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Make A Digital Difference

My husband and I own and rent out a two-story farmhouse in Cottage Grove. It was recently vacant so I turned to digital advertising to generate awareness. During the process I was reminded of how intertwined marketing and sales tactics are.




Although our farmhouse can rent out as two units (upstairs and downstairs), our preference is to rent the whole house. So, that’s how I advertised it on three different online sites, “Farmhouse for rent with 4 bedrooms.”


We got some hits, but nothing panned out. My husband suggested we change the listing to, “2 bedroom for rent in Cottage Grove” and within hours of the new listing, inquiries flooded my inbox. I slapped my forehead and said, “Duh!”


With digital advertising, the title of your offer/product/service listing plays a key role in your results. The goal with digital advertising is to make a connection between your offer/product/service listing and the keywords people are (literally) typing into a search box. Which do you think is a more likely search term for those looking for a rental in Cottage Grove: “Farmhouse for rent with 4 bedrooms” or “2 bedroom for rent in Cottage Grove”? I can tell you, it was not the former.


I did so many things wrong with my first posting:


1) I pigeonholed the search terms to a very small segment of people that would be looking for a place to rent


2) I titled the posting in the way my husband and I talk about it, NOT how a customer might think of it (It should have been: Spacious 4 bdr for rent in Cottage Grove)


3) Location matters with rentals (Double duh!)


4) I went for the grandiose offer when I should have started small and then gone for the up-sell.


When thinking of your marketing and sales efforts, think through the consumer journey from beginning to end. What is their state of mind at the start and how are you going to best guide them to your desired result?


In the end, a couple walked through the farmhouse with the intent to rent just the lower level. After seeing the whole house and some conversation, they signed a lease for one year on the whole house.


So, in the end we got the result we were hoping for. It just took a reminder of Marketing & Sales 101 to get us there.


This Marketing Minute is brought to you by Sarah Hurley, owner at WeberMarketing, LLC.

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