Mortgage Marketing Through the Coronavirus Crisis (and On a Budget)

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These past weeks have demanded incredible changes to your life and business, and we can see these shifts reflected in messages on ads and social media every day. However, despite it appearing that news media about the pandemic is pulling everyone’s attention away, recent data shows that in specific industries, web traffic has increased –including finance.

It’s also no surprise that online traffic has skyrocketed to levels we typically see during the Super Bowl with the nation working, distance learning, and “meeting up” online.

Another little known effect of the pandemic is that it’s driven the cost of digital PPC ads down. This is a combination of people spending more time online and fewer small businesses spending money on paid ads. So if you’ve never implemented a PPC campaign or retargeting ads, now is the ideal time to do it on the cheap. 

Marketing Never Stops

What it boils down to is that the COVID-19 crisis is NOT the time to lay low with marketing and wait until things return to normal. Not only do we do not know when normalcy will return or what it will look like, but waiting to see what will happen (while your prospects are not) puts you at a severe disadvantage. 

So whether web traffic is booming or stagnant, remember this: your marketing should not stop cold during a downturn.

However, it should evolve to the current situation, both your clients’ situation and your business’. Here’s your game plan for tackling the challenges for the months ahead.

Four Steps Mortgage Pros Can Take To Prepare A Marketing Strategy During The Coronovirus Crisis:

  1. Work smart and empathetically to retain your existing client base
  2. Focus on getting even more visible with your target market
  3. Work on driving conversions
  4. Measure and review

Work smart and empathetically to retain your existing client base

If you’re silent online, you risk losing those prospects that are in your pipeline. You also risk losing referrals. You must be present online to keep in touch. 

Remember, it’s cheaper to retain an existing client or prospect than acquire a new one.

  • Automate your marketing. That’s not to say that you should create an ad and “set it and forget it.”. Marketing automation, much like mortgage automation, is about connecting at every touchpoint during the digital journey. When it comes to marketing, the digital journey includes social media channels and web surfing. In other words, be present where your clients are present and share personalized, contextualized, and targeted messages and news updates.
  • Content production is essential for keeping in touch and staying relevant to your existing clients. Let them know how you have updated and innovated the loan process flow, how your mortgage services can benefit them during this time, how you can help them prepare for the months ahead, and any positive and relevant news stories. 
  • Get more social and engage in conversations with your existing clients. Join in on discussions, respond to reviews, celebrate victories (even if it has nothing to do with your lending services). Engage, engage, engage. Joining in on online conversations is not all about advertising – it’s about adding value and being relevant to your client’s needs.

Focus on getting even more visible with your target market

Like mentioned above, internet use is through the roof. It may or may not result in gaining a new loan immediately (we’ll talk more about conversion below), but these next few months are critical and ideal for filling up your pipeline.  

  • Take advantage of the Mere Exposure Effect. This is where a consumer develops a preference for you or your mortgage brand merely because they are familiar with it. With PPC ads being so cheap, now is the time to try out low-cost digital marketing techniques. It may feel counter-intuitive at first. Especially when you are expecting every ad click to turn into a loan. But remember that the goal here is to get the prospect to trust your brand so that you can re-engage them. And with a retargeting ad, all it takes is one click, and the prospect will see your ad multiple times –building up that familiarity and allowing you to convert them into a loan in the future.
  • Revise your evergreen mortgage content. Over the years, you’ve likely created content (videos, articles, graphics) that are high-value and have sent quite a bit of web traffic to your mortgage website. Revisit this content, update it to improve your SEO rankings, and drive new traffic to your site. 

Work on Driving Conversions

Now is the time to double down –or finally tackle –optimizing your mortgage website conversion. Even small incremental changes can boost your rate of turning visitors into loan prospects in your pipeline.

  • Increase your social proof. Social proof is any content that lends “proof” that your services can be trusted and that you deliver on your promise (be it save money, expedited loan services, expertise, etc.). Reviews, recommendations, and case studies are how you will add to your social proof. You can do this by adding reviews directly to your site, writing a short article (case study) that demonstrates your expertise or talk about how your mortgage team quickly transitioned to working remotely without losing a beat. Even adding details as to how long you have been in business, how many loans you close, organizations you belong to, or what you are currently doing to support other local businesses lend a lot of weight.
  • Customer experience is where the money is at. Not only can it increase the number of loans you process, but with the right mortgage tech, the customer experience can even lower your production costs. And since your prospect’s customer experience will be entirely online, your task is to ensure that your website and supporting tech is up to date. We recommend starting with your mortgage website. If you feel less than confident about your current site delivering phenomenal customer experience, click here to makeover your mortgage site today.

Measure and Review

Measuring is how you’ll know whether you’re achieving the goal. Your goal could be to increase mortgage leads, loans closed, revenue per loan, web traffic, or referrals. Whatever your specific goals are, you’ll want to start with setting up your Google Analytics correctly. There is a mind-blowing amount of information that you can gain simply by adding Google Analytics to your site. You probably won’t use most of it, but even if only to measure:

  • how much traffic your site gets
  • what page is visited the most
  • where the traffic is coming from
  • what page visitors most often click out of

…the few minutes it takes to set it up is worth it. And remember that all this data is free! 

Setting it up is just a matter of inserting the Google tracking code (click here for a video on how to get this code) and adding it to your site. If your mortgage website is with us, you’ll find a box labeled “Analytics” under the Settings tab on your dashboard. Paste the code in the box, and you’re all set! 

Now that you have a way to measure, you can test how well your efforts are performing. If it’s working, then well done! Do it some more. Not seeing any results, or is the cost to get those results too high? Then kill it, learn from it, and move on. 

The mortgage industry and marketing are evolving even more drastically than ever before. If you’ve never put too much effort into your digital presence, this is THE TIME to do it. Experiment and make it a priority to increase your digital presence during these challenging times.

A final thought –if you don’t have the means to invest in digital marketing, do so with your time. We have a library of articles on our blog dedicated to digital marketing for the mortgage industry. Any action is better than none!

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