mo­ment? Firstly my wife, Janelle, the co-founder of our busi­ness. She was also the one who pushed hard to start our dig­i­tal pivot; not easy be­cause at the time I wasn’t a Face­book user so hadn’t seen the light. Se­condly, Elon Musk, trans­form­ing and in­spir­ing the world and with a sense of hu­mour too.

What’s the most im­por­tant project you are work­ing on right now? With­out a doubt, our Ad­vanced In­ter­net Mar­ket­ing with Google and Face­book. At a time of de­clin­ing print, the in­dus­try is be­ing grad­u­ally de-branded and headed down a pay-for-lead road that it shouldn’t. Work­ing with the big­gest mar­ket­ing plat­forms on the planet has been an hon­our, and I think we’ve built some­thing truly world-class. It’s the most ex­cit­ing time ever for our com­pany, Trend to watch in the in­dus­try? The change to a di­verse dig­i­tal strat­egy where agents have many in­ter­con­nected sources of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and buyer/ seller lead gen­er­a­tion. The re­al­i­sa­tion that grow­ing and own­ing data, in­clud­ing re­mar­ket­ing au­di­ences on Google and Face­book, will help them not only sell but find the next list­ing too.

Favourite quote or words to live by? “Move fast and break things.” Dan­ger­ous when you con­sider I drive a Tesla!

WITH DIG­I­TAL HERE TO STAY it’s time to stop play­ing around and start get­ting se­ri­ous about your time and your in­vest­ment. Ste­fan Wil­liams from Cam­paign­track ex­plains how to take your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and brand­ing strat­egy to the next level. Firstly, don’t con­fuse con­tent posts with ads; they are very dif­fer­ent beasts.

AREC 2018 will be highly in­for­ma­tive, like all be­fore it. A host of guest speak­ers will again speak of the evolv­ing world of real es­tate sales; many will re­mind the au­di­ence just how crit­i­cal their dig­i­tal pres­ence is to their grow­ing suc­cess and long-term sur­vival.

Of course, every­one knows this al­ready; but in­spi­ra­tional speak­ers have a way of re­in­forc­ing and in­spir­ing their au­di­ences with a will to change for the bet­ter. Un­for­tu­nately most of us will go back home and, frankly, change noth­ing. So my ques­tion to you is this: If you agree that it’s a dig­i­tal world nowa­days, why don’t you em­brace it now?

It’s time to take dig­i­tal se­ri­ously, and for­tu­nately this year there are some fab­u­lous so­lu­tions that make dig­i­tal as easy as any other form of mar­ket­ing you do.

If you’re ready to jump on the dig­i­tal band­wagon, or if you’ve started ex­per­i­ment­ing but want to take it up a level or ten, there are so­lu­tions now that are vir­tu­ally ef­fort­less for you and your agency, and that have proven highly ef­fec­tive. Un­less you want to do it all yourself, none of this is much harder than mak­ing a de­ci­sion to press the Go but­ton.

Whilst it’s very true that every­one has had a form of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing for years via the list­ings por­tals, it is not true that this is a holis­tic dig­i­tal strat­egy. We think that a true dig­i­tal strat­egy is about lever­ag­ing the power of mul­ti­ple dig­i­tal chan­nels to project your sales, your brand and, of course, snare buy­ers and sell­ers. Dig­i­tal is evolv­ing faster than drug-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria, so rather than pre­dict the fu­ture let’s talk about what we think is im­por­tant now for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and real es­tate.

En­ter Face­book and Google, and yes, of course, In­sta­gram, Twit­ter and LinkedIn. The first two are ar­guably the most im­por­tant, be­cause they are the most per­va­sive. This is where peo­ple spend their time nowa­days, a stag­ger­ing 20-plus hours per week per per­son in our re­gion. Seems like there is no bet­ter place to con­nect with buy­ers and sell­ers; but how you do this, and to a great ex­tent why, is go­ing to help you choose the best ap­proach.

Not­with­stand­ing the re­cent data breach is­sues at Face­book, it is cer­tainly not go­ing away and should be a key com­po­nent of your dig­i­tal strat­egy. Firstly, don’t con­fuse con­tent posts with ads; they are very dif­fer­ent beasts and we think you need both. Whilst it’s easy to do ‘am­a­teur hour’ yourself on Face­book, some think there are far bet­ter things for you to do with your time, and of course it’s very hard to com­pete with tech-en­abled pro­fes­sional so­lu­tions for ef­fec­tive­ness.

Google is the planet’s ad­ver­tis­ing pow­er­house, a su­perbly ef­fec­tive chan­nel to project your list­ings, brand and agents while peo­ple surf the net. Ab­so­lutely Google should be in your mix. A truly flex­i­ble so­lu­tion that al­lows for both Google and Face­book should de­liver re­sults be­yond any so­lu­tion us­ing just one chan­nel.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM DIG­I­TAL?

To be­gin with, ask yourself what you want get get from dig­i­tal. In truth, there are re­ally two schools of thought here:

1. Box tick­ers, who just want to be able to tell ven­dors they will also show their list­ings on Face­book and/or Google.

2. Strate­gists, who will not only use th­ese medi­ums for find­ing buy­ers and sell­ers, but also to strate­gi­cally build data, in­tel­li­gence and brand at-scale dig­i­tally.

