Behind every successful loan officer is an effective business marketing strategy. Unfortunately, as other companies and industries begin to take advantage of the benefits that the digital world can offer, many experts in the mortgage marketing field are left struggling with old-fashioned ideas.
As a mortgage professional or loan officer, it’s your job to make sure that you sell as many homes as possible to happy, and confident buyers. Unfortunately, that process isn’t always as simple as it seems. A property is a huge investment, and encouraging someone to simply hand over their cash can take a lot of hard work.
In today’s competitive business environment, loan officer marketing has taken something of a back seat. Many mortgage professionals still rely on real estate agents to deliver their leads, but as soon as those traditional avenues begin to slow down, your business is left high and dry. Digital marketing in the modern era is about becoming empowered in the realm of mortgage marketing. With the right tactics and strategies in place, you can use the internet to grab hold of your destiny and enjoy an ever-growing list of leads.
If you think that it’s about time you took control of your marketing initiatives and opened the door for new and improved selling opportunities, then this guide will help you to uncover the true potential of the online world. From PPC to content marketing, we’re going to show you what it takes to get ahead in the loan officer marketing world for 2018.
Before you Search for Mortgage Marketing Ideas
In this guide, we’re going to offer a complete insight into all the mortgage loan officer marketing ideas you’ll need to transform your company and generate interest and engagement for your brand. However, before we get started, it’s important to make sure that you have all the right resources in place to make the right mortgage marketing decisions.
At the end of the day, whether you’re marketing online, or offline, you’ll need a strategy if you want to reap the best results from your campaigns. While there are countless factors involved in designing the perfect marketing plan, the first, and most crucial step is looking at “who” you’re going to be marketing to.
The very best digital marketing strategies are built on an in-depth understanding of your ideal customer and target audience. After all, as a loan officer, there’s a good chance that you’re not just looking for “anyone” who wants to buy a house. Rather, you need to appeal to buyers in a specific area, with an appropriate budget, preferably searching for the kind of home you want to sell.
Buyer personas are the outlines that you create to represent your perfect customer, and they can be designed through careful research into your target audience. You might get the information you need by surveying the people you’ve already worked with or performing a competitive analysis of some of the other mortgage brokers in your area.
Either way, remember that you should never start your loan officer marketing campaigns with nothing but “assumptions” of what your audience might look like. Failing to work on authentic data could cause you to build a marketing strategy that takes your marketing messages to the wrong people. Some of the key features you’ll need to think about for a mortgage marketing buying persona include:
- Location (It’s no good selling to people who aren’t in your local area, or don’t want to move there)
- Age (The age of a buyer can determine what kind of home they’re looking for)
- Family status (Are they searching for a single apartment or larger home?)
- Income level? (What can your ideal customer afford to pay on a mortgage?)
- Interests (Are any surrounding amenities going to be particularly appealing to your target audience?)
- Buying motivation (Why are your customers looking to work with you – are they a first-time buyer, are they trading up, or do they need something smaller?)
Once you have a good knowledge of your target audience, you can begin to develop your marketing funnel.
Designing a Digital Marketing Funnel
Alright, now you know who you want to engage with your mortgage marketing ideas, you’ll be able to start developing a funnel that guides your customers all the way from awareness, to conversion.
For those who haven’t used a marketing funnel before, it’s simply a process through which you map a customer’s journey – from the point where they know nothing about your company, to when they become a lead, and decide to invest in you. There are plenty of factors that can help you to make your funnel more effective, like lead magnets, call-to-action buttons, and landing pages.
The mortgage marketing funnel comes in four distinct parts:
- Awareness: This is the stage when the customer is generally aware of your service. They know that you’re out there and that you could help them to find a home, but they haven’t decided if they want to do business with you yet. At this stage, you’ll need to attract your customer by showing them you can deliver an experience that no-one else offers. Content marketing can be ideal for the awareness stage, as it shows your authority in your space, and helps people to get a “feel” for the kind of company you’re running.
- Interest: The stage after awareness is when your customer begins to show interest in one of your products or services. For instance, maybe a customer has started to spend more time reading about your “remortgaging” services. Or perhaps they’re particularly interested in the smaller apartments and flats you can offer because they’re thinking of downsizing after their kids leave home. At this point, it’s a good idea to give them further information about their needs. Make sure that you have plenty of visually-engaging pieces for your customer to browse through, and content that will help them to make their choice too!
