[Trend 2/6] Attract New Home Buyers with What They Trust: User Generated Content


Are you tasked with enhancing your website’s visibility, attracting new customers, and building a brand that is as well-loved as your homes—all on a tight budget?

Consider moving user generated content to the top of your marketing agenda. In fact, put aside the means of generating content for a moment and think about the end result. You are going to build an online community of customers who are passionate about their homes and can’t wait to influence the next wave of new home buyers.

The fit couldn’t be more natural. For your customers, no other product will ever match the sentimental value of their homes. It’s where they have decided to raise their families and create lifelong memories. It’s where they live. For you, there is no marketing technique that will come more intuitively, because by nature, you are a community builder.

What is user generated content and why does it work?

User generated content (UGC) is any form of consumer-created online content including reviews, blogs, forum posts, and digital images. The content can live within your branded domain, on a third party site, or it can reside on a social media platform. The point of pursuing UGC is to invite prospects to experience your brand through the eyes of your customers.

Nothing your company can say directly to prospects will be as trusted or impactful.

UGC is especially vital to Gen Y/Millenials who will not make important purchases without consulting others’ opinions. But young home buyers aren’t the only believers in UGC. A recent study found that 70% of all consumers place peer recommendations and reviews above professionally written content.[Tweet This] This confirms the social proof theory – that people are automatically drawn to products others like and trust.

Why do you need to implement a UGC strategy ASAP?

Improved metrics like search rankings, clicks, and conversions barely scratch the surface of what UGC delivers. It’s such a powerful resource for homebuilders that it deserves a more persuasive case:

UGC enables you to grow your content, resulting in more organic (FREE) search traffic to your website. You know that, but you may not know that because much of your content will be written by consumers, your search engine results page (SERP) rankings will be higher for the key terms consumers actually use. Don’t you want to put your customers to work for you? When they’re happy in their homes, it’s their pleasure.

Your customers’ expressions of gratitude begin with marketing and continue in sales. Their recommendations and reviews distinguish you from competitors. Their positive experiences overcome skepticism, attract prospects, and affirm your value to current customers. Their stories influence friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, diverting traffic to your website. There, your customers foster a community, answering questions and sharing experiences with people who value their opinions. When prospects are ready, your customers guide them to call your best representatives and to visit your model homes.

UGC is a complete loop of powerful marketing and sales efforts that hand-deliver ready-to-buy leads.[Tweet This] Costs are low, minimal effort is required from your marketing and sales teams, and it delivers maximum ROI. Ready to get started?

Consider these three ideas for your first UGC campaign:

  1. Dream Room Challenge – Homebuyers tour your models, but they don’t get to see the creative ways that your customers bring their unique visions to life—until now. Incentivize your new homeowners to showcase their favorite rooms with pictures or videos on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and your site. Promote the competition on your site and through social media, and entice participation by awarding a design center shopping spree.
  1. Custom Build Showcase – Encourage customers to show off their one-of-a-kind builds, whether it’s a unique art niche, a home gym, or a balcony with an inspiring view.
  1. Lifestyle Photo Contest – Incentivize customers to post photos of themselves enjoying their homes, hosting parties or barbecues, cooking in their gourmet kitchens, or enjoying family time in their media rooms.

Our social media and SEO teams would love to talk to you about your strategy to attract and engage home buyers online. Email us if you’re ready to talk.

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