When we start talking about the game of Internet marketing most successful business owners will tell you that it's ongoing and a very long game indeed. So most of you keep asking us here at RTV how to keep your virtual tour business around for the long haul and here's our reply to you that will give you some very good ideas on your internet marketing strategy as well as your long-term goals.
First of all it’s easy to start focusing too much on short term goals in your online marketing efforts. The web is so fast paced and ‘overnight’ success stories are so rampant that we often forget how much time and effort it takes to build and market something great online. This remains true when building your local virtual tour business too.
There are marketing avenues out there on the web that allow you to quickly get some return on your investment: paid search and display advertising are two of the most common. But chances are you will have a better long term ROI and more sustainable marketing efforts by investing in inbound marketing tactics like organic SEO, blogging and content marketing. If you have not watched our shows in Rock Pointe Marketing on Blogging and SEO, now would be a very good time. So many of you have been calling in and asking us how you can get your virtual tour company to rank better on your local market yet we fail to see you actually put a plan into place to make this happen.
The biggest reason marketers and business owners struggle to see value in inbound marketing channels is because they aren’t patient enough to see the dividends. Take a look at Greg and Paige Mitts. Paige called into RTV the other day after blogging heavily for two years and expressed how excited they were to now be outranking many other national virtual tour companies on their desired keywords. This is a HUGE accomplishment that takes years to put the wheels in motion then needs constant nurturing.
Let’s look at a few specific examples of where playing the long game provides the most value for your Internet marketing campaign:
Blogging: In our opinion, blogging is probably the area where most most of our virtual tour customers (virtual tour providers & real estate brokers - agents) give up much too quickly. We'll get between one and three blogs from them when they first start out but when they don't see instant results or leads coming in they give up too early. Time goes by and ultimately they are missing out on valuable back links, social shares, referrals, search traffic and brand trust that can only come from creating compelling blog content. Watch the RTV show on blogging at www.rockpointemarketing.com to learn more.
SEO: It’s going to take some time to rank highly for all of the keywords you want to target. At RTV we try to make this very easy for you and have all of you start out using what we call "Geographical" keywords. This allows your campaign to be laser focuses on your specific region of the world. Your SEO campaign should start out the month that you go into business. Those of you that put this off for a rainy day will never get to it. Sadly a quality SEO campaign never really ends, BUT you can set it up correctly and forget it for awhile. You'll always need to keep it in mind though as the virtual tour industry changes. For example, years ago it would not have been important to rank highly on HTML 5 virtual tours, but now days this is becoming more and more important. Your keywords will evolve over time and there are always new areas to break into. For more information please be sure to watch our SEO classes in www.RockPointeMarketing.com to learn more.
Social media: Social media makes it really easy to become overly focused with short term results. No matter which social network you’re on, there’s a handy number of fans or followers that you can use to quickly judge the success of your social media efforts. Don’t do it. Avoid score-carding yourself against your competitors in social media, because let's face it, a Twitter account with 25 real, qualified followers is infinitely more valuable than one with 5,000 fake followers.
Most of the time, marketing strategies that deliver short term dividends do not provide long term payoffs. Your end goal is your “Blast Off” moment. Whatever that goal is, you should be passionate about it and it should drive every decision your virtual tour business makes. When your customers see your passion and drive they'll tend to come in droves.
Send us a short story about your virtual tour company today and kick off your monthly blogging effort! We'll see you on Mars RTV!
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