Taking Marketing Offline for Impact

Guest Post by Karen Wenner Cooper, Founder of Empowering Women In Real Estate

When I think of all of the things I do in my life … running my businesses, managing my home, schooling with my children, education and training, self-care … nearly all of it has been impacted (and positively, I might add) by taking elements of it online.

During COVID my team has survived and thrived thanks to Zoom and other online meeting platforms. I order groceries for my family each week using an app. My children do school 100% online. When I look for courses or training for myself to improve my skills or complete my continue education, I do it online. Every morning I go to YouTube for yoga classes, and I read on my Kindle or on my iPad using an app.

I know I’m not alone in this, most of my family and friends do the same. So it only makes sense that when it comes to reaching our clients and new customers we should be doing all of our marketing online too, right?

Wrong! Offline marketing has value for today’s businesses.

Online or Offline Marketing?

As more and more aspects of our lives go online, I’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity (and effectiveness!) of offline marketing methods. In makes sense, really. Remember when email was new? It was SO EXCITING and fun to get an email. Now, it’s drudgery.

Our email boxes are overflowing and overloaded. We have become oversaturated and overstimulated with the online world, which makes offline all the more appealing … and noticeable.

In my experience (and my team served 525 families last year with their real estate needs!), the best marketing approach right now is a balance between online and offline methods. The two can and should support and complement each other

The Right Mix

Here’s what we’ve found to be most effective:

  • Social Media. Facebook and Instagram can be great places to connect with your ideal clients and to stay engaged with your current and past clients. People want to work with people they know, like and trust and these platforms can help to support those feelings.
  • Snail Mail. Yes, you read that right. Good old-fashioned mailers. We use a combination of general postcard mailers to share market and sales data and to promote our services, and personal handwritten notes to thank and connect with those we work with. Efficient, effective, economical. Who doesn’t love that?!
  • Email. Feels old school now, what with the fancy websites and apps at our fingertips, yet just about everyone spends at least part of their day going through their email inbox. A well-crafted, periodic (we do monthly), message can really do the trick.
  • Gifting. In the real estate industry, we call these “pop bys”. A little something with a catchy slogan on a tag dropped off on our client’s or customer’s doorstep. Who doesn’t want to be remembered and acknowledged with a little something?

Consistency Is Key

Here’s what we’ve found … when employing a strategy that combines online and offline methods CONSISTENTLY your audience has that feeling of “seeing you everywhere” which keeps you top of mind when they (or their friends or family) need your services.

The best marketing strategies are the ones that utilize a variety of forms of media to achieve their objective. Be sure that yours includes a mix of online and offline methods and you will be well on your way to increased success in your business.

About the Author

Karen Wenner Cooper is the founder of Empowering Women In Real Estate, and principle behind Empower Coaching by Karen Cooper, providing coaching and marketing systems for women in the real estate industry, and owner of the Platinum Group Real Estate team at Pearson Smith Realty. A 19+ year industry veteran, having served many hundreds of clients, her greatest accomplishments and biggest joy are the three boys who call her “mom”. You can connect with Karen online on Instagram @karen.w.cooper, or offline by calling or texting 703-999-3601 for top notch real estate services throughout the Northern Virginia and DC Metro Area.

Link Building for SEO and Online Visibility

Links are among the many factors that influence your search rank. Managing links can be frustrating, especially because not every link is a “good” link. Here’s a look at link building for SEO.

Why Do Links Matter to Search Engines?

Links create credibility. Links to your site from credible websites signal to Google and other search engines that your content is valuable in your area of expertise. That’s a good thing!

But links from a poorly rated site can cause SEO headaches. They have the opposite effect. When a poorly ranked site links to you, your content is seen as of limited value. You are impacted by the company you keep online.

How to Evaluate a Link

Several factors determine if a link to your web content is good in the eyes of search engines:

+ The site has high authority
+ The site is relevant to your content, industry and expertise
+ The link does not use the “nofollow” attribute
+ The link is not on a page with lots of other outgoing links (not a “link farm” page)
+ The link uses a keyword that you rank well for

Site Authority

Perhaps the most frustrating of the factors is the concept of a “high authority” website. There are many rankings out there.

You can get a good sense of a quality site just by taking a look. Is the site from a credible source like an association, a research organization, a well-regarded consumer resource, etc?

Several tools can help when the site quality or authority is not clear, examples:

  • Moz: Domain Authority (MozBar is a free Chrome Extension that allows you to see Domain Authority for any site you visit)
  • SEMrush: Domain Score
  • Alexa: Competitive Power
  • Ahrefs: Domain Rating

“Nofollow” Explained

Some links include a “nofollow” attribute in the code that literally tells the search engine not to follow them and not to attribute value to them. With “nofollow”, the SEO value of that link is zero.

The “nofollow” parameter can also be used in a meta tag for the page and/or the robots.txt file for the website, but usually it’s added to a specific link.

Some websites use “nofollow” to reduce spam and the incentive for authors to sell links. Even though these links don’t boost your SEO, they are still valuable at authoritative sites. They can get clicked by users and send visitors your way.

How to Get the Best Links for SEO and Visibility

Actively managing the links to your site is worthwhile for SEO. This means asking for links as well as ensuring that links at other sites are high quality.

This is what you want to achieve in link building for SEO and online visibility :

  • Link is to content within your site that best supplements the content of the referring page. Links to pages other than your homepage are the most valuable.
  • Link uses a keyword that you rank for.
  • Link is from a high authority site that does not already have a lot of links to your site.

Factor these elements in any time you ask for a link from another website. Be specific so you (and the linking site) get the most impact for the link effort.

“Can you please link your content at [page] to my content at [page]. Suggested link text is [include keyword].”

Use the same formula when contacting a webmaster to revise a link to your site.

Links Are Worthwhile

Links signal to search engines and people that your content is relevant and valued by others. That’s a good thing. Managing your links with the optimal results in mind is best, but even less than ideal links help more than hurt.

The best way to win links is to attract them organically. Create content worth linking to and build relationships with people in your area of expertise that have websites with valuable content.

Demonstrate best practices at your site by linking to great content that is not your own.

Need a Little Inspiration?

Generating a consistent stream of interesting and insightful content online can be a grind. I’ve been feeling a little tapped out lately. The monotony of COVID restrictions, waiting for spring to arrive for good, and other factors are contributing to a sense of stagnation.

I went looking for a little inspiration to reignite my work in Q2. Here are some great places I found.

Be a Blog Reader

Subscribe to a variety of blogs related to your field and your target audience. Look to them for ideas that you can use for your next post. Sometimes you will find the same topic covered in different ways, giving you some good depth to draw from.

Be sure to look at the comments as well as the posts. There are often great gems in the comments that let you know what’s top of mind for your target audience.

Follow Aggregators

News aggregators pull blog feeds and newsletters together to provide a rich source of ideas around a specific topic. Just reading through the headlines can give you inspiration. Reading the posts can help with research around a specific topic.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are really taking off. You can find them on every topic, even ones you never knew existed! Give some a listen. Sometimes just looking at titles and descriptions is enough to spark some new ideas.

Learn from Questions and Answers on Quora

The Q&A website Quora is a forum for just about everything. The questions and answers there will give you ideas.

Put that Email to Work

We mostly talk about the overload of email, but looking at all those messages as a place to mine for ideas makes the deluge seem a little more palatable. Subscribe to interesting newsletters. Click-through at least a few items every day.

Content Ideas Offline

There are plenty of offline ways to get some fresh ideas, too. A friend finds them walking in nature. Another gets energized with a little retail therapy. There’s inspiration all around if you open yourself up to the opportunities.

Go, and be inspired!