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S2 EP 7 | Q1 Digital Trends

Show Notes:

Focus Discussion of the Week:

TikTok, Google My Business, and the iOS 14 Update – what does that mean for you? Director of Digital Marketing Chelsey Keenan joins the show to unravel some of the digital trends we’ve discovered throughout Q1 and how to tackle digital advertising in a hot buyer’s market.

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Two thought leaders come together to explore all things sales and marketing from their unique perspectives. Each week, Mollie Elkman, Matt Riley, and others from Group Two dive into a focus discussion to talk about the latest trends, changes, and best practices.

[00:00:00] Mollie: While we’re decreasing in spend right now, the people that you’re sending to your website tend to 15% of them are not converting today. They’re not even converting tomorrow. They’re converting one to three months from now. And so like we’re saying, this is not lasting forever and you can’t stop everything and spend $0 because.

You still need to drive traffic to those top of the funnel. People that aren’t quite ready to move right now. And they’re ready to move 90 days from now. I mean, even from my, my own perspective, I am just starting to look to buy my first home right now, but, and I’m searching on Zillow and I’ve been looking on all of these different websites and.

And going on visits and saying, what do I want? But I’m not ready to move until maybe the end of the year, maybe even 20, 22. But I am looking [00:01:00] right now. I’m looking right now to see what pertains to me. And I can tell you, I’m not the only, not middle-aged millennial doing this right now. Keep delivering digital content.

If it’s, if it’s a decrease in ad spend that’s okay. But you can’t stop marketing online.

Hi, and welcome to building perspective with Matt Riley and Mollie Elkman.

We’re here to bring value to you and your team by exploring all things, sales and marketing

all from different perspectives. Welcome to

another episode of building personal.  we’re here with Chelsey [00:02:00] Keenan for our discussion of the week.

 

 

Chelsey: Q1 digital trends.

 

Mollie: happy to have you here to talk about everything digital, but before we jump into that, why don’t you give a little refresher on who you are and your background and everything that you do all

Chelsey: day, every day. Sure. So for those of you who may not know me, I am Chelsey Keenan. I am the digital marketing director at group two advertising and, I think a lot of, you know, me as the social media director, but recently, I jumped into overseeing all of our digital departments, SEO, SEM, and social.

So I’ve become even more ingrained in all of the aspects of digital marketing. And it’s extremely, extremely exciting. So I’m really happy to be on the podcast, not just talking about just social [00:03:00] media. And, yeah, I’ve been at group two now for. Six over six years. Six. Wow. I don’t know. It’s hard

Mollie: for me to think about group two without Chelsey.

I

Chelsey: know it’s hard for me to think about me without group too.

Mollie: So I love talking to you so about everything digital and I think a big part of the change of your role is that we know that social is a part of digital and it all has to go together. Very cohesive. I know right now we’re going to talk about Q1 digital trends.

And you recently published a blog about some of the Q1 trends you want to kind of start

Chelsey: there. Sure. If you did see it was posted on our social media, we had the 20, 21 Q1 digital trends come out. it talks about a couple of different trends from social media and paid search and SEO. It’s very long.

[00:04:00] There are a lot of updates. There are also updates on there for those of you that are interested in the iOS 14 update and the Google ads pay-per-click, and policy changes with broad matches and freeze matches all of those things that are pretty, pretty drawn out, and a lot better to read. So if you want to read about those topics, definitely go over to the blog.

But we will be talking about on this podcast today. I really wanted to touch on the biggest trend that we saw throughout Q1, which many people, have probably been seeing in their own trends too, is the decline and decrease in spend on digital marketing. Specifically the paid side. So paid ads paid search.

it it’s something that we’ve seen across all of our builders. And this is [00:05:00] it’s crazy talking about it year over year. Because last year at this time we were talking about a decrease in spend because everybody was afraid of what was going to happen to the market. It was, we were going right into lockdown.

no one knew what was going to happen, what the year was going to bring us. And it was crazy. So there was a decline in being kind of proactive by not knowing. Now this year, this Q1, we’re talking about a decrease in spend being a little bit reactive to what has been happening in the market, which is obviously this huge, huge boom in sales.