- Desire: This is when your customer takes a specific interest in a product or service you’ve offered. Maybe they’ve started following your brand on social media and they’re interested to find out more about the services you offer. This is the point when you want to use a call to action, landing pages, and even social media messages to invest your customer to schedule a consultation with you or connect so you can talk about their needs in person.
- Action: Finally, this is when your customer takes a step towards purchasing. You’ve given your customer all the information they need to make a decision and show them that you’re the best option around. Here, you can use your mortgage marketing strategies to convince your customer to take the leap. Maybe you could offer a discount code, or a free consultation as a deal to tip wary customers over the edge?
In the world of inbound mortgage marketing, a funnel is more than just an idea for success, it’s an essential part of the marketing plan for mortgage loan officers. With the right funnel, you can adapt and change your process over time to turn leads into advocates for your business. This means that they’ll not only take their mortgage out with you, but they’ll also recommend that their friends and family should use your services too.
Through the right loan officer marketing funnel, you can turn a single customer into an almost infinite collection of leads, who constantly pad your bottom line when real estate agents aren’t sending you any extra business.
Getting Social: Becoming Part of the Conversation
Of course, even the best mortgage marketing funnel isn’t much good if your customers can’t find you in the first place. There are countless ways that you can give more life to your mortgage marketing ideas, from content production to PPC campaigns, but one of the best places to start today has to be in the world of social media.
If marketing is all about putting the right message in the right place, at the right time, then social media is a no-brainer for developing the traffic and leads you need. Unfortunately, a lot of loan officers are still failing to make the most of social media in their advertising plans.
While it’s easy to assume that social media is just for “digitally focused” companies, the truth is that six out of ten Americans get their news through social media, and 79% of American Internet users are already active on Facebook.
Of course, you can’t simply create a Facebook profile and expect to reap the rewards that social platforms have to offer. Evolving algorithms in the social space have changed the way that people use social media for business, and if you want to get traction in the current environment, then you need to develop a plan.
- Listening to your Audience: Social media marketing begins with knowing what your customers are talking about. Listen to public perception of your brand, trending topics in the industry, and what’s happening with your competitors.
- Generate effective content: Once you know what the conversation sounds like around your brand, you can use your mortgage marketing efforts to generate content that’s going to engage and interest your audience. Remember, that doesn’t mean posting endless advertisements. Instead, you should be creating content that shows your authority in your space.
- Promote the right content: Once you’ve done a little bit of work on social media, you’ll be able to recognize where your loan officer marketing messages are having the biggest impact. You can then promote those posts to generate enhanced brand exposure across your chosen social media channels.
When it comes to mortgage marketing ideas, social media is a double-sided solution for many loan officers. Not only does it generate new leads for your company, but it also helps you to learn more about your customers by establishing social relationships. The more you listen to what your customers are saying about you, and what trending topics they’re looking for, the more you’ll know when you come to use other mortgage loan officer marketing ideas to deliver qualified leads to your website.
In fact, your social media listening practices could even help you to find the keywords you need for more effective PPC campaigns.
Turning Up the Traffic with PPC Campaigns
While social media certainly has a lot to offer from a research perspective in the world of mortgage marketing ideas, PPC advertising continues to be the solution with the highest closing ratio for generating mortgage leads.
While organic traffic will always be the best way to bring long-term and loyal customers to your company, paid search mortgage marketing can convert standard internet users into warm leads that are more likely to move through your sales funnel as quickly, and seamlessly as possible.
Unfortunately, while services like Bing and Google AdWords have been around for quite some time now (since the beginning of SEO even), most people using these services aren’t making the most of their marketing dollars with them. With that in mind, here are a few mortgage marketing ideas that you can use to boost your PPC experience:
1 Start with Local PPC
Ultimately, if you’re paying for search marketing solutions, then the last thing you want is to spend your budget appealing to a customer base that’s never going to deliver a return on your investment. As a mortgage loan officer, you can only offer your services to people in specific areas, so make sure that you’re targeting keywords that include location terms. This will not only make it easier for you to rank on the results pages, but it will also ensure that every penny in your marketing budget is well spent.
2 Remember Negative Keywords
Negative keywords might sound like a bad thing, but they could have a positive impact on your loan officer marketing solutions. Negative keywords allow you to advertise specifically to the people most likely to be searching for your ad. For instance, if you’re advertising for refinance loans, then you might use negative keywords like “cash in” or “government refinance”. That way, you don’t have to pay to market to someone who isn’t looking for whatever you offer.
