I have been the Marketing Coordinator at Florida real estate brokerage, EXIT 1 Stop Realty for four years. Over the course of my time as head of marketing at the company, I have overseen a vast growth in social media marketing activity. Once I took the position in 2017, I quickly launched the company on new social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. Soon afterwards I instituted digital marketing services to market new listings and other important company goals. When I began the job the marketing program consisted of a certain number of mailed postcards each time an agent went live on a new listing. I decided to incorporate boosted ads on both Instagram and Facebook quickly after I started. When it comes to building a target audience on social media, the real estate industry is tough because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has strict rules on limiting advertising when it comes to housing. Under the Fair Housing Act, advertising of property that is limited to certain groups including age, race, familial status and religion is prohibited. However, there are certain ways I have been able to target audiences for various marketing campaigns which I have highlighted below.
Recently, there are a lot of people moving to Jacksonville from New York, New Jersey and California. Audiences from these states are also more likely to buy higher priced oceanfront and golf course properties. Therefore, I have extended the locations on many campaigns for listings to include these areas. I also created a separate brand for our company lifestyle blog, Top of the Coast, which is devoted to publishing features that highlight everything that the First Coast has to offer. There is a button embedded in the blog that says, “Northeast Florida Real Estate: Ask the Experts,” which directs traffic to our main company website. The creation of a separate media brand has allowed me to create more effective content marketing campaigns with an enhanced credibility due to the fact that the media outlet is not overtly associated with our real estate brokerage brand. The feature stories published on Top of the Coast are on subject matter that appeals to those likely to move to the area as well as local homeowners.
The content on Top of the Coast has also allowed me to boost content without the special category limitations, thus making the target audience more clearly defined by specific categories. I have used content from Top of the Coast to market our knowledge of the Northeast, Florida area and I have boosted it on Instagram and Facebook and the special category audience restriction is not applied to this content. The HUD special category rules are also not applied to anything that promotes our agents, office and culture. Therefore, I have been able to create more clearly defined target audiences based on special interests’ categories that are related to real estate such as home, DIY, home and garden, etc. To sum it up, I think the key to optimizing target audiences is in creative content marketing, as my experience outlined above shows.