The essential mortgage marketing components that drive the absolute most sales opportunities
Creating a solid funnel of business is the most important thing for mortgage brokers. Without leads coming in, nothing else matters.
There is nothing new about that statement. Leads are the lifeblood of most businesses.
Yet, we know mortgage marketing may not be your skillset.
At least, that tends to be the case for most of our mortgage customers. They want to close business and they want to sell, sell, sell. Not optimize their websites for SEO best practices or take the time to know the ins and outs of mortgage lead marketing.
We also know not every brokerage has the money to outsource their marketing. Even for those that can afford to bring in marketing partners, it makes sense to know what it is they’re doing so you can ask the right questions.
So, we’ve defined 5 ways mortgage marketing can drive leads below.
Defining the Buyer Funnel for Mortgage Brokers
Generating the lead volume you need to keep your business afloat is one of the hardest things in business. There are too many places to put your money that should drive leads, but the trick is knowing which ones will drive the most opportunity with the lowest investment.
The Buyer Funnel in the mortgage business space is not that different from other industries. You must first create awareness before you can drive your leads through your funnel, the below image comes from our friends, Elevated REM:
Your customers are out there. They are searching for their next home. You just need to be sure they find you.
We’ll dig into how to engage your customers to drive your mortgage lead generation below. But, first things first, the foundation.
Mortgage brokers and loan officers need first to focus on building their digital storefront with simple clean design and very intentional user experience.
If you’re an independent mortgage broker you get to build your own website rather than inheriting one from your mortgage company.
Either way, the same thing holds true. Your site needs to clearly illustrate the intent you want your customer to take. Your customer is very busy. That means your site must:
- Be easily scannable and the value you bring to your customer is immediately presented with copy that solves their problems.
- The calls to action (CTA’s) need to be very intentional because you want your customers to fill out your form to start your process. Anything else is just clutter.
- Your form needs to be very simple, generally, less than 4 fields are acceptable. It would be ideal to have the lead fill out a complete 1003 form, but that is not ideal for your customers. Think through the fields you need to have to book an appointment. Generally, the first and last name, email, or phone number is expected.
Obviously there are many other aspects to develop your digital storefront, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll just stick with the areas that drive leads. If your copy solves the problems of your leads and your forms are precise and clear, the investment in the below marketing strategies will drive more business.
Usually considered free traffic, organic traffic is often the hardest to set up and drive Return On Investment (ROI). It is hard because it can be very technical and can sometimes take up to a year to see the fruits from the effort. But, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs to be considered with every asset you create.
SEO is the process of enabling search engines, like Google or Bing, to read your website. It is structured in a way that their crawler robots understand what content you’re discussing and the value that you intend to bring to the market. Then, the search engines use user data and the 200 different ranking factors to determine if they should consider your content valuable.
Generating a highly valuable content marketing strategy is a great way to positively impact your SEO efforts. The saying that “content is king” is very much true in the current landscape. But, the way you generate the content has changed. No longer can you just create a 500-word blog post that has a bunch of links in it and put it out on your Facebook profile and expect to drive leads.
Now, you need to focus more on your story. You need to create content that includes edutainment. That’s right. It needs to educate and entertain your customers so they remember you when the time comes. It needs to be compassionate and authentic and provide trust equity.
Another way to impact your SEO efforts is local search optimization or local SEO.
Local SEO means you can focus your meta-data in your local area. For instance, let’s consider those of you in Chicago. You could focus your keyword to “mortgage brokers Chicago Illinois,” or “loan originators Elmhurst” to ensure you’re found with local searches.
This means you are trying to win the search opportunity locally rather than trying to compete with the large companies, and their budgets, nationally. In the above image from a free keyword solution, wordstream.com, you can see the term mortgage broker in the Chicago market is searched 1,000 times a month (on average) and it has high competition. You can also see data from Bing, which is another local SEO alternative.
Local SEO is extra-important because Google rewards your site by using the user’s local IP address location to drive the most relevant local search volume.
Also, it is easier to move up on Google search results for longer-tail keywords. Longer-tail means keywords that are longer than one or two words, generally longer than 4 words. It is easier to move up on keywords like “best mortgage broker in Fairbanks, California” than it is to with “best mortgage broker.”
Once you’ve built your SEO foundation you will need a platform to engage your customers and drive them to your site. Your social media business page does just that. It provides an opportunity for brands to engage with their customers where they’re already spending their time. Considering 1.62 billion users visit Facebook every day, it is a safe bet your next lead is out there in some form or fashion.
But, how do you put your amazing content in front of them?
For starters, you create your business page(s) on the platforms that make the most sense to your business. Research to make sure your customers are on the platform before spending the time to set up a page. It will make no sense to develop a presence on Pinterest if none of your customers frequent that site.
Then, optimize your pages with your branded images and as much context as you can. You want to consider these pages an extension of your digital storefront or a portal to drive eye-balls to your website. Then, determine the best schedule to push your content out to your customers.
“To be effective when using social media, you have to have a strategy and execute it consistently and repeatedly. Velocity is a major key to social media, so you need to post often.”
We happen to agree with the above quote from Floify. You have to have a plan with your social efforts and you have to consider the value you’re trying to bring. Remember if you’re not adding value to your customers, you’re missing out on the opportunity.
If you have 300 of your brand advocates like your Facebook page, you would think they all get a chance to see the fresh new blog post you pushed earlier today.
Would you be shocked to know that only 10% of your followers actually saw that post?
That is why you have to widen your net or you’ll never start to move the lead generation needle. Balancing your organic social content with your paid efforts on sites like Facebook or Google will engage new eyeballs who are researching or looking to learn more about your business.
Advertisements also allow you the opportunity to drive in new audiences and glean intelligence from their visits. You can also use the intelligence you’ve gained to redefine future advertising campaigns with different strategies like remarketing or using lookalike audiences. We touch on those strategies in our post discussing how video marketing works for loan originators.
We recently held a webinar with our friend Travis Thom with Elevated REM where he overwhelmed us with his knowledge of Facebook advertising. He discussed specific strategies to drive leads through your buyer funnel, we highly suggest you watch the webinar below:
Ultimately, with advertising, you are looking to drive your messaging in front of new audiences with the intent to take them to your digital storefront.
What is one of the first things you do when you get to a website you’re not familiar with?
Do you read their reviews?
We know we do. We research how they’re perceived by the marketplace and how others are rating their product or solution. The best way to do that is with their online reviews, whether those reviews on Facebook, or Google My Business listings, or even with a solution like Trustpilot that allows you to bake the reviews right into your website.
But, as a broker who is looking to sell, it can get time-consuming to manage each review, especially since you’re supposed to respond to them in a timely manner.
There are several solutions like Yext.com and MOZ Local that provide you with dashboards to not only manage your online brand but also push out content to users. Both are great options if you have multiple offices or should you want more control over your digital brand presence and things like managing the right phone number, your hours of operation, and your website.
Once you develop a solid digital storefront and consider all of these strategies, you will be ready to drive traffic. Setting up a solid funnel from your online activity ensures you have the time to focus on your referral business, while also building relationships with real estate agents in your area. It also means you’ve got an automatic addition to your lead flow that is set to bring you business while you sleep. Lastly, these strategies will help you create the reach engage new eye-balls, the frequency needed to produce value, and the impact needed to wow customers to flow into your funnel.