First of all, what exactly is 'native advertising'?
Native advertising is basically a form of paid advertising that blends in with website content and is a method that has some great benefits for real estate agents in today's marketplace.
Ads that appear to be more like content are the digital version of the familiar 'advertorial', commonly seen in printed media. It's not unusual to see a paid ad from a real estate agent appearing in the form of an advice column in a newspaper and has long been the staple of printed real estate sections.
Used digitally, native advertising can enhance a website user's experience through improved engagement and rich-media experience. Now - in an effort to keep up with the digital era - more and more real estate agents are turning to content-rich marketing. Due to the design and placement of good quality native ads, they offer generous exposure and an air of authority to the marketers behind them.
So, how is this methodology applied in the real estate sector?
More and more estate agents and brokers are likely to gravitate towards the native ad option due to their proven success over the last two years. Here we take a look at the various ways you can use native advertising to enhance your digital marketing strategy in the property industry and keep ahead of the times.
Creating the Right Content for your Native Ads
Sponsored content is generally from 500 to 1,200 words and includes between one and five pictures. You can choose to write about relevant topics in the local market or what's going on generally in the wider real estate sector. Pictures of currently listed properties can be included in your sponsored post, particularly if they tie-in with what you've written about.
The end goal of your native advertising or sponsored content is to generate calls on the properties listed and also to position your agency as experts in your market. Your native advertising campaign should drive more listings to your agency and ultimately, close more deals.
It's important to keep your content fresh because if viewers click through to an error page or a 'sold' notice, they'll not bother looking again. The best way to build a following and generate leads is by giving your audience fresh information - information they are looking for - and users must always be satisfied on click-through.
Original Content - Easy on the Keywords
It's important to create unique content that doesn't already exist online that is informative and adds value to the user experience so that the likelihood of engagement in your native ad is increased as well as the likelihood of it being indexed and ranked well on search engines such as Google. Using keywords to attract visitors to wherever your piece is published is not the way forward with native advertising.
The way to get visitors to view your native ad is by answering as many relevant questions as you can in the content. Perhaps you have titled your piece 'How to Make Money on Property in Munich' and you have centred your content on a property listing you have that presents a good investment opportunity.
Your piece is now more likely to be viewed by users actively considering investing in the Munich property market because they are more likely to be Googling questions along the lines of 'How to make money on property in Munich?'
Answering as many relevant questions on your own local property market as you can in your content is a great way of attracting targeted viewers and increasing your profile as an authority in your field.
How much does native advertising cost?
If you are thinking of placing a native ad on a newspaper's website, you'll be surprised to know that it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Depending upon the website's reach and branding you can expect to pay between €350 and €2000 for a sponsored content piece but if you choose where to publish your ad carefully, the investment can really pay off.
You'll be able to accurately gauge your ROI from native advertising through the analytics supplied by the publisher. The great thing about digital is that nothing is cast in stone (or print even) which means you can afford to be flexible and try different publications and different ads to test responses.
Native Ads are a great investment - short and long term
You can play a short and long game with native ads by sourcing leads and calls from articles in the short term and positioning your firm to readers who may not be looking to list or buy their home for another six months to a year.
The kudos that gathers from a series of well-placed, highly informative and visual content pieces will set you up as the go-to person for anything to do with real estate in your area.
Don't Forget, it's Important to Share!
Any native ad you have published online can have a little extended life if you use them in your social campaigns too. Share them as much as you can across as many networks you're connected with so that there is traffic directed to your ad from other sources.
LinkedIn has a great publishing facility called Pulse that enables you to publish your content for onward distribution. It's important not to publish on LinkedIn Pulse at the same time your native ad goes live just to make sure it doesn't dilute your original ad's findability by Google.
The important thing is to get your name in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible and an interesting piece of content with images is a great way to draw the viewers' attention.
Why go Native? - The Stats
In a recent infographic, MDG Advertising revealed some impressive statistics that may compel you to consider native advertising:
- 70% of consumers want to learn about products through content as opposed to traditional ad methods
- 63% of brands use native advertising to increase consumer engagement
- 70% of brands and 66% of publishers measure success by traffic
- 44% of brands and 49% of publishers measure success by social media sharing
- 62% of agencies' brand clients measure the time spent engaging with content
- The purchase intent of those who click on native ads is 52% compared to only 34% for banners
- People who click on native ads have 32% more brand loyalty than those who click on banners (23%)
Where to Publish your Native Ads?
There are many platforms online where it is possible for you to advertise your agency's services or actual listings through native advertising placement.
Propertyshowrooms.com is a great place to start when considering a native ad campaign.
We can write a bespoke article for you or publish one on your behalf that links directly with your own website and the relevant listings.
Then your native ad is the beneficiary of a wide reach that will get your services and properties noticed by a larger group of actively interested parties.
Other places you could consider to publish your native ad would be online newspapers that have a real estate listing section, trade publications for the real estate sector, promotional material for upcoming trade conferences and seminars. If you're creative you can find a good platform for you native ads that will not only improve your reach considerably but ultimately close more deals!