So the decrease in spend on paid digital marketing. Is because we simply can’t sell anymore homes and we have to cap some communities. And so turn off a bit of, a bit of spend there so that we can stop driving so much traffic to the website. Yeah. I [00:06:00] think

Mollie: one of the things that’s really interesting is.

It’s kind of this reallocation of marketing dollars. So you’re decreasing in one area. It doesn’t mean that we’re just not marketing. It means we’re allocating our resources. What is in a way that’s appropriate right now for today’s market. So what are you seeing as far as where those resources are being reallocated?

for, for Q1,

Chelsey: definitely. So, whereas before we were investing in driving people to our website for sales purposes, a lot of people are using that budget now to invest in organic content, pushing organic content that really teaches people about their processes, about their quality of construction about their company, because.

You have the time now you’re selling, you have this budget to invest, but you don’t want to invest it in driving sales. And so it’s. But it’s vital to kind of [00:07:00] slow down that sales process a little bit. And in doing that being a little bit more informative versus salesy. And so using that budget, reallocating that budget in Instagram, highlights that talk about.

Talk about your, energy efficiency that talk about your design center, that talk about your building process. And so using that money that used to be invested in ads and using it to create more branded content. That’s organically driving people to your website at a slower pace on social media or on digital marketing, your emails.

It can go across your emails too. but really investing in. In better branding across places where people are organically seeing you and organically going to your website, a little bit of a slower pace. So I

Mollie: know we, we recently did a podcast on organic [00:08:00] content, but give me some specific examples when we’re talking about organic content of maybe some builders who were like doing a great job of highlighting testimonials and homeowners and.

The process or all these different things that way our listeners have some, some specific

Chelsey: examples. So, cornerstone homes is doing, they have, and they started doing this even a little, a little bit into the, the pandemic and into lockdown, but they’ve continued at even a, a better pace and a much higher quality video content on their social media.

And sometimes it gets put on their emails too, but they shoot a video every single week, every week. And they premiered at the same exact time. And it’s a video of home homeowners talking about the process. It can be a video about, financing. They have a video with their interior [00:09:00] designer. And so it’s their own team teaching.

Prospective buyers about their entire process and about little, little aspects of their company, which has gone an extremely long way in just like I was saying before driving organic traffic, driving, driving traffic, without having to put ad, spend behind it.

Mollie: I love that. And that’s a great example because they’re definitely targeting active adults and we know active adults are going to want to have more content and read and watch everything more than any other target demographic.

You know, while we’re talking about this, I do have to bring up brand voice because this is something that even we have to keep top of mind when we’re creating content is making sure that everything. I think we do is this consistent voice of representing who we are. And I think, you know, as market shift, it can [00:10:00] be very natural for your brand voice to kind of take a different shape in the way that you communicate, especially when you have one, you know, Team member doing video and one team member doing social media, it can create a disconnect.

So one thing that people can definitely do right now is kind of refocus. And as a team, kind of talk about what is our brand voice. So everything that we put out there from a content standpoint is sure to. be mindful of that voice. So, and we talk about that all the

time.

Chelsey: That brings up another example that I was thinking about in my, my head, but matches perfectly with what you were saying about brand voice is homes by Dickerson has created.

In the past couple months, a tick talk, and this is how they’ve been investing their time to a brand new social platform that is really booming. I would say with homebuilding [00:11:00] hashtags, the homebuilding hashtag, and we have a little bit more about this in our blog too. The humble hashtag on Tik TOK has an average of 20.2 million views million.

And as I was looking through. All of the videos in the home building hashtag there were a lot from people that were building their first home. There were a couple from construction companies showing installation and everything, but really rarely are there videos about home building coming straight from the home builder, but homes by Dickerson has done a really fantastic job of.

Using tick talk to show their brand voice without even writing anything, which is so crazy. Like you can go to their tic talk, they have videos of their team doing fun selections on this or that videos. And then they have videos of their gorgeous, gorgeous homes. [00:12:00] And so through. Just these videos, you can hear their voice is sophisticated, yet fun and traditional yet modern with this take on Tik TOK.