If you are the for­mer, you have more choices of sup­pli­ers for so­lu­tions, from the por­tals to your lo­cal ad agen­cies. If you are the lat­ter, the field nar­rows and it is worth con­sid­er­ing the points be­low be­fore mak­ing any de­ci­sion on a provider.

HOW IM­POR­TANT IS YOUR BRAND IM­AGE ON­LINE?

Brand be­ing crit­i­cal in the suc­cess of all top agen­cies, it makes sense to have a per­fectly

de­liv­ered and pol­ished ex­e­cu­tion of your brand on­line. A great dig­i­tal so­lu­tion will al­low brand-per­fect tem­plates for Google and Face­book ads, and won’t clutter up the limited ad space with other com­pa­nies’ lo­gos or links that are not yours. Given your ads may well be shown in their mil­lions, it’s ar­guable that dig­i­tal ads are even more vis­i­ble than other mar­ket­ing el­e­ments like sign­boards – so per­haps they should be 100 per cent your brand.

DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR OWN DATA?

Many of­fer­ings will di­rect ad clicks to web­sites you don’t own, mean­ing they get the ben­e­fit of the re­tar­get­ing data, au­di­ence build­ing and clicks. What you get is an ad, but you don’t get any of the ben­e­fit of the data ac­cu­mu­lated. In th­ese in­stances clicks on your ads may even be used to trig­ger your com­peti­tors’ ads later. A few so­lu­tions di­rect ad clicks to your own web­sites, which builds your own traf­fic and, crit­i­cally, builds your own ex­clu­sive re­tar­get­ing and au­di­ence data. This data can be a pow­er­ful tool for sub­se­quent list­ings, whilst also help­ing to close ven­dor sign-ups.

Imag­ine telling your next ven­dor you al­ready have an au­di­ence, in the thou­sands, that is a close match for in­ter­est on their list­ing – and that you can show those peo­ple ads on Google and/or Face­book if they sign up. Re­mem­ber, an au­di­ence can be built on both Face­book and Google, to­gether in some in­stances. Au­di­ence data is just as pow­er­ful as your email list, and the two even work to­gether.

PRICE AND PER­FOR­MANCE

There are many ways to mea­sure the ef­fec­tive­ness of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. From the high­est level, a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion would be the num­ber of ads and clicks you can ex­pect. Some pro­vide sur­pris­ingly low num­bers of ads and clicks per dol­lar com­pared to oth­ers, so ask what you are get­ting and use this to com­pare value if shop­ping around. Tar­get­ing is im­por­tant, too; the best so­lu­tions will use big data to find pas­sive and ac­tive buy­ers be­yond the por­tals, whilst adding in rel­e­vant re­tar­get­ing and lo­cal brand build­ing.

WHO WILL SEE YOUR ADS?

There are many ways to tar­get your ads and it’s easy to waste money on in­ap­pro­pri­ately or in­ef­fec­tively tar­geted ads, so ask how they are be­ing tar­geted. For ex­am­ple, if ads are likely to be shown to peo­ple 10km away from the prop­erty, they are much less likely to be buy­ers; so­lu­tions that un­der­stand sub­urb ge­og­ra­phy as well as de­mo­graph­ics would be our pick.

CON­TENT POSTS AND ADS WORK­ING TO­GETHER

Face­book ads def­i­nitely out­per­form posts for ef­fec­tive­ness in find­ing the right peo­ple. This is be­cause the ad tar­get­ing is so much more spe­cific than a broad post-boost. Not­with­stand­ing, your Face­book page is your on­line CV for many, so con­sider a so­lu­tion that will do com­pan­ion posts on your pages or pro­files that make you look like a Face­book su­per­star, but with zero ef­fort. Con­tent is a key pil­lar of your dig­i­tal strat­egy, and al­though you may want to sup­ple­ment your prop­erty-based posts with other con­tent, peo­ple ac­tu­ally ex­pect and want prop­erty con­tent on agen­cies’ and agents’ pages!

REAL ES­TATE-SPE­CIFIC OR GEN­ERAL SO­LU­TIONS

Prop­erty mar­ket­ing has some very spe­cific re­quire­ments, from gen­er­a­tion of ads that look on-brand and also work for real es­tate, through to the ad tar­get­ing and re­tar­get­ing. Gen­eral pur­pose so­lu­tions can post ads, but how can they com­pete with pur­pose-built real es­tate so­lu­tions for ef­fec­tive­ness?

New-age dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing will have a pro­found im­pact on the in­dus­try and rep­re­sents an op­por­tu­nity to re­claim the high ground on brand-based mar­ket­ing. As the pace of change quick­ens, it’s worth hitch­ing your wagon to an evolv­ing so­lu­tion that won’t leave you be­hind. Pre­sent­ing Google and Face­book ads to a ven­dor is help­ing agents close list­ings over agents who lack th­ese so­lu­tions.

But per­haps con­sider do­ing it right, rather than just a tick-a-box ap­proach. Agents and agen­cies who get that will own their dig­i­tal fu­ture, rather than have it own them. So this year, don’t just lis­ten; how about do­ing some­thing in­stead?

It’s your bright shiny fu­ture – go and seize it.

Many of­fer­ings will di­rect ad clicks to web­sites you don’t own, mean­ing they get the ben­e­fit of the re­tar­get­ing data.

Ste­fan Wil­liams is the co­founder of Cam­paign­track, the mar­ket­ing plat­form driv­ing prop­erty mar­ket­ing of agen­cies and agents na­tion­wide. For more in­for­ma­tion visit cam­paign­track.com.

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