1. Build a Brand
Before anyone can create a digital marketing plan for mortgage companies, you need to develop a brand identity. David Brier famously stated, ” If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.” Whether you try to create a brand identity or not, consumers will subconsciously form an opinion or perception of your company. However, great brands create a narrative for their consumers, instead of the other way around. If you do not take your brand seriously, you will be fighting an identity crisis for years to come. Having a brand gives you a guide to reference when deciding what markets to go after, how to formulate your systems, and the hiring process.
If you are having a hard time crafting a marketing identity, answer the below three questions:
- What problem(s) are we solving?
- What makes us different from company x?
- What are our core values?
Take the answers to these three questions and craft a mission and vision for your mortgage company. This will give you a brand identity to reference through the ups and downs of a start-up. Not having a brand can become a nail in the coffin for a new company. Once you have an identity, take time to develop a SWOT Analysis.
2. SWOT Analysis For Digital Marketing Plan
A SWOT Analysis is a quick way to assess your mortgage company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Before you can create a successful digital marketing plan for a mortgage company, understanding your advantages and disadvantages will give your marketing efforts purpose. Inversely, if you rush the strategy portion, your marketing campaign will be a shot in the dark.
First, develop your strengths. This can be as simple as a great realtor partner to complex brand assets like a website that is already driving hundreds of visitors a month. Create a detailed list of items that give your business an edge.
Second, list out your weaknesses. This will include budget restraints, a small database, or a lack of personnel. This can be difficult to think about, but find the pain points in your business that need to be addressed.
Third, list out all the opportunities in your market. Great examples of opportunities can be a lack of competition, underserved niche audiences, or any sales opportunity that your business can focus on.
Lastly, find the threats to your business’s success. This includes anything that could risk profitability. In the mortgage and real estate industry, a saturation of competition, increased regulation, rising ad costs can all threaten the bottom line. Ultimately, every SWOT will be different. Take a look at our SWOT chart and craft a guide that you can reference through the lifetime of your business.
3. Target Audience
Once you have developed your brand identity and crafted a SWOT analysis, it is time to hone in on your target audience. For most loan officers and mortgage brokers, the obvious audience is going to be homebuyers. However, to create a successful digital marketing plan for your mortgage company, it is imperative that you create market segments to target. These audiences will be niche markets like first-time homebuyers, military-affiliation, or investors.
This step is vital to your digital marketing plan for a few reasons. Specifically, consumers respond better to messaging that is catered to their lifestyle. If your digital marketing campaign is catered to a few target audiences, you will get better engagement, clicks, and conversions. Focus on your niche and ensure the messaging falls in line with their needs. From there, decide what your value proposition is to your prospects.
4. Value Proposition is Key to Your Digital Marketing Plan
Think of a value proposition as your offer to a consumer. What value do you give to consumers that are different from the competition? This can be fast turnaround times, quick closing, low credit score solutions, knowledge of the market, down payment assistant programs, and the list goes on. Fundamentally, you want to provide a value that few competitors are showcasing. When crafting a digital marketing plan for mortgage companies, a value proposition is key to bringing people into your sales funnel.
A great example of this is CapCenter.
The value proposition is pretty clear – CapCenter cuts out the closing costs on all transactions. This is a huge value for homebuyers, driving a lot of clicks into their sales funnel. CapCenter does not shy away from using its primary value proposition all over its marketing material. From Google Ads, banner ads, social media posts, and landing pages, the zero closing cost offer is everywhere. When CapCenter crafted its digital marketing plan, it tied its value proposition directly to its brand identity. This is a genius move that any loan officer, mortgage broker, and marketing manager can learn from.
5. Website, Website, Website!
The first step to crafting a digital marketing plan for mortgage companies is always strategy. With a thoughtful strategy, SEO, PPC, and social are bound to fail. However, once you understand your brand, target audience, and value proposition, the next step in the process is implementation. Implementing your digital marketing plan always starts with a website.
A mortgage website is not only the face of your brand but is extended through every digital marketing campaign. Whether you want to run YouTube, Facebook ads, or PPC, every consumer goes to your website. You can spend hundreds of hours on creating content and brand development, however, if your website does not covert due to speed or design, all that time is wasted. The success of your digital marketing plan is reliant on effective lead capture.
When deciding how to create an effective website, our team at mortgagecolumn.com, recommend the mortgage website templates that Wix offers. The Wix website system is built for growing companies that need fast hosting, effective design, and proper SEO. We have used Wix websites for loan officers and mortgage companies for years -they are a perfect fit for companies that want to rank on Google, capture leads on PPC, and grow their brand.
If you are interested in using Wix for your website, check out their templates here: Wix Websites
Once you have decided on a website, it is time to build out a Mortgage CRM that can function as the brain of your marketing system.
6. Find a CRM
A CRM is a powerful tool that can be customized for your customer journey. However, in the mortgage world, you want a sales CRM that can work a lead from interest, through the application, and ultimately to the closing table. For a CRM to do this, you need a system that can build a marketing campaign, configure smart lists, and automate the process through custom triggers. At MortgageColumn.com, we highly recommend Go High Level.