And so you can, you can play around with brand voice in so many different ways. And honestly, right now, when. You are selling at such a hot pace. This is the time to experiment and have fun and see, see what works and see what doesn’t work and put your brand voice out there in a fun and different way for people to see a different perspective.

Mollie: Okay. So, you know, while we’re talking about Ted talk, I have to mention, you know, group two started doing Tik TOK. And part of this is a lot of companies in general take themselves really seriously because obviously it’s a business, you know, none of us are running nonprofits. I think maybe we have a [00:13:00] handful of nonprofits that, that follow, you know, are building perspective podcasts.

So, you know, we tend to take ourselves. A little more seriously and, and take a more formal angle and have a hard time seeing the benefits of something like Tik TOK. And I have to tell you, last week I saw something on social media about middle age millennials. And when we think about the next generation of buyers, we are really not talking about millennials anymore.

We have gen Z coming through and they are not that far away. You know, having these conversations and this is making me feel super old, cause I’m one of those middle age millennials, but, you know, this is forward-thinking and when it comes to marketing, are you going to be proactive or are you going to be reactive and.

If you are looking forward to the next generation of buyers, you’re, you’re trying these things out because [00:14:00] this things are going to change no matter what things are always changing.

Chelsey: Absolutely. And I was a not middle-aged millennial. Was that appropriate to say? I don’t know. I was a not middle-aged millennial who actually I did not love.

Tick tock. When it first came out, I was like, what is this dance dance, a holic phrase, fit phase thing that’s coming in. And then I started, I started my own. Tech-Talk started messing around and really looking through it. And I’ve learned more on Tik TOK than I’ve learned on any other social media platform.

And so it’s not, if you don’t have your own Tik TOK, It’s not just dances and it’s not just fed a pastor. There is so much more to learn. There are, there are tips on social media. Like I said, home building has over 20 [00:15:00] million views. It is, it is a really, really huge platform that I do think is here to stay.

And I think. Invest in that now while, while you’re not doing so much advertising and focusing so much on driving sales, that’s one place to really have fun and bring, bring the heart of your, of your building company into

Mollie: one of my favorite things about Tik TOK is that there are these like silly things that trend on Tik TOK.

And, you know, I always, one of my favorite videos, at least in the industry is. And this is an old one now is when Chad Santra grin and his daughter did that, like video, where they change clothes, you know what I’m talking about and all of a sudden wearing a dress. Okay. So I love that video. You guys have to, we have to post this in the show notes and then Vicki just did this.

She, Vicky did this amazing video [00:16:00] walking through a builder’s model. Where, and there’s not one of our builders, obviously. and they’re just like this horror music. And then all of a sudden you see a Weegee board and it just like the funniest thing, I watch it like 20 times, because sometimes we’re so close to the work that we’re doing, and this was not one of ours, but, you know, Associating like spirits and death and hauntings with a new construction home is like basically the last thing you want

Chelsey: to do.

It was horrifying. I walked through that model too. We were on, a builder shop and, I, I wanted to leave immediately. I was so scared. I, I was like, how do they think this is going to sell?

Mollie: Maybe they didn’t know what it was. They just, they bought the cheapest game. And that was

Chelsey: what they bought. She doesn’t look like.

Scrabble or life or monopoly? Fair point.

Mollie: Okay. So don’t [00:17:00] put a Weegee board in there. Don’t

Chelsey: invest your ad, spend in board games to put in your model.

Mollie: So we’ll have to share that one in the show notes too, because that video just had me cracking up and Vicky keep them coming. Cause we love your Tik TOK videos.

Chelsey: Yeah. Go follow group two on Tik TOK. If you are an already. All right. So what

Mollie: else we’re talking about? Q1 digital trends. I know, you know, one of the things that you had talked about a little bit was Google my business. You want to,

Chelsey: yeah. Let’s, let’s hop away from social for a minute, go into a different digital platform.

