Tired of reading mortgage broker digital marketing strategy blogs that raise more questions than they answer?

You’re not alone.

Online marketing is a tangled web of channels and paid vs organic strategies. That’s even more true in 2018 than it’s ever been before.

Now add to that mix the lengthy list of regulations that mortgage loan originators must follow in their advertising.

It’s hard to find actionable advice that cuts through all the noise out there and really helps you focus on accomplishing your main goal: building your business by closing more loans.

Not all mortgage broker digital strategies are created equal. Unfortunately, many lenders waste time and money on the wrong channels.

To ensure you maximize the efficiency of your digital marketing spend, here’s our list of all the most popular strategies ranked #1 through #13.

Ranking the 13 Best Mortgage Brokers Digital Strategies

Let’s start with #13 and count down to the most effective ways to market your mortgage lending business.

#13 – Yelp Advertising

Maybe it’s not fair to just single out Yelp. The lowest ROI strategy on the list could more generally be “directory advertising,” but because Yelp is particularly aggressive about trying to sell business owners on its ad services, we’ll focus on them.

It’s not that no businesses can get great results from advertising on Yelp or similar directories. In fact, for restaurants, Yelp advertising would be an effective if not essential marketing opportunity. But mortgage brokers would be wise to steer clear.

The problem is that yellowpages.com, superpages, merchantcircle, and other directories is just not the place that many mortgage consumers go to make a final decision on which mortgage company they’re going to call. They might browse there at one point in their decision making process, but you’ll have a hard time getting them to convert.

If you’re spending money on ads, you need to be reaching the right people at the right time. Otherwise, you’re just paying for a lot of tire kicker traffic that will kill your ROI.

#12 – Organic Social Media

For every mortgage broker that has gotten good ROI from time invested in building a social media presence, there are 10 who have been burned.

Just because posting updates to your company’s profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is free doesn’t mean it can’t have bad ROI. It takes a lot of time to build a social media presence. If that time doesn’t equate to legitimate leads and sales, that was time wasted.

You want to focus your time on efforts that lead to revenue, not just empty follower counts. And with organic reach declining for businesses on Facebook there’s more reason than ever to keep a close eye on how much time you’re spending on marketing through organic social media. There are probably other options for you with better ROI.

#11 – Display Network Advertising

There are millions of websites in Google’s Display Network. In that vast collection of sites, there are certain to be a range of sites that cater to your target audience.

Display advertising lets you use a variety of ad formats to reach home buyers or people considering a refinance or a reverse mortgage wherever they congregate on the web. For most brokers, this channel is better used for building brand awareness instead of direct lead generation.

#10 – Search Engine Advertising

In 2017, the vast majority of people looking for a mortgage lending company are going to start their decision making process on a search engine. That’s why one of the key reasons you’re so interested in developing a clear digital marketing game plan.

An AdWords Search Network campaign is the fastest path to establishing page one visibility for the keyword searches used by people looking for your services. Being one of the first results a searcher sees after typing in “mortgage brokers san diego” on Google could be huge for lead generation.

The catch is that advertising on search engines can be very competitive and expensive. It’s definitely a channel to consider (especially if you’re still in the process of developing organic visibility), but it’s unlikely to provide the best ROI. That’s why it’s only #9 on the list.

#9 – LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn has traditionally only been seen as a valuable business-to-business marketing channel. However, with plenty of high powered, successful people on this platform, there is plenty of opportunity for lenders to generate consumer leads.

LinkedIn offers targeted advertising options, but it’s also great for searching for “trigger events.” Getting a big promotion, or getting a new job in a new area are a couple of the events that commonly lead to someone buying a new home and seeking a mortgage loan. It’s relatively easy to find people on LinkedIn in your area that are reaching professional milestones that make them potential leads.

#8 Google My Business

If you to be visible in Google Maps results and Local 3-pack results on Google, you need to completely fill out your Google My Business profile.

It really doesn’t take long to get your GMB profile up and running. It’s a straightforward process that any broker should be able to complete on their own.

Taking the time to do it could potentially open a valuable organic lead generation channel for your business. It’s well worth the effort.

#7 Blogging

Blogging is valuable to a mortgage broker for a variety of reasons. It allows you to (1) show off your expertise, (2) directly answer the questions or concerns of your target audience, (3) have plenty of content to fuel your social media and email marketing, and (4) generate inbound organic traffic from long-tail keywords you’re not targeting with the main content on your site.

#6 – Content Promotion

One of the key reasons that most mortgage brokers fail to get maximum value out of blogging or content marketing is the lack of promotion.

Creating great content that answers questions and shows off your expertise is not enough. By finding industry and local influencers willing to share your content, or collaborate with you on new content, you have the chance to multiply the value you get out of content marketing.

The payoff is more social media shares of your content, more backlinks pointing to your site, better organic rankings on search engines, and more referral traffic coming to your site.

#5 – Facebook Advertising

Facebook has the same advantages offered by LinkedIn: targeted advertising and the ability to search for people going through or about to go through those “trigger events” in life that commonly lead to needing a mortgage.

Facebook offers additional ad targeting options that make it a better advertising option than LinkedIn. It also helps that, in general, there is way more engagement on Facebook. That makes it one of the most important channels for your marketing efforts.

It would be nice if you could still reach a big audience organically on Facebook, but in 2017 it’s estimated that less than 5% of a business’s followers actually see their shared posts. If you want to reach a lot of people, you need to advertise. But costs per click are typically much lower than AdWords.

#4 – Remarketing

Remarketing is your channel for marketing directly to a very important audience: people who visited your site but didn’t take action.

A remarketing campaign will let you serve ads specifically to put that landing on your site in the past but decided not to sign up for your email list or fill out a contact form. Many mortgage brokers get the best advertising ROI from hitting this audience with unique ads.

#3 – Email Marketing

Building an email list of interested prospects and regularly sending them updates is one of the highest ROI mortgage brokers digital strategies.

Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for establishing brand awareness, staying top of mind for your target audience, and serving content that inspires people to take actions that directly lead to more revenue for you.

#2 – SEO, Organic Search

Many mortgage brokers are willing to pay top dollar for clicks from ads on search engine results pages. What if you could earn those clicks for free?

If you rank in the top spots in the organic search results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing for your most important keywords, that will undoubtedly be one of the most important lead generation tools for your business.

Organic traffic is the gift that keeps on giving. But getting to those top spots takes investment. You need to optimize your website for your targeted keywords. You also need to optimize your site for strong user engagement, which has an increasingly large impact on rankings these days.

In a competitive marketing, the investment can be big, but the ultimate payoff is bigger than almost any other mortgage broker digital strategy.

#1 – Business Partner Development

No. 1 on the list is referral marketing — establishing strategic partnerships and cross promotional opportunities with real estate agents, CPAs, and commercial bankers.

You might think of relationship building as more of an offline strategy, but digital marketing channels can be the perfect starting ground for valuable relationships that pay off big time in consistent lead generation.

Engaging with potential referral partners on their website or their social profiles gets your foot in the door and helps you build trust. Maybe the conversation will move offline before it blossoms into something substantive, but starting those conversations should be a huge focus of any mortgage broker’s digital strategies.

What’s Your Top Digital Strategy?

We want to hear about the mortgage broker digital marketing strategies that have provided you with the best ROI.

Leave a comment and let us know about a campaign, a channel, or a particular strategy that brought back way more revenue than you expected.