Last week I introduced you to the typical mortgage lead generation and lead nurturing cycles. If these cycles are infected with the feast or famine virus, your lead generation efforts will come in spurts—the opposite of the consistency your mortgage business needs.
Luckily I alluded to a better way to generate and nurture your mortgage leads using a mortgage marketing plan. A mortgage marketing plan can rewrite these cycles and transform their outcomes (and your business).
This week, I’m going to lay out the elements of your new mortgage marketing plan. When you execute this plan, you’ll generate consistent mortgage leads for your business. Here is a step-by-step mortgage marketing plan that will help you generate consistent mortgage leads.
Before We Plan, We Strategize
Before we jump into the plan itself, I want to make sure you understand something. Every great mortgage marketing system starts with strategizing. Strategy is the first phase of our own content marketing system. The plan itself comes after. In order to build the proper plan for your mortgage business—one that rewrites the lead generation and nurturing cycles—you first need to lay the proper foundation.
This is where most mortgage professionals make their biggest mistake. Whether they make a plan or they start writing and posting with no plan at all, none bother to lay a strategic foundation. They don’t take the time to understand the WHO and the WHY behind their plan.
So what creates a good strategy? How do you build the foundation of your marketing plan? A good strategy includes three steps:
- Understand Your Client
- Understand Your Products
- Create Your Message
Step 1: Understand Your Client
You can’t create a marketing plan until you know who you’re marketing to. You need to take the time to sit down and think about your clients. Get to know them by asking questions like:
- Who is your client?
- How old are they?
- How much money do they make?
- What is their family structure like? (married, single, living with parents)
- Where do they like to hang out?
- What do they want out of life?
- What are their fears and desires?
- What do they need from you?
Step 2: Understand Your Products
You also need to understand your products. I don’t mean that you need to know how they work. You’re already a whiz at knowing the ins and outs of your loan product guidelines. I’m talking about knowing how your products fit into your clients’ lives.
- How do they find your products?
- How do they interact with your products?
- What are your products’ main strengths? What are their weaknesses?
- How do they compare to your competition?
Step 3: Create Your Message
Taking the time to understand your clients and your products are very important steps. Once you know these things, you can start to see how they fit together. You can see how your products meet your clients’ needs.
But just because you can see this solution doesn’t mean your clients understand it. It’s now your job to spell it out for them. You need to tell them exactly how you have what they need. This is what it means to create your message. Your message takes your clients’ need and ties it to your products’ solutions.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. You know you need a car to get to and from work, with good gas mileage, that fits four for the office carpool. However, you don’t necessarily know which car is right for you until you start shopping around.
But Honda does. They know your needs as a commuter/carpooler, and they’ve created a car to appeal to you. They’ve also created a message that’s written to appeal to your needs—a message that proves to you that they have the car you’re looking for.
That’s what we’re doing in this step. We are creating the overarching message—talking points, really—that you can use when creating your content and speaking to your clients. Use the following chart to write out the individual needs your clients have and the way your products meet those needs.
|Your Clients’ Needs||Your Products’ Solutions|
This is probably the most important (and hardest) step. Your message is what helps your clients decide whether or not you are the person they want to work with. If you don’t get it right, if you don’t clearly understand what you do to help your clients, it becomes so much more difficult to earn their business.
Develop Your Mortgage Marketing Plan
Remember, a solid mortgage marketing plan is the only way you’re going to kill the feast or famine virus and rewrite the cycles. The reason the plan works is that it creates the consistent content you need to keep generating and nurturing leads. Content is what boosts those leads to the “ready threshold.”
A good mortgage marketing plan will provide you with the following:
- Content Types
- Content Topics
- Content Calendar
- Content Promotion
The journey your clients take from contact to close will dictate the content types you use. A mortgage client’s journey involves four stages: attract, convert, nurture, and delight. All content should propel your clients into the next stage of their journey. Depending on the stage, some content is better than others.
- Attract Content—Attract content includes blog posts, social media posts, social ads, landing pages, and website master pages.
- Convert Content—Convert content must be something that gets a visitor to fill out a form. It can include a download offer, an email course, or a request for more information.
- Nurture Content—Nurture content is meant to stay in touch with leads over a period of time. You do this through email, social media, and social ads.
- Delight Content—Delight content is content that your closed clients would find valuable—either for themselves or for people they know.