This is also an organic platform, but Google, my business has recently come out with messaging on Google, my business. And so. Similarly to how you can go on a Facebook page and click message and message any company or any person from that Facebook page. People can now go to your Google, my business listings and [00:18:00] message you directly from those Google, my business listings.

And now this is huge. For someone that does not like to message through Facebook and someone that maybe an older builder that maybe has a little bit more trust in Google and messaging through Google, they can message you directly as they’re driving. As they’re looking up directions, as they’re coming into the community, they could send a message and say, Hey, just driving through right now.

Can I walk in, can I make an appointment? And this is important because if you’re not paying attention to this, you could miss all of these messages that come through. You can miss these leads. And so we recommend in our blog, if you go read the blog and read through it, we recommend having OSC take, take hold of this and really monitor all of these messages coming in through Google my business so that they can handle.

any of these messages, because [00:19:00] we do predict that they’re going to be more bottom of the funnel messages coming through, because it would be from people that are already looking up that community or you as a home builder. And so I was saying how funny that this was released at the same exact time that we released our OSC training.

It’s like, Well, it’s giving us a little, a little lift to say, come on, group two. You need to train people on how to answer these messages coming through

Mollie: and the key there. And I know Alexis and Matt just did a podcast about. Oh, our OSC program and lead management, but a big takeaway there is even if you can’t handle more builds than where you are right now, you have to respond to people in under five minutes.

And the fact is that. Builders still are not doing that. Nowhere near that. And what that does is it really hurts your brand because [00:20:00] that leaves a lasting impression. So that customer who could be a future customer down the road when market shift now has a negative impression of your company, because you didn’t respond in a reasonable amount of time.

So, you know, a lot of times companies think, Oh, we’re doing so well. We’re doing so well. We don’t need to respond because we can’t handle any more business. Well, the buyer doesn’t know that. So if you’re not responding, you’re, you’re really you’re. You’re really sending the wrong message and you’re really hurting your reputation and that relationship and cultivating that brand trust for down the road.

So we definitely have to break that

Chelsey: and think about where these messages from Google, my business are coming through. They’re coming through on your Google, my business listing, where people can similarly leave a review right on your Google, my business listing. And so if they [00:21:00] message you and you. Don’t answer them and you don’t respond and you’re not monitoring these.

Then they’re literally one click away from leaving a bad review. That is such a good point.

Mollie: That is such a good point. And we all know, so an unhappy customer is way more likely to leave a comment than a happy customer. So absolutely there are much louder and in today’s world, there’s, you know, Such an opportunity for people’s voices to be heard.

You don’t want those unhappy voices to be the loudest voices when it comes to your brand.

Chelsey: And generally they are, and we’ve been seeing it. And thankfully, an oddly enough, a big trend in this quarter has been. I don’t know if people feel a little kinder in their heart, I’m not sure, but we’ve had a lot of people if they have something, not nice to say messaging in Facebook, messaging on social media and [00:22:00] not actually leaving a bad review.

And so they’re messaging us first. And so we are able to get a handle on it, but a huge trend in Q1 with all of those messages. Is that people are upset with lack of response or any longer editor, fonts time. We’re having people messaging on social media saying I emailed, I called no one is responding to me.

And so they’re using social media as a last resource to get a hold of builders that aren’t answering them. But the next step after that is leaving a better view. And so don’t let this trend. Take advantage of this trend of people, messaging us and, really, really get a hold of how you’re handling all of these online, digital reach outs and, and messages from people.

So are

Mollie: you seeing the OSC is responding to those messages? Is that who the point person should be on those?

[00:23:00] Chelsey: I, I absolutely think. And this is, this is a whole other podcast and discussion I’ve I’ve wanted to do. And I think we should do about with Alexis about OCS on. Digital media and on social media and on Google my business, because the OCS, from my perspective, when a builder has an OSC, responding to all of the messages that come through on digital marketing, they have such a better response time, and they have such a higher percentage of sales when it pertains to sales, but they have a higher percentage of people that are.

