This year, I have been speaking at mortgage and real estate events across the country about this very topic. However, before I begin each discussion, I ask my audience to think about two things: First, awareness drives decisions; and second, whoever gets to the consumer first wins.
Now, before I continue, I want you to write down what I said above. Doing this will help put you in the right mindset so you can truly take in what you are about to read.
Right now, the mortgage industry is at a crucial crossroads when it comes to consumer attention. There has NEVER been more competition in our industry than there is right now. You have pretty much every major real estate brokerage with their own mortgage arm, fintech lenders and now Zillow. In short, the fight for consumer attention is on!
Unfortunately, as an industry, we are losing this fight. Taking Zillow as the most recent example, there are precisely ZERO lenders that get as much Web traffic as them. Big Z gets a little under 200 million hits to their Web site each month, and their marketing focuses on what we call the "before and after state" of the consumer. Even in my own sphere, I have friends and family asking me if they should use Zillow to get a home loan. That should be a wake-up call to us all.
This is why building awareness is crucial because, without it, you will have little success getting to the consumer first. You can be the best loan officer on the planet, have the best service and the best rates, but if the consumer does not know about you, it does not matter. Before you can tell me all of the great stuff you can do for me, you have to have my attention.
How do you get that attention? In my opinion, a focus on interest-based content is going to be the silver bullet. It also has the added benefit of being the only tactic where the online and fintech lenders and Zillow can't beat us. We are part of the local community, and they are not, which allows us to be leaders on hyper-local content. But we need to remember that we HAVE to make our content about them and not us.
Dale Carnegie famously wrote that consumers "are not interested in you. They are not interested in me," in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. "They are interested in themselves—morning, noon and after dinner." Taking what Dale wrote to heart is where YOU can win with your content. We call this our “3L Strategy.” Your content should be about what consumers “Like,” what they “Love,” and where they “Live.” Make your content about your audience's interest, and you will have their attention.
Here are my final thoughts on "The Why" before we get into "The How." Getting consumers attention is the ONLY way to start them on the “Know You, Like You, Trust You” journey. Having their attention is the only way to create what my good friend David Greenspan calls “Mindshare.” If the consumer's first instinct is to go to Zillow or their agent when they decide to start their homebuying journey, then that is going to be game over for a lot in the industry not named Quicken.
Because attention is paramount, building awareness MUST be the foundation of all your marketing. Before consumers can want to work with you, they need to be aware of you.
By now, I hope you all have the right mindset, get what I am laying down, and are onboard to learn some ways on HOW to build awareness.
We are about to get tactical, so I am going to give you the play-by-play. To get the MOST success from this strategy, you need a few things which I will list …
►You need a Facebook Business Page
►You need to have a phone that records decent video
►You need to do some legwork by finding out about what your market cares about, like local events
►You need to have at least $2 to spend per day on a Facebook Ad
For this example and in honor of October, we are going to use pumpkin patches, and Halloween themed events. If you cannot find any information at all, this is a good thing. This means you have an excellent opportunity to grab the attention of your local market.
Let's start with the video.
You will need to record a 60- to 90-second video, in vertical format, talking about the "Top 5" Pumpkin Patches or Halloween events in your market. This video will be posted to your Facebook Business Page, along with any relevant links in the post copy. Now, the next question I usually get is "What do I say?" And since we are being tactical, here is a quick script:
"Hey everyone, I don't know about you, but I love this time of year and always look forward to checking out our local Halloween events. I to let you know about the Top 5 [insert topic here] to take the family to this month. I have put the links to the [insert topic here] above this video so you can check them out directly. I would love to know what you think of my list. Did I miss anything? If I did would love for you to comment below with a link to the event so our community can check it out! My name is Jason Frazier by the way, and I hope to see you at one of these places!"
The next step is to post the video on your business Facebook Page and wait for 24 hours to let the Facebook algorithm do its thing. After that, you will then run a "video views" ad on that video. When you run the video views ad, you are not going to choose any demographic targeting at all. You are only going to select a 15-25 mile radius from the center of your market and run this ad for seven days at $2 a day. That's it! This will be the most straightforward Facebook ad you will ever run.
One important thing to note is that not a theoretical tactic. This is a strategy being used by loan officers in our mastermind group. Loan Officers will see an average of 1,300 views with a reach of more than 2,000 for less than $7 a week. You will not get a better cost-to-result marketing reach tactic that will build awareness of your brand.
Pro Tip: If you want to supercharge the success of this strategy, write a blog post with all this information that you can send people to. A best practice is to have a blog integrated into your mortgage Web site so you can drive traffic there.
Remember that, at the end of the day, the most critical marketing capital you can have is consumer attention. Once you have their attention and more importantly can keep that attention, you can start talking to them about other topics that are focused on mortgage.