Paid advertising is never static, as a direct result of supply and demand. Your cost-per-lead will fluctuate depending on the number of homebuyers relative to the number of advertisers in the market. Seasonality also impacts search traffic!
Luckily, there are some patterns you can follow. Here are a few of the top paid advertising trends to stay aware of during the holiday season.
Search Demand Dips in the Fall
We know that fewer people are searching for homes in the fall. Demand dips in October and continues to slow down through December. In January it will pick back up and continue to rise throughout the spring and summer.
Our first recommendation for combating this dip in demand is to diversify your marketing efforts. When you have all of your eggs in one basket (Google Ads), the pains of a demand fluctuation are going to hit a lot harder. If you maintain other outlets throughout the year (Bing, Facebook), you’ll have a little more wiggle room.
Cost for Social Ads Will Increase
During the holiday season, advertising competition is fierce in the retail space. Consider this. If a company wants to advertise on Amazon, they’re going to spend significantly more money in October and November (holiday shopping), than they would during February or March. The same goes for social advertising.
Pro Tip: We recommend preparing for this cost increase year round. Structure your budget to allow for spending a bit more during the holidays, because the payoff can be worth it!
It’s important to remember, with social ads, your leads are coming to you because you have created interest with an advertisement. This is different from Google, where they’ve found you because they have expressed interest via a search. So treat your leads from social a bit differently: pay greater attention to follow-up/nurture, and be patient.
Other Advertisers Bail, Leaving Opportunity for You
Just because demand slows down, doesn’t mean you should stop advertising in the fall and winter. We actually recommend the opposite. Many other real estate teams pause their ad campaigns during the slower months, which means, there is demand to be had if you stick it out. Remember, demand slows down, but it doesn’t go away entirely!
Google Rewards Consistency
The slower months are a great time to build a rapport with Google. Google rewards consistency in campaigns (aka campaigns that don’t pause), so if you build this consistency throughout the fall and winter, your ads will perform better than the rest come January when demand starts to rise again.
“If content is king, consistency is queen.”
While we do recommend diversifying (adding in new channels of advertisement), it’s important to avoid frequent changes in strategy, especially when it comes to Google. Think of an ad campaign as a moving train that gains momentum. Pausing or stopping the campaign means you’ll have to start from scratch to build it back up. Maintaining your position as an advertiser means you won’t have to play catch-up when the new year begins.
Why PPC Takes Time to Ramp Up
Some People Search on Holidays
Again, just because demand slows down, don’t assume that no one is searching for homes on (or around) holidays. While you may not feel like the ROI pays off from Oct-Dec, consider that the average buyer cycle is 10+ weeks (and with online leads it tends to expand to upwards of 6 months). Some of the leads that you’ve generated during those slower months might not convert until the spring or summer. The point here is that the “instant gratification” might be lower during the holidays, but you should look at your advertising strategy as a year-round investment.
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