Traditional marketing and advertising methods are constantly being replaced with digital ones. Because of the online and mobile focused world that we now live in, it's imperative to have a strong online presence in order to entice new customers and remain competitive in the real estate market. Statistics show that 92% of potential home buyers go on the internet to do research before making a purchase for their first home. 43% of home buyers actually found their first home online and 76% of consumers that are searching for homes online were compelled to either drive by or go and physically look at the property that they were interested in.

Digital marketing has many pros, including saving time- as many digital marketing techniques can be automated- saving a ton of money over traditional advertising and expanding your reach to literally thousands of potential homebuyers and investors online- through one simple click. There are some key steps that need to be taken in order to begin an effective digital campaign for your firm or business. Below, find the first vital steps to get you on your way toward building and running a stellar digital marketing campaign.

Follow your competitors to see what they are doing

Increase your Presence Online

Over 90% of people that search on the internet never go to page two of the results that are given. Therefore, if your business or service does not pop up on the first page under search terms that encompass your business, you are at risk for being passed over and having your search ranking drop even further. The first thing that you want to do is make sure that your website is optimized- this is done by using keywords within your web content that will represent what consumers are searching for- i.e.. "real estate in Hollywood".

Make sure that your website is optimized

Also, using the proper meta tags that will categorize your website online is essential. That is the back end portion that major search engines scan when search terms are run. Once you have optimized your site and are increasing your rankings, you can also integrate a blog into your website that becomes a source of information for potential customers. Your blog should not be centered around your business, nor should the blogs constantly link back or encourage readers to try your services.

Another valuable way to increase your online presence and gain further brand recognition is to post your available listings online via real estate portals. These portals can be effective in linking you not just nationally, but globally to potential buyers and investors and will include your contact information and brand logo. If you are an international real estate agent, this step is essential for international expansion. Many portals will also offer translation services within the listing so that buyers can read the information on your properties in their native language.

Utilize Social Media to Expand your Brand

This is the second part of building and expanding your online presence. If you are not already using social media for your business, you are behind the ball, so the first thing you will want to do is set up major social media accounts for your business. These include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use hashtags (#) to optimize your accounts. For example: in your bio for Twitter you may set it up  like this: #Realtor in #NewYork for #Homebuyers #Investors #Homeowners #Purchasers with your contact information. When people are searching for tags like #NewYork #Realtor you will come up in the results.

However, social media building doesn't happen over the night. In order to be effective, you have to use good social media etiquette, which entails not spamming (posting a bunch of ads, commercials or information on your business) on others' pages and engaging with your audience through content that will be of interest to them. Follow your competitors to see what they are doing and remain active on your social media, posting at least twice daily across accounts. Your social media campaign should consist of 85% engagement and information providing, 15% advertising. You can use social media hubs to manage and automate your posts. Now, people are flocking to you because you are a source of information and that is going to compel them to get to know your brand further.