3 Direct Ads to Specific Landing Pages
Landing pages are a big deal in today’s competitive mortgage marketing space. When someone clicks on your PPC ad, you want to make sure that they end up on a page that directs them to wherever you want them to go. Your homepage has too much going on to make sure that your visitor converts into a customer, so when someone clicks a PPC ad, make sure that they arrive on a page packed full of your contact information, and a simple call to action.
4 Know your As and B’s
Finally, when it comes to making the most out of your PPC mortgage marketing campaigns, it’s important to make sure that you’re testing and improving your strategy daily. The good news is that there are countless solutions out there like Optimizely and Unbounce that can help you to test solutions quickly and measure your results. You’d be surprised how much of an impact a single word in your copy might have on conversions.
Next Level Mortgage Marketing: keep the Content Coming
With the information we’ve provided so far, you’ll have everything you need to find paid leads. However, as most of us already know, the most valuable customers are the ones that stick with you for the long-term. With that in mind, you need more than just a way to generate traffic – you need a solution for brand loyalty.
We touched above on the fact that social media connections and content can help you to reach out to your audience members and generate deeper relationships. However, content is so much more powerful than you might think. The right content shared through blogs, articles, videos, and podcasts, can help you to solidify your authority in the marketplace, and build a rapport with prospective clients so they’re more likely to work with you.
All you need to do to get started is use some of the information you already have about your target market and user persona, to think about how you can create pieces that appeal to your audience. For instance:
- If you have customers that are constantly unsure about the kind of services that you provide, you could place an “FAQ” page on your website that answers common questions and puts client minds at ease without asking them to call your office.
- If you know that there are some more complex questions out there that your customers want answers to, like whether they can buy a home without a down payment, you could create an entire blog post or article designed to give your customers the information they need, then share a link to that post on social media.
- Want to share the latest industry news and make sure that you appear as an authority in your industry? You could always try running a weekly podcast where people can come when they want to find out more about everything from interest rates to changes in the current mortgage market.
The great thing about content is that it not only offers your customers instant value when they’re looking for an excuse to trust you and your company, but it also helps you to rank better in the search engine pages too. After all, when people are looking for a local mortgage broker, they start their search with Google. Content infused with the right search terms will inform Google that you should be the first brand to show up when your customers are looking for the mortgage services you offer.
Remember, when it comes to loan officer marketing, it’s not just written content that has an impact either. Visual information can make a serious impact on today’s overwhelmed, and easily distracted audience – particularly on social media. Research tells us that articles with an image every one hundred words or so will get twice the overall number of social shares.
Following Up with Leads: Don’t Forget to Keep in Touch
One of the biggest mistakes that most loan officers make when it comes to mortgage marketing ideas, is that they get so excited about things like PPC campaigns and social media, that they forget the most important part of developing relationships with their customers – staying in touch.
Ultimately, people in the real-estate market don’t want to do business with some big-name brand that doesn’t have the time to speak to its customers. They want a personalized and human experience with a company they feel that they can trust. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place that allows you to continue building a relationship with your leads, as well as any past and future clients.
The easiest way to communicate with clients these days is through email. Back in 2015, email was already generating an average of $38 in ROI for every 1 dollar spent. That means that your email inbox has a lot of benefits to offer your company.
Depending on what you want to accomplish with your email marketing campaign, your content can be as personalized, or strategic as you’d like it to be. Email not only helps you to stay top of mind for repeat business, or referral business with your mortgage clients, but it also creates opportunities for social sharing too. All you need to do is make sure that you keep showing up in your customer’s inbox.
When you’re establishing your marketing plan for mortgage loan officers, make sure you think about how you’re going to launch a successful email campaign. For instance, you might start with follow-up emails that thank people for doing business with you, then provide them with additional content over time that tells them more about their mortgage. To give yourself a significant edge on the competition, and show your customers that you care about their business, you could even provide emails that link back to content about how homeowners can reduce the price of their mortgage, or get more out of their new homes.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you should focus less on promoting your services, and think more about the everyday needs of your target audience. For the best results, try segmenting your customers to determine which emails they get. For instance:
- New leads that haven’t got a mortgage with you yet could get emails about the type of services you offer, and content that helps them to decide what sort of mortgage or loan they’re looking for.
- Converted leads could get follow-up emails advising them on how to make the most out of their home, or keep track of their mortgage expenses.
- Long-term customers might get emails that remind them of the additional services you offer, and your ability to help them with things like remortgaging when they want to make a change to their policy.
With the information in this guide and a little creativity, you should have everything you need to not only find the leads that will transform your company in 2018 but also maintain a mortgage marketing strategy that continues to bring you loyal customers in the years ahead.