In a recent Inman commentary column, Wendy Forsythe, Fathom Holdings Chief Strategy Officer noted, “Building your digital brand has changed. Security concerns, platform outages, and constant algorithm changes make digital marketing even more challenging. As a result, it is getting harder to break through the noise and get your content in front of your target audience.”
Here are three key updates you need to know now, and what to do about them.
Apple’s iOS Updates
What Changed: As part of the iOS 14 update, Apple launched its App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This update allows users to easily block apps from receiving a unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) embedded in their iPhones. For ads that depend on app tracking, data is now not as straightforward. With iOS 15, Apple created Mail Privacy Protection, which prevents senders from learning whether an email has been opened. Also, it hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or remember their browsing activities. As such, simply tracking the success of an email campaign by open rates is no longer a relevant metric.
What You Need To Do: In your emails and ads, add clear calls to action that provide measurable results from your target audience. Instead of tracking email open rates, track a lead magnet download (a buyer’s or seller’s guide, for instance). Rather than focusing solely on website traffic, focus on your conversion rate. For most real estate agents, website conversion rates are around 1 – 2%.
Facebook’s Business Suite Continues Evolving
What Changed: With Apple’s ongoing privacy changes (iOS 14 and iOS 15), Apple users have been able to opt out of being tracked by their iOS apps, making ad targeting more challenging on Facebook. To adapt, Facebook has added new tools to its Business Suite, including:
- Unified inbox so businesses can manage emails and send remarketing emails
- Updated File Manager for creating, managing, and posting content
- A split-testing feature that will let businesses test different versions of a post to see which one is most effective
Additionally, Facebook Reels are out of the testing phase and are in full rollout.
What You Need To Do: First, you need to ensure your Facebook (business page) and Instagram accounts (business account) are connected and in a Business Manager. This will ensure you can use the new updates to Business Suite. Next, as you schedule your content for Facebook and Instagram (using Facebook’s Creator Studio (https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/home), you can use the full suite of content creation and testing tools. Lastly, you can either create a Reel on Facebook or create it on Instagram. You will get a pop-up screen asking if you want to share your Instagram Reels to Facebook for added search functionality. Users can discover Reels based on their interests and what’s popular both at the top of News Feed alongside Stories and Rooms and in a new, dedicated News Feed section.
Instagram’s Content Shift
What Changed: At the beginning of Q3 2021, Instagram announced that it was no longer a photo-sharing app. Instagram, like Facebook, is leaning into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. This change will show in how the algorithm ranks content shown to users. Instagram also announced it will combine IGTV and feed videos into one format, Instagram Video. A Video tab will replace the IGTV profile tab making it easier for users to browse video content. Also, videos posted to the main Instagram feed can now be up to 60 minutes long.
What You Need To Do: As a real estate professional, your business is built upon the know-like-trust factor your clients have for you. As such, now is the time to lean into video. Some easy ways to leverage video are to do walkthrough videos of open houses, quick behind-the-scenes videos of listing a home or schedule a weekly video market report on your market. Remember, nobody expects perfection – done is better than perfect.