Generating leads is, by and large, one of the most important aspects of being a mortgage broker. Yet, as every mortgage broker very well knows, generating online leads can become both time-consuming and expensive. In an article from mortgagebrokernews.ca (powered by Canadian Mortgage Professional magazine), one broker is quoted saying he more than doubled his business after spending $500,000 in marketing.
It’s the old “spend money to make money” philosophy. So, given the amount of capital at stake, analyzing this data begs the question: what are some ways that mortgage brokers can generate more quality leads for less cost?
Here are three ways to generate online leads for mortgage companies:
1) Inbound Marketing
As opposed to digital outbound marketing that forces itself into the view of the prospect in the form of traditional media and paid advertisements, inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, means that the quality of content you produce will naturally bring leads to you.
The truth of the matter is that most people don’t know how a mortgage broker works; they have questions, and they’re looking for straightforward answers. As a broker, it is important to think about the questions you’re asked most often by your clients, and then create them content that clearly answers those questions.
Examples of inbound marketing include blog posts, videos, webinars, and eBooks that potential clients will want to read, find valuable and educational, and hopefully encourage them to view your company as credible. Additionally, be sure to include content on topics that are unique to your company while maintaining professionalism; don’t be afraid to show personality!
2) Website Optimization
Your website is your front page on the Internet; it’s how your clients “meet you.” Therefore, your site will be the platform by which prospective clients will take advantage of your inbound marketing efforts. Optimizing your website will not only ensure that potential clients find your content quickly, but that they also view you as a professional and be more inclined to stick around.
Here are 3 ways to optimize your website:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website will be the bread and butter of your efforts. Google is constantly crawling and ranking websites using their system Rankbrain, which allows you to play a role in where your content lands in this process.
By adding one particular and relevant keyword or phrase to your website (and per piece of content) making sure it loads fast (use Pingdom Website Speed Test to find out your website load speed), and making your website convey professionalism, you’ll generate website visitors that stick around longer and check out more than one page.
Common SEO tactics include boosting your social media activity (which is also an easy way to connect directly with potential clients), working on improving your DA (Domain Authority) score through appearances on other sites, applying special keywords to documents (which can be easily found using tools such as LSI Graph), and optimizing your website, article, and image metadata. Search engines will take notice of these aspects and place your website in higher slots on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
In order to keep track of your optimization and website traffic efforts, be sure to install a service such as Google Analytics. You will be able to see data such as demographics, CTR (Click Through Rate), time spent with your content, and whether or not website visitors choose to interact.
As mentioned earlier, providing quality content is essential when generating leads. Be sure to create content that’s up-to-date and accurate. Content that provides answers to specific queries is why people will visit your website and is what will keep them coming back for more.
Take a moment to consider the clients you currently have – what kind of questions do they ask you? Are they curious about how the process works? Do they want to know how long it takes to brokerage a mortgage? Are they wondering why they should seek the help of a broker?
Additionally, creating content that answers common questions will mean people will be more inclined to recommend your website. People trust their friends more than any piece of content you could create, and sharable content makes for easy referrals!
When you begin to see traffic on your website, it’s important that that you give these prospective clients clear instruction to take the next step through lead magnets. Lead magnets are call-to-actions that prompt people to either contact you about their mortgage needs, provide steps to receive a free consultation, display incentives, or simply to opt in to your newsletter to follow along on your content creation. Don’t let your website get lost in the shuffle!
Ensure that every page of your website, including your content pages, have these lead magnets. Keep in mind that it often takes users a few times of seeing them before they’ll take action, so be sure to place them in more than one location!
3) SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing is the process of purchasing ads on search engines. When utilizing this process, consider whom you are targeting. In addition to potential clients, be sure to create ads geared towards companies you want in your referral network, such as realtors.
Below are the basics of SEM as well as some things you can do to get your content shown more frequently in high traffic locations:
A) PPC (Pay Per Click)
PPC, sometimes considered in conjunction with CPC (cost per click), is a branch of SEM that allows advertisers to display ads for their products or services to potential clients that search for relevant topics.
What makes PPC unique is, as its name indicates, mortgage brokers are only charged for the placement of an ad when a user clicks on the ad. While this sometimes takes the form as a fixed price charged per click, most often it is handled through a set daily budget. Then, depending on how often the ad is clicked, the price per click will adjust accordingly. Tools commonly used in this process are Google AdWords and Bing Ads, for Google and Bing searches, respectively.
The incorporation of PPC then begs the question, if advertisers are only charged when someone clicks on their ad, how do they ensure that their ads are shown on a SERP in the first place? Well, given the nature of the model, advertisers cannot pay more to have their ads shown over their competitors; therefore Google has implemented something called the Ad Auction that determines the relevance and order of the ads.
So basically, keyword your ad correctly, keep on top of your ad data, and watch the clicks materialize.
B) CPI (Cost Per Impression)
Similar to PPC, CPI is when mortgage brokers are charged for their ads. This will only happen when their ad is displayed to a viewer. In this way, it is similar to traditional media such as newspapers, in which a newspaper will charge for ad space based on readership and reach.
High traffic websites offering CPI advertisement space may choose to measure ad impressions through CPM (Cost Per Thousand). For example, an advertiser would only be charged $5 for every thousand impressions incurred on the ad.
To measure success of these ads, advertisers will compare the number of impressions to the number of clicks on the ad, and come up with the CTR, shown as a percentage.
Search engine optimization is essentially a free form of SEM, therefore SEO and SEM are often times seen as separate entities. However, given the nature of SEO and the similarities it shares with SEM, it will be an important part of your marketing strategy. As with your SEM ads, SEO involves specially curating your content and website so that they show up on search engines such as Google.
Here at Newfound Marketing, we provide thorough consultation and personalized inbound marketing, website optimization, and SEM strategies. For more information and ideas of how you can generate online leads for your mortgage company, give us a shout!