Go High Level is a sales CRM built for lead conversion. When building a digital marketing plan for your mortgage company, a CRM that can support your loan officers at scale is vital to success. If your loan officers are working leads out of an excel spreadsheet, your company will never be able to grow.
If someone fills out a mortgage form, they expect to have a text within minutes. From there, they should be walked through every step of the process. If you cannot automate this process, a large lead volume will be a curse, not a blessing. Therefore, create a sales infrastructure that can support a successful lead gen campaign.
If you are interested in starting a free trial with Go High Level, check out this link: GHL CRM
7. Local SEO For Your Mortgage Company
Before you can begin generating leads, it is essential that you have built a brand, create a marketing strategy, and build the sales infrastructure that can support hundreds of leads a month. Once the building blocks are in place, it is time to send leads through your pipeline.
Local SEO is perfect for any mortgage company interested in digital marketing. Unlike traditional SEO, utilizing the power of Google My Business can produce results immediately. Google My Business (GMB) is a premier listing service, connecting local businesses to consumers in need. Because GMB is largely based on the location of the business to the consumer, mortgage companies rank quickly for search terms with a location referenced.
To rank quickly with GMB, you will need a mortgage website with all of your information in the footer: phone, location, business name. From there, create a Google My Business account and fill out all business information that is displayed on your website. Google will scan your site to ensure all information is accurate and verifiable. Google wants to ensure they are connecting people with a real local business. Because of this, it is imperative that all contact information is accurate. From there, add pictures, logos, and videos to beef up the GMB listings. Once the account is set up, two main factors drive rankings: re-occurring posts and reviews.
Specifically, you need to post every week on your GMB account. It does not have to be an elaborate content plan, however, your posts should reflect what you are all about. This will show Google that you are active and increases your chance of getting ranked in the top 3 spots. Second, generate reviews with every past customer. This is vital for online credibility and local SEO ranking. If you are using a CRM like Go High Level, you can easily create a review campaign that sends your Google review link to people once they close on their homes. This is an effective way to build your reviews on Google fast.
Local SEO is the first step to lead generation and digital brand building. However, it will be hard to scale leads solely through GMB. However, if you have a healthy ad budget, your marketing team can utilize the power of Google and Microsoft Ads.
8. Win Leads With Pay Per Click
Pay-per-click is a term often used for search engine marketing. In this form of marketing, advertisers pay for every click they receive. However, what happens when you are only receiving clicks and no leads? This is a situation that many loan officers, mortgage brokers, and lenders fall into. Inversely, some of the biggest lenders in the country pay Google based on a cost per lead basis, not cost per click. This format will completely change lead volume and quality for advertisers that cannot figure out Google Ads.
Before you can pay per lead, you need to ensure that your keywords are attracting the right buyers. The key to a successful PPC campaign is thinking like the consumer. From search behavior to landing page design, build your campaign from the lens of your prospects. It is impossible to have the perfect keywords, landing page design, and bid strategy from day one. However, utilizing PPC best practices will help get your campaign off to a good start. In the first two weeks, use a CPC-focused bid strategy. The goal here is not to get leads, but to get as much data as possible.
Once you have between 15 and 30 leads from your campaign, it is time to adjust your bid strategy to focus on leads, not clicks. Go to the campaign settings and select the bid strategy portion. From there, click, “Target CPA.” CPA stands for Cost Per Acquisition. In other words, cost per lead. Google will ask you to set your cost per acquisition. Your fixed CPA should be 15% of what your cost per conversion is with the current bid strategy.
From there, let your campaign run for about two weeks before you make any adjustments. This will give time for the automated system to get used to your data and make good decisions. Ultimately, PPC is a complicated lead gen strategy but can be highly profitable. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, read our Mortgage PPC blog.
Digital Marketing Plan for Mortgage Companies: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, building a digital marketing plan for mortgage companies is a long-term process. It is imperative that you start with brand development and strategy. From there, understand who your customer is and what they want in a lender. Once you know who you are and where you fit in the market, build a digital infrastructure that will last.
If you are interested in more marketing topics, dig into the following posts:
- Yext For Loan Officers
- LeadPops Review
- Homebot Review
- Mortgage Marketing Tips
- Mortgage Marketing Trends
- Ranking #1 For Mortgage Lenders
- Realtor Relationships
- Zillow Mortgage Leads Review
- Digital Marketing Plan for Mortgage Companies
- Loan Officer Website Templates
- Loan Officer Websites
- Mortgage PPC
- Mortgage Broker Marketing Plan
- Loan Officer Marketing Tips
- Go High-Level CRM
- Loan Officer Marketing Template
- Can Loan Officers Work From Home?
- Mortgage Automation: Zapier for Loan Officers
- Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing
- How to Market to Realtors as Loan Officers
- Mortgage Public Relations
Henry has spent the bulk of his career working for mortgage companies and marketing agencies. He uses his experience in the martech industry to guide his strategies and insights in the mortgage and real estate world. He firmly believes that marketing success in every industry boils down to a technology-centered strategy.