Once you’ve decided what content types you’re going to use to guide your clients through their journey, you’ll need to decide on the topics you want to create content around. Your earlier strategy taught you all about your clients and how your products help meet their needs. This makes brainstorming topics and creating content a hundred times easier.
There are a few great ways to pick topics. Here are our top picks:
Brainstorming—Great topics can come from right inside your own head. You are, after all, the subject expert. Try to answer these questions:
- What questions do your clients have?
- What do they find confusing?
- What are things you have to explain over and over again?
- What do you wish your clients knew?
- What are some topics even you don’t fully understand? Can you bring in a content expert to answer some questions?
- What are some current events happening in your industry? Is there any new information out there?
Forums—One of the easiest ways to find out what topics your clients would find relevant is to search them out online and see what they’re talking about. Check out these places:
- Quora—browse questions people have asked
- Google—try searching for “your client or keyword” + forum
- Zillow Forums—tons of people ask questions to professionals on Zillow
Interviews—Of course, the most effective way to find out what topics your clients want to hear about is to actually ask them. You’d be surprised how open and willing to give feedback your clients will be. Just call up a few and ask them some questions.
Other Content—What topics are already doing really well for your chosen topic? You can head on over to buzzsumo.com and take a look. Simply enter your topic into their search bar, and they’ll show you the most shared content. You can use these pieces of content to jog your own memory for great topics. There’s always a way to add your own twist to an existing piece of content.
Now that you know the content types and content topics to create content around, it’s time to put them into a schedule. Start by answering the following questions (our recommendations are in parentheses):
- How often will you write? (It depends on the length of your content. 1,000 words or less, every week. 1,500 words or more, every other week. You should be spending 20% of your time creating and 80% of your time promoting—more on this below—so factor that into how often you write.)
- What days will you publish? (The actual day of the week matters little because people will pick it up at different times over the coming weeks. But you should stick to a schedule for your own sake.)
- How long will your articles be? (Again, we’d recommend combining this with how often you want to write, as stated above.)
- How far in advance do you need to start? (Pick your publish date and work backwards based on how long you think you’ll need to research, write, and design. Also, make sure you plan out your promotion time after you’ve published your content.)
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to set deadlines on a calendar. Create tasks for yourself so you know when certain parts need to be done in order to meet your content deadlines.
Pro Tip! If you need a place to put down all of your ideas, organize them into actionable to-dos and create an actual schedule to publish, we recommend Trello! It’s free and easy to use. You can create different columns for each content type and then create a card for all of your ideas. Then, when you are ready to work on one, simply drag it to your “In Process” column! It’s a great way to keep everything together.
The old rule of content was “create, create, create.” If you just created enough content, Google would love you and people would find you. WordPress estimates there are over two million blog posts being published per day, and a site with a few high-quality posts can easily outrank a site with lots of low-quality posts. The old rule simply doesn’t work anymore. You can “create, create, create” all you want, but your content will never be seen or deemed relevant if you don’t promote it.
Now, you must “promote, promote, promote.” If you create a great piece of content, you need to share that content with anyone and everyone who you think will actually find it relevant.
And this includes more than just your email list and social media followers. You should be reaching out to influencers who have shared content like yours in the past. Let them know that you’ve created content they might also find valuable. When you do this, you help your content rise to the top of the two million other blog posts written that day.
A great way to find influencers who have shared content like yours is to head back over to buzzsumo.com. Remember those popular posts you pulled up when brainstorming content topics? Buzzsumo will also show you who shared those articles. This is a great way to start finding people who might also share your content—because they’ve already shared something similar!
This brings up an important point. If you’re going to be reaching out to influencers and people in your topic who have the ability to route visitors your way, you’d better be creating content that’s worthy of sharing. Content that’s highly interesting and share-worthy is oftentimes high-quality, in-depth content.
In-Sync: The Cycles, The Journey, The Content
Hopefully by now you’ve started to see the pattern that’s forming. Everything revolves around attracting visitors with content, converting them with content, and nurturing them with content.
The lead generation and lead nurturing cycles from last week align with the journey your clients take from contact to close. When we apply a mortgage marketing plan to these cycles, we rewrite them. We do this by creating consistent content that propels your clients forward in their journey. This consistent content creates more leads and nurtures current leads until they cross the “ready threshold.” It keeps them coming in and staying warm.