The Digital View: UK Property Industry 2013-2016

24th November 2016

by Laura Comben

As a provider of digital marketing services for the property industry since our inception, we have navigated our way through the highs and lows that have enveloped the industry in recent years. Along the way, we’ve achieved dramatic organic traffic success stories, established relationships with some of the biggest industry portals, and raised the profile of deserved teams who have a wealth of experience in their field. Here’s a summary of our property journey so far:

Let’s begin with the meaty stuff

It feels only right to pick up some key stats to highlight our services:

  • In 2013, we began to manage four distinct property offices for esteemed, national estate agent, Winkworth: Battersea, Clapham, Kennington Lets and Pimlico & Westminster. Between 2013 and 2014, website traffic increased by a 506% spike, driven by social media activity.
  • London-based agent Astons London reported a 250% increase in organic search traffic from targetted strategies that utilised SEO, PPC, content marketing and social media management. PPC accounted for 65% of traffic in the first three months.
  • London Property Areas to Watch in 2015‘ was written and released at the optimum time to integrate with the trending topics for LD Events. The blog was responsible for 71% of all news traffic, with a total of 5,645 page views. To this day, it is the 5th search result on the first page of Google.
  • In March 2015, the LD Events website experienced a 614% year-on-year increase in site traffic as a result of an ongoing content-driven strategy.
  • Improving organic search traffic is always a goal for the Cobb crew. This October, organic traffic accounted for 74% of all website traffic to the Austin Gray website.

Campaign highlights

Our content team has developed strong ties with the Rightmove team and OnTheMarket.com: two of the UK’s leading property portals. Our client content outreach work has become a huge part of our content strategy for property clients, including Winkworth, Austin Gray and Shaws Kensington.

As a result of the tireless work of our Senior Account Manager, Petrushka Lee, our list of accolades includes the Best Estate Agent on Social Media 2016 award for Winkworth Estate Agents.

Social competitions are just as relevant in the eyes of property audiences as they are across low to mid-value consumer sales markets. We follow the same process: collate user demographic data; geo-target according to current area and popular search areas; align the competition to relevant events or news to broaden its appeal; integrate activity across digital and offline platforms to increase brand promotion and maintain consistency; remarket if needed; and finally discuss how to leverage an increase in organic traffic after the campaign has been delivered. The Twitter competition below resulted in a total of 502 new followers, 738 retweets, 106 favourites and 338 mentions.

We’ve learnt a lot

Our collective property client portfolio is a perfect example of how a digital marketing strategy can be applied to traditional commerce industries which deal with the world’s most valuable global assets.

Asset markets are the most vulnerable to social and economic shifts, which presents a few challenges if your pre-set KPI is to generate leads for a property client located in a high-value market. It’s been an eventful few years from a macroeconomic perspective:

  • 2014: The London property markets enjoyed a bumper average price growth of up to 25.8% between Q2 2013 to the same period in 2014 – the largest increase since 1987.
  • 2015: The year gave rise to cyclical General Election jitters, which tend to start as soon as January in the property industry. This was followed by a property spending spree in May and June, before the usual winter lull set in.
  • 2016: This has not-so-arguably been one of the toughest and strangest years for business, in which consumers put up the finger to the status quo by popular vote across much of the western world. Money filtered out of property assets and flooded into alternatives, like gold – as is the way.

Despite this, there is plenty to be positive about in 2017, and we’ve learnt a lot:

  •  Developing online social communities takes time but it’s worth it for increasing brand awareness alone
  • Taking an omnichannel approach works: if you have an online competition running, don’t just let it rest; take it to the streets!
  • Evergreen content pieces tend to be the big hitters
  • Property professionals and investors are highly receptive to what networking events have to offer, most notably the opportunities for development and investment growth
  • As trends swing toward renovating existing properties, the construction industry reaps the benefits
  • The status of London’s housing market as a ‘safe haven’ is evident in the midst of an international event: sanctions were lifted in Iran, investors headed to London; the threat of The Donald has steered American investors toward London
  • London is resilient. In the midst of any news you may hear, one thing remains constant in London: people want to move there. We’ve learnt over the years that whatever is going on in the world, London and the South East property markets always stay active and continue to defy negative predictions
  • Outreach is has become expensive and fiercely competitive, yet property portals have been some of the most accommodating that we’ve come across for guest bloggers. We will maintain, and build on these ties in 2017.

“The results I’ve had since working with Cobb have been fantastic. We’ve noticed a huge increase in traffic and enquiries, but the biggest thing is having a dedicated resource to manage all of my online marketing. They come up with creative ideas and are very proactive with promoting LD Events to a targeted audience.” Andrew Mason, Founder and Managing Director of LD Events.

Let’s talk

Like our clients riding the waves of change every week, we have always taken note that it was incumbent on us, as an extended arm of their own business, to adapt to the fluctuating industry climate. To do this, we serviced these businesses with our full arsenal of digital services, which at times also incorporated the expertise of our PR team too. We continue to rise to the challenge in the sector, and we can do the same for you too. Contact us at info@cobbdigital.com, or give us a bell on 01273 208913 to discover opportunities that await.

 

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