Do you remember the last time you opened up the Yellow Pages to search for a self storage facility, apartment community, or senior living community? If you’re anything like us, it’s probably been about a decade. In today’s digital age, old school marketing tactics like phone book advertising have gone the way of the 8-track. Sure, the Yellow Pages is still around, but it’s unlikely your customers are there looking for a service like yours.

Here are the old school marketing tactics you need to ditch and three you need to focus on to generate better leads.

Old School Marketing Tactics to Ditch

Yellow Pages and Newspaper Ads

In the past, marketers took out ads in the Yellow Pages and in local newspapers in to reach potential customers. While this may have gotten you a lot of exposure 20 years ago, in the time of online directories, Yelp, and social media, your reach won’t be nearly as far. In fact, newspaper circulation is down to its lowest point since Pew Research started tracking in 1940, and only 30 percent of people even open the phone book delivered to their doorstep. Compare that to Brightlocal’s yearly survey which found that 97% of consumers have used the Internet to find local businesses in the last year.

Outdoor Billboards

Another old school marketing tactic to ditch? Billboards. Although they are large and visually stimulating, they are meant to be seen by people on the move. Whether walking, driving, or passing by, billboards come in and out of a potential customers vision so quickly that they don’t always absorb what they’ve just seen.

Billboards also take up a large chunk of your marketing budget – on the low end of the scale, a small billboard in Minneapolis can start at $300-$800 and cost up to $8,000 a month depending on the size you select. Circulation of billboard advertising is measured by the amount of traffic that passes the sign. Factors like visibility from the road, size, speed at which traffic is traveling on the nearest road, all play into the impressions a billboard makes.

They may be a good option for increasing brand awareness, but when it comes to increasing sales, it’s a better idea to integrate digital forms of advertising.  

Hand holding phone, touching search application icon on screen

3 Marketing Tactics to Add

Smart Digital Ads

Data shows that seven out of 10 prospects begin their buyer’s journey with a search and 80 percent of those searches occur on mobile. Digital Advertising places you where prospects are searching, so you target the right customers with the right message at the right time.

You can drive even more qualified leads to your website by focusing your ad campaigns on actual pricing and availability data from your property management system (PMS). G5’s Smart Digital Advertising uses Dynamic Ads to improve efficiency in your sales cycle by pre-qualifying leads so only the units you have available are advertised. It also helps you understand campaign performance at the keyword level with call attribution. This allows us to improve your targeting and increase the effectiveness of your marketing spend.

Reputation Management

Today’s renters use more than just organic search before expressing their intent to rent. Reviews play a large role in the buyer’s journey, and most people ask for referrals or read testimonials before committing to a purchase or lease. That’s where G5 Reputation and Social Management comes in. This product allows real estate marketers to take advantage of the latest AI technology by measuring the sentiment of each review, so you can respond accordingly.

By using G5 Reputation and Social Management, you can identify key topics that will drive better customer experiences and predict their needs and wants — naturally increasing customer loyalty and revenue.

Social Media

More and more people use Facebook to ask for recommendations about products or services. Social media allows real estate marketers to engage with customers in a whole new way. By sharing relevant content on your social networks, you build trust with your customers. Reply to concerns, ask for opinions on a new location, and enhance customer satisfaction all while getting more traffic to your website. Social media helps businesses form a personal connection with customers, which can lead to a positive effect on sales.

The Present and Future of Marketing

Customers expect you to meet them at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and allocating your marketing budget to outdated marketing tactics won’t help you find qualified leads. Ditch Yellow Pages ads, newspaper ads, and outdoor billboards to focus on finding the right customers, where they spend their time. Integrate Smart Digital Advertising, reputation management, and social media into your marketing strategy.

Download G5’s Age of Assistance infographic to learn more about customer expectations in the digital age.