unsplash-logoGabriel Santiago

Clients look to us to create in-depth strategies to build their digital presence, brand awareness, or even to meet a certain revenue quota that quarter. But when it comes to our own projects, we are often like a doctor not prescribing to the advice they give their patients.

This past month, however, we decided to practice what we preach when promoting our in-person social media workshop for real estate professionals: Real Social. In this case we were both the doctor and the patient, and got to see what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table. For our own good, and to learn from the process, we documented what we found and we’re sharing it with you here because we’re sure that there are things that you can take away as well.

In the past, we would spread word about Real Social by just running a few Facebook ads, as we would for any of our clients. This time, we did a little more than that.
Spoiler: It worked so well that we’re going to start increasing the frequency of our workshops.

It’s bananas that that one of the most social professions, real estate, under-utilizes social media so rampantly. The goal of our Real Social sessions is to equip real estate professionals across the city to be taking full advantage of the tools available to them in social media. And it’s working: “Since attending Real Social, engagement on my Instagram channel has increased and I’ve sharpened my content.” – @tanisfritzforreal, VPG Realty. The next session is going to be an intense half-day at @brainstationyvr – click the link in our bio for more information or go to real-social.ca

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Here are the top three things that we learned while promoting Real Social:

1. Establish Your Value Proposition Via Multiple Touchpoints

Before launching the campaign, we took a look at everything that we had run in the past. Our Facebook ad campaigns had each included a CTA (call to action) that took people to a landing page with information about the event and allowed payments for our workshop.

While this method performed well enough, we realized that the ads and the landing page were our only touchpoints to educate people about what we were up to and to establish trust.

We decided it was worth testing out a lead generation model to introduce more touchpoints and gain more opportunities to cement that value proposition.

Real Social Webinar

This time, we offered a live webinar leading up to the Real Social workshop. We ran ads to reach our target audience, set up a detailed email campaign, and during the live webinar we introduced the attendees to the paid, in-person workshop.

A few things that stood out most were:

2. Sometimes You Have To Spend More to Get More

If you are like me, you are probably wondering what the numbers were behind this experiment. Short answer: running a free webinar was more time consuming and more expensive.

Ads promoting the webinar had 2x higher Cost per Link Click than ads promoting the workshop’s landing page, but the conversion rate was outstanding.

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While we didn’t assign a dollar value to our time, it is still important to factor in opportunity cost when assessing whether this was worthwhile.

So, what were the results of the webinar experiment? Definitely worth our time & money.

Thanks to the lead-gen strategy, we doubled our total # of attendees. Many of those people had never seen or heard from us in the past, so having that personal interaction was essential to building trust. Our theory is that the cheaper direct-conversion clicks come from people who have previously heard, or followed, or otherwise interacted with us in the past. Given that, the webinar clicks were likely not only driving potential sales, they were also introducing all new audiences to our brand, which has long term benefits beyond the workshop sales.

3. Find Strategic Partners

We also looked outside of our organization to reach relevant audiences, because you know what they say about a task shared being a task halved.

We reached out to our friends at Vancouver Real Estate Podcast since their audience is largely made up of our target audience: Real estate professionals. It was a valuable partnership because we built awareness in our target audience via a new avenue, we drove new sign ups, and we established a new partnership with some great guys that will likely pay off in a variety of different ways down the road.

The internet is a crowded place, so it only makes sense to use as many different methods as possible to cement your brand’s value proposition, and we found that the more ways that we showed up for people, the easier it became to get them in the door. For us, it was incredibly worthwhile to not just educate our target audience through ads, but to really nourish them through the consideration phase through our added touchpoints.

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