Are prone to not lash out and leave a review because their OSC is on top of everything on social media and Google, all the Google reviews and everything that’s coming through. And so. Yes. I think the OCS role is shifting a bit in that it’s not just focusing on [00:24:00] people that come in through the website anymore, because people are treating your Google.

My business listings, people are treating your social media pages similarly to how they treat your website. And so they’re coming in from all different angles. And as an OSC online sales counselor, you really need to be on top of all of those online sources.

Mollie: Yeah, I love that. consumers are reaching out directly with their comments and feedback rather than going right to public posting.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if one of the consequences or results of the pandemic and the past year is that people have little more kindness

Chelsey: in them? Yeah, that would be pretty awesome. I like to think so. That’d

Mollie: be pretty cool. I mean, speaking of the pandemic, I am about to go on my very first trip in a year and three months.

And I will tell you right now, A human being on this planet has never been more excited to go to Columbus, [00:25:00] Ohio. I’m not even kidding. I’m seeing three builders in one day and I can’t wait. It’s going to take all of my energy to not run and hug

Chelsey: them. That sounds I’m jealous. I, I thought you were going to say Columbia at first.

And I was like, Okay, miss

Ohio,

Mollie: the destination that has me so excited for my first trip in over a year.

Chelsey: What a trip to spark it all off. I can’t

Mollie: wait, so, okay. Give me some final takeaways. I know you have some stats you wanted to

Chelsey: share. Yeah, final, final takeaway from all of this is that we’re just, we’re talking about these Q1 trends and we report trends on a quarterly basis for a reason.

And that’s because they, they can change. Everything can change. And so while this Q1 has been. Has been, as everyone knows. And we’ve all been saying super hot and selling is [00:26:00] great. This will not last forever. And we don’t know when it may slow down. We don’t know how long it’s going to take the slow down.

We don’t know if it’s going to be like hitting a brick wall or if it’s going to be a gradual slowdown, but. What we do know is that from Q1, what we do know is that 10 to 15% of conversions have been happening. 30 to 90 days and it could be longer. Google only reports up to 90 days, 30 to 90 days after someone has Al has visited the website for the first time while we’re decreasing in spend.

Right now, the people that you’re sending to your website, 10 to 15% of them are not converting today. They’re not even converting tomorrow. They’re converting. One to three months from now. And so like we’re saying this is not lasting forever. And you can’t stop everything and [00:27:00] spend $0 because you still need to drive traffic to those top of the funnel.

People that aren’t quite ready to move right now. And they’re ready to move 90 days from now. I mean, even for my, my own perspective, I am just starting to look to buy my first home right now. But, and I’m searching on Zillow and I’ve been looking on all of these different websites and, and going on visits and saying, what do I want?

But I’m not ready to move until maybe the end of the year, maybe even 20, 22. But I am looking right now. I’m looking right now to see what pertains to me. And I can tell you, I’m not the only, not middle-aged millennial doing this right now. Keep delivering digital content. If it’s, if it’s a decrease in ad spend that’s okay, but you can’t stop marketing [00:28:00] online.

Cold Turkey. You can’t quit. You’ve got to keep going. All right. That is great

Mollie: feedback. I have a hard time keeping up with how many quickly things are shifting. So I know for me, I love hearing about Q1 trends and learning from you. And, I know you’re going to take over some of these podcast episodes and people are going to be hearing more from you.

if someone wants to reach out to you directly, you want to share your email.

Chelsey: Sure. My email is. I see Keenan, K E N as in Nancy, a N as in Nancy, again@grouptwo.com. Two is spelled out two. I like, this is how I talk to people on the phone and tell them my email address, but that is my email. It will be in the show notes.

yeah, talk I’m as you can tell from this podcast and probably if you’ve ever met me before. I’d love to talk. I’ll talk about anything all the time, anything and everything. So [00:29:00] I, I don’t know if you can hear my cat meowing. Sorry.

we keep it

Mollie: real. So, all right, so that’s going to do it for us this week.

Chelsey: Thank you for having me back on building perspective. I’m excited to be on here again and be on here more. All right.

Mollie: Take care.

Chelsey: Bye.

 

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