You may or may not be aware, but in 2018 digital advertising became the dominant advertising medium, accounting for more than half of global advertising spending.
Over the last 10 years, internet users have doubled, from 2.3 billion in 2012 to 5.1 billion in 2022 worldwide. Drilling down to a country level, Australia has experienced a 30% growth in internet usage, and New Zealand has seen a 15% growth over the same 10-year period.
As you can see, digital advertising channels continue to grow as people’s behaviour shifts permanently from offline to online. Before the pandemic, digital advertising showed signs of solid growth. Then, the pandemic accelerated digital adoption, and my team and I witnessed a massive upward swing in digital uptake by real estate professionals over this period. Twice as many agents and agencies used digital and social marketing to build their real estate brands.
Australian and New Zealand digital media statistics
Web and social media usage for Australia in 2022
- Australia’s population = 25.9 million people
- Internet usage = over 6 hours ave. per day
- Social media usage = approx 2 hours ave. per day
- Internet users = 91% of Aussies
- Search traffic = 94.56% on Google, 3.65% on Bing
- Facebook users = 76.8% of Aussies
- Messenger users = 66.4% of Aussies
- Instagram users = 57.7% of Aussies
- Tiktok users = 32.2% of Aussies
- Twitter users = 29.5% of Aussies
- LinkedIn users = 26.2% of Aussies
Web and social media usage for New Zealand in 2022
- New Zealand’s population = 4.9 million people
- Internet usage = approx. 6 hours ave. per day
- Social media usage = over 2 hours ave. per day
- Internet users = 94.9% of Kiwis
- Search traffic = 94.83% on Google, 4.02% on Bing
- Youtube users = 85.9% of Kiwis
- Facebook users = 74.8% of Kiwis
- Messenger users = 66.2% of Kiwis
- LinkedIn users = 61.2% of Kiwis
- Instagram users = 58.9% of Kiwis
- Tiktok users = 38.9% of Kiwis
- Twitter users = 13.6% of Kiwis
1st Place: Google Search = the winner!
Google search is the winner in digital advertising. In Q3 2022, Google Search Ads brought in $39.5 billion for Alphabet. By comparison, Microsofts News & Advertising revenue for Q3 2022 grew to $2.9 billion.
In the Australian real estate industry, match-making platforms Open Agent, Which Real Estate Agent, Local Agent Finder, and Agents Compare continue to dominate with their home seller services. Collectively they take up the 7 ad spots on page 1 of our Google Search results in Australia. Alongside them are the property portals, Real Estate.com.au and Domain.com.au, and the popular agent review site Rate My Agent.
Which real estate companies use Google ads?
The fight for Google Ad space in New Zealand for real estate is less competitive, but kiwis now have Agent IQ and Agent Finder as agent comparison sites. Plus, Rate My Agent crossed the ditch too. New Zealand property portals include Real Estate.co.nz and Trade Me Property (the Domain partnership).
Opportunity to localise Google ads
We see few, if any, of the large franchise groups using Google Ads. There’s still room for real estate agents and agencies to advertise and even outrank the mega websites with landing pages that are SEO optimised for the local neighbourhood.
In summary, Google Ads are not the first port of call for real estate professionals. This missed opportunity with Google is mind-boggling to me – especially as real estate professionals demand leads, and Google is the number one place where people have an ‘intent’ to list and sell.
2nd Place: Social media advertising
In quarter 3, 2022, paid ads raised over $27 billion for Meta. A 3.7% drop compared to the same period the previous year – mainly attributed to Apple’s iOS ad policy changes making it harder for Meta to reach mobile audiences.
By comparison, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn’s advertising revenue grew by 34% to $3.4 billion. This was primarily attributed to the increase in job ads as the Big Brands sought new staff after the significant layoffs made throughout the pandemic.
As you can see, the disparity between Meta sitting in first place and LinkedIn in second place is huge.
Staying largely stagnant, Twitter achieves ad revenues of around $1 billion per quarter. Tiktok, owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance had a Q3 2022 advertising revenue of $500,000. Although Tiktok is popular with younger generations and gaining interest (or intrigue) from real estate advertisers, it has a long way to go to become the social media advertising platform of choice.
Growth in real estate marketing service providers
Through 2021 and 2022, we witnessed a growth in the number of advertising service providers entering the real estate industry, offering agents and business owners lead-generation tools. These offerings largely used the Meta advertising products such as Lead Forms and Messenger Bot campaigns. The challenge is knowing which suppliers to trust.
Trends seen in real estate lead campaigns
We all know that real estate agents (being sales professionals first and foremost) want to cut to the chase and ask prospective homeowners or landlords if they’d like an appraisal. The slow road to building a brand through the pleasantries of free advice, brand and relationship building feels frustrating, so many opt for advertising to a cold audience (kind of like cold calling).
What has been most interesting to me is that the ‘Request an appraisal’ advertising that real estate agents and agencies do has always fallen flat. I.e. people won’t fill in your form; they’ll ring you when they are ready. Whereas market reports and downloadable content have always yielded higher numbers of contact details being provided.
But, whilst the real estate market was hot, and property prices were like a runaway train, lead campaigns came into their own. People clearly got excited and were happy to share their contact details in exchange for an immediate estimate of how my equity they’d gained in their property. But since the cooling off of the market, we have seen these instant appraisal lead campaigns fall flat again. People don’t want to know how much their property has devalued. Such is human nature!
Long term strategy for real estate social marketing
With this in mind, I stay firm on the belief that brand building and community connections, giving valuable seller and investor insights and advice, is the better way to develop a long-standing and profitable real estate agency.
3rd Place: Video advertising came in 3rd
Most advertising platforms allow their ad clientele to place video ads, but the only two platforms where we can see the ad revenue specific to video content are; Youtube and Vimeo.
Google’s Youtube has 2 billion monthly users and Youtube reported revenue of $7.2 billion in Q3 2022. Vimeo’s 270 million monthly user base helped Vimeo achieve a reported revenue of $1.8 billion in Q3 2022.
Online channels where you can run video ads include:
- Google video ads
- YouTube video ads
- Facebook video ads
- LinkedIn video ads
- Instagram video ads
- TikTok video ads
The main barrier to growth in video ads is production time and cost, which are much higher than text-only search ads or the one-dimensional visual designs used in online banners and social media advertisements.
But as content creators – whether professional or amateur (such as savvy real estate agents, and I even include my kids in this group) – have become better at using video tools (from their mobiles), video ads have become more accessible.
Best video marketing tools for real estate
The top 3 social media video creation tools, in my view, are;
- Tiktok makes your day more fun – with its wide range of video settings, it’s easy to record, edit, download, or publish videos to your Tiktok channel. Better still, save your real estate content off the app and post the video elsewhere. Real estate agents can record property walkthroughs or create fun videos with clever transitions to show how cool and on-trend their property team is.
- Ripl for real estate is excellent as it has a library of templates specific to property posts, videos and real estate teams. You can animate images (a second-class video but still handy), schedule posts and track stats from within the app.
- Canva has all content covered with its video for business tools; it promotes the idea of making profile videos, animations or 15-second explainer videos. It also has a plethora of templates and tools, stock imagery and video clips to give you a leg up.
Using stats to develop a winning real estate marketing strategy
In summary, the information I have shared today is at a macro level. But these are the stats and insights you should build at a micro level for your real estate business.
My advice to you is to ascertain the following;
- How many people reside in your neighbourhood?
- What % of these people see your marketing messages each month?
- How many times a month do they see one of your messages? 4 times? 10 times?
- Which are the most popular digital and social platforms in your community?
- What type of brand and lead campaigns do people actively engage with?
The questions are hard to answer if you do not invest money in marketing and paid advertising. But once you have a digital and social marketing program in place, with a mix of digital and social media channels, content and ad tools, you’ll be able to build a detailed picture.
Some activities might work straight away, other marketing activities take time to grow an audience, and others might fail (so turn those off). As long as you monitor and adjust, you can create a marketing machine that brings a steady flow of clients to your business and helps you live the life you aspire to lead.
If you’d like help developing a solid real estate marketing strategy for your business, and a team of highly experienced marketing professionals to support your business growth, please book in for a free one our consultation with me, Melanie